My main research interest is in understanding how humans become ill by infectious diseases and what can be done to reduce the burden of illness. The questions that arise in this area cannot be addressed by a single discipline and so interdisciplinary approaches and solutions are required. This area is benefiting from the synthesis of molecular biology, statistical/mathematical methods, the social sciences as well as conventional environmental, food and medical microbiology and epidemiological techniques. My main focus is on gastrointestinal pathogens that include E. coli O157 (see RELU project), Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, Salmonella, and Listeria. Listed below are my research areas:
Understanding the causes of human gastrointestinal disease via environmental and foodborne pathways - using quantitative microbiological risk assessment, temporal and spatial analysis tools.
Integrating natural and social science approaches to understand and develop interventions to mitigate the risk of infection for gastrointestinal pathogens.
Development of flow injection analysis and fibre optic evanescent wave sensors for rapid detection/fingerprinting of pollutants and microbiological pathogens from both food and environmental samples.
Image analysis and pattern recognition techniques applied to fisheries and environmental sciences.
Research Funding and Grants
FSS (2015-2018) Factors affecting variations in Campylobacter disease rates in Scotland, £400k with Forbes and McGuigan.
EFSA (2014-2016) Listeria whole genome sequencing, 70kEURO with Forbes and Perez-Reche (Part of 420 kEURO project with SSI (Denmark), Anses (France) and PHE (England)).
FSAS (2014) Decision support tool for the control of Listeria monocytogenes in smoked fish. £19.2k with Ovidiu Rotariu.
FSAS & University of Aberdeen (2012-13) Next Generation Sequencing of E. coli O157 isolates from humans, food and the environment, £30.5k, with Ken Forbes
FSAS (2013-2015) i-CaMPS-3. Employing Source Attribution and Molecular Epidemiology to measure the impact of interventions on human campylobacteriosis in Scotland, with Forbes and Maiden, £749k..
FSA (2013-14) A comprehensive review of current practices in the management of Listeria monocytogenes during cooked sliced meat production and retailing, £99.4k (£24.3k to Aberdeen).
OECD (2013) Exploting the explosion of information associated with next generation omics to tackle Shigatoxin producing E. coli (STEC) in global food production systems with Pascal Delaquis (Canada) and Eelco Frans (RIVM, the Netherlands) 30kEURO
EU (2012-2015) Parasite risk assesment with integrated tools in EU fish production value chains –PARASITE, with Graeme Pierce and Ioannis Theodossiou (4.0MEuro, 210 kEuro to Aberdeen).
BBSRC (2012-2014) Integrating microbiology and modelling to determine the source of Campylobacter infection in the broiler house and develop interventions with Ken Forbes, Iain Ogden and Nick Sparks, £295k.
MRC (2012-2017). Sources, Seasonality, Transmission and Control: Campylobacter and human behavior in a changing environment, with Ken Forbes £121k.
Food Standards Agency (2011-12). Employing source attribution and molecular epidemiology to measure the impact of interventions on human campylobacteriosis inScotland, extension, with Ken Forbes £156k.
DFID (2012-2013) The potential of small-scale biogas digesters to improve livelihoods and long term sustainability of ecosystem services in sub-SaharanAfrica, with Jo Smith, Liz Baggs and Sean Semple, £198k.
Food Standards Agency (2011-12). A review of current practices in the management of Listeria monocytogenes during smoked fish production inScotlandandNorthern England,.with Dr Mike Hutchison and Dr Kaarin Goodburn, £74k
RESAS (2011-2016), RESAS Strategic Partnership for Food and Drink Science: Foodborne pathogen adaption and survival through the food chain with Ken Forbes and David Smith £212k.
Food Standards Agency (2011). Employing source attribution and molecular epidemiology to measure the impact of interventions on human campylobacteriosis inScotlandwith Ken Forbes & IainOgden£141k.
Food Standards Agency,Scotland(2011), Research grant review and appraisal panel £300.
Food Standards Agency, (2011), Research grant review £150.
DEFRA, Review of Research Proposals, £500.
DEFRA (2011-13), Assessment of the efficacy of on-farm biosecurity measures for controlling Campylobacter £445,928 (£50k toAberdeen), with Sparks N, Forbes KJ, Humphries T, Kevill WC.
Medical Research Council (2010-11). Gastrointestinal Pathogens in the Environment Network. With Ken Forbes, Colin Hunter, Iain Ogden, John Farrington, David Smith et al.,. £50k.
Scottish Funding Council, Interface, (2010-11) Microbiological safety (Listeria) in the fish farming industry, £4.7k.
Food Standards Agency, (2010-11). Employing Source Attribution and Molecular Epidemiology to measure the impact of interventions on human campylobacteriosis inScotland. £140k. With Ken Forbes, Iain Ogden and Martin Maiden.
Food Standards Agency, Quality Meat Scotlandand National Farmers Union(2009-2012). E. coli PhD studentship, with Ken Forbes & IainOgden, £33.3k.
European Food Safety Authority (2008-1010), Scientific Opinion on Quantification of the risk posed by broiler meat to human campylobacteriosis in the EU, approx. £2k.
Relu (2009) Work shadowing in the New Zealand Food Safety Authority andFood Standards Agency,Scotland, £2k.
