Meet our Champions

Society Champions help raise the profile of the Microbiology Society in their local area. They do this by initiating activities and events of their own, or participating in Society-led events.

Find out more about the Champion(s) in your local area.


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      Lisa Crossman (University of East Anglia, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Lisa is currently on the MinION access program (MAP), trialling the new Oxford Nanopore sequencer. Having undertaken an undergraduate degree in Microbiology at the University of Bristol, and a masters in Molecular Genetics at the University of Leicester, Lisa has a lot of microbiology experience. She has been working in genomics, computational biology and bioinformatics since 2002, and currently works as a consultant based in the Norwich Research Park.

      "I love Bacteria, but also have a soft spot for Archaea, Viruses and Fungi!"

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      Danny Ward (John Innes Centre and University of East Anglia, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Danny Ward is a PhD student at the John Innes Centre and the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England.

      He is a researcher in the field of molecular microbiology where he is focusing on understanding how certain bacteria are able to infect their hosts. He aims to better understand the type III secretion system and a new regulatory mechanism associated with it. The type III secretion system is a tiny biological machinery which looks and acts like a needle. It is what certain bacteria use to infect us humans, as well as animals and plants.

      Outside of the lab, Danny takes part in a variety of science communication and outreach events to help spread awareness and appreciation of science and his research.

    • Caray Walker (Anglia Ruskin University, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

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      Robert Will (University of Cambridge, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Robert is a PhD student in the Dougan & Mutreja groups at the University of Cambridge Department of Medicine and CITIID, as well as Hughes Hall. He is funded by Medical Research Council Doctoral Training Program, after graduating with First Class BSc (Hons) Biology with a Year in Industry from Swansea University. Robert is interested in translational research, focusing on infectious diseases, bacterial evolution and genomics, as well as how communicating science impacts policy and public perception. He is also passionate about widening participation, especially in postgraduate research.

      Robert represents the Microbiology Society as part of the Champions initiative and was elected to be the Communications Representative of the Early Career Microbiologist's Forum for 2020/21 by its members, and sits on the Cambridge MRC DTP committee as a PhD representative.

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      Muhammad Yasir (Quadram Institute, UK)

      Email: [email protected]


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      Cadi Davies (The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      I am a third year PhD student at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine studying Campylobacter jejuni outer membrane vesicles and interactions with bile salts. I am eager to become more involved in science communication and outreach, and hope London as a science hub combined with the tools and opportunities accessed through becoming a Microbiology Society Champion will enable me to achieve this while raising the profile of the Society.

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      Linda Dekker (University College London, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Her current research involves constructing, characterising and optimising biosensors to detect metabolites important in gut microbiota disorders.  She has spent several years working as a microbiologist and has worked on a variety of environmental and medical microbiology projects ranging from 'investigating microbial mechanisms of uranium resistance' to 'programming diverse material properties into engineered bacterial cellulose'.

      Linda is keen to share her knowledge and passion for Microbiology and promote the awesome opportunities the Microbiology Society has to offer.

    • Kavita Gadar

      Kavita Gadar (Brunel University, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Kavita is currently a second year PhD student at Brunel University. Her passion for antibiotic resistance stems from her undergraduate thesis, which focused on how the world’s deadliest multidrug-resistant bacteria, Acinetobacter baumannii, can evolve resistance to our last resort antibiotic, colistin. Kavita is now continuing her research as a PhD student in the McCarthy lab. Currently, she is focused on the discovery of novel plant-based compounds, that can aid in the emerging antibiotic resistance crisis that is sweeping through our hospitals worldwide. She is enthusiastic about promoting and raising awareness of the microbiology society and antimicrobial resistance to the public and students of Brunel University.

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      Rohaan Hegde (Imperial College London, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Rohaan is an experienced research assistant with a background in microbiology research, public health and market research (pharmaceutical industry). He received his bachelor's degree from Columbia University, USA, and has now completed his Master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Virology. In the last few years, Rohaan has worked on several independent research projects within the fields of molecular biology, oncology, immunology, and virology. His most recent work is centered on the development of a novel therapeutic approach in treating EBV-associated cancers through targeted degradation of EBNA1, a crucial latency-associated protein in EBV-infected cells. Rohaan has also gained experience as a market researcher in the pharmaceutical industry, and has contributed to a number of public health initiatives in the rural parts of India. 

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      Jennifer Henderson (Public Health England, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Jennifer has worked in various clinical diagnostic laboratories for over 13 years, prior to joining UK NEQAS for Microbiology in 2019, where she is now the Scheme Organiser for Bacteriology & Mycology.

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      Amy Jacobs (University College London, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Amy is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Profesor Steve Hart's Gene Therapy Lab Group at the Institute of Child Health, UK, using gene therapy approaches to target and block virus entry, currently working towards inhibiting SARS-CoV-2. She undertook her PhD in virology at Imperial College London, UK and the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, UK, looking into the effects of Herpes Simplex Virus 1 latency on human neurons. Amy is fascinated by host-virus interactions, especially the way in which viruses commandeer host cell components to aid their own propagation, often at the expense of the host. She is hoping to put this interest to good use in her role as a Champion by getting more involved in science communication and outreach. She sees this as a great opportunity to use her connections within UCL and beyond to encourage interdisciplinary involvement in the Microbiology Society

    • Andrea Majstorovic (Imperial College London, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      My goal is to outreach science to our broader community and becoming a Champion would give me the knowledge, tools and potential to do so.

