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.
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)!
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.
This years Darwin day lecture was delivered by Professor Nick Davies FRS (Cambridge University). In his talk, entitled ‘Cuckoo – cheating by nature’, Prof Davies described one of nature’s most intriguing stories to a packed lecture theatre at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. Captivating photographic and video footage showed how some cuckoo species lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and how little warblers are tricked into feeding enormous cuckoo chicks. In his talk, Prof Davies described how 30 years of elegant field experiments have revealed a continuing evolutionary arms race in which escalating host defences have selected for remarkable cuckoo trickery, including different guises in female cuckoos, forgeries of host eggs and manipulative begging by cuckoo chicks. This is a fascinating corner of Darwin’s “entangled bank” where organisms are continually adapting to keep up with changes in their rivals. Many thanks to all those who helped to make this event such a great success.
Yesterday we had a leaving party for Gabriel “Bola”/”Gabrinho” Rossi, who was a visiting member of our lab from São Paulo State University (Brazil) as part of his PhD studies on the genomics of Bacillus in dairy products. Good times we’ve had, good times to come!
Gabriel partying hard with Evangelos, Jess, Guillaume and Sam.
Crawl route: The Scallop Shell, The Bath Brew House, Flan O’Brian’s, The Pig and Fiddle, The Bell, The Common Room.
Our laboratory is very glad to welcome Jessica Calland as a starting PhD student with us! She will work on Campylobacter genomics, population biology and vaccines. Prior to joining us, Jess has completed her MSc at the University of Bath working on Vibrio genomics in 2016. Good luck and we look forward to many exciting projects and research!
Jess, clearly thrilled to start with us!