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Kimberley Summers

I am a second year PhD student at the University of Birmingham working in the Kreft lab. I am funded by the BBSRC as part of their MIBTP initiative. My PhD involves using a range of wet lab, mathematical and computational methods to study the ecology of the predatory bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus in order to investigate its potential as an alternative to antibiotics.

While predatory bacteria are ubiquitously distributed they are a little studied part of natural microbial ecosystems. Bdellovibrio are the best studied of the predatory bacteria. They are Gram negative deltaproteobacteria that prey upon a wide range of other Gram negative bacteria, including significant pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella and Pseudomonodas.

In the laboratory I intend to use chemostats to better understand predation dynamics in increasingly complex systems. In parallel to this I am introducing predation into the existing individual based model iDynoMiCS to study predation in both a chemostat and a biofilm environment.