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      Arikana Massiah (Health Services Laboratories, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Arikana is an experienced Clinical Scientist in microbiology with a demonstrated history of working in translational research within the NHS and private laboratory sector. Skilled in molecular diagnostic methods in infectious disease, she also has experience of working in public health. Her current role is mainly involved in the development of a routine diagnostic sequencing service for antimicrobial resistance testing. However, the demands of the pandemic extended her role to verification and implementation of rapid COVID-19 diagnostic tests across large NHS trusts in North and Central London. 

      Arikana has previously contributed to the Society as a member of the Professional Development Committee. As a full-time working mum, she is also passionate about helping women in science build resilience in order to progress their careers. 

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      Laura Petch (Spandidos Publications, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Laura is currently working as Scientific Editor on the Journal of Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine at Spandidos Publications, following completion of her PhD in Kent Fungal Group at the University of Kent. Under the supervision of Prof. Mick Tuite, her research project explored extrachromosomal regulators of phenotypic heterogeneity in Saccharomyces species. Laura has a passion for outreach and as a Champion of the Microbiology Society sees great potential in promoting the world of microbiology, research and the Society as a whole – to undergraduates and younger students in relevant disciplines.

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      Chris Proctor (Brunel University, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Chris is currently a postdoctoral researcher student in Brunel University, London. He is currently investigating new ways to inhibit biofilm formation, and developing novel pharmaceutical materials for the treatment of wounds. Chris has completed a Bachelor of Nursing degree (Cardiff University), a BSc in Biotechnology (Ulster University) and an MRes in Translational Medicine, focusing on infection and immunity (Queen’s University Belfast), and a PhD in Microbiology and Pharmaceutics (Ulster University). Chris enjoys public engagement, especially communicating new scientific ideas to specialists and non-specialists alike. He is eager to help promote the Society through public as well as internal events within Brunel University and he would welcome collaboration with other members of the Society.


    • Saba Amir (Nottingham Trent University, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Saba is at the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, Nottingham Trent University.

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      Karen Campos-León

      Email: [email protected]

      I hold a BSc. in Biology and an MSc. in Genetics and Molecular Biology, both of which were awarded in Mexico City, Mexico. I obtained a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Bristol and worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham for five years. My primary research interest has been the study of viruses that cause human diseases. Most of my work has been focused on the molecular biology of human papillomaviruses (HPV) and I have participated in projects that aimed to understand the mechanisms that HPV use to persist and replicate in their host. The Microbiology Society supported me immensely throughout my career as a researcher. I’m currently on a career pause, but I’m keen to raise the profile of the Microbiology Society and promote awareness of its benefits for young and senior scientists.

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      Jonathan Cox (Aston University, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Dr Jonathan Cox is a Senior Lecturer in Microbiology and Director of the Mycobacterial Research Group at Aston University. He has been a full member of Microbiology Society since he began his PhD studies with the current President, Professor Gurdyal ‘Del’ Besra FRS. His group currently consists of two PhD students and one post-doctoral researcher, along with masters and undergraduate students who decide to study with him. His team are multidisciplinary with a diverse skill-set, spanning microbiology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, structural biology and drug discovery. He currently leads teaching for first year microbiology on Biomedical Science, Biology and Biochemistry courses. His group have two main directions for their current research in terms of improving our understanding of mycobacterial physiology to inform drug discovery.

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      Nicola Crewe (University of Lincoln, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Nicola is a Senior Lecturer at University of Lincoln, UK, and has been a Champion since day one. She’s based in the National Centre for Food Manufacturing, so teaches apprentices that work in the food industry and supports food businesses with questions about microbiological areas such as lab testing protocols, shelf life determination and legislation and regulation. Nicola is a member of the Teaching and Learning Group that organises the symposium as part of the Annual Conference and the Educators' Network. She loves hearing about all the exciting and innovative strategies that colleagues are developing for teaching microbiology!

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      Rebecca Hall (University of Nottingham, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Rebecca is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Nottingham working on coincident gene relationships in prokaryote pangenomes. Her PhD research was on the adaptation and evolution of an insect-microbe symbiosis, and she is interested in the genomic changes that occur to allow symbioses to establish and persist. Outside of the lab, Rebecca has a keen interest in science communication, public engagement and outreach. 

    • Eyinmisan Nikatsekpe (John Leggott College, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Eyinmisan works at the John Leggott College in Scunthorpe.

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      Colman O'Cathail (University of Nottingham, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Colman graduated with a BSc in Biomedical Science from UCD in 2015 and an MRes from the University of Nottingham in 2016. He is currently enrolled as a BBSRC funded PhD student at the University of Nottingham working bovine tuberculosis surveillance and reporting.

      "Reading about the role and responsibilities of a Society Champion, I found that it appealed to me immensely as a way to get involved in the Society."

      Colman is also a member of the Early Career Microbiologist’s (ECM) Forum Executive Committee and a Finance & Operations Committee Representative.

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      Blessing Oyedemi (Nottingham Trent University, UK)

      Email: [email protected]; [email protected]

      It's a privilege to be part of change agents and source of inspiration in the development of my students, especially to encourage and support females in STEM education. Becoming a microbiology champion offers me a step to that goal. 

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      Robert Stott-Marshall (University of Nottingham, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Robert is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. He has a passion for molecular virology and virus interactions with host pathways. After getting a PhD in autophagy and alphavirus infection, he worked on flavivirus RNA dynamics at the University of California before moving to Nottingham to research molecular mechanisms of host restriction of arenaviruses funded by Wellcome Trust and the MRC.

