Bon voyage, Guillaume!

After 6 years, 36 papers (and counting…) and 1 book Guillaume is leaving us for a new adventure in Australia. Everyone in the lab wishes him well in his new position in the Systems Genomics lab at the Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute. 

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Thanks to everyone for coming out to wish Guillaume well: Jean, Leo, Jess, Ben, Sam, Sion, Ed, Lyndsay, Nicola, Kay and especially Josie &  Matt for coming all the way from Swansea. 

Sheppard Lab representation at the Microbiology Society meeting in Birmingham

Sheppard Lab was well represented at the recent Microbiology Society meeting in Birmingham with Ben, Evangelos and Jess all presenting work in the Bacterial zoonoses: ecology, epidemiology and evolution session chaired by Sam.

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Ben PascoeGenetic bottlenecks in the evolution of an agriculture-associated disease causing clade of Streptococcus suis in SE Asia.
Jessica Calland: A microevolutionary approach using whole genome sequences to estimate the molecular clock in Campylobacter: a rapidly evolving zoonotic pathogen under purifying selection
Evangelos Mourkas: Host adaptation of Campylobacter jejuni in cattle

 

 

Darwin Day 2018

Yesterday, a fascinating lecture was given at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (BRLSI) by Prof Mark Pagel FRS entitled: ‘The Evolution of Language – Darwin would approve’.

Prof Pagel contrasted animal communication with human language and how speech has evolved and adapted much like biological species. Bringing together concepts of hominid evolution and contemporary evidence Prof Pagel described how language led to the dominance of modern humans over our close ancestors the Neanderthals, the genetic traits that exist because of language, and the future for the many languages that are still spoken.

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Report on SMBE Satellite meeting in Assam, India – December 2017

On 14th-16th December 2017, Prof. Sam Sheppard and Dr. Sion Bayliss from the Sheppard Lab (University of Bath) presented the MRC CLIMB project at the SMBE satellite meeting – “Evolution of microbes in natural and experimental populations”. The meeting was hosted by Dr. Siddartha Satapathy and Prof. Suvendra Ray (Tezpur University, Assam, India) in Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India.

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During the MRC CLIMB session, Sam Sheppard and Sion Bayliss introduced the CLIMB project, described the infrastructure and detailed the VM provisioning model. Sion Bayliss gave an introduction to methodologies used in the analysis of whole genome sequence data for microbial genomics. Dr. Harry Thorpe (University of Bath) provided a video walk-through of a data analysis project, from raw data to phylogenetic tree, by way of a user testimonial for CLIMB.

Finally, a limited-over cricket game between India and the Rest of the World unsurprisingly resulted in a smashing win from our Indian hosts (by 6 wickets)!

The full final report for the is available here.

 

CLIMB workshop at Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Ben Pascoe, Sion Bayliss and Radoslaw Poplawski have returned from a successful MRC CLIMB workshop in Vietnam. The two-day workshop introduced attendees to CLIMB and working with their own virtual machine. Participants used EDGE to assemble bacterial genomes, asses the quality of sequence reads and assemblies, identify contamination, define isolate phylogeny compared to selected reference genomes and identify common virulence and antimicrobial resistance genes. Many thanks to our hosts Guy Thwaits, Stephen Baker, Phil Ashton and Cate Anscome for inviting us to OUCRU and we hope to visit again soon.

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New visitors in our lab!

We are glad to welcome Diana Espadinha (ITQB NOVA, Oeiras, Portugal) and Diego Flórez Cuadrado (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain) to our lab for a research stay with us as part of their PhD studies. Diana will stay 3 weeks, working on Staphylococcus genomics while Diego, for his second stay with us, will spend 3 months working on Campylobacter genomics and antimicrobial resistance. #goodtimes!

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Top picture: Diana and Diego, on St. Patrik’s day at the Parade (Uni. of Bath); bottom picture, at the Raven of Bath, from left to right: Ben Pascoe, Evangelos Mourkas, Jean van Elsen, Diego Florez Cuadrado, Diana Espadinha, Jess Calland, Sam Sheppard, Guillaume Méric.

MRC CLIMB workshop at the MRC Unit, Gambia

Ben Pascoe from the Sheppard Lab has returned from a successful workshop in the Gambia organised with collaborators from MRC CLIMB. The two-day workshop introduced attendees to CLIMB and working with their own VM participants assembled a test set of bacterial genomes, which they analysed to asses quality, type, call MLST sequence types, identify antimicrobial resistance genes and define core and accessory genomes. The visit was enjoyable and with the inauguration of President Adama Barrow tomorrow (18th Feb) these are very exciting times in the Gambia and hopefully the beginning of a fruitful collaboration.

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