Lab Members



Lisa Butt – Technician
I obtained an undergraduate degree in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology and an MSc in Biological Diversity both from Plymouth University. I developed an interest in microbiology and antibiotic resistance whilst working at Plymouth Marine Laboratory and my interest in the impact of micro-organisms on human health expanded during my time at the NHS Antimicrobial Research Centre, Bristol. I joined Gudelj lab in 2014 and my role allows me to combine ecology, evolutionary biology and microbiology to study complex viral systems.My research interests are largely focused on bacteriophage, viruses that infect bacteria. They regulate natural bacterial populations and thus have a significant impact on ecosystem functioning, nutrient cycling as well as on human health. In particular I am interested in quantifying bacteriophage ecological and evolutionary dynamics in multi-species environments so that we can predict emerging infections, host-range shifts and the efficacy of phage therapy.


Dr Richard Lindsay – Postdoc
I obtained my undergraduate degree in Biology from Cardiff University (with 1st class honours) where I studied the influence of climate change on the interactions between saprotrophic fungi and mycophagous arthropods. This sparked my interest in the Kingdom of fungi and how their ecology has huge implications for the biota of our planet. Subsequently I gained a PhD from Exeter University working on polymorphic metabolism and the eco-evolutionary influence of social feeding strategies of fungal plant pathogens.

In general I am interested in interactions between organisms, both cooperative and competitive, that occur in creatures from complex humans to simple RNA viruses. I study how these ecological interactions evolve and how they influence the success of individuals and populations. Fungi are model organisms for understanding eukaryotic evolution and represent important systems of study for disease management and food security. My current research is examining nutrient acquisition by fungi, how feeding mechanisms evolve and how external digestion can influence the fitness of a pathogen population.


Dr Alys Jepson – Postdoc
I completed my undergraduate MPhys degree at Leeds University (with 1st class honours) and a PhD in Physics at Edinburgh University. During my PhD I worked with a method to measure E.coli motility, looking at the interplay between their swimming and their environment. I also studied E.coli population dynamics in the antimicrobial peptide pexiganan. After my PhD I remained at Edinburgh University as a postdoc to work on an industrial collaboration with veterinary scientists measuring motile bull sperm.  In 2018 I joined Gudelj lab to work on the evolution of drug resistance in mixed-species microbial communities, using Candida spp. as model organisms.

More broadly I am interested in biological, physical and practical questions regarding microorganism populations. By researching the wide range of phenomena caused by microorganisms, as well as their survival and growth in diverse environments, we can acquire an understanding of physical processes on their length scale. This in turn gives an insight into microorganism behaviour and their evolution.


Dr Olga Nev – Postdoc
I obtained two “specialist” diplomas with honours (comparable to MMath) at Nizhniy Novgorod State University: the first in 2006, in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, and the second in 2008, in Business studies. In 2012, I obtained an MSc with honours in Mathematical Methods for Economic Analysis at St. Petersburg School of Economics. I subsequently worked as a Research Assistant studying asymptotic properties of stochastic dynamical systems at St. Petersburg State University, before moving to Warwick University to undertake PhD studies. In 2017 I obtained a PhD degree in Mathematical Biology. My research objective was to characterize how bacterial cells respond to changing environmental conditions. During my PhD studies I was seconded to TU Delft where I collaborated with experimental scientist on their “zero growth” project aimed at maximizing the yield of desirable products whilst minimizing biomass formation.

In 2018 I joined Gudelj group where I use mathematical approaches to study the evolution of drug resistance in mixed-species microbial communities, using Candida spp. as model organisms.


Emily Wood – PhD student
I obtained my undergraduate degree in Biology and Biochemistry from Exeter University (1st class honours). During my final year I completed a research project examining the trade-off between resistance to bacteriophage and antibiotics. This led to an interest in the use of experimental evolution to study microbial adaptation to different environments, and in particular bacterial adaptation to antibiotic therapy. I am currently working towards a PhD jointly supervised by Rob Beardmore and Ivana Gudelj.

Antibiotics are widely used due the negative impact that they have on microbial growth. However, there are circumstances in which antibiotics can have a positive impact on microbial populations, for example by increasing their biomass. My research focuses on the impact that antibiotics have on microbial metabolism, the beneficial effects that this may have on resource efficiency and the resulting impact on microbial longevity.

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