The Milner Centre for Evolution
Department of Biology & Biotechnology
University of Bath
Bath, BA2 7AY
Phone: +44 (0) 1225-383717
2016-present: PhD student, The Milner Centre for Evolution (University of Bath)
2015-2016: Research Assistant (ZSC, Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden)
2013-2015: MSc, in infection biology (Uppsala University, Sweden)
2007-2012: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
My research interests focus around ecology, evolution and transmission of zoonotic bacterial infectious diseases. Most human infections are zoonotic, occurring mainly in animals but also being transmissible from animals to humans. Focusing on genetics and evolution of pathogenic bacteria will help us understand how different bacterial species can cross host species barriers, become pathogenic and infect human populations. Using up-to-date molecular and genomic tools and pipelines in combination with in vitro and in vivo experiments I am trying to understand how different Campylobacter species can colonize and adapt to various hosts and environments.
Publications (* indicates joint authorship)
Mourkas E, Taylor AJ, Méric G, Bayliss SC, Pascoe B, Mageiros L, Calland JK, Hitchings MD, Ridley A, Vidal A, Forbes KJ, Strachan NJC, Parker CT, Parkhill J, Jolley KA, Cody AJ, Maiden MCJ, Kelly DJ*, Sheppard SK* (2020) Agricultural intensification and the evolution of host specialism in the enteric pathogen Campylobacter jejuni. PNAS (In press)
Banaszkiewicz S, Calland JK, Mourkas E, Sheppard SK, Pascoe B & Bania J. (2019) Genetic diversity of composite enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus epidermidis pathogenicity islands. Genome Biology and Evolution 11 (12) 3498–3509; doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evz259 [Publisher] Supplementary material [Figshare] Genomes [StaphDb] Genealogy [Microreact]
Mourkas E*, Florez-Cuadrado D*, Pascoe B, Calland JK, Bayliss SC, Mageiros L, Méric G, Hitchings MD, Quesada A, Porrero C, Ugarte-Ruiz M, Gutierrez-Fernandez J, Dominguez L, Sheppard SK. (2019) Gene pool transmission of multidrug resistance among Campylobacter from livestock, sewage and human disease. Environmental Microbiology doi:10.1111/1462-2920.14760 [Publisher] Sequence data [SRA]
Atterby C*, Mourkas E*, Méric G, Pascoe B, Waldenstrom J, Sheppard SK, Olsen B, Jarhult JD, Ellstrom P. (2018) The potential of isolation source to predict colonization in avian hosts: a case study in Campylobacter jejuni strains from three bird species. Frontiers in Microbiology 9:51. [Publisher]
Méric G, Mageiros L, Pascoe B, Mourkas E, Lamble S, Bowden R, Jolley KA, Raymond B, Sheppard SK. (2018) Lineage-specific plasmid acquisition and the evolution of specialized pathogens in Bacillus thuringiensis and the Bacillus cereus group. Molecular Ecology 27 (7), 1524-1540 [Publisher].
Méric G, McNally A, Pessia A, Mourkas E, Pascoe B, Mageiros L, Vehkala M, Corander J, Sheppard SK. (2018) Convergent amino acid signatures in paraphyletic Campylobacter jejuni sub-populations suggest human niche tropism. Genome Biology and Evolution 10 (3), 763-774 [Publisher].
Rossi G, Silva HO, Aguilar EG, Pascoe B, Méric G, Mourkas E, Hitchings MD, Mathias LA, Ruiz VLA, Fukumasu H, Sheppard SK, Vical AMC. (2018) Comparative genomic survey of Bacillus cereus sensu stricto isolates from the dairy production chain in Brazil. FEMS Microbiology Letters 365 (3), fnx283 [Publisher].
Eriksson P, Mourkas E, González-Acuna D, Björn Olsen, Ellström P. (2017) Evaluation and optimization of microbial DNA extraction from fecal samples of wild Antarctic bird species. Infection Ecology & Epidemiology 7 (1), 1386536 [Publisher].