School of Life Sciences, The University of Warwick

Professor Liz Wellington is an active member of the Environment theme within the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick. She holds a personal chair and, with her research group, is involved in the study of bacteria in soil and survival of pathogenic bacteria in the environment. Research work focuses on understanding the ecological roles for specific bacterial activities including antibiotic production, resistance and exoenzyme production and analysing the impact of lateral gene transfer. During the past decade expertise has been developed in the detection, quantification and analysis of soil microbial communities, including the identification of pathogen reservoirs outside of their hosts. Her group was one of the first to report the molecular detection of antibiotic biosynthesis in soil and co-evolution of resistance in non-producers. Subsequent work indicated that waste disposal practices further disseminate antibiotic resistance genes into the environment. Studying the fate of introduced bacteria in the environment has focused on the survival of pathogens such as Salmonella species, MRSA, Dichelobacter nodosus and slow growing mycobacteria including the M. tuberculosis complex.

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