      “As a Microbiology Society Champion, I hope to help the research community here at the University of Nottingham and neighbouring universities, have more opportunities to come together in different ways.”

Northern Ireland

    • Sara Pidcock (Queen's University Belfast, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Sara is at the School of Biological Sciences, QUB.

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      Julia Monjaras-Feria (Queen's University Belfast, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      I am Julia Monjaras-Feria, I did my PhD at National Autonomous University of Mexico in collaboration with the Osaka University in a fascinating project that introduced me to the bacterial secretion systems world. I got interested in the bacterial secretion mechanisms so much, that I went to Tübingen Germany for a postdoctoral stay. My path continued in the same field and I moved to Belfast, UK to become a Senior Research Fellow. Currently, at the Wellcome Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine at Queen's University Belfast, I am focused on elucidating the secretion mechanism and activity in eukaryotic cells of numerous bacterial toxins or effector proteins secreted by the T6SS. 

    • Brenda Morris (Queen's University Belfast, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

    • Linda Oyama (Queen's University Belfast, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Linda has a Microbiology degree, and a PhD in Molecular Microbiology. She is currently a research fellow at Queen's University Belfast and a member of Women in Science, with a passion for sharing and increasing science participation. She is also involved with the Widening Science Participation Unit (Spectroscopy in a Suitcase) at Aberystwyth University in Wales.

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      Safi Rehman (Queen's University Belfast, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      I graduated from Biomedical Science in 2020 and started a PhD at the Wellcome Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine at QUB. I'm investigating into novel disease mechanisms in sepsis with the Bengoechea and Curtis groups, particularly in relation with K. pneumoniae. I have volunteered with many outreach and awareness programs in the past (in Wales) and am keen on helping with future events, if not starting some as well!

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      Yinka Somorin (Queen's University Belfast, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Yinka is a young, motivated early career scientist with a strong passion for public engagement and policy activities to promote microbiology.  His research interests include molecular diagnostics development, understanding the molecular mechnanism of bacterial survival and persistence in different ecological niches and food safety.  He currently works as a Research Fellow in the Halo Research Group within the School of Pharmacy at Queen's University Belfast.

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      Megan Taggart (Ulster University, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Megan is a PhD student at Ulster University investigating biofilm regulation in Clostridioides difficile. Megan has previously completed a BSc Hons in Biology with a diploma in professional practice at Ulster University and was awarded the RANDOX prize for graduating top of her class. Megan has a passion for microbiology and is excited to get involved and lead outreach events that will promote the microbiology society to all.

Republic of Ireland

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      Angela Medina (University College Cork, Ireland)

      Email: [email protected]

      Angela is a second year PhD student of the YEASTDOC Programme, currently based in University College Cork (UCC), Ireland. In her PhD research, she is motivated by the study of non-traditional yeasts to improve flavour and aroma in fermented beverages. Angela is an Industrial Microbiologist with an MSc degree in Molecular Biology with Biotechnology. As a Microbiology Society Champion, she would like to highlight the importance of microbiologists in society and show how microbiology is applied in many fields.

North East

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      Hannah Gibson (Newcastle University, UK)

      I studied Cellular and Molecular Biology BSc (Hons) at Newcastle University from 2015 to 2018. I am currently a PhD student at Newcastle University. I am keen to use my role as Champion as an opportunity to share my passion for microbiology.

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      Diana Githwe (Newcastle University, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      I am a PhD student at Newcastle University, studying the regulation of complex sugar breakdown by bacteria in the human gut. I am extremely passionate about science communication and public outreach. I cannot wait to get involved in organising events and outreach activities as a Champion to engage the public and younger students about the world of microbiology!

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      Charlotte Roughton (Newcastle University, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      I’m a PhD student at Newcastle University, researching sporulation in Clostridioides difficile. Outside of the lab, I’m involved in public outreach and passionate about incorporating new, fun, and unique methods into the ways we communicate science. I’m looking forward to getting more involved with the Microbiology Society as a Champion to continue sharing exciting science.

North West

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      Ian Goodhead (University of Salford, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      My career has focused on the adoption and development of next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies and applications. I facilitate NGS applications in a wide-range of subject areas in both the wet-lab and computational biology settings. My passion is in using multi-omic strategies to better understand microbial pathogenesis, infection, host/pathogen interaction and bacterial genome evolution.

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      Angharad Green (University of Liverpool, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Angharad is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Liverpool, and is an enthusiastic science communicator.

      "I believe becoming a Microbiology Society Champion would be a fantastic opportunity for my career development and I would be able to use my enthusiasm for microbiology to raise the profile of the Society."

    • Chloe James (University of Salford, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Chloe is a Champion based at the School of Environment and Life Sciences at the University of Salford.

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      Matthew Kelbrick (University of Liverpool, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Matthew is currently enrolled as a NERC funded PhD student at the University of Liverpool in the Institute of Integrative Biology. His PhD focuses on examining the effects of microbial interactions on the adaptive evolution of microbial communities when exposed to various stresses (e.g. antibiotics, temperatures, or heavy metals). Matthew’s previous research during his Undergraduate and Masters degrees focused on identifying novel extremophiles and their applications in the fields of biotechnology, ecology, and astrobiology.

    • Joe Latimer (University of Salford, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      I look forward to bringing together the public, industry and researchers from a wide range of disciplines, to explore the discovery, development and use of antibiotics as well as the medical, social, environmental and global implications of resistance.

