Research in the lab focuses on host-parasite ecology and evolution. Current work focuses on how parasites switch between host species, what factors affect the ability of parasites to successfully host shift and how these may be important for the emergence of novel pathogens. Other interests include the evolution and ecology of vertically transmitted parasites and how they spread through new host species or populations. We typically use insects and their natural viruses to examine these questions – often taking a comparative approach across species – although have recently set up a phage-bacteria model to ask general questions about pathogen host shifts.
We are based at the University of Exeter (Cornwall campus, Penryn) in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences.