Welcome Emily, Goodbye Sabrina!

A warm welcome to Emily Rudolph as a starting PhD student into our laboratory! She will be working on commensal and pathogenic strains of bacteria in varying immune environments. Prior to joining us Emily has completed a MSc at the University of Bath in 2019. Good luck and we look forward to many exciting projects and research!

A farewell to Sabrina Hepner who was visiting as part of her PhD studies with Gabriele Margos at the Ludwig-Maximilians University and the Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority (LGL) in Germany. Sabrina spent 4 weeks with us working on Borrelia genomics.

CHRO-2019, Belfast

Ben, Jess and Evangelos attended the bi-annual Campylobacter, Helicobacter and Related Organisms (CHRO) conference in Belfast. It was good to meet up with old friends, present our work (poster, talks and sessions) and help the Campylobacter football team defend their trophy against Helicobacter!

ASM microbe in San Francisco

Sheppard Lab joined over 9,000 at the recent ASM microbe meeting in San Francisco. Ben and Sion gave oral presentations and Evangelos presented his award-winning flash poster presentation.


Top: Ben’s talk on global differences in Campylobacter populations; Middle-left: Evangelos’ poster on cattle-adaptation in C. jejuni. Bottom-left: View of the golden gate bridge! Bottom-right: Sion’s talk on niche-associated genes.

Continue reading


We’ve had a couple of visitors this month:

Dr Santiago Castillo Ramírez is an Associate Professor in the Evolutionary Genomics Research Program at the Center for Genomic Sciences in Mexico and spent a few days with us discussing global population dynamics in Actinobacteria baumanii.

In addition, we’ve been pleased to welcome Guillermo Salvatierra Rodríguez who is visiting as part of his PhD studies with Pablo Tsukayama at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) in Peru. We’re very happy to help Guillermo characterize his Campylobacter genomes and investigate potential sources of infection in Peru.

¡Buena suerte amigos!


From left: Sam, Sion, Guillermo, Evangelos and Ben.

Darwin Day Lecture: Professor Turi King

Darwin Day Lecture, Friday February 15th, 2019
Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN

Professor Turi King – King Richard III: resolving a 500 year old cold case.
When the University of Leicester Archaeology Service undertook the Grey Friars project, it was thought that the chances of finding the remains of Richard III were slim to none. Nevertheless, the skeletal remains of a ‘good candidate’ to be Richard III were found. Prof Turi King, with her background both in archaeology and genetics, led the DNA analysis in this fascinating project identifying the remains of the infamous king. In the 2019 Milner Centre Darwin Day lecture, Turi King spoke about the Grey Friars project, from the early stages of planning the dig, through to the excavation and the results of the various strands of analysis carried out on the remains.