Department of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences
Edward Llwyd Building
My research focuses on the use of proteomic and molecular technologies to explore host- parasite interactions. My current interests are unravelling the complexities of innate immunity in a range of invertebrates and in exploring the mechanisms used by parasites to overcome the host immune system. Current projects include drug resistance mechanisms in model and parasitic nematodes; liver fluke biology; tsetse fly-trypanosome interactions; immunity in Giant African land snails; immunity in Biomphalaria sp. (an intermediate snail host involved in the transmission of schistosomiasis); schistosome biology and the role of the arthropod gut in the transmission of human pathogens.
I also had a major role in ensuring that University research becomes part of the school curriculum as Principal Investigator on the RCUK funded Schools University Partnership Initiative: SusNet Wales (Sustainability Network Wales.
SusNet Wales is a collaborative multi-disciplinary approach to delivering modules in Sustainability and Social Responsibility developed, led and delivered by practising researchers within Aberystwyth University. It provides exposure to world class research to encourage young people to pursue relevant post-16 studies, establish research careers and become better informed global citizens.
More recently, through my passion for promoting STEM research and education, I am the Aberystwyth University Biology PI on the on the £8.2million pan-Wales Trio Sci Cymru initiative to increase STEM uptake in Wales. This initiative is funded by the Welsh Government and WEFO.
- Commendation Award House of Commons, Science Engineering and Technology for Britain.
- BBSRC Schools Regional Champion (2011-2013)
Miss Rebekah Stuart (second Supervisor). IBERS funded.
Example of PhD Project
Arthropods as environmental reservoirs of potential human pathogens
Cronobacter sakazakii (formerly known as Enterobacter sakazakii) is a foodborne pathogen that causes meningitis, sepsis, or necrotizing enterocolitis in newborns, particularly affecting premature or other immunocompromised infants. Morbidity&mortality associated with C. sakazakii infection in neonates varies considerably, & mortality rates as high as 80% have been recorded. Although most documented cases involve infants, reports also describe adult infections. Whilst this organism has been susceptible to antibiotics in the past, there is concern regarding antibiotic resistance in C. sakazakii. C. sakazakii was isolated from the guts of larvae of the stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans, demonstrating, for the first time, an environmental reservoir for C. sakazakii & raising the possibility that environmental contamination by insects may be important in the spread of this opportunistic organism (Hamilton, Lehane & Braig, 2003). This PhD project will investigate the role of arthropods as environmental reservoirs of human pathogens using a combination of entomological, molecular & bioinformatics approaches.
Joanne V. Hamilton, Michael J. Lehane, & Henk R. Braig. Isolation of Enterobacter sakazakii from Midgut of Stomoxys calcitrans. Emerg Infect Dis. 2003 Oct.
If you are interested in pursuing postgraduate research with me please contact me .
I am a Professor of Zoology and Parasitology In the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University. I am also the Associate Dean of Learning, Teaching and the Student Experience for the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences. I am a zoologist with a passion for parasites and a keen interest in promoting STEM research, education and public understanding of science.
In addition to my teaching and research roles I am also the Associate Dean for the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences.