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Dr Tatiana Dimitriu

Dr Tatiana Dimitriu

Research Fellow

 Environment and Sustainability Institute 1:17


Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK


I am an evolutionary microbiologist particularly interested in the coevolution between bacteria and their mobile genetic elements, responsible for the spread of bacterial traits affecting human health, including antimicrobial resistance and virulence.

My PhD, at INSERM in Paris with Francois Taddei, focused on understanding horizontal gene transfer from a social evolution perspective, using modelling and experiments using synthetic bacterial strains. During my first postdoc in Ben Raymond’s group (Imperial College London, then University of Exeter), I moved to more complex and realistic systems and used experimental evolution approaches to improve the efficacy of Bacillus thuringiensis, a pathogen of insects which virulence is mostly based on social behaviours. In parallel, I used the collections of natural isolates available in Dr. Raymond’s laboratory to continue exploring how bacteria interact with their mobile elements.In Edze Westra’s group in the University of Exeter, I am now investigating how antibiotics can affect bacterial coevolution with phages, and restriction-modification defences. I am also interested in how the transmission rate of mobile elements evolves.


2014 PhD in Evolutionary Biology (Université Paris-Descartes, France)
2010 MSc. in Genetics and Evolution (Université Paris-Sud and ENS Cachan, France)

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Research interests

  • horizontal gene transfer
  • mobile genetic elements
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • bacterial immune systems

Research projects

Experimental evolution of Bacillus thuringiensis virulence to overcome insect host resistance

Diversity of plasmid transfer rates among natural isolates of Escherichia coli

Effect of antibiotics on the coevolution between bacterial immune systems and phages

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