Ben Pascoe

BP_200x333Research Fellow
MRC CLIMB Centre Manager

Department of Biology & Biotechnology
University of Bath, 4 South 0.39

Twitter: @benizao
Google Scholar profile

BSc (Hertfordshire, 2004)
DPhil (Sussex, 2008)
LFHCfS (2015)

Research interests

Broadly my research interests lie in further understanding how bacteria sense and respond to stress. Bacteria have evolved to produce a host of secondary metabolites including antibiotics, antifungal and other secreted molecules to improve their competitiveness in any given environmental niche or infection. It is this interplay between bacteria or between bacteria and host that I find particularly fascinating. For my DPhil at the University of Sussex (2004-8) I studied the role of the zinc uptake regulator, Zur, in modulation of ribosome structure and function under stress conditions in Streptomyces coelicolor. As a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Swansea (2009 – 2012) we developed the first model for enriching and resuscitating dormant Staphylococcus aureus cells in order to investigate their role in chronic infection and improve the efficacy of antibiotic treatment. Currently working in the Campy Lab at the University of Swansea (April 2012 – present): Our database of sequenced Campylobacter isolates enables us to compare large amounts of isolate data to form evolutionary theories which can then be tested in our lab. My particular areas of interest include the ability of isolates to form biofilm, oxygen tolerance and the general stress response that equips certain isolates for increased persistence / survival during transmission and infection.


