PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

Professor Ken Wilson
My research involves using epidemiological principles and life-history theory to explore the evolutionary interactions between parasites and their hosts, focussing particular attention on Lepidopteran larvae and their viral and fungal pathogens, especially in Africa; the St. Kildan population of Soay sheep and their nematode parasites; and, most recently, Svalbaard reindeer and their parasites. We tackle these objectives via an inter-disciplinary approach and by applying a combination of methods, including: statistical and simulation modelling, comparative analyses, quantitative genetics methods, field experiments, and physiological assays.

I am an Editor of Journal of Animal Ecology. To submit a paper, follow this link.

See my homepage.

See my Publications on GSlogo



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Ken Wilson Zambia

Dr Rosa Menendez

My research interests focus on the effects of environmental change (habitat fragmentation and climate change) on insect communities. My current research themes include: Potential impact of climate change on species altitudinal distributions (dung beetles in European mountains and in subtropical rainforest of Australia); the role of species interactions during climate-driven range expansion, both enemy-victim interactions (butterflies and their parasitoids) and competition (dung beetles); changes in community structure with climate warming (butterfly and dung beetle communities) and the subsequent consequences to ecosystem level processes (dung processing by dung beetles); metapopulation ecology (butterflies and moths). My approach is mainly field-based, and involves work both in UK and abroad.

See my homepage.

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Rosa Menendez
Dr Andy Wilby
Primarily I am interested in the control of plant and invertebrate community structure and function in managed ecosystems. I have experience of a broad range of taxa in several ecosystems including hot deserts and tropical and temperate agro-ecosystems (Israel, Vietnam, Philippines, Côte D’Ivoire, Kenya, UK and Italy). Currently my research is focused on ecosystem service provision in agricultural ecosystems and how agricultural sustainability can be enhanced by biodiversity conservation. Currently, this research falls into several main themes: understanding the mechanisms underlying species diversity effects in arthropod predator communities; the impact of agricultural management and landscape structure on arthropod community structure and ecosystem service provision; provision of supplementary resources to enhance of biological pest control; trophic and non-trophic impacts of herbivores on plant community structure and function.

See my homepage.


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POST DOC FELLOWS

Dr Rob Graham
I am interested in the ecology of host-parasite interactions, with particular emphasis on insect virus systems. I undertook my PhD at NERC CEH Oxford working on multiple virus pathogens of the winter moth. I have since undertaken postdoctoral work in both Canada and Australia, working on insect viruses, bacteria and fungi. I worked in iPEG on a BBSRC-DFID funded project (2008-2011) investigating the ecology of the African armyworm nucleoployhedrovirus (Spodoptera exempta NPV), and the feasibility of developing this natural pathogen into a viable alternative to chemical insecticides. For more information visit the Armyweb website. I am currently an EU Marie Curie Fellow (2011-2014) and spent two years in Steve Simpson's lab in Sydney working on Australian Plague Locusts, but have recently returned to iPEG for the final year of my fellowship. For more information visit my homepage.


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Rob Graham

Dr Joanna Randall
I am interested in the ecology of host-pathogen interactions, and in particular the role of nutrition in determining the outcomes. In 2008, I completed an undergraduate degree in Microbiology at Cardiff University and became fascinated by the microbes that cause infectious disease and how they interact with their hosts. For my PhD, I focussed on the ecology of these interactions, exploring the individual and population-level effects of parasitism in a cockroach-parasite system. During this work, I conducted experimental studies looking at the effects of host-parasite interactions during single infections, as well as the population dynamics of hosts infected with parasites that have conflicting strategies, using both macro and microparasites. I am currently a BBSRC post-doc (2012-2015) in iPEG working on the role of nutrition in determining the outcome of host-pathogen interactions, using Spodoptera caterpillars and single and multiple bacterial pathogens (e.g. Xenorhabdus nematophila, E. coli, B. subtilis) as model organisms. For more information and to get in touch see my profile here, email j.randall(at)lancaster.ac.uk  or tweet (at)JL_Randall.


