Dr Rudi Verspoor is an early career researcher who has recently completed a PhD within the Institute of Integrative Biology at the University of Liverpool. The focus of his research has been the evolution of a gene complex in the vinegar fly Drosophila subobscura which leads to almost all female offspring. He studied how climate change might affect the progression of this genetic condition and its impacts on insect populations. Alongside this work, Rudi also has a particular interest in the role of insects as a food source with a potentially crucial role in improving food security. Rudi’s entomological research has taken him to Mexico, Canada, Ecuador and most recently to Benin where he is working on edible termites within the Funky Ant Lab. Read more about Rudi’s research here.
Dr Katie Hampson, The ecology of rabies and implications for control and elimination
Dr Katie Hampson is a Reader in the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow, where she has been since 2009. She began a long-term study investigating transmission dynamics of rabies whilst studying for her PhD at Princeton University, and has since continued to work on rabies on a Wellcome Trust Fellowship and with continued Wellcome Trust support. Her research combines field investigations, vaccination interventions and modelling to understand the ecology of infectious diseases, influence policy and guide rabies elimination programmes. Read more about her research on her website or follow her on twitter at: @hampson_katie.
Professor Mike Begon, Rodent disease ecology: from principles to applications
Mike Begon is a Professor of Ecology and Head of the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour, University of Liverpool. His research centres on the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases in wild populations, particularly rodents. His work has focused on both UK and worldwide infectious diseases such as the bubonic plague in Central Asia and leptospirosis in Brazilian favelas. Mike is a member of the Natural Environment Research Council’s Science and Innovation Strategy Board and also has a number of editorial roles within top ecology journals. Together with Colin Townsend and John Harper he wrote Ecology: Individuals, Populations and Communities and Essentials of Ecology.