  1. Post V, Harris LG, Morgenstern M, Mageiros L, Hitchings MD, Méric G, Pascoe B, Sheppard SK, Richards RG, Moriarty TF. (2017) A comparative genomics study of Staphylococcus epidermidis from orthopedic device-related infections correlated with patient outcome. Journal of Clinical Microbiology (in press).
  2. Pascoe B, Meric G, Yahara K, Wimaralathna H, Murray S, Hitchings MD, Sproston EL, Carrillo CD, Taboada EN, Cooper KK, Huynh S, Cody AJ, Jolley KA, Maiden MC, McCarthy ND, Didelot X, Parker C, Sheppard SK. (2016) Local genes for local bacteria: evidence of allopatry in the genomes of transatlantic Campylobacter populations. Molecular Ecology (in press) [Publisher].
  3. Murray S*, Pascoe B*, Méric G, Mageiros L, Yahara K, Hitchings MD, Friedmann Y, Gormley FJ, Mack D, Bray JE, Lamble S, Bowden R, Jolley KA, Maiden MCJ, Wendlandt S, Schwarz S, Corander J, Fitzgerald JR, Sheppard SK. (2016) Recombination-mediated host-adaptation by avian Staphylococcus aureus. Genome Biology and Evolution (in press).
  4. Thepault A, Méric G, Rivoal K, Pascoe B, Mageiros L, Touzain F, Rose V, Beven V, Chemaly M, Sheppard SK. (2017) Genome-wide identification of host-segregating epidemiological markers for source attribution in Campylobacter jejuni. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. (in press)
  5. Vale FF, Nunes A, Oleastro M, Gomes JP, Sampaio DA, Rocha R, Vítor JMB, Engstrand L, Pascoe B, Berthenet E, Sheppard SK, Hitchings MD, Mégraud F, Vadivelu J, Lehours P (2017) Genomic structure and insertion sites of Helicobacter pylori prophages from various geographical origins. Scientific Reports article:42471 [Publisher].
  6. Yahara K*, Méric G*, Taylor AJ, de Vries SP, Murray S, Pascoe B, Mageiros L, Torralbo A, Vidal A, Ridley AM, Komukai S, Wimalarathna H, Cody AJ, Colles FM, McCarthy ND, Harris D, Bray JE, Jolley KA, Maiden MC, Bentley SD, Parkhill J, Bayliss CD, Grant AJ, Maskell D, Didelot X, Kelly DJ, Sheppard SK. (2016) Genome-wide association of functional traits linked with Campylobacter jejuni survival from farm to fork. Environmental Microbiology 19(1):361–380. [Publisher].
  7. McNally A, Oren Y, Kelly D, Pascoe B, Dunn S, Sreecharan T, Vehkala M, Välimäki N, Prentice MB, Ashour A, Avram O, Pupko T, Dobrindt U, Literak I, Guenther S, Schaufler K, Wieler LH, Zhiyong Z, Sheppard SK, McInerney JO, Corander J. (2016) Combined Analysis of Variation in Core, Accessory and Regulatory Genome Regions Provides a Super-Resolution View into the Evolution of Bacterial Populations. PLoS Genetics 12(9): e1006280. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006280 [Publisher]
  8. Yana X, Li Z, Chlebowiczc MA, Tao X, Ni M, Hu Y, Li Z, Grundmann H, Murray S, Pascoe B, Sheppard SK, Bo X, Maarten van Dijl J, Du P, Zhang M, You Y, Yu X, Meng F, Wang S, Zhang J. (2016) Genetic features of livestock-associated Staphylococcus aureus ST9 isolates from Chinese pigs that carry the lsa(E) gene for quinupristin/dalfopristin resistance. International Journal of Medical Microbiology (in press) [Publisher]
  9. Culebro A, Revez J, Pascoe B, Friedmann Y, Hitchings MD, Stupak J, Sheppard SK, Li J, Rossi M. (2016) Large sequence diversity within biosynthesis locus and common biochemical features of Campylobacter coli lipooligosaccharides. Journal of Bacteriology (in press; doi: 10.1128/JB.00347-16). [Publisher]
  10. Sankar A, Malone B, Bayliss SC, Pascoe B, Méric G, Hitchings MD, Sheppard SK, Feil EJ, Corander J, Honkela A. (2016) Bayesian identification of bacterial strains from sequencing data. Microbial Genomics (in press; doi: 10.1099/mgen.0.000075) [Publisher]
  11. Méric G, Hitchings MD, Pascoe B, Sheppard SK. (2016) From Escherich to the Escherichia coli genome. The Lancet Infectious Diseases 16(6):634–636 .
  12. Harris LG, Murray S, Pascoe B, Bray J, Meric G, Mageiros L, Wilkinson TS, Jeeves R, Rohde H, Schwarz S, de Lencastre H, Miragaia M, Rolo J, Bowden R, Jolley KA, Maiden MC, Mack D, Sheppard SK. (2016) Biofilm Morphotypes and Population Structure amongStaphylococcus epidermidis from Commensal and Clinical Samples. PLoS One 11(3):e0151240. [Pubmed]
  13. Jackson E, Ogrodzki P, Pascoe B, Sheppard SK, Forsythe S. (2015) Draft Genome Sequence of an Enterobacter Species Associated with Illnesses and Powdered Infant Formula. Genome Announcements (in press).
  14. Pascoe B, Méric G, Murray S, Mageiros L, Yahara K, Bowen R, Jones NH, Jeeves RE, Lappin-Scott HM, Asakura H, Sheppard SK. (2015) Enhanced biofilm formation evolves from divergent genetic backgrounds in host generalist Campylobacter jejuni. Environmental Microbiology (in press).
  15. Dearlove B, Cody A, Pascoe B, Méric G, Wilson D, Sheppard SK. (2015) Rapid host switching in generalist Campylobacter strains erodes the signal for tracing human infections. The ISME Journal [Pubmed].
  16. Richards RL, Haigh RD, Pascoe B, Sheppard SK, Price F, Jenkins D, Rajakumar K, Morrissey JA. (2015) Persistent Staphylococcus aureus isolates from two independent bacteraemia display increased bacterial fitness and novel immune evasion phenotypes. Infection and Immunity. (in press)
  17. Méric G, Miragaia M, de Been M, Yahara K, Pascoe B, Mageiros L, Mikhail J, Harris LG, Wilkinson TS, Rolo J, Lamble S, Bray JE, Jolley KA, Hanage WP, Bowden R, Maiden MCJ, Mack D, de Lencastre H, Feil EJ, Corander J, Sheppard SK (2015) Ecological overlap and horizontal gene transfer in Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Genome Biology and Evolution. (in press)
  18. Baily JL, Méric G, Bayliss S, Foster G, Moss SE, Watson E, Pascoe B, Mikhail J, Pizzi R, Goldstone RJ, Smith DG, Willoughby K, Hall AJ, Sheppard SK*, Dagleish MP*. Evidence of land-sea transfer of the zoonotic pathogen Campylobacter to a wildlife marine sentinel species. Molecular Ecology 2014
  19. Pascoe B, Dams L, Wilkinson TS, Harris LG, Bodger O, Mack D, Davies AP. Dormant cells of Staphylococcus aureus are resuscitated by spent culture supernatant. PlosOne, 2014
  20. Pascoe B, Lappin-Scott H, Sheppard SK, Asakura H. Does Biofilm Formation Aid Colonization and Infection in Campylobacter? In Sheppard, S.K. & Méric G. (Eds.), Campylobacter Ecology and Evolution (April 2014, Chapter 13, pp. 177-188), Publisher: Caister Academic Press, Norwich, ISBN: 978-1908230362.
  21. Mack, D., Davies, A.P., Harris, L.G., Jeeves, R., Pascoe, B., Knobloch, J.K.-M., Rohde, H. & Wilkinson, T.S. Staphylococcus epidermidis in Biomaterial-Associated Infections (Book chapter) In Moriarty, T.F., Zaat, S.A.J. & Busscher, H.J. (Eds.), Biomaterials Associated Infection (2013, Part 1, 25-56) Publisher: Springer New York, ISBN: 978-1-4614-1031-7.
  22. Sheppard SK, Didelot X, Jolley KA, Darling AE, Pascoe B, Meric G, Kelly DJ, Cody A, Colles FM, Strachan NJ, Ogden ID, Forbes K, French NP, Carter P, Miller WG, McCarthy ND, Owen R, Litrup E, Egholm M, Affourtit JP, Bentley SD, Parkhill J, Maiden MC, Falush D. Progressive genome-wide introgression in agricultural Campylobacter coli. Molecular Ecology 2013 Feb;22(4):1051-64.
  23. Kallifidas D, Pascoe B, Owen GA, Strain-Damerell CM, Hong HJ, Paget MS. The zinc-responsive regulator Zur controls expression of the coelibactin gene cluster in Streptomyces coelicolor. J Bacteriol. 2010 Jan;192(2):608-11. Epub 2009 Nov 13.
  24. Owen GA‡, Pascoe B‡, Kallifidas D, Paget MS. Zinc-Responsive Regulation of Alternative Ribosomal Protein Genes in Streptomyces coelicolor Involves Zur and σR. J Bacteriol. 2007 June; 189(11): 4078–4086. ‡ Authors contributed equally