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Durham University

Research