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      Jo Moran (University of Manchester, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Jo is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Manchester. She has always been interested in host-pathogen interactions and why some bacteria cause disease and others don’t, which has led to her current project investigating how heterogeneity in host and bacterial cell populations impacts Listeria monocytogenes infection outcomes at the single cell level.

      "I wanted to become a Microbiology Society Champion as I think it’s so important to help the general public to understand our work, but also for different scientific disciplines to communicate better with each other."

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      James Oliver

      Email: [email protected]

      James is a BSc Biology graduate with an ongoing interest in astromicrobiology. He has carried out several internships in microbiology and wishes to pursue further education in the future - although he's focusing on other aspects of his life for now. He has stepped away from wet-lab science and is working as a laboratory and regulatory affairs administrator in the home fragrance industry. James is an avid supporter of LGBTQ+ scientists, being transgender himself, and wishes to increase visibility of and accomodation for LGBTQ+ academics.

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      Blanca Perez-Sepulveda (University of Liverpool, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Blanca is a Molecular Microbiologist interested in how bacteria and phages interact and survive in their environments, their genomic architecture, and the molecular mechanisms of phage resistance. After receiving a BSc and MSc(Res) in Biochemistry from the University of Chile, Blanca completed her PhD at the University of Warwick, UK, studying the molecular mechanisms of phage resistance of marine Synechococcus. Now based at the University of Liverpool, UK, Blanca works as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, focused on the molecular mechanisms and environmental reservoirs of invasive Salmonella Enteritidis and their phages, leading the international “10,000 Salmonella Genomes" consortium.

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      Jason Williams-James (The University of Central Lancashire, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Having come from a biomedical science and veterinary medicine background, Jason is a part-time PhD student and lecturer (SPH) with the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences at the University of Central Lancashire. Jason is a member of the Taphonomy Research Group and his research focuses on the microbiome that exists within the burial soil in the UK.

      Outside of the lab or away from the graveside, Jason pursues a keen interest in Anatomy, Forensic Archaeology & Anthropology in the context of human rights violations. He is actively involved in a wide range of science communication and outreach events to help spread awareness and appreciation of science and research.

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      Norman van Rhijn (University of Manchester, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Norman van Rhijn is currently a Research Associate at the Manchester Fungal Infection Group; interested in antifungal resistance, fungal genomics and the adaptation of pathogenic fungi to changing environments. He is involved in the Wellcome Trust grant 'Understanding and mitigating the impact of emerging antifungal resistance'. Alongside this research, he continues to work on the adaptation of fungi to climate change, in particular, the response to elevated temperatures on fungal epidemiology and the evolution of fungi to a changing world.


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      Aisling Brady (University of Glasgow, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      I am currently a final year PhD student with the University of Glasgow, UK. During my PhD I have been studying the life cycle decisions in bacteriophages that infect Bacillus bacteria. Specifically, I have been investigating a communication system that these phages carry to help them make the choice between lysis or lysogeny. I will soon be based at the University of Liverpool, UK as a postdoctoral research associate where I will work on the molecular mechanisms used by pathogenic Salmonella to cause bloodstream infections.

      I have always enjoyed taking part in public outreach events, so I am really keen to share my enthusiasm for microbiology and get involved in new events as a Microbiology Society Champion!

    • Sara Clohisey (The Roslin Institute, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Sara is with the Roslin Institute , University of Edinburgh.

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      Daniel Larcombe (University of Aberdeen, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      I completed my Undergraduate degree in Medical Microbiology before moving to the University of Aberdeen to undertake a PhD in Medical Mycology under the supervision of Prof Alistair Brown (University of Exeter). The focus of my PhD is to study the evolutionary history of the opportunistic human fungal pathogen Candida albicans, particularly the idea of Adaptive Prediction.

      I have always been fascinated by microbiology, and the Champion scheme seemed an ideal way to spread this fascination to a wider audience and to integrate myself deeper into the field I am passionate about.

    • Kirsty Robb (University of Strathclyde, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Kirsty is at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences.

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      Liam Rooney (University of Strathclyde, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Liam is a Postdoctoral Research Associate based at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK. His research focuses on the development and application of new optical microscopy methods to the field of microbiology. Liam is heavily involved with the Royal Microscopical Society (RMS), where he Chairs the Early Career Committee and sits on several other RMS Committees and Council.

      Liam's interests in microbiology and imaging has resulted in a varied research background, ranging from bacterial motility and interactions to biofilm architecture and colonisation behaviours. His interdisciplinary research and involvement with the imaging community provide exciting cross-over opportunities for microbiologists interested in microscopy.

    • Elizabeth Wignall-Fleming (University of St. Andrews, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Elizabeth is a Society Champion in Glasgow.

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      Azul Zorzoli (NHS Scotland, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      I joined NHS Scotland as a Trainee Clinical Scientist after completing my PhD in Molecular Microbiology in 2020. My doctoral studies focused on the cell wall biosynthesis of Group A Streptococcus. Previously, I completed an MSc in Microbiology and Immunology at Loyola University Chicago, USA, working on Staphylococcus aureus metabolism and pathogenesis. My current work involves improving the diagnostic services of clinical microbiology while learning about all things infectious diseases.

South East

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      Marwa Hassan (University of Surrey, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Marwa is a Research Fellow at School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey, UK. She works on developing novel quick diagnostics to track AMR and study the spread of AMR in zoonotic diseases. Marwa previously worked as a postdoc at Warwick University on biofilms of polymicrobial communities in cystic fibrosis and studies AMR in bacterial populations in cystic fibrosis. Marwa received her PhD from the University of Queensland, Australia, where she worked on developing culture-independent bacterial detection methods for quick identification of bacterial sepsis and antibiotic persistence. She is passionate about microbes, science communication and teaching.

