Bath student profiles

2015 Intake

Philip Madgwick


Phil graduated from the University of Oxford in 2015 with a BA in Biological Sciences. Whilst at Oxford, Phil specialised in evolutionary biology, leading him to pursue a research project at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, but further developed a particular focus on social evolution in a microbial setting. Following this, Phil is now studying for a PhD working with Prof Jason Wolf at the University of Bath exploring the sociogenomics of the slime mould Dictyostelium, which has been a model organism for studying microbial cooperation for almost twenty years.

Recently, a potential greenbeard gene has been identified as the determinant of differential cooperation between unicellular slime moulds as they aggregate to altruistically form multicellular fruiting bodies. This gene forms much of the focus on Phil’s research interests in understanding: i) the mechanistic basis for cooperation using transcriptomics, ii) how polymorphism is generated and maintained at greenbeard loci using game theory and iii) optimisation under informational constraints using mathematical modelling.

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2016 Intake

Jennifer Owen


Jennifer graduated from the University of Bath in 2016 with a Masters in Mathematics. During her degree Jennifer specialized in mathematical modelling and mathematical biology. In her final year project she derived partial differential equations to describe migration persistence in cells and used mathematical and computational modelling to model melanoblast (a pigment producing cell) migration during mouse embryogenesis under supervision by Dr Kit Yates.

Jennifer is currently doing her PhD at the University of Bath under the supervision of Prof Robert Kelsh and Dr Kit Yates in the field of Mathematical Biology. Jennifer is interested in understanding the stripe pattern formation in zebrafish using a combination of mathematical modelling and biological experimentation.

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2017 Intake

Lyndsay Christie


Lyndsay graduated from The University of Glasgow in 2017 with an MSci in Microbiology. During her degree she spent a year working at the CEFAS laboratory in Weymouth, studying the immune response of rainbow trout to puffy skin disease. This sparked her interest in aquaculture research and she went on to apply for a PhD in that field.

Lyndsay will be undertaking a PhD at the University of Bath supervised by Prof Ed Feil in collaboration with Dr David Verner-Jeffreys at CEFAS. The project will use genomic approaches to characterise the microflora of lumpfish, which are used as a control strategy for sea lice infections in salmon. This aim of this project is to lead to more successful rearing of lumpfish in hatcheries and to improve lumpfish health.

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Jenny Ellis


Jenny graduated from Cardiff University in 2014 with a BSc in Biology. She went on to graduate from Imperial College London in 2015 with an MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity, where she studied phylogenetic techniques at the Natural History museum, with a project looking at dating a phylogeny of scolopendromorph centipedes using fossils. It was during her masters that she gained an interest in the combination of morphological and molecular data in phylogenetics.

Jenny is currently doing her PhD at the University of Bath under the supervision of Dr Matthew Wills; a key aim of her research will be to look at Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of morphological data and the best way these methods can be assessed empirically.

2018 Intake

Benedict D’Alessandro

Benedict graduated from The University of Kent in 2018 with a BSc in Biochemistry. In 2017, he undertook a summer lab placement investigating tripartite interactions coupling actin and microtubules at the cell cortex. Following this research in 2018, he explored mechanisms of resistance to cisplatin in ovarian cancer as his final year project. These opportunities stimulated his interest in biochemistry driving him to acquire a PhD in Biochemistry.

Benedict’s PhD project entitled ‘Peptides as inhibitors of tau aggregation: protecting the ageing brain’ will be based principally in Bath under the supervision of Dr Jody Mason and Dr Robert Williams. Utilising bacterial and mammalian systems, a library of peptides will be tested for their ability to perturb the therapeutically pertinent aggregation of tau. Additionally, his research will involve in silico molecular docking simulations with Dr Richard Sessions in Bristol.

Sarah Hindson

Sarah graduated from The University of York in 2018 with an MChem in Biological and Medicinal Chemistry.  She undertook her final year research project whilst working at Eli Lilly, studying and setting up a new NMR technique primarily employing the use of residual dipolar couplings. Sarah also had the opportunity to study in York Structural Biology Labs in 2016, working towards the fragment based drug discovery of the Zika NS3 helicase. These two placements inspired her to pursue a PhD in Biochemistry.

Sarah will be based principally at Bath University studying under the supervision of Dr Christopher Pudney and Dr Ross Anderson, her PhD entitled ‘Developing a better-than-nature enzyme platform for biocatalysis applications’.

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Ben May

In 2018, Ben graduated from The University of Exeter with a degree in Natural Sciences, having specialised in mathematics and physics. Having finished his degree, he spent the summer working within the research group of Professor Andrew Hattersley in the University of Exeter Medical School. His work involved using statistical methods to investigate the likelihood that patients would develop type 2 diabetes based on baseline clinical features.

His interest in the applications of data science and machine learning to scientific problems lead him to undertake a PhD at the University of Bath. His PhD, supervised by Dr Christopher Pudney, seeks to develop artificially intelligent software capable of identifying microbes using data from emission spectra.