Laura Brettell

Postdoctoral research associate in vector biology

Laura completed her PhD at the University of Salford (2017) investigating the ecology of honey bee-associated viruses (primarily Deformed wing virus). She then worked as a postdoc at Western Sydney University, where she continued to study insect-associated microbes and their affect on pollinator heaIth using a combination of field and laboratory studies along with with bioinformatic analyses.

Laura joined LSTM as a postdoctoral research associate in 2021 where she focusses on mosquito-microbe interactions. She uses laboratory studies and ‘omics techniques to understand what makes bacteria successful colonizers of the mosquito gut and how they interact with their host. She is also interested in insect specific viruses and how these may affect mosquitoes.

Laura is the Recipient of the Jean Clayton Fund 2021/22 - Project title: Identification of viruses infecting Aedes detritus (£2249.00)


Selected publications

  • Hall, M.A., Brettell, L.E., Liu, H., Nacko, S., Spooner-Hart, R., Riegler, M. and Cook, J.M., 2021. Temporal changes in the microbiome of stingless bee foragers following colony relocation. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 97(1), p.fiaa236.

    Sharpe, S.R., Morrow, J.L., Brettell, L.E., Shearman, D.C., Gilchrist, S., Cook, J.M. and Riegler, M., 2021. Tephritid fruit flies have a large diversity of co-occurring RNA viruses. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, p.107569.

    Brettell, L.E., Riegler, M., O'Brien, C. and Cook, J.M., 2020. Occurrence of honey bee-associated pathogens in Varroa-free pollinator communities. Journal of invertebrate pathology, 171, p.107344.

    Brettell, L.E., Schroeder, D.C. and Martin, S.J., 2020. RNAseq of Deformed wing virus and other honey bee-associated viruses in eight insect taxa with or without Varroa infestation. Viruses, 12(11), p.1229.

    Brettell, L.E., Schroeder, D.C. and Martin, S.J., 2019. RNAseq analysis reveals virus diversity within hawaiian apiary insect communities. Viruses, 11(5), p.397.

    Brettell, L.E., Mordecai, G.J., Schroeder, D.C., Jones, I.M., Da Silva, J.R., Vicente-Rubiano, M. and Martin, S.J., 2017. A comparison of deformed wing virus in deformed and asymptomatic honey bees. Insects, 8(1), p.28.

    Mordecai, G.J., Brettell, L.E., Pachori, P., Villalobos, E.M., Martin, S.J., Jones, I.M. and Schroeder, D.C., 2016. Moku virus; a new Iflavirus found in wasps, honey bees and Varroa. Scientific reports, 6(1), pp.1-6.

    Mordecai, G.J., Brettell, L.E., Martin, S.J., Dixon, D., Jones, I.M. and Schroeder, D.C., 2016. Superinfection exclusion and the long-term survival of honey bees in Varroa-infested colonies. The ISME journal, 10(5), pp.1182-1191.

    Martin, S.J., Highfield, A.C., Brettell, L., Villalobos, E.M., Budge, G.E., Powell, M., Nikaido, S. and Schroeder, D.C., 2012. Global honey bee viral landscape altered by a parasitic mite. Science, 336(6086), pp.1304-1306.