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Alison Mather

Epidemiology, genomics and antimicrobial resistance of bacterial pathogens

In my research, I use a combination of epidemiology and genomics to understand the evolution, diversity and transmission of microbial pathogens, with a particular focus on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in zoonotic bacteria, such as Salmonella enterica.

I am particularly interested in understanding the factors associated with the evolution and spread of AMR both within and between different host populations and locations, with an appreciation that the epidemiology of the resistance may not necessarily be linked to that of the bacteria that carry it. To do this, I use whole genome sequences of large, long-term bacterial collections, and apply phylogenetic, statistical and epidemiological tools. I am also interested in understanding the population structure and dynamics of other enteric pathogens, such as Escherichia coli, Vibrio cholerae, and Campylobacter

Key Publications

Google Scholar - link to all publications 

Esson, D., Mather, A.E., Scanlan, E., Gupta, S., de Vries, S.P.W., Bailey, D., Harris, S.R., McKinley, T.J., Meric, G., Berry, S.K., Mastroeni, P., Sheppard, S.K., Christie, G., Thomson, N.R., Parkhill, J., Maskell, D.J. and Grant, A.J. (2016) Genomic variations leading to alterations in cell morphology of Campylobacter spp. Sci. Reports. doi: 10.1038/srep38303. 

Mather, A.E., Vaughan, T.G. and French, N.F. (2015) Molecular approaches to understanding transmission and source attribution in non-typhoidal Salmonella and their application in Africa. Clin, Infect. Dis. 61 Suppl 4, S259-65.  

Baker, K.S., Mather, A.E., McGregor, H., Coupland, P., Langridge, G.C., Deheer-Graham, A., Parkhill, J., Russell, J.E. and Thomson, N.R. (2014) Lessons from an extant World War I relic: The dysentery bacillus NCTC1. The Lancet. 8. 1691-1697. 

Mather, A.E., Reid, S.W.J., Maskell, D.J., Parkhill, J., Fookes, M.C., Harris, S.R., Brown, D.J., Coia, J.E., Mulvey, M.R., Gilmour, M.W., Petrovska, L., de Pinna, E., Kuroda, M., Akiba, M., Izumiya, H., Connor, T.R., Suchard, M.A., Lemey, P., Mellor, D.J., Haydon, D.T. and Thomson, N.R. (2013) Distinguishable epidemics of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 in different hosts. Science. 341. 1514-1517. 

Mather, A.E., Matthews, L., Mellor, D.J., Reeve, R., Denwood, M.J., Boerlin, P., Reid-Smith, R.J., Brown, D.J., Coia, J.E., Browning, L.M., Haydon, D.T., and Reid, S.W.J. (2012) An ecological approach to assessing the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance in animal and human populations. Proc. R. Soc. B. 279, 1630 – 1639.


Dr Alison Mather

BBSRC Research Fellow


    Plain English

    I study the evolution and transmission of bacteria between different populations, with a particular focus on bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobial drugs. I use a combination of approaches from epidemiology, ecology and genomics to understand where they come from and how they spread.