    • Matthew Herdman (University of Oxford, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Matthew is a DPhil Student reading Interdisciplinary Biosciences at the University of Oxford.

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      Chrysanthos Kleanthous (University of Reading, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Chrysanthos Kleanthous is a third-year BSc Microbiology student at the University of Reading, UK. As part of his final year project, Chrysanthos is investigating the roles of postbiotics in the gastrointestinal tract. After finishing his degree, he is interested in pursuing a career in the clinical and molecular sites of microbiology. He is also interested in science communication and the ways in which he can inspire the general public with scientific knowledge.

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      Michael Macey (The Open University, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Dr. Michael C. Macey is an environmental microbiologist working as a postdoctoral research associate in AstrobiologyOU, investigating the diversity of microbes that can survive in some of the most extreme environments on Earth assessing if the microbes from these sites can grow under simulated martian conditions. He is part of a group of researchers who simulate ground waters that may have existed on Mars and may continue to exist beneath the surface. Michael joined the Open University in 2017 having completed his PhD at the University of East Anglia investigating plant associated microbes and their impact on atmospheric gases. 

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      Chinyere Okoro (University of Surrey, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Dr Chinyere Okoro is a Lecturer in Bacteriology at the University of Surrey, UK. Chinyere’s research focuses on understanding factors that underpin the emergence and transmission of enteric bacteria that cause infectious diseases (including antimicrobial resistant bacteria).  Chinyere is also involved in science communication, outreach and advocacy for STEM.

      As a Microbiology Society Champion, she will promote research activities in microbiology and engagement with the Society.

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      Kasia Parfitt (University of Oxford, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Kasia is an enthusiastic early career researcher with a passion for all things microbiology. She completed her PhD in late 2022 at Cardiff University, UK, investigating the population biology of the understudied cystic fibrosis lung pathogen Burkholderia multivorans through next generation sequencing. During her studies and career, Kasia has shown much interest in sharing microbiology with the wider community through public engagement opportunities and societies.

    • Louisa Wallace (University of Surrey, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Louisa is in the Department of Microbial Sciences at the University of Surrey.

South West

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      Jazz Conway (University of Plymouth, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      I am a second year PhD Student at the University of Plymouth, UK, my research involves investigating Deep Sea Sponges for novel antimicrobial compounds to combat AMR related infections. I have become a Champion in order to help educate and raise awareness with the general public and politicians, with the aim that everyone at least understands the meaning and threat AMR poses.

    • Genoveva Esteban

      Genoveva F. Esteban (Bournemouth University, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Genoveva is Professor of Microbial Ecology at Bournemouth University. Her research focusses on the biodiversity and ecology of free-living protists, particularly ciliates. Genoveva is also a dynamic STEM Ambassador and works with local museums, schools, and other organisations to bring science to the local community. She has joined the Society’s Champions to promote the Society’s work and increase the visibility of protists.

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      Tina Joshi (University of Plymouth, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Tina is a Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology who specialises in development of novel rapid point of care detection systems for antibiotic resistant bacteria and in infection control.

      Tina has become a Microbiology Society Champion to promote public understanding of important microbiological issues.

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      Winnie Lee (University of Bristol, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

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      Ruth Maclaren (Sciencedipity, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Ruth is a Biomedical Scientist and teacher who founded the Community Interest Company (CIC), Sciencedipity, based in Devon. Sciencedipity is dedicated to bringing fun and hands-on science to children, families and educators. Ruth is passionate about creating unique hands-on workshops and lessons in all areas of science for schools, as well as organising her own events locally. She has run her own workshops in microbiology and was delighted to work for The Eden Project on the launch week of their Invisible Worlds Exhibit, facilitating hands on microbiology for their thousands of visitors. 

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      Daniel Morse (University of Bristol, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      "I'm keen to promote the Society and microbiology in general through public engagement, speaker events within the university and collaborations with other universities in the local area."

    • Benedict Paulukiewicz (University of Plymouth, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

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      Emily Speakman (University of Exeter, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      My scientific career started at The University of Aberdeen where I studied Biomedical Science (Pharmacology). I am currently an immunology PhD student with Prof Gordon Brown in the Medical Mycology department at the University of Exeter. My research looks at the adaptive immune response during systemic Candida albicans infection. I have joined the Microbiology Society as a Champion to promote the benefits of membership to others and to be part of a society with the same passion and interests as myself.

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      Abbie Williams (University of Bristol, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Abbie is a PhD student with Southwest Bio DTP at the University of Bristol. Her research focuses on livestock microbiomes and how they may explain farm-level and experimental variability. Abbie is enthusiastic about science communication, having previously taken part in Pint of Science and the Festival of Nature in Bristol. Abbie joined as a microbiome champion to encourage other scientists to consider the role of the microbiome in their work, connecting and recruiting individuals to establish multi-disciplinary microbiome networks.

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      Eliza Wolfson (Freelance Scientific Illustrator, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Eliza is a Scientific Illustrator based in Bristol, UK, who specialises in drawing the invisible world of microbes – from the architecture of their communities, their lifestyles and evolution, to their molecular regulation and responses. She designed the Microbiology Society’s Multicoloured Microbiomes colouring book, and as a Society Champion, works with her local community arts trails and street exhibitions to spread the appeal of microbiology to a wider audience.


