Photo of Prof Nicola Williams

Prof Nicola Williams BSc (hons), Ph.D

Professor of Bacterial Zoonotic Disease Epidemiology and Population Health


    Research Interest 1

    Nicola has 15 years research experience on bacterial zoonoses (including antimicrobial resistance) in wildlife, food and companion animal species, investigating reservoirs, survival in the environment, fitness and transmission between animals and to humans, using a combination of conventional microbiology and molecular biology and next generation sequencing. She has a large portfolio of research on foodborne pathogens, antimicrobial use and resistance (£>5 million to date), and has funding from UK research councils, the UK Food Standards Agency and Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra), industry (pharmaceutical, poultry producers, retailers) and EU (FP7 & EMIDA). Through her work she actively collaborates with colleagues in 10 EU countries, as well as Thailand, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia and the US. She has published over 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals, many of which are on bacterial zoonoses, antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance.

    Research Grants
    • A whole supply chain hurdle approach to control Campylobacter
    • Bench fees for Veysel Bay
    • Bench fees for Veysel Bay
    • The emerging problem of antimicrobial resistance in equines: Investigating carriage and infections with multidrug resistant bacteria in horses
    • Susceptibility of broiler chickens to Campylobacter: impacts of the gut environment and immune status on colonisation
    • Campylobacter control - novel approaches in primary poultry production: acronym: CamCon
    • National surveillance of antimicrobial consumption and resistance in companion pet animals.
    • The role of Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens and microbial community flora diversity in the equine gastrointestinal tract in hospital-acquired diarrhoea in horses
    • Antimicrobial use and carriage of antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli and staphylococci in dogs and horses in the community: molecular mechanisms of resistance and risk to humans
    • Thailand campylobacter and chicken projects
    • Antibiotic use in food-producing animals in the UK
    • Value in People Award 2005.
    • Development of accurate predictive models for the assessment of the survival of Campylobacter jejuni C.coli under food relevant conditions
    • Can Volatile Organic Compounds be used to detect Campylobacter infection in Poultry Houses?
    • Molecular characterisation of Extended Spectrum β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in broiler chickens and abattoir workers in Romania
    • The epidemiology of campylobacter infection in dogs in the context of the risk of infection to humans.
    • Contact-network studies between dogs, and between dogs and humans.
    • Does feeding raw meat diets expose our pets and households to antimicrobial resistant bacterial pathogens?
    • Investigating Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase producing bacterial infections in companion animals.
    • Application of whole genome sequencing to fully characterise Campylobacter isolates from the IID1 and IID2 studies.
    • Antimicrobial use and risk of resistance; an epidemiological study of antimicrobial-reistant E.coli and staphylococci in the horse.
    • Veterinary Pathogen Genomics – One Genome for every 50 years of the RCVS Trust
    • Motivations and drivers of antimicrobial prescribing practises in farmed animals
    Research Collaborations

    Dr William Miller

    External: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

    Collaboration on multilocus sequence typing projects on Arcobacter spp and Campylobacter spp, as well as on the whole genome sequencing of a Arcobacter butzleri bovine strain.

    Dr Chris Sherlock

    External: The University of Lancaster

    Analysis of data sets, providing data sets for research projects and developing new statistical techniques.

    Professor Seamus Fanning

    External: University College Dublin, Ireland

    Collaboration on antimicrobial resistance projects using phenotyping array and exchange of techniques.

    Professor Martin Woodward

    External: Veterinary Laboratories Agency

    Molecular epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance.

    Professor Tom Humphreys

    External: University of Bristol

    On the steering group for their DEFRA-funded antimicrobial resistance project and collaborate on other projects involving campylobacter.

    Veterinary Surveillance Team (WEMH)

    External: The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA)

    The epidemiology of Salmonella spp in badger social groups.

    Dr Luca Guildabassi

    External: Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University Copenhagen, Denmark

    Collaboration on research on typing and evolution of methicillin-resistant staphylococci in animals and veterinary personnel.

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