Collaboration visit to Sheffield

Sam, Ben and Evangelos enjoyed a productive collaboration meeting with Prof. David Kelly and Aidan Taylor at the University of Sheffield to discuss various aspects of Campylobacter genomics / biochemistry. Guillaume was also able to join us from Australia via Skype before he went to bed! Thanks again to David and Aidan for being excellent hosts and we have some exciting projects ahead.

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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

 

 

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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Full house Darwin Day Lecture!

Darwin_day_image.jpgThis 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.