Research and teaching interests

My research is focused on antagonistic interactions between bacteria. Bacteria use a range of molecular systems to kill and inhibit competitors – weapons – such as small-molecule antibiotics, protein bacteriocins and secretion systems to inject cytotoxic proteins directly into competitor’s cells. To understand the evolution, ecology and physiology of bacterial weapons, we ask questions like: why do bacteria make and carry so many different weapons? What determines their effectiveness? How is weapon use connected to metabolism and motility? These questions are approached with a mix of mathematical modelling, computational bioinformatics, synthetic biology and experimentation where armed bacteria are pitted against each other to see who wins.

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