Prof. Beth Okamura (NHM PI)
Beth is a leading expert on freshwater bryozoans and their myxozoan parasites focusing on host-parasite interactions and the metapopulation biology, phylogeography and diversification of both groups. Her research has made significant practical impacts, including evidence that waterfowl disperse freshwater organisms (bryozoans) and identifying the source of salmonid proliferative kidney disease (PKD) – the latter enabling research on disease ecology (via NERC, BBSRC and industry funding) and demonstration that persistent infections in bryozoans create fish disease reservoirs. Her expertise in metapopulation biology and dispersal is associated with highly cited publications (e.g. Bilton, et al. 2001; De Meester et al., 2002).
Dr David Bass
David leads a research group working on eukaryotic microbial diversity and is Head of Division of Genomics and Microbial Diversity at NHM. His research focuses on the evolution, ecology and host interactions of protistan parasites and other pathogens, and uses and develops environmental DNA (eDNA) methods for their detection and monitoring in environmental and organismal samples. He has argued for the essential role of molecular taxonomy as a crucial tool in policy decisions involving protistan parasites, in revealing novel parasite diversity with potent implications for disease monitoring and pathogen detection and ecology, and in developing taxonomic awareness and practice for microbial eukaryotes.