Dr Ellie Harrison

School of Biosciences

NERC Independent Research Fellow

  • 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)
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.


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