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      Issy Centeleghe (Cardiff University, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Issy is a PhD student at Cardiff University, currently investigating dry surface biofilms and their resistance to disinfectants. Issy has undertaken a lot of outreach work throughout her masters and the beginning of her PhD and is keen to tell others all about the great world of microbiology.

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      Eleanor Furness (Aberystwyth University, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      “I graduated with a Microbiology BSc last year and I’m currently an MPhil student at Aberystwyth University. I start my PhD there this September. My research is based on the microbial ecology of the cryosphere. I’m currently experimenting with isolates obtained from cryoconite holes on Arctic glaciers. I’m interested in extremophilic microbial life and the diverse adaptations such life utilises to withstand these environments.  

      I joined the Microbiology Society in the first year of my undergraduate degree and have been involved in a number of Society events since.

      I’ve presented posters in the Annual Conferences, volunteered for the Antibiotics Unearthed events, was awarded a Harry Smith Vacation Studentship and joined the Policy Team at a Science and the Assembly event. With so many opportunities to get involved the Microbiology Society has been a central part of my professional development. That’s why I wanted to not only give back to the Society, but to let others know about these opportunities by becoming a Society Champion. I’m looking forward to hosting my own events and to many more years of involvement with the Microbiology Society.”

    • Lauren Kerr (Cardiff Institute of Infection and Immunity, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Lauren is a Society Champion in Cardiff.

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      Dan Shelley (Cardiff University, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      I'm a fluent Welsh speaker from North Wales and currently an undergraduate student studying Biomedical Science with a Professional Training Year at Cardiff University. During my second year, I gained six-months microbiology lab experience through placements in the University's Microbiomes, Microbes, and Informatics Group. These placements involved working with various human and plant pathogens, beetle symbionts and fungi. During my placement year, I will be specialising in medical microbiology and antimicrobial resistance in our local Heath Hospital. Growing up, and even as an undergraduate, I noticed microbiology wasn't talked about enough. I'm excited to help express microbiology more by sharing the experiences, knowledge, and skills I gained to help others consider a future in this field.  


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      Katherine Ansbro (University of Sheffield, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Katherine is a PhD student at the School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield. Her project focuses on developing in vitro dental plaque biofilm models to study periodontitis (severe gum disease) and testing microbial community composition dynamics in response to glycan-active compounds. She is always keen to raise the profile of the Microbiology Society and to promote its many benefits for Society members. 

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      Omololu Fagunwa (University of Huddersfield, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      Omololu has a degree in Microbiology, masters in Biotechnology and is a PhD student at the University of Huddersfield. His research focuses on isolation and characterization of potential probiotics. As a theology doctoral holder, he is passionate about science communication in religious/faith setting. As a champion, he is keen about internationalisation of the society.

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      Raphael P. Galleh (University of Sheffield, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      My name is Raphael Peter Galleh, a Nigerian and also a 4th year PhD research student with the School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield,  UK. My research is focused on 'Testing for Novel Inhibitors of Oral Pathogens and their Enzymes' with the aim of abrogating host-pathogen interactions. In addition to my role as the Early Career Microbiologists' Forum Representative on the Scientific Conferences Panel, I am also a Board Member of Microbiology Today. I am passionate about promoting the science of microbiology as evidenced in my teaching of the subject in the University as well as at campaigns on oral health, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, water and food borne diseases and other infectious diseases.

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      Mel Lacey (Sheffield Hallam University, UK)

      Mel is a Senior Lecturer in  Microbiology at Sheffield Hallam University. Throughout her scientific career she has had a keen interest in public engagement and outreach, receiving her first public engagement grant in 2007, in the second year of her PhD. Currently, she is working with partner organisations across South Yorkshire to deliver impactful public engagement and widening participation events to wide range of participants. Her research interests, as well as public engagement and widening participation, span higher education pedagogy, production and delivery methods of novel anti-microbial agents and the impact of the microbiome of human health.

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      Lee Sherry (University of Leeds, UK)

      Email: [email protected]

      “I am currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Leeds working towards a new virus-like particle vaccine against poliomyelitis using Pichia pastoris. I took up the role of Society Champion after my PhD when I saw the enthusiasm and support the Society has for its Early Career Members. During my PhD, grants from the Society helped me undertake research in a different country whilst also allowing me to attend a major international conference to present my research. Therefore, I wanted to increase awareness of the opportunities afforded by the Society to both prospective and current members.”


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      Joseph Acolatse (Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, Ghana)

      Email: [email protected]

      Twitter: @acolatse.joseph

      "I am health researcher in the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital in Ghana. I graduated from the University of Cape Coast in 2018 with a B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. It’s in those years that I culminated a strong interest in Microbiology and specifically antibiotic resistance and resolved to contribute as best as I can to the field both in terms of research and awareness creation. I hope to pursue a Ph.D. in the area of bacterial genetics/pathogenesis in the near future."

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      Fabrice Afloukou (University of Parakou, Benin)

      Email: [email protected]

      Fabrice Afloukou is a molecular plant virologist with a PhD. He is currently a research associate at the University of Parakou's Faculty of Agronomy in the Benin Republic, where he is studying citrus viral and virus-like diseases.

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      Nkangou Amour (University Marien Ngouabi, Republic of Congo)

      Email: [email protected]

      I have a Titular of a Master of research in biochemistry and applied microbiology obtained in August 2021, I am a PhD student currently enrolled in the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University Marien Ngouabi. My research focuses on bacteria of the genus Bacillus, certain molecules involved in the formation of biofilms, including biosurfactants and exopolysaccharides, the mechanism of inhibition of pathogenic bacteria through biosurfactants produced by Bacillus.