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Joanna Randall

Dr Liz Nichols
I am broadly interested in how land management decisions influence the interactions between free-living and parasitic biodiversity, and potentially result in trade-offs across health-related ecosystem services. Currently, I am investigating how environmental changes influence host-parasite dynamics in a tropical dung beetle-fecal helminth system in Brazil. My doctoral work at Columbia University focused on coupled biodiversity and functional responses to land-use change in tropical forests. Following my PhD, I have been a postdoctoral associate at Columbia University (supervisor Shahid Naeem) and lecturer at both the New School and Columbia Universities. I am currently National Science Foundation Fellow (2012-2014), based jointly at the iPEG (supervisor Ken Wilson), and the Universidade de São Paulo (supervisor Jean Paul Metzger). For more information visit here



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PHD STUDENTS

Anja Carlsson
I am interested in parasite host interactions, and am currently working on the Svalbard Reindeer project looking at how their gastrointestinal nematodes influence over-winter survival, reproduction and population dynamics. My PhD supervisors are Prof Ken Wilson, Prof Steve Albon (Macaulay), Dr Justin Irvine (Macaulay) and Dr Steve Coulson (UNIS). Before coming to Lancaster I worked with Anders Björkman’s malaria research lab, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, investigating the diversity and dynamics of P.falciparum in clinical malaria infections as well as working on efficacy and effectiveness studies of Coartem©. I have a B.Sc with honours in Zoology from Edinburgh University and a Masters in International Health from Uppsala University.

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Annabel Rice
I am currently studying for a PhD looking at the impacts that range-expanding species have on the structure of the communities which they enter into, focusing on butterflies and their parasitoids. My PhD supervisors are Dr Rosa Menendez, Dr Becky Morris (Oxford University) and Prof Ken Wilson. I graduated in Ecology from Lancaster University in 2007, after which I worked at CEH Lancaster processing soil for the Countryside Survey, followed by CEH Monks Wood carrying out mixture toxicity experiments with C. elegans. If you would like to help me find butterflies for my project, please visit my website: www.theparasitoideffect.org.uk For further information about me, see my LEC homepage.

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annabel
Rachel Hope
I am interested in disease ecology and how wildlife is affected by a variety of pathogens. My PhD is looking into the epidemiology and transmission of bacteria and enteropathogens between birds, specifically blue tits, and is supervised by Prof Ken Wilson, Dr Ian Hartley, Prof Roger Pickup (SHM) and Dr Glenn Rhodes (CEH-Lancaster). Before coming to Lancaster I completed a BSc (Hons) in Natural Sciences at the University of Durham (2007). After this I studied at Leeds University for an MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation (2008), where I completed my dissertation on the impact of malarial parasites upon yellowhammers, under the supervision of Dr Simon Goodman. For further information, see my LEC homepage. 

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Rachel Hope
Chris Nesbitt
I am interested in climate change effects on ecosystem function; particularly in relation to services such as agricultural output. The focus of my PhD research (supervised by Dr Rosa Menendez and Dr Andy Wilby) will be based on the effects of elevated CO2 and temperature on both direct and indirect interactions of all organisms within a model agricultural system. This incorporates Brassica crops, an array of crop pests and both predatory and parasitoid natural enemies! I graduated in 2008 from Lancaster University with a BSc in Ecology and in 2009 with an MRes in Science of the Environment.

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Chris Nesbit
Emily Adams
I am currently conducting a PhD entitled "Understanding and Managing Honey Bee Health in the UK: Beekeeping Knowledge and Engagement with Science and Policy". My supervisors are  Dr Rebbecca Ellis and Prof Ken Wilson and I am funded by an ESRC-NERC studentship. For further information, see my LEC homepage. 

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Emily Adams
Philip Donkersley
My PhD is exploring the interaction between chemical exposure, nutrition and gut mirobes on the health of honey bees. My PhD is supervised by Prof Ken Wilson, Professor Roger Pickup, Dr Glenn Rhodes and Professor Kevin Jones, and is supported by the BBSRC. For further information, see my LEC homepage. 

