The microbes living in our guts have a profound influence on the way we function. They have been found to affect immune system development, diabetes, obesity and even cancer. Understanding the gut microbiota therefore, is very important for health. Besides this, the gut microbiota is one of the most dense ecosystems known to man, and the gut microbiota outnumber human cells by over a 1000 to 1!

Our work focuses on simplifying the enormous complexity of the gut microbiota down to its essentials. To achieve this, we work with both models and simplified experimental systems. The above image shows a model of the rumen, where a system containing several thousand microbial species has been successfully simplified down to a 4-species system. Current and planned work includes questions like:

University of Birmingham | Centre for Systems Biology | Institute of Microbiology and Infection | School of Biosciences | Find The Lab