GTA and MRes projects 2020-21

The research priorities in Biological Sciences at Edge Hill University span three interlinked strands:

1. Ecology

Ecology priorities include research into forest adaptations to climate change, mitigating impacts of habitat change on biodiversity, conservation of species in rare habitats and sustainable management of ecosystems.

2. Genetics

Genetics research priorities include insect vectors of disease, plant evolution, soil microbiology and antibacterial discovery.

3. Biomedical Science

Biomedical priorities often take a genetics-based approach and include research into rare skin diseases, pregnancy complications, gene therapies and nanotherapeutics.

Across these biological sub-disciplines, we collaborate with researchers from across the Globe as well as within Edge Hill, utilising cutting-edge technologies.


For initial discussion about these projects please contact Dr Anne Oxbrough, the Biology Department Research and Postgraduate coordinator, via email anne.oxbrough@edgehill.ac.uk.

GTA projects

Ecology and Evolution

  • Meadow composition and connectivity
  • Landscape genetics of forest-associated invertebrates
  • Saproxylic species in plantations forests: deadwood and biodiversity
  • The value of mixed plantations for supporting biodiversity.

New therapies for human disease

  • Novel nanotherapeutics to target ocular fibrosis
  • Combinatorial gene and drug therapies for neuroblastoma
  • New gene therapy approaches for cardiovascular-related disorders (including lipoproteins)
  • Exosome research for diagnostics of different disorders (including cardiovascular or cancer)

Antibiotic discovery

  • Identification of new antibiotic clusters from actinomycetes using genome sequencing.
  • Characterisation of gene clusters of unknown function fromStreptomyces coelicolor.
  • Understanding global transcriptional patterns of industrial Streptomyces strains grown in soil.

Mosquito disease vectors

  • Investigating insecticide resistance in the dengue and Zika mosquito vector Aedes aegypti
  • Competitive breeding of UK native and invasive species of mosquitoes that are disease vectors
  • The potential role of export of commercial bromeliads transporting mosquito disease vectors between countries

MRes projects

Ecology and Evolution

  • Meadow composition and connectivity
  • Landscape genetics of forest-associated invertebrates
  • Urban biodiversity – the value of green spaces for invertebrate diversity
  • Ecological genetics including speciation, population differentation and taxonomy, especially of the plant genera Tilia (lime) and Carex (sedges).
  • Saproxylic species in plantations forests: deadwood and biodiversity
  • The value of mixed plantations for supporting biodiversity.
  • Biodiversity of upland calcareous grassland landscapes and the impacts of grazing

Plant Science

  • Morphological and physiological trait relationships in tropical epiphytes
  • Linking leaf hydraulics to leaf pigmentation in bromeliads
  • Developing an early detection system for pathogen attack on crops using turgor sensors
  • Modelling volcanic ash deposition
  • Modelling the deposition of ash in East New Britain to identify nutrition deposition levels to tropical epiphytes

Antibiotic discovery

  • Isolation of actinomycetes from different environments to identify new species with antibiotic production potential.
  • Expression of “silent” clusters from Streptomyces species to try to activate transcription and production of antibiotic pathways.
  • Understanding the role of MIP proteins (virulence factors) in a non-pathogenic Streptomyces
  • Modification of antibiotic biosynthetic clusters to increase production of natural products.

Mosquito disease vectors

  • Investigating insecticide resistance in the dengue and Zika mosquito vector Aedes aegypti
  • Competitive breeding of UK native and invasive species of mosquitoes that are disease vectors
  • The potential role of export of commercial bromeliads transporting mosquito disease vectors between countries