The Microbial Ecology team
Microbiologists based at the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) form an integrated team of internationally distinguished scientists who deliver some of the University’s most impactful and high profile research into solutions to problems of environmental change. The science they produce is consistently of the highest quality and at the forefront of their fields, and addresses some of the most pressing fundamental and applied research questions to improve people’s lives and their interactions with the environment.
- Antibiotic Resistance
- Land regeneration using bacteria
- Gene editing
- Microbial adaptation to climate change
- Disease epidemiology, host shifts and virulence
- Evolution of Bio methane communities
- Social evolution of heavy metal remediation
- Bacteria-phage coevolution
- Evolution of pathogenic Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Evolutionary phage therapy
- Using CRISPR-Cas to remove antimicrobial resistance genes from microbial communities
Dr Stineke Van Houte
Dr. Stineke van Houte (CLES) is a BBSRC Future Leader Fellow who integrates molecular and evolutionary approaches to study host-parasite interactions. She carries out pioneering work on interactions between bacteria and mobile genetic elements (Current Biology 2015, Nature, 2016, Cell, 2018). She published 24 papers and generated over £1.1m in grant funding, including a prestigious BBSRC fellowship and a BBSRC New Investigator Award. She has a large network of national and international collaborators, including Prof. Gandon (CNRS, Montpellier) Prof. Paterson (Univ. of Liverpool), Dr. Ashby (Bath University) and Dr. Paganelli (Utrecht University).
Professor Angus Buckling
Prof. Angus Buckling (CLES) obtained a Royal Society URF 3 years after his PhD, based at the Universities of Bath and Oxford. In 2007, he obtained a University Lectureship at Oxford, and took up a Chair at the University of Exeter in 2010. He has published 150 peer-reviewed papers on microbial evolutionary ecology, with particular emphasis on host-parasite coevolution, the evolution of diversity and the evolution of virulence. He has been the recipient of the Zoological Society of London Scientific Medal (2006), The Philip Leverhulme Prize in Zoology (2007), an ERC New Investigator Award (2008-2012) and a Wolfson Royal Society Research Merit Award (2013-2018).
Dr Aimee Murray
Dr. Aimee Murray (ECEHH, CMH) conducts research on antimicrobial resistance at the interface of academia and industry, through long standing collaboration with AstraZeneca, contacts within Defra and the waste water industry. She was awarded a NERC Industrial Innovation Fellowship following completion of her BBSRC/CASE PhD (University of Exeter, 2018). She won a national competition by SETAC UK and Defra for funded attendance at the Validation Management Group for Ecotoxicity (VMG-Eco) meeting at the OECD Headquarters.
Professor Edze Westra
Prof. Edze Westra (CLES) obtained his Ph.D. with distinction in 2013 and was awarded a NERC Independent Research Fellowship in 2015. He published 40 papers on the mechanism and evolutionary ecology of bacteria-phage interactions, including five in Nature, Science or Cell. He received the Westenbrink Award (2013), Westerdijk Award (2014) and the Heineken Young Researcher Award from the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences (2016) for his work. Since 2015 he received around £4M as PI in research funding from the Leverhulme and Wellcome Trusts, NERC, BBSRC, and the European Research Council.
Professor William Gaze
Prof. Will Gaze (ECEHH, CMH) has over 15 years research experience of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) research in farmed and natural environments. Current activity within his group of 15 researchers, covers fundamental issues of AMR evolution in the environment using in situ and in vivo experiments, landscape scale dissemination of AMR and human exposure and transmission studies. He was recently awarded a NERC KE Fellowship The environmental dimension of antimicrobial resistance: informing policy, regulation and practice. He has been invited to speak on AMR on 5 continents in the last 2 years and has advised UK and overseas governments, UNEP/WHO, European Environment Agency, Environment Agency and Defra.
Dr Anne Leonard
Dr. Anne Leonard (ECEHH, CMH) is a NERC Industrial Innovation Fellow and proleptic Lecturer based at the ESI. Her research involves working across the disciplines of microbiology and environmental epidemiology to understand the presence and spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria in coastal waters, and their impact on human health.
Dr Michiel Vos
Dr. Michiel Vos (ECEHH, CMH) is a Senior Lecturer in evolutionary microbiology who uses experimental and genomic approaches to study bacterial diversification in space and time, particularly via lateral gene transfer. He has current NERC-funding to investigate co-selection for AMR and virulence in the natural environment.
Professor Karen Hudson-Edwards
Prof. Karen Hudson-Edwards (CEMPS) focuses on understanding the character and biogeochemical mobility of mine wastes, and on designing management and remediation schemes to control their impacts on ecosystem and human health. She spent almost 20 years at Birkbeck College, University of London, where she was awarded her professorship in 2014. Her group of 6 researchers focuses on the nano- to global biogeochemical and microbiological cycling of mine wastes. They work on projects such as NEMO (Near-zero-waste recycling of low-grade sulphidic mining waste for critical-metal, mineral and construction raw-material production in a circular economy), which seeks to improve biomining of complex nickel-cobalt ores.
Dr. Laura Newsome
Dr. Laura Newsome (CEMPS) is Lecturer in Applied Geomicrobiology who studies microbe-metal-mineral interactions using genomics, microscopy and spectroscopy. Her research focusses on biogeochemical cycling in natural and engineered environments, to discover how microbial processes can mobilise, redistribute and sequester metals, and explore how these processes can be applied in bioremediation and bioprocessing applications.