After completing my undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford in 2010, I worked for the African Meningococcal Carriage ‘Consortium for a year as a Research Assistant. I am now in the third year of my PhD, at Merton College.
The aim of my PhD is to enhance our understanding of the competitive processes maintaining the diversity and structure of bacterial pathogen populations, through the use of mathematical models and whole genome data. I work most closely with Neisseria meningitidis and Streptococcus pneumoniae, which are major causes of meningitis and pneumonia respectively. I use multilocus models with strains characterised by antigenic, metabolic and virulence traits, thus allowing predictions to be made at the whole genome level. I am particularly interested in the effects of vaccination and the molecular epidemiology in sub-Saharan Africa.
JS Bennett, ER Watkins, KA Jolley, OB Harrison, MCJ Maiden (2014) Identifying Neisseria species using the 50S ribosomal protein L6 (rplF) gene. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 5:1375-81.
DM Daugla , JP Gami, K Gamougam, N Naibei, L Mbainadji, M Narbé, J Toralta, B Kodbesse, C Ngadoua, ME Coldiron, F Fermon, A-L Page, MH Djingarey, S Hugonnet, OB Harrison, L Rebbetts, Y Tekletsion, ER Watkins, D Hill, DA Caugant, D Chandramohan, M Hassan-King, O Manigart, M Nascimento, A Woukeu, C Trotter, JM Stuart, MCJ Maiden, BM Greenwood (2014) Effect of a serogroup A meningococcal conjugate vaccine (PsA–TT) on serogroup A meningococcal meningitis and carriage in Chad: a community trial. The Lancet. 4;383(9911):40-7.
ER Watkins & MCJ Maiden (2012) Persistence of Hyperinvasive Meningococcal Strain Types during Global Spread as Recorded in the PubMLST Database. PLoS One. 7(9): e45349.
CO Buckee, M Recker, ER Watkins & S Gupta (2011) The role of stochastic processes in maintaining discrete strain structure in antigenically diverse pathogen populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108: 15504-9.