Martin Llewellyn

Principal Investigator

Senior Lecturer, Evolutionary biology

Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine and School of Life Sciences

Dr. Llewellyn has a broad focus around host-associated microbiota, parasites, molecular epidemiology, and the role of host-associated microbiota in parasitic diseases. His main research focuses on the role of commercial microbiota in salmonid energetics and nutrition, a project funded by the BBSRC, Science Foundation Ireland and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovations Centre. Other funded interests include the interactions between the sea lice (Lepoephtheirus and Caligus sp.) and the commensal microbiota of their salmonids host. Finally, his “first love” research interest, the molecular epidemiology of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and its triatomine vectors, as well as New World Leishmania in North, Central and South America.





Alessandro Busetti

Post doctorate associate, (IB, BSc, MSc, PhD)

Alessandro research profile encompasses the highly multidisciplinary field of drug discovery as well as the study of host microbe-interactions, particularly in relation to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), immunomodulation and metabolism. His work to date has focused on the discovery of novel antimicrobials and/or antibiofilm compounds and biocatalytic enzymes of clinical relevance as well as on the evaluation of novel therapeutic strategies, such as quorum sensing inhibition (QSI), as alternatives to antibiotic-based therapy to contrast the predicted global increase in morbidity and mortality associated to the rise and spread of AMR. His research interests are centred on elucidating the mechanistic and biochemical pathways central to the process of microbial biofilm formation as well as to uncover novel targets for prevention of microbial biofilms. His expertise within biodiscovery encompasses medicinal chemistry, microbiology, chemical biology, and synthetic chemistry directed toward antimicrobial and anti-biofilm applications.

He is currently involved in elucidating the role of the gut microbiome in relation to host immunology (assess the immunomodulatory and metabolic efficacy of pro-biotic/synbiotic approaches) and metabolism. His research strategy encompasses, culture-based approaches, next generation sequencing, proteomic and metabolomic analysis. In vitro gastrointestinal models constitute invaluable platforms for the elucidation of both commensal and pathogenic host-microbe interactions. In this regard, he is in the process of developing an in vitro digestive model to examine the structural changes, digestibility, and release of dietary elements under simulated gastrointestinal conditions as well as assess the contribution of commensal microbial communities to host metabolism and immunomodulation.



phil.jpgPhilipp Schwabl

PhD Student, Molecular Genetics (2016 -)

Philipp is interested in analytical bio-geography centered on tropical disease ecology at both the phenotypic and genotypic level. His past studies (BS: avian fire ecology; MS: avian malaria and endocrine condition) explored links between spatial and physiological variation in wildlife populations. Philipp now takes in human dimensions of disease ecology for his PhD, assessing population genomics of Chagas disease agents with bio-informatic and spatial modelling tools to predict epidemic risk with the Llewellyn lab.




Luis (Enrique) Hernandez

PhD Student, Molecular Epidemiology (2016 -)

Enrique is funded by the Mexican Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT). His research focuses on understanding the population structure of main Chagas disease vector, Rhodnius ecuadoriensis, in Ecuador and Northern Peru. Enrique Masters research project “predicting the impact of vaccination against Canine Distemper Virus in a population of Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) in the Russian Far East” motivated him to continue with the use of mathematical modelling as a tool to understand and control disease transmission. For his PhD project based in Loja, Ecuador, he hopes to obtain high-resolution genomic information to develop a mathematical model to understand, R. ecuadoriensis populations dispersal and its impact on Chagas disease transmission in Southern Ecuador.



 Eleanor (Elle) Lindsay

PhD Student, (2016 -)

Elle is interested in physiology, welfare and behaviour. Currently her PhD focuses on the gut microbiota of Atlantic salmon and its link with host metabolism, physiology and behaviour via microbiological methods. By amplifying bacterial 16S rRNA, Elle aims to explore the Atlantic salmon gut microbiota in the hope of improving aquaculture sustainability. She is interested in links between the gut microbiota and host behaviour and the mechanisms behind this and is therefore hoping to explore this further!


 raminta.jpgRaminta KAZLAUSKAITE  

PhD Student, Molecular Biology (2017 -)

Raminta is interested in bioengineering and molecular biology. Currently her PhD focuses on creating an in vitro system replicating the Atlantic Salmon gut, which can be later used as a test-bed to analyse salmon microbial fermentation of novel feeds as well as the effectiveness of pro, pre and synbiotics.



 michele.jpgMichele De Noia

PhD Student, (2017 -)

Michele project focuses on population genomics of Lepeophtheirus salmonis in the North East Atlantic.






Patrick Daniels

PhD Student, (2017 -)








Marianthi Varka

Master Student, (2016 – 2017)

Marianthi is a MRes (IBAHCM) student in the lab. Her research focuses on fish performance/fitness and how it is linked to the intestinal microbiome of salmonids.





Salem Sueto

Master Student, (2016 – 2017)






Leonie Maier

Master Student, (2016 – 2017)




Visiting students


Márlon Grégori Flores Custódio

PhD Student, Bioinformatics analyst (2016 – 2017)

Márlon is a biologist and he have a MSc in computational modelling, working with Transcriptome analysis. Now, he is a PhD Student visiting the lab and working with Leishmaniasis transcriptome in the amazon region. The objective of the project is to understand the relationship between the pathogen and the man, through the transcriptome of lesion caused by Leishmaniasis.




Maria-Augusta Dariomaria.jpg

PhD Student, (2016)

Visiting PhD student working with Trypansoma sp. diversity in bats and bloodmeal source in triatomines. From the Laboratório de Biologia de

Tripanosomatídeos/IOC, Oswaldo Cruz Fondation (Fiocruz, Brazil).




Marta Paterno

PhD Student, Molecular Genetics (2016)

Visiting PhD student – Master degree in Evolutionary Biology (University of Padua), working on genetic connectivity and population genomics of marine invertebrates related to the CoCoNET project (





Gemma Kennedy

Master Student, (2015 -)

Visiting MSc Student working on Trypanosoma cruzi genomics, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine



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