My research uses an evolutionary framework to investigate the biological and environmental factors that are driving emerging fungal diseases in both human, wildlife and plant species. Wildlife species play a key role in the emergence of human emerging infectious disease (EID) by providing a 'zoonotic pool' from which previously unknown pathogens emerge. Conversely, human action impacts on patterns of disease by perturbation of natural systems, introduction and spread of pathogenic fungi.
Current projects focus on several human HIV-associated fungal pathogens, significantly Penicillium marneffei in southeast Asia and Cryptococcus neoformans worldwide. The emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and now B. salamandrivorans impacting global amphibian populations has been recognised as a major driver of extinction.
Our research group is focused on developing mechanistic, statistical and animal-based models to uncover the factors driving these EIDs and to attempt to develop new methods of control. Major recent funders are the Wellcome Trust, the MRC, NERC, BiodivERsA and the Leverhulme Trust.