22-25 July 2021 Jodrell Bank Observatory

Worlds within our Guts

Dr Kat Coyte is a Presidential Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. Kat received her PhD in microbial ecology and evolution from the University of Oxford, then spent a year in New York studying how microbial communities shape cancer treatment outcomes. In 2017 she moved to Harvard Medical School where she worked with clinicians to investigate how microbial communities help or harm preterm babies, and in 2019 she moved to Manchester, where she’s been using interdisciplinary approaches to study all sorts of host-associated microbiomes.

Talk: Worlds within our Guts

Every one of us harbours a vast array of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live inside us and are vital for our own health. Though invisible to the naked eye, together these microbes form a community as complex and interconnected as a rainforest or a coral reef. Some microbes are locked in fierce competition, fighting for space or food, while others are working together, helping one another and sometimes even helping us. In this talk I’ll discuss how we can combine mathematics, big data, and simple experiments to understand, and perhaps even to manipulate, our own microbial communities. In doing so, we’ll also explore what these tiny microbial worlds might be able to teach us about the increasingly fragile ecosystems around us.