• 15486
1995 …2023

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Personal profile

Research Profile

Research Interests

My research interests focus on investigating the evolution and function of the resident mammalian gut microbiota. Key interests include:

  • the molecular mechanisms by which specific bacteria utilise different dietary components including prebiotics and fibre
  • the importance of diet in modulating both the composition and activity of the microbiota
  • understanding the sequential colonisation and longitudinal development of the microbiota through life
  • investigating the carriage, evolution and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance genes between resident and transient members of the gut microbiota
  • co-localisation of antimicrobial and other resistance genes on transmissible conjugative transposons
  • identifying new commensal bacteria suitable for development as probiotics


Board Member of International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP; Role of President from 2016 - 2019). 2008-present

Chair of organising committee for the biennial International Gut Microbiology symposium [Rowett/INRAE conference] 2016- present

Member of the organising committee for the Wellcome Trust Gut Microbiome annual conference (2014-2018); International Human Microbiome Conderence (2020-2022)

Member of ILSI Prebiotic Task Force - expert Groups on "short chain fatty acids" and "gut microbiota and nutrients" 2016-2019

Global Grant for Gut Health Grant Panel committee member 2018- present

External PhD student examiner - 1 - 2 students per year for various universities within UK or Europe.

Editor of Microbiology journal (2016 - 2018)


PhD student supervision:

2010 – 2014    Local (RINH) funding Joint studentship with University College Cork, Genetic                     Manipulation of anaerobic gut bacteria

2011-2015       RESAS cereal SP       Realizing the potential of cereal products to benefit                           human health

2011 – 2015    GTbiologics/Sulsa       The role of the gut microbiota in inflammatory bowel disease

2017 – 2020    Elphinstone award      Spread of antibiotic resistance through the food chain

2017 – 2021    A Vogel                       Prebiotic treatment to alleviate IBS

2017 – 2021    Jordanian govt            Impact of antibiotic treatment on the evolution of mosaic genes

2018 – 2021    Kuwait govt                 Health impacts of B-glucan

2020 – 2023    EastBio PhD student   Impact of bile salt hydrolase activities of specific gut bacteria on energy balance

2021-2025       Eastbio PhD student   Carriage of antimicrobial resistance genes by Campylobacter species isolated from wildlife (collaborative with Moredun Institute) 


Other student supervision – 1 - 3 short-term (3-5 month) students (BSc Hons, MSc or French placement) annually since 2003 (total number = 35)

Lecturing (# per year) Three lectures for UoA Human Nutrition MSc course (PU5020, PU5537, RR5501); lecturer in Human Nutrition MOOC, 7 lectures for Yr 2 Microbiology (BI25M5), 2 lectures for Yr 2 Medics (MbChB Yr2 in gastrointestinal block), 2 lectures/year for Hons Microbiology, tutor group in MbChB yr 1 SSC block, practical demonstrator in 2 sessions in SM2001 yr2 foundation skills in medical sciences course. Lecturer in online Human Clinical Nutrition MSc course.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Biological Sciences, PhD, Genomic analysis of potato mop-top virus

Award Date: 8 Jul 1993

Area of Expertise

  • Biological Sciences
  • Microbiology
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • Microbiomics
  • gene transfer


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