I am a virologist who is broadly interested in what governs the interactions between viruses and their hosts. My current research interests now focus on two main areas:
1) Investigating vector competence for arboviruses. I am particularly interested in the three-way interactions between environment, virus and mosquito; and the effect of these interactions on transmission. My group is investigating the temperature optima, minima and maxima for both mosquito and virus, and hence which regions are at risk from invasive or endemic mosquitoes and viruses (both now and under future climate scenarios). I am also interested in the potential for viruses to adapt to different conditions, and consequently, the risk they may pose in the future.
2) Prediction of virus and host associations in order to anticipate and prevent future pandemics and virus spill-over from animal to humans. I am interested in predicting which animals viruses can infect, ‘hide’ in, and spill-over from into human populations. Which animals can harbour co-infections of related viruses is also of great interest, as many viruses, including coronaviruses, can genetically recombine to form novel viruses when they co-infect the same individual.
I gained an undergraduate and Master's degree in Biology from Imperial College London (2005-2009), before completing my doctorate at the University of Oxford in using and understanding Wolbachia as a means to induce cytoplasmic incompatibility and block dengue and chikungunya virus transmission in the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus (2009-2013). Since then, I have worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, and now a Tenure Track Fellow, at the University of Liverpool.