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Philip Donkersley
Stephanie Bryan
I am currently working on a PhD in collaboration with Arcis Biotechnology Ltd on the environmental effects of a novel benign nematocide against plant parasitic nematodes.  I will be looking into the effects of this product on the soil ecology and its potential impact on plant growth, supervised by Dr Mike Roberts and Prof Ken Wilson. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Centre for Global Eco-innovation.  I previously graduated in Biological Sciences from the University of Leicester in 2011.

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Stephanie Bryan
Aislinn Pearson
I have recently joined the iPEG team after doing an MSc in Ecological Applications at Imperial. My particular area of interest is food security and the development of sustainable agriculture in African countries. Supervised by Prof Ken Wilson (LEC), Dr Jason Chapman (Rothamsted Research), Dr Joanna Randall (LEC) and Dr Robert Graham (LEC), my PhD will look at the migration and disease ecology of lepidopteran crop pests. The study is in its initial stages but will focus on host-parasite interactions, such as the African armyworm (Spodoptera exempta) and its nucleoployhedrovirus, SpexNPV.  Funding is provided by a BBSRC DTP in Food Security

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Aislinn Pearson

RESEARCH TECHNICIANS

Phil Nott
I am currently working as a Technician within the Insect and Parasite Ecology Group, assisting with the general running of Prof Ken Wilson's Lab. This is for three days a week, my other time is spent on other Plant Sciences based projects within L.E.C including undergraduate projects, mainly plant - insect interactions. My duties within the group include maintenance of Spodoptera exempta and littoralis cultures and Callosobruchus spp. cultures. I also help with the Small Mammal trapping projects among others. I am currently studying for a BSc (hons) in Natural Sciences with the Open University, hopefully finishing within a year or two!

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Phil Nott photo
Yamini Tummala
I am working as a Research Technician on the armyworm project with Prof Ken Wilson. We are looking for genotypic and phenotypic variation in the virus in early, mid and late season isolates. Genotypic characterization is carried out using RFLP and PCR of the known variable regions within the SpexNPV genome. We are also looking for prevalence of persistent SpexNPV infections in the field populations by isolating DNA and RNA from S.exempta pupae and adults collected in the field. Earlier I worked as a research technician at Sheffield Hallam University, on purification of alkene monooxygenase from Rhodococcus rhodochrous using ion exchange chromatography.

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MAIN COLLABORATORS

Dr Sheena Cotter                     Queen's University Belfast, UK
Prof Stephen Simpson               University of Sydney, Australia
David Grzywacz                       University of Greenwich, UK
Wilfred Mushobozi                    EcoAgriConsult Ltd, Tanzania
Prof Seif Madoffe                     Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
Dr Esmat Hegazi                       
University of Alexandria, Egypt
Prof Edwin Michael                  University of Notre Dame, USA
Prof Jenny Cory                       Simon Fraser University, Canada
Prof Steve Albon                      Hutton Institute, UK
Dr Justin Irvine                        Hutton Institute, UK   
Dr Brian Preston                       University of Bergundy, Germany
Dr Ian Stevenson                      Sunadal Data Solutions

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GROUP ALUMNI

Dr Ian Stevenson: PDRA, now runs his own database company
Dr Brian Preston: PhD student (1997-2001), now a post-doc in France
Dr Sheena Cotter: PhD student (1998-2002), post-doc (2005-2007), now NERC postdoc fellow & lecturer Queen's University Belfast
Dr Sarah Moore: PhD student (1999-2003), now an environmental consultant
Dr Louisa Tempest: PhD student (2001-2006), 'works for the Government'
Dr Libby Redman: PhD student based at CEH-Oxford (2001-2006), now at Glasgow Vet.
Dr Susan Williamson: PhD student (2003-2007), now works as a statistician
Dr Sonia Povey: PhD student (2004-2008), physiotherapist
Dr Kwang Pum Lee: post-doc (2004-2005), now a lecturer in South Korea
Andrew Slaughter: research technician (2006), now doing PhD in South Africa
Dr Julia Myatt
: research technician (2005), went on to PhD at Birmingham, now PDRA at Royal Vet College
Dr Clare Benskin:
research technician (2004), PhD (2005-2009), now employed on the DTC River Eden Project.
Shaihla Khan: research technician (2010), now enrolled on a doctoral programme in the USA.




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