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.

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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.

Brian Arnold visits from Havard

We were very pleased to host Brian Arnold from the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, USA. We ate some hipster pizzas at Dough before drinks and conversations about recombination in bacteria!

Brian's visit

From Left: Sam Sheppard, Brian Arnold, Ben Pascoe, Leslie Turner, Lauren Cowley, Jess Calland & Sion Bayliss.

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.


Collaborative visit to Japan

After several years working together we finally met up with Dr Hiroshi Asakura (National Institute of Health Sciences, Kanagawa) in person. During a recent visit to Japan, Sam and Ben met up with Hiroshi and Koji in Tokyo to discuss ongoing projects.


From left: Ben Pascoe, Hiroshi Asakura, Koji Yahara & Sam Sheppard

Previous work with Hiroshi includes our paper on Enhanced biofilm formation evolves from divergent genetic backgrounds in host generalist Campylobacter jejuni with future work in the pipeline!

Egyptian collaboration

Dr Mohamed Elhadidy has been visiting the lab this month from Mansoura University in Egypt. Mohamed is an Associate Professor and in addition to enjoying the glorious summer weather in Bath, has been learning about our sequencing and analysis techniques with a view to building a relationship for collaboration. Everyone in the lab is looking forwards to working together in the future.


Jess, Mohamed and Ben