Latest: New paper on emerging infectious diseases in Mammal Review
We systematically review the literature on land use change and zoonotic diseases, highlighting the most prominent mammalian reservoirs and pathogens, and identifying avenues for future research. Find out more!
White & Razgour 2020, Mammal Review doi: 10.1111/mam.12201
Rebekah J. White
Hello, welcome! I am a biological sciences PhD candidate in the UK. I am currently studying the evolution & genetics of ageing and late-life disease using nematode worms. I also love nature, science communication, palaeontology, disease dynamics, Charles Darwin, cancer biology, tropical ecology, natural history... basically all biology and evolution topics!
"When life gives you fungus, make penicillin."
What am I working on right now?
I am looking for the genes that are associated with a disease in elderly Pristionchus nematodes (little worms), called 'cuticular blistering disease'. This disease is inherited, but scientists are not sure why.
Natural selection should remove bad traits, so why does any disease get passed down? Finding the genes that cause this will help us find out why almost all living things become ill as they get older. For more details on this, check out my Research.
If you are an Exeter BSc / MSci Biology or Natural Sciences student and interested in joining us in the lab for your dissertation, please get in contact!
Check out my interview for Martina Bodner's SciComm for Everyone: Women in STEM blog series! I talk about social media, my research, and advice to young people thinking of pursing a career in science.
Scientists and the pandemic
Firstly - I am still able to answer emails, and will be presenting at virtual conferences instead of in person. As we started making the transition into working from home, myself and other scientists spoke with HelloBio about the current impacts of the pandemic on life science research.
"I put my stock nematodes into storage, dropped my experimental crosses into the biological waste bins, and sprayed down my bench for the last time in a while. Yes, I did apologise to the nematodes as the petri dishes fell from my hands, and I do feel sad that I cannot see this experiment through right now…. However, I have been growing increasingly worried about higher-risk friends and family, so while I am sure it was a tough decision for many, closing is for the best.” Read the full article here!
Do you have a life sciences PhD, but don't work in academia?
Do you love your job? We want to hear from you! At University of Exeter Postgraduate Life Science Society, we are looking for speakers for our upcoming virtual seminar series, Life After Your PhD. This aims to enlighten PhD researchers at Exeter about alternative careers outside of academia. Please get in contact if you are interested, or know someone who might be!
The Inheritable Diseases that May Make You Fitter...
Also known as antagonistic pleiotropy, one of the underlying theories of my thesis.
Confused? Watch my talk at Topic and Chat!
The second series has started. If you would like to present your research or attend, get in touch with @bioroom2 on Twitter. See you there!