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      René Dembele (University of Dedougou, Burkina Faso)

      Email: [email protected]

      Rene Dembele holds a PhD in microbiology/epidemiology of gastroenteritis and is a senior lecturer at the University of Dedougou, Burkina Faso. He teaches microbiology, food hygiene, and safety in the unit of Applied and Technological Sciences and at the National Veterinary School of Burkina Faso. He has experience of teaching and food hygiene training in the ready-to-eat food system. His research activities are mainly focused on epidemiology and surveillance of enteric bacteria responsible for gastroenteritis, antimicrobial resistance, and food hygiene. He was the principal investigator for the Two Weeks in the World (TWIW) project, working jointly with the Technical University of Denmark, the Research Centre of Nouna, Burkina Faso and the Regional Hospital of Dedougou, Burkina Faso.

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      Victorien Dougnon (University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin)

      Email: [email protected]

      I am currently working as Senior Lecturer at the Polytechnic School of Abomey-Calavi, University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin. I am involved, through my work, in the fight against antimicrobial resistance in Africa and, as a scientist, my interests are linked to molecular microbiology, hygiene and public health. I am a passionate of medicinal plants against infectious diseases. I do my best to impact Africa’s economic development. Through a collaboration with The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), I have initiated the establishment of a MsC program in Molecular and Medical Microbiology. Through my selection as Young Affiliate of TWAS (2016), I have deeply collaborated, to date, with 150 researchers from more 80 research institutions around the world. I am a founding member of the Research Unit in Applied Microbiology and Pharmacology of natural substances, Research Laboratory in Applied Biology, Polytechnic School of Abomey-Calavi, University of Abomey-Calavi. Annually, more than 150 young scholars are impacted by this lab’s activities. My academic career has been regularly enriched by participation in international workshops and symposia, stays in partner laboratories abroad as well as through funded trainings by various international scientific institutions. From 2015 to date, I won 14 competitive research grants as Principal Investigator or Local Coordinator, one as collaborator and more than 35 travel grants

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      Oni Eniola (Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Nigeria)

      Email: [email protected]

      Dr Oni Eniola is an early career scientist with research interest in food safety and mycotoxin control. She has over 11 publications, 9 conference presentations and a poster award (IUFoST 2018) to her credit.

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      Philippe Sessou (University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin)

      Philippe Sessou is a PhD holder in Food Microbiology, Associate Professor, and a lecturer and researcher at the University of Abomey-Calavi, Republic of Benin. He is Former Head of Animal Health and Production Department in his institution and the current Coordinator of the Research Group 'Food Safety and Animal Production' at the Research Unit of Communicable Diseases. His research focuses on microbial communities in food, in particular in milk and dairy products, as well as on zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19, rabies, tuberculosis, and toxoplasmosis. He is the current National Coordinator of the International Citizen Project Covid-19.


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      K. M. Salim Andalib (Khulna University, Bangladesh)

      Email: [email protected]

      K. M. Salim is a highly motivated undergraduate student from Khulna University, Bangladesh, who is very fascinated with life science research. Apart from doing well in university, he is involved in other extracurricular activities that enhance his communication skills. He is also a full-time content creator for BioDaily - the first ever life science magazine in Bangladesh.

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      Punyasloke Bhadury (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, India)

      Email: [email protected]

      Punyasloke Bhadury did his MSc at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh followed by a PhD in marine microbial ecology at Plymouth Marine Laboratory. He is currently a Professor of Biological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkat, India. Punyasloke is also one of the Mentor Editors of the Society's Access Microbiology journal. Punyasloke is very actively involved in engaging early career researchers and scientists interested in microbial ecology research and runs several networks across South Asia and beyond. Punyasloke and his research group undertakes fundamental and applied research encompassing the areas of microbial biocomplexity, biogeochemical cycling in aquatic ecosystems and developing novel approaches for antimicrobial therapeutics as well as for cleaning contaminated ecosystems. 

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      Pankaj Chaudhary (Sagarmatha Choudhary Eye Hospital, Nepal)

      Email: [email protected]

      Pankaj Chaudhary is a Medical Microbiologist at Sagarmatha Choudhary Eye Hospital, Lahan, Nepal. He has a great enthusiasm towards Medical Mycology, and is currently involved in a project related to fungal keratitis.

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      Nairita Ahsan Faruqui (Brac University, Bangladesh)

      Email: [email protected]

      Nairita is a graduate student of biotechnology from Brac University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Owing to her prior interests in viruses and vaccines, she is currently involved with a virology research laboratory at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (ICDDR), Bangladesh, an international health research institute based in Dhaka. She has organised several international scientific conferences and scientific talks focusing on microbiology as the Director of International Relations at the Community of Biotechnology (COB), in efforts to raise awareness and engage individuals in knowledge-focused discussions. Being a Society Champion, Nairita aspires to promote and share scientific discussions, knowledge and research on a global scale.

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      Touseef Hussain (Matimate AgroMart Pvt. Ltd., India)

      Email: [email protected]

      I am a versatile nature lover with expertise in molecuar diagnostics, molecular markers, characterization of microbes, discovery new traits, new biomolecules discovery from extreme microbes. I love travelling, gardening, and exploring new things. Let's meet and connect with nature, collaborate an help each other.

