Dr Ellie Harrison

Ellie Harrison

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 4621

Email: Ellie.harrison@sheffield.ac.uk


Independent P3 Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, UK (2017‒present)
ERC Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the ‘Coevolution of bacteria and conjugative plasmids’ at the University of York, UK (2012–2017)
NERC Postdoctoral Research Assistant on ‘Host-symbiont coevolution: exploring the parasitism-mutualism continuum’ in the Institute for Integrative Biology at the University of Liverpool, UK (2010–2012)
PhD ‘Evolution of a Selfish Genetic Element: The 2 Micron Plasmid of Saccharomyces spp.’ at the NERC Centre for Population Biology at Imperial College, London, UK (2006–2010)

Key Research Interests

I am interested in the ecology and evolution of microbial communities, particularly in the interactions between bacteria and the mobile genetic elements that infect them. Elements such as plasmids and phages play key roles in these communities; acting not only as agents of horizontal gene transfer by carrying with them bacterial genes when they move between hosts, but also as parasites as they exploit their bacterial hosts for their own replication.

In my work I explore how coevolution shapes these interactions and how they, in turn, impact the wider community.

Selected Publications

Wright R, Brockhurst M and Harrison E (2016) Ecological conditions determine extinction risk in co-evolving bacteria-phage populations. BMC Evolutionary Biology 16(1): 227.

Hall JPJ and Harrison E (2016) Bacterial evolution: resistance is a numbers game. Nature Microbiology

Harrison E, Guymer D, Spiers A, Paterson S and Brockhurst M (2015) Parallel compensatory evolution stabilizes plasmids across the parasitism-mutualism continuum. Current Biology 25(15): 2034-9.

Burns N, James CE and Harrison E (2015) Polylysogeny magnifies competitiveness of a bacterial pathogen in vivo. Evolutionary Applications 8(4): 346–51

Harrison E, Wood AJ, Dytham C, Pitchford JW, Truman J, Spiers A, Paterson S and Brockhurst MA (2015) Bacteriophages limit the existence conditions for conjugative plasmids. mBio 6(3): 586-15

Harrison E, MacLean RC, Koufapanou V and Burt A (2014) Sex drives intracellular conflict in yeast. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 27(8):1757-63 (winner, Stearns Graduate Student Prize, 2015)

Harrison E and Brockhurst M (2012) Plasmid-mediated horizontal gene transfer is a co-evolutionary process. Trends in Microbiology 20(6): 262–7.

For more information about Ellie’s work, visit: www.ellieevolves.co.uk