Professor Kenneth Forbes
Professor Kenneth Forbes

Professor Kenneth Forbes

Emeritus Professor



Professor Ken Forbes took official retirement from the University of Aberdeen in October 2019, but continues to be closely involved with his former research group, PhD students and collaborators.  

Professor Forbes joined the University in 1989 as a postdoctoral research assistant in Medical Microbiology to work with Professor Hugh Pennington. Since then he developed a research group with a primary focus on the molecular epidemiology and evolution of human bacterial pathogens.

Recent publications include:

  1. Franz, E., O. Rotariu, B. S. Lopes, M. MacRae, J. L. Bono, C. Laing, V. Gannon, R. Söderlund, A. H. A. M. van Hoek, I. Friesema, N. P. French, T. George, P. J. Biggs, P. Jaros, M. Rivas, I. Chinen, J. Campos, C. Jernberg, K. Gobius, G. E. Mellor, P. S. Chandry, F. Perez-Reche, K. J. Forbes, and N. J. C. Strachan. 2018. Phylogeographic analysis reveals multiple international transmission events have driven the global emergence of Escherichia coli O157:H7. Clin.Infect.Dis. In Press.
  2. Forbes, K. J., B. L. Lopes, and N. Strachan. 2018. iCaMPS-4. Employing Source Attribution and Molecular Epidemiology to measure the impact of interventions on human campylobacteriosis in Scotland. An extension focused on the role of Scottish broiler production on human campylobacteriosis cases. [ publications-and-research/ publications/ campylobacter-attribution-extension]
  3. Woodcock DJ, Krusche P, Strachan NJC, Forbes KJ, Cohan FM, Meric G, and Sheppard SK. 2017. Genomic plasticity and rapid host switching can promote the evolution of generalism: a case study in the zoonotic pathogen Campylobacter. Scientific Reports 7:9650-9663.
  4. Jones NR,  Millman C,  van der Es M,  Hukelova M,  Forbes KJ,  Glover C,  Haldenby S,  Hunter PR,  Jackson K,  O'Brien SJ,  Rigby D,  Strachan NJC,  Williams N Lake IR,  Enigma consortium (2107) “A novel sampling method for assessing human-pathogen interactions in the natural environment using boot socks and citizen scientists, with an application to the seasonality of Campylobacter” Applied Env Micobiol, in press
  5. Miller WG, Yee E, Lopes BS, Chapman MH, Huynh S, Bono JL, Parker CT, Strachan NJC, Forbes KJ. (2017) Comparative genomic analysis identifies a Campylobacter clade deficient in selenium metabolism. Genome Biology and Evolution, 9: 1843-58.
  6. Bittaye M, Cash P, Forbes KJ (2017) Proteomic variation and diversity in clinical Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates from invasive and non-invasive sites. PLoSONE,
  7. Nielsen, E. M., Björkman, J. T., Kiil, K., Grant, K., Dallman, T., Painset, A., Amar, C., Roussel, S., Guillier, L., Félix, B., Rotariu, O., Perez-Reche, F. J., Forbes, K. & Strachan, N. (2017) “Closing gaps for performing a risk assessment on Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat (RTE) foods: activity 3, the comparison of isolates from different compartments along the food chain, and from humans using whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis.” EFSA Supporting Publications, 14, 2, p. 1151E
  8. Forbes et al (2016) "Employing source attribution and molecular epidemiology to measure the impact of interventions on human campylobacteriosis in Scotland"( downloads/A15572266_i- CaMPS3_Report_Campylobacter_MLST_Project_in_Scotland.pdf)
  9. van der Graaf-van Bloois L, Duim B, Miller WG, Forbes KJ, Wagenaar JA, Zomer AL  (2016) “Whole genome sequence analysis indicates recent diversification of mammal-associated Campylobacter fetus and implicates a genetic factor associated with H2S production.” BMC Genomics, 17: 713
  10. Gupta V, Haider S, Sood U, Gilbert JA, Ramjee M, Forbes KJ, Singh Y, Lopes B, lal R 2016. “Comparative genomic analysis of novel Acinetobacter symbionts: A combined systems biology and genomics approach.” Nature Scientific Reports
  11. Graaf-van Bloois, LVD., Miller, WG., Yee, E., Gorkiewicz, G., Forbes, KJ., Zomer, AL., Wagenaar, JA. & Duim, B. 2016. 'Campylobacter fetus Subspecies Contain Conserved Type IV Secretion Systems on Multiple Genomic Islands and Plasmids'. PloS one, vol 11, no. 4, e0152832.
  12. Gilbert, MJ., Miller, WG., Yee, E., Zomer, AL., van der Graaf-van Bloois, L., Fitzgerald, C., Forbes, KJ., Méric, G., Sheppard, SK., Wagenaar, JA. & Duim, B. 2016. 'Comparative Genomics of Campylobacter fetus from Reptiles and Mammals Reveals Divergent Evolution in Host-Associated Lineages'. Genome biology and evolution, vol 8, no. 6, pp. 2006-2019.

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Contributions to Journals

Working Papers and Discussion Papers