About the Project
Evolutionary biologists have long been fascinated by host-pathogen coevolution and a large body of literature is devoted to understanding the dynamics, patterns of resistance and susceptibility arising through time and space, as well as the underlying infection genetics. However, the scope of these studies is almost exclusively restricted to a single pair of host and pathogen species.
In this project we will combine theoretical and experimental approaches to investigate more realistic systems in which coevolution between multiple pathogen and multiple host species are considered. For the theoretical part, to be conducted at The University of Queensland under the supervision of Dr Jan Engelstaedter, mathematical models will be constructed and analysed in which host species may interact with each other through various processes (e.g., competition or predation), and pathogens may switch more or less rapidly between host species. Both analytical methods and computer simulations will be used to assess how coevolution impacts the ability of pathogens to undergo host shifts and how in turn host shifts affect coevolution. In the experimental part of the project, to be performed at the University of Exeter under Dr Ben Longdon’s supervision, these theoretical predictions will be scrutinised by using a system of bacteria as hosts (several Staphylococcus species) and a range of viruses (bacteriophages) as their pathogens. This system is ideally suited to study host shifts in a high-throughput manner, and the experiments will be the first to interrogate the interplay between coevolution and the ability of pathogens to jump between host species. The results from this project are expected to have wide-ranging implication in several fields, including ecosystem stability, emerging infectious diseases, and agriculture.
Why not add a message here
Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.
Based on your current search criteria we thought you might be interested in these.
Are healthy diets really more expensive than unhealthy diets? Understanding drivers of choice of healthy and unhealthy food and drinks in Australia and the UK (Funded by the QUEX Institute)
University of Exeter