January 13, 2017

Sarah Goertz

Sarah Goertz 400 x 400 px

PhD: Causes and consequences of Immune variation in rodents

University of Nottingham

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I am an enthusiastic and dedicated postgraduate research student. Previous work includes research on the utility of captive breeding and release programmes in conservation, a subject I feel very strongly about, as well as ecological changes of macro moth populations in North Wales. I also have a love and great interest for birds of prey and have been working with owls at the North Wales Bird Trust throughout my undergraduate studies and have experience in zoo keeping.

Past Education:

2015-present PhD, “Immune variation in wild rodents”, University of Nottingham

2014-2015 MRes Ecology, “Diversity of Lepidoptera”, Merit, Bangor University

2011-2014 BSc Marine Biology and Zoology, First Class Honours, Bangor University

Research Project:

Allergies and auto-immune diseases have become an increasing problem in modern society with research focusing on the origins and causes of these disorders in our immune system. The hygiene hypothesis suggests that the amount of exposure to pathogens and parasites early on in life may be an important factor for the type of immune response we develop later in life. A balanced and healthy gut flora is also a key part in forming our immune response and imbalances in gut microbiota due to disease or parasites can lead to changes in immune response. My PhD project will focus on the interactions between parasites and gut microbiota and the impact changes in the gut flora has on the immune response in wild rodents. Wild rodent species can be a useful model system for natural interactions between multiple pathogen and parasite infections on the immune system.