James Kavanagh

James Kavanagh


Erasmus Mundus Master’s student in Evolutionary Biology
During my time in Montpellier I carried out a study on the effects of varied antibiotic treatment duration on the persistence of resistant bacteria in an infection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. By integrating the existing frameworks of two evolutionary principles, evolutionary rescue and competitive release, into our knowledge of this bacterial system, I devised a hypothetical treatment strategy that utilised the competition between resistant and susceptible bacteria to reduce the number of resistant bacteria and drive the total population of bacteria to extinction. Our results indicate the potential for an optimum duration which, with further research, could lead to better management of antibiotic resistance. The remainder of my Master’s is split between two research projects, the first is a fieldwork and lab based project at the University of Groningen, with Prof. Rampal Etienne on the community structure of Bornean micro-snails. The second is a joint project at the University of Oxford, Uppsala University and Harvard University with Dr.Charlotte Jander, Prof. Siv Andersson and Prof. Naomi Pierce respectively, studying fig wasp bacterial symbionts. I am hoping to continue my studies, following my master’s, with a PhD in evolutionary medicine.