Reader, Molecular Ecology
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine and School of Life Sciences
Dr. Llewellyn has a broad focus around host-associated microbiota, parasites, molecular epidemiology, and the role of host-associated microbiota in parasitic diseases.
Michele De Noia
PhD Student, (2017 -)
The overall purpose of Michele’s PhD is to understand phenotypic, genetic and ecosystem responses to environmental change, parasite exposure and pathobiome in the two European eel ectomorphs.
His main objectives are:
1) Linking fish ecology (diet, microbiome and pathobiology) to energetic profile (metabolism, fat composition, immunity) across the two ecotypes
2) Development of a non-invasive rapid test to detect the presence/absence and load of the Anguillicola crassus – a parasitic nematode worm of the eels
When not working away in the lab, he can be found beating his opponents in a volleyball match or making Tiramisu as a post-workout treat!
PhD Student, (2017 -)
Patrick has always been fascinated by nature, particularly aquatic environments. He was amazed by microorganisms: how such little, relatively simple things can have a big impact on their environment. Luckily, he got the opportunity to combine his main research interests into one PhD as he focuses on the impact of the Atlantic salmon gut microbiota.
As a registered student of University College Cork he spends a lot of time at the Marine Institute in Newport under the supervision of Dr Phil McGinnity. There he has access to farmed, wild and hybrid salmon, allowing him to disentangle genetic and environmental effects on host microbiomes and also to monitor bacterial impacts on phenotypic traits (e.g. metabolism, immune response).
Should Patrick be missing from Glasgow, he is either in Ireland (working of course), on the nearest Tennis court or taking a shot at some waves on a beach (though some say he spends more time trying not to drown than actually surfing). Meanwhile, he is still trying to convince Glasgow’s Lidl managers to import his homeland's "Maultaschen" to Scotland: no success… Yet!
PhD Student, (2018 -)
Felix is interested in the strategies of kinetoplastid parasites for host immune evasion. He aims to link the surface proteome variation resulting from immune pressures with genomic and transcriptomic variation. His previous research experiences have included a Work Placement MSci exploring synergistic drug combinations in Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia, as well as an Honours project helping to identify a highly programmable and non-invasive biomaterial to aid wound healing in epidermal stem cells.
In his spare time, Felix enjoys metal engraving and playing Dungeons & Dragons; though, that is of course when he is not tending to his marvellous beard. Formerly a cheesemonger for 10 years, he still enjoys an occasional cheeseboard…
PhD Student, (2018 -)
Toni is interested in disease, welfare, aquaculture and sustainability. Her PhD focuses on the use of Environmental DNA (eDNA) to monitor plankton-borne diseases in salmonid aquaculture.
Toni aims to design a low-cost early warning system sampling technique to detect eDNA shed by sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis), as well as the aetiological agent of Amoebic Gill Disease (Paramoeba perurans). She hopes to improve survivability by early detection of pathogens, thus increasing production and sustainability of farmed salmon.
Bachar "Bach" Cheaib
Postdoc Researcher, (October 2018 -)
Bach is a bioinformatician post-doc, specialising in analysing microbial genomics and metagenomics data produced from NGS (Next-Generation Sequencing) technologies. By focusing on compartmentalisation of the Salmo salar microbiome and Salmon diseases, Bach has two projects, the first is focusing on the functional units driving host-microbiome co-evolution in Atlantic salmon (see SalmoSim), and in the second he is deciphering the functional basis of Perkinsela-Neoparamoeba endosymbiois (see AGD and Endosymbiosis project)
He uses state of the art bioinformatic methods and develops computational pipeline solutions and biostatistical workflows to aid his lab mates with their data.
Bach is interested not only in answering fundamental questions in microbial ecology and evolution, but also in the application of these evolutionary concepts on host associated microbial systems, in order to understand the microbes' adaptive resilience under anthropic pressures.
Joseph (Joey) Humble
Research technician 2019-
Joey Humble is a research technician working with SalmoSim and interested in biomolecular, microbiological and chemical methods that can be applied to simulate the digestion and fermentation processes in the salmon gastro-intestinal tract. Joey is upgrading the SalmoSim system to include absorption function in order to predict the bioavailability of nutrients in aquafeeds. Joey is passionate about providing SalmoSim as a service to players in the aquaculture industry to improve sustainability and productivity of salmon farming. When not fiddling with bioreactors, Joey spends his spare time learning French, surfing and gardening.
PhD Student, Infectious Disease (2019 -)
Antonella is a Veterinarian with interest in vector-borne diseases. Particularly, Chagas disease, transmitted by triatomine insect vectors. She obtained her Master's degree in Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Universidad de Chile. While working in the eco-epidemiological aspects of Trypanosoma cruzi transmission in Chile, she joined Llewellyn's lab to tackle the genomic aspects of the vectors, to relate their DNA with phenotypical characteristics relevant for protozoan transmission and insect control, hoping to contribute to the understanding of this neglected disease, and to collaborate with other Latin American scientists.
Postdoc Researcher (2021 - )
María is a Marine Biologist with a broad interest in marine food webs and conservation, and a strong background in global change research and gelatinous zooplankton ecophysiology. On top of that, she loves doing fieldwork as an excuse to enjoying the waves and just being by the sea!
Before joining the University of Glasgow, María did a short postdoc at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (University of Edinburgh), worked as a scientific editor, and completed her PhD (University of Bremen, 2017) at the Biologische Anstalt Helgoland (BAH-AWI, Germany), a marine station placed on a beautiful island in the North Sea.
Her current work aims to combine her expertise in community studies, plankton ecology, gelatinous zooplankton ecophysiology and taxonomy to identify planktonic threats in marine aquaculture by using an eDNA approach.
Yee Wan (Wendy) Liu
PhD Student, Infectious Disease (2021-)
Wendy is an infectious disease biologist/bioinformatician with an interest in finding treatments for infectious diseases using polyomic approaches. Her motivation in persuading a Virology undergrad degree was because of having experienced mass hysteria twice due to virus outbreaks. Three times now, with the COVID-19 pandemics. She then swore to save the world by finding treatment to fight infectious diseases.
Her undergrad project at the CVR was to find out which of the glycoproteins of morbilliviruses (canine distemper virus and peste des petits ruminants virus) are mainly targeted by antibodies collected from previously infected or vaccinated animals. She then started to be interested in using bioinformatics to study infectious diseases. For that, she obtained her Master's degree in Bioinformatics in the University of Glasgow. Her Master's project at the Wellcome Centre For Molecular Parasitology was to find out the drug targets of two novel compounds for Leishmaniasis treatment using both metabolomic analysis as well as structural biology. To further explore how bioinformatics can be used as a tool in finding treatments for infectious diseases, she joined Llewellyn's lab in collaboration with the Wellcome Centre For Molecular Parasitology, to tackle a recently emerged veterinary pathology: amoebic gill disease (AGD), caused by a parasite with a unique cell biology. To do this, she will be using polyomics (single-cell genomics and transcriptomics, plus metabolomics) to understand the endosymbiosis between Paramoeba and its endosymbiont, Perkinsela spp., which will hopefully lead to a drug that can treat AGD.
PhD Erasmus Fellow - 2022-23
Alex is an Erasmus exchange PhD student, struggling to find the effects of different functional mushrooms on gut microbiota in different diseases and trying to introduce a perspective application of mushrooms as adjuvant therapies for modulating gut microbiota in clinical treatments. Recently he started working on the Atlantic salmon gut simulator (SalmoSim) enabling him to view his work from a different perspective, and possibly to compare the pathogens and the diseases that affect the fishes with the ones affecting humans and which extracts of fungi can be used against them.
Also known as the Porcini Guy among his colleagues, Alex has a tendency to get lost in the art of traveling to explore the unknown, however, in the last few months he’s been more focused on his research and has spent his time in the lab trying to discover the unknown. When he’s not engaged in lab work, he enjoys reading graphic novels and visiting the movie theater, also considered to be his natural habitat.