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      Atif Khan (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, India)

      Email: [email protected]

      Atif Khan is a scientist at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in India. He is currently doing his doctoral research on the application of bacteriophages in controlling biofilm and biofouling in cooling water systems. Atif is highly interested in networking with researchers in any area of life sciences or interdisciplinary science as well as raising awareness about bacteriophages. 

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      Arindam Mitra (Adamas University, India)

      Email: [email protected]

      Arindam Mitra holds a PhD from University of Maryland, College Park, USA. Currently, Dr Mitra is working as Associate Professor and Head in the Department of Microbiology at Adamas University, Kolkata, India. As Society Champion, he organises workshops, seminars and conferences on various aspects of microbiology at Adamas University. He works with students to help raise awareness of microbiology and the Microbiology Society. Dr Mitra also reviews books, research papers in journals and grants for the Microbiology Society. Dr Mitra’s research examines the development and regulation of biofilms in the natural, industrial and clinical settings.

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      Manoj Pradhan (Nepalese Army Institute of Health Sciences, Nepal)

      Email: [email protected]

      Manoj is a Medical Laboratory Technologist for the Department of Microbiology at the Nepalese Army Institute of Health Sciences. His job requires him to instruct and conduct various laboratory practical classes and sessions of MBBS and Nursing students about clinical microbiology.


    • Darya Chernikhova

      Darya Chernikhova (University of Iceland, Iceland)

      Email: [email protected]

      Darya (she/they) is a Master's student at the University of Iceland, Iceland. She completed her BA in Biophysics at Columbia University in New York, USA. After a sojourn in software, Darya returned to academia to work on cryopreserving endangered microbiomes. From coral reef restoration to captive breeding programs, healthy microbiomes are key. And archival whole community microbiome collections are a must for a planet with an extinction problem.

      Darya loves science communication, and has been seen using Ghostbusters' Slimer to explain microbiome cryobanking to smiling audiences. She volunteers with the Community/Citizen Science Conference, and hopes to be an intersectional diversity advocate. Here she is enjoying the Icelandic summer.


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      Roshan Nepal (University of Adelaide, Australia)

      Email: [email protected]

      Roshan graduated in biotechnology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal and is currently a PhD candidate at University of Adelaide, Australia. His primary research focus is antimicrobial resistance and phage therapy. He has volunteered in multiple academic societies in various roles like young ambassador (ASM), social media editor (FEMS) and has a keen interest in advancing science through effective communication and creating equitable opportunities for researchers all around the world.

    • Thiru Vanniasinkam (Charles Sturt University, Australia)

      Thiru Vanniasinkam is Associate Professor in Immunology at Charles Sturt University, Australia. Thiru teaches microbiology and immunology at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and is a Course (Program) Director in the School of Dentistry and Medical Sciences. Her research interests include veterinary and medical microbiology and vaccine development. Thiru has a keen interest in microbiology education and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AdvanceHE), UK. She is involved in outreach and mentoring activities, promoting microbiology in the local community.

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      Jinxin Zhao (Monash University, Australia)

      Email: [email protected]

      “I come with over three years of experience in Antimicrobial Systems Pharmacology, Genome-scale metabolic modelling and Bioinformatics. My research is highly relevant to global public health, where multidrug-resistant (MDR) is one of the three greatest global threats to human health. Due to the dry antibiotic discovery pipeline, polymyxins are increasingly used as a last-resort against infections caused by MDR Gram-negative bacteria. My PhD project is on systems pharmacology of polymyxins and their synergistic combinations against MDR GNB infections using an integrated virtual cell approach.”

North America

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      Daniel Gonçalves-Carneiro (Rockefeller University, USA)

      Email: [email protected]

      Daniel is a postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University in New York, USA. Daniel completed a BEng at the University of Porto, Portugal in 2011. In 2013, he moved to Glasgow to complete his master’s degree studying caliciviruses at the Centre for Virus Research. He obtained his PhD from the University of Birmingham in 2017 for his work on measles virus entry. He is currently investigating how HIV evades recognition by our immune system and how we can modify virus genomes to develop better vaccines for emerging diseases.

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      Angélica M. Jara (National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico)

      Email: [email protected]

      Angelica is a PhD student at National Autonomous University of Mexico. Her project focuses on analyzing the composition of microbial communities associated with the roots of plants under different conditions. She's passionate about science communication and wants to increase awareness of the importance of microbiology and the current research that is being done around the world.

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      Manju Jayakumari (USA)

      Email: [email protected]

      Manju obtained a PhD in Microbiology from Bharathidasan University, India for work on polyhydroxy butyrate (bioplastic) production from Rhizobium sp using cheap carbon substrate. She holds a BSc in Industrial Microbiology with Biochemistry, an MSc in Microbiology and MPhil in Microbiology. Her field of interest is plant-microbe interaction and bacteriology. After becoming a member of the Microbiology Society, Manju was delighted to find out about the Champion Scheme which helps to raise our profile and is a chance to get involved in Society activities. She is keen to use her role as Champion as an opportunity to share her passion for microbiology.

South America

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      Bruno Francesco Rodrigues de Oliveira (Fluminense Federal University, Brazil)

      Email: [email protected]

      Bruno Francesco is an Adjunct Professor in Bacteriology at the Fluminense Federal University, specialising in marine bacteriology and its potential biotechnological applications. In addition to his research activities, Bruno is interested in science communication and outreach, finding the "translation" of complex science language to the broader public essential. In this sense, he hopes to publicise the awesome work of the Microbiology Society in Brazil, particularly to engage undergraduate and graduate students into spreading the word about the fantastic microbial universe.