Ryan Imrie

I am a PhD student in the Longdon lab group, funded by the NERC Great Western Four+ Doctoral Training Partnership (GW4+ DTP).




Research Career

2017- Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter
PhD student, NERC GW4+ DTP
2016-2017 Institute of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation, University of Glasgow
 MSc Infection Biology with Virology
University of Glasgow
BSc (Hons) Genetics


I am interested in understanding the environmental, evolutionary, and ecological factors which influence the emergence of new diseases. Within this topic, I am hoping to explore both the factors which contribute to the ability of pathogens to infect novel host species, and also the factors which allow such pathogens to establish long-term, stable transmission within their new hosts.

My PhD project, titled: ”Evolution and ecology of virus host shifts”, will use a range of different Drosophila species to investigate the factors which influence the ability of viruses to infect novel host species. Initially, the project will focus on how co-infection with multiple viruses alters infection dynamics, and will examine how this varies across a phylogenetically diverse group of host species.

Before joining the Longdon lab group, I completed several short research projects in institutes at both the University of Glasgow and University of Edinburgh. As part of the Dow-Davies lab at the Institute of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation (Glasgow), I used transgenic lines of Drosophila melanogaster to investigate the neuronal expression of the diuretic hormone DH44 using confocal microscopy. At the Obbard lab in the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (Edinburgh), I used reference sequences for multiple Drosophila viruses to collect serendipitously sequenced viral reads present in publicly available Drosophila RNAseq. Most recently, as part of the Hutchinson lab group at the Centre for Virus Research (Glasgow), I used custom python scripts to create a semi-automated processing pipeline to provide quantitative data from confocal z-stacks of endosomes, which I used to study the impact of influenza A virus trafficking on host cell endosomes during early stages of infection. The published source code and documentation for these custom scripts can be found here. (https://github.com/ryanmimrie/EndosomeToolkit)