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Organisms and environment

Understanding how organisms and their environment interact, including biology, ecology, and environmental change.

Find out more about our Danau Girang Field Centre in Malaysia

Research in the division of Organisms and Environment aims to understand how organisms and their environment interact with one another. This includes studies of fundamental biology, ecological health, and consequences of environmental change on biological diversity. Understanding interventions based on these topics could support conservation in a period of global change.

Research areas

Our Organisms and Environment research focuses on three specific areas:

  • Global change and resource resilience – exploring the effect of climate change, and other processes driven by man, on organisms and ecosystems
  • Conservation and evolution – to elucidate how disease, parasitism and habitat loss affect species survival
  • Understanding microbiomes and parasites – addressing the challenges of understanding how microbiomes interact with their hosts to drive both health and disease


This area of research is transdisciplinary in nature and the division has strong links with research groups across the sciences and social sciences, as well as direct links with University Research Institutes. This includes:

  • Water Research Institute
  • Data Innovation Institute
  • Danau Girang Field Centre in Sabah, Malaysia

A new Centre for Doctoral Training, One Health for One Environment: an A-Z Approach for Tackling Zoonoses, based at Cardiff University will open in September 2023. This is a collaboration between Aberystwyth University, Queen’s University Belfast, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

This division also has strong external affiliations with the Environment Agency, Natural Resource Wales, and British Ecological Society, as well as multiple charities and non-government organisations.

Fellowship and post-graduate applications

We welcome approaches by potential fellowship applicants whose interests map onto the divisional research areas.

We also welcome applications from PhD students with research interests that fit our strategic areas. Please contact for more information.

Other post-graduate opportunities include:

Staff members

NameArea of interest
Professor Jo Cable - Head of DivisionHost-parasite interactions, molecular and behavioural ecology.
Professor Peter Kille - Deputy Head of Division, ResearchHeavy metal stress, metallobiology, eco-toxico-genomics.
Dr Rob Thomas - Deputy Head of Division, TeachingAnimal behaviour in changing environments, conservation in practice.
Dr Cedric BergerHost-pathogen interactions, molecular and cellular microbiology.
Professor Colin BerryEnzyme targets for antiparasitic drugs. Insecticidal protein toxins from Bacillus species.
Dr Kelly BéruBéToxicogenomics of airborne pollutants.
Dr Tom Rhys BishopBiogeographic patterns of species, functional, and phylogenetic diversity in ants, invertebrates and ectotherms
Professor Lynne BoddyFungal community ecology, forest pathology, use of neural networks in species identification.
Dr Helen BrownHost-Microbe interactions, opportunistic pathogens, biofilm communities
Dr Elizabeth ChadwickCardiff University Otter Project.
Dr Sarah ChristofidesQuantitative ecology, microbial community ecology and food security.
Professor Tom ConnorPopulation genomics of bacterial pathogens, bioinformatics and translational microbiology.
Professor Isabelle DuranceEcosystem ecology, landscape ecology, sustainability.
Professor Benoît GoossensMolecular evolution, molecular ecology and behavioural ecology.
Dr Siân GriffithsFish biology, behavioural ecology.
Dr Frank HailerMolecular ecology. Evolutionary genetics. Conservation biology. Phylogeography. Hybridization. Mammals, birds.
Dr Hefin JonesCommunity ecology, climate change, entomology, microbial/soil ecology.
Dr Rhys Jones (Teaching and Scholarship)Herpetology.
Dr William Kay (Teaching and Scholarship)Tutor in Data Analysis and Statistics
Dr Joanne LelloCo-infection biology, host pathogen relationships, community ecology.
Professor David Lloyd (Honorary)Eukaryotic microbiology, control of energy metabolism; oscillations, rhythms and clocks.
Professor Esh Mahenthiralingam Bacterial infectious diseases and molecular microbiology.
Microbiology of the gut, bioactive agents from marine sponges.
Dr Carsten Müller - OnE Postgraduate TutorChemical ecology, environmental chemistry, waste management.
Professor Steve OrmerodRiver catchment ecology and avian biology.
Dr Pablo Orozco-terWengelGenomics, adaptation, conservation.
Dr Sarah PerkinsEcology of wildlife diseases, network science, real-time dynamics of infections using reporters, invasive species of ecology.
Dr Peter Randerson (Teaching and Scholarship)Landscape ecology.
Dr Isa-Rita RussoLandscape genetics/genomics and conservation genetics
Dr Julia Sanchez VilasEcology and evolution of plant sexual systems, sexual dimorphism, cost of reproduction, plant responses to stress, plant ecophysiology, plant population dynamics.
Dr Islam SobhyPlant-Microbe-Insect interactions, chemical ecology, induced plant defence and crop protection
Dr David StantonPalaeogenetics, ancient DNA, evolutionary genetics, conservation biology
Dr Ian VaughanCommunity and freshwater ecology
Professor Andy WeightmanGenetic adaptation of microbes to environmental challenges, sub-surface molecular microbiology, molecular systematics and metagenomics.
Dr Catrin WilliamsDetection and treatment of pathogens; gut microbiome; bioelectromagnetics
Dr Fredric WindsorNetwork ecology, freshwater ecosystems, environmental change