The Scottish Government (2008-09) Provision of research on evaluation of Private Water Supplies (Scotland) Regulations 2006 with Colin Hunter, Antonio Ioris, Colette Jones and John Farrington, £44k
ESRC (2008-2011) Campylobacteriosis: Elucidating the Disease Burden, Risk Perception and Costs to Rural Communities and their Families. Rural Economy & Land Use programme Tied Studentship award, Economic and Social Research Council/Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. (With C. Hunter and J. Roberts). £55K.
ESRC (2007-2010) Reducing E. coli O157 risk in rural communities with Prof K Killham, Prof J Farrington, Dr C Hunter, Dr D Jones, Dr G Edwards-Jones, Mr I Ogden and Dr J Roberts, £1.48 million FEC.
EU (2007-2010) Pathogenic E. coli network with Iain Ogden. 12k EURO
Food Safety InspectionService,USA. Review of Salmonella dose response model (2006) $2k.
SNIFFER, Human health and the environmental impacts of using sewage sludge on Forestry and for restoration od derelict land with Prof J Ayres, Prof K Killham, Dr S Semple, Mr I Ogden (2006-07), £23.3k.
FSA, MLST typing of campylobacter – support for PhD Student, with Ken Forbes and Iain Ogden (2006-08) £10k.
FSA, Gegraphic and temporal variation of Campylobacteriosis in humans with Iain Ogden and Ken Forbes, (2006-2009) £121k
FSA, Campylobacter in private water supplies with Iain Ogden, (2005-2008) £192k
FSA, Campylobacter MLST typing extension with Ken Forbes and Iain Ogden (2008-2009) £50k
FSA, Campylobacter MLST typing extension for PhD student with Ken Forbes and Iain Ogden (2005-2008) £10k
FSA, Campylobacter MLST typing with Ken Forbes and Iain Ogden (2005-2008) £750k
Grampian NHS Trust, Development of magnetic drug delivery devices: a novel approach to enhance delivery of chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of cancer, (2005-2006) with AC Schofield, I Brown, SD Heys, FJ Gilbert, O Rotariu £6.5k
DEFRA – Led by Universityof Oxford 2005-06– isolation, speciation and supply of genomic CampylobacterDNA for MLST typing with Iain Ogden and Ken Forbes. £8k.
FSA, PhD Studentship with Iain Ogden, (2004-2007) £20k
Scantrol a/s PhD Studentship (2004-2007) £63k
Norwegian Research Council, Visiting Postdoctoral worker (Anne Margrete) with Iain Ogden (2004) £4k
EU, Marie Curie Fellowship with Iain Ogden (2003-2005) £71k
BBSRC Committee PhD Studentship with Ken Killham (2004-2007) (est £45k)
Food Standards Agency, Scotlandproject with Iain Ogden – E. coli O157 excreted by cattle at abattoir and its affect on food poisoning (2003) £10k
Carnegie Trust, Dose Response of E. coli O157. Summer student with Geoff Dunn (2003) £1k
DNV, Risk assessment of foot-and-mouth burial site (2003) £3k
UniversityofAberdeen, Visiting Scholars Programme – Peter Teunis –RIVM £700.
UniversityofAberdeen, Faculty of Science & Engineering PhD Studentship. Understanding the causes of human Campylobacteriosis with Geoff Dunn (2002-2005) est £45k
Food Standards Agency, The effect of FMD on foodborne zoonoses (2001). (with Iain Ogden, Dept. Medical Microbiology) £2k
Food Standards Agency, Application and validation of techniques for the detection of pathogens in shellfish (2000-2002) (with Iain Ogden, Dept. Medical Microbiology) £204k.
Matcon,Denmark- funded project to provide Documentation System for Industrial Fish Catches (1999-02) £120k.
Royal Society, Flow Immunoassay of Pollutants (1999-2001) £10k.
Royal Society, Magnetic Particle Modelling with Inst. Technical Physics,Iasi,Romania(1999-2000) £2k
NERC - Mathematical modelling of Tropical Forest Seed Germination and Seedling Establishment (1999-2001) with Dr David Burslem and Dr Chris Mullins £30k.
An agent-based model that simulates the spatio-temporal dynamics of sources and transfer mechanisms contributing faecal indicator organisms to streams. Part 2: Application to a small agricultural catchment
Neill, A. J., Tetzlaff, D., Strachan, N. J. C., Hough, R. L., Avery, L. M., Maneta, M. P., Soulsby, C.
Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 270, 110905
Franz, E., Rotariu, O., Lopes, B. S., Bono, J. L., Laing, C., Gannon, V., van Hoek, A. H. A. M., Friesema, I., French, N. P., George, T., Biggs, P. J., Jaros, P., Rivas, M., Chinen, I., Campos, J., Mellor, G. E., Chandry, P. S., Perez-Reche, F., Forbes, K. J., Strachan, N. J.
Clinical Infectious Diseases, vol. 71, no. 5, pp. 1353-1355
Agricultural intensification and the evolution of host specialism in the enteric pathogen Campylobacter jejuni
Mourkas, E., Taylor, A. J., Méric, G., Bayliss, S. C., Pascoe, B., Mageiros, L., Calland, J. K., Hitchings, M. D., Ridley, A., Vidal, A., Forbes, K. J., Strachan, N. J. C., Parker, C. T., Parkhill, J., Jolley, K. A., Cody, A. J., Maiden, M. C. J., Kelly, D. J., Sheppard, S. K.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 117, no. 20, pp. 11018-11028