REP Project

April 25, 2024

Genomic windows into functional diversity within amphibian skin microbiomes

Image showing the poison frog, Dendrobates tinctorius and bacteria

Location: Bangor University.

6-week placement.

Host-associated microbial communities affect aspects of host health such as nutrition and resistance to disease. Microbial communities are typically characterised using single-gene markers (e.g. 16s); and while this approach is fundamental to understanding the composition of microbial communities and their responses to environmental changes, it cannot fully capture the functional consequences of changes in microbial community composition. One way to generate stronger links between microbes and their functions is by characterising the genes they carry via whole genome sequencing. Understanding the genes present within members of microbial communities—and their putative functions—will allow us to better predict processes that govern community function.

The primary objective of this project is to characterise potential functional differences between strains of bacterial isolates from the genera Sphingomonas and Chyseobacterium—two genera of amphibian skin-associated bacteria for which we have recently established cryopreserved strains derived from the poison frog, Dendrobates tinctorius. This Research Experience Placement will therefore provide an opportunity for you to develop skills in genome sequencing, genome annotation, microbial genomics, and bioinformatics.

For more details, please contact Dr. Aaron Comeault ( and Dr. Amy Ellison (

To apply

We encourage applications from students from all backgrounds. Please check you meet the eligibility criteria before completing the EDI Form 2024 ; this form is a mandatory part of the application process, but contains ‘prefer not to say’ options for all questions asked.

Once you have completed the online data collection form you will receive an email with the application form and details of how to apply to the supervisor. The application form should be completed and emailed to the lead supervisor along with a reference from your personal tutor.