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Ellie Harrison


Former affiliation

Personal profile

Research interests

I'm interested in the drivers and consequences of coevolution between microbes and the many and various mobile genetic elements that inhabit them, such as plasmids and phages. These elements are extremely interesting for evolutionary biologists - in bacterial communities they often act as vectors of horizontal gene transfer, with huge implications for the bacterial communities in which they reside, but they are also autonomas elements in their own right.

My current work focuses primarily on bacteria-plasmid coevolution, looking at the way in which variation in the environment and community shape this interaction. To investigate this we use experimental evolution, allowing populations of bacteria to evolve in the lab for hundreds of generations, as well as genomics, transcriptomics and good old fashioned microbiology.

In addition, I'm also interested in looking at the effect of temperate phage on the virulence of bacterial infections. This summer I will be running a summer project to look at the effects of phages isolated from Cystic Fibrosis relatated Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections on in vivo infections in collaboration with the lovely Dr. Chloe James (Uni. Salford).