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Martin Llewellyn

Principal Investigator
Prof, Molecular Ecology

School of Biodiversity, One Health and Veterinary 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.


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.


Antonella Bacigalupo

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.

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.

Alexandru Barcan

PhD Erasmus Fellow - 2022-24

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.

Brendan Roberston

PhD Student - 2023 -

Brendan Robertson is a Aquatic Pathobiologist with a strong fascination with diseases associated with the farming of aquatic organisms (aquaculture), in particular, amoebic gill disease seen in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.). Brendan has worked with this disease for numerous years, by completing his BSc (Hons) in the use of eDNA in detecting Neoparamoeba perurans the causative agent of the disease under Martin Llewellyn at the University of Glasgow. He furthered this knowledge by completing his Master’s degree in Aquatic Pathobiology at the Institute of Aquaculture (University of Stirling). His thesis comprised of developing new protocols to cryopreserve N. perurans to aid in complying with the 3 R’s in research. He has now come back to the Llewellyn lab as a PhD student to continue his work on Neoparamoeba perurans by developing a multiplex genome-scale genotyping for high-resolution, low-cost, identification system to determine virulent strains of N. perurans. Once achieved, a web-based data visualisation tool will be produced and deployed to enable producers and regulators to visualise and track parasite spread in near-real-time to provide proof of concept for this molecular approach.

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