The increasing availability of complete bacterial genomes allows the investigation of the processes which underpin bacterial evolution. I’m particularly interested in the spread of mobile genetic elements which move ‘horizontally’ across bacterial genomes and even species, and untangling this nested genetic complexity. These elements include plasmids as well as smaller transposons which can carry genes for antimicrobial resistance.
The human microbiome is the collective name given to the microbial communities that live in our bodies. Just as you have ecology for animals, you can have it for microbes too. I’ve previously worked on the microbiome’s composition in health and disease. One topic that I’m still interested in is understanding the effect of antibiotics: how they disrupt microbial communities and how the community recovers.
My current research focuses on understanding the processes behind the development and subsequent spread of antimicrobial resistance using genomic data. This can be at multiple scales, from within patients to global spread. I’ve previously been involved in efforts to improve the availability of surveillance data of antimicrobial resistance, including carrying out work awarded a Data Reuse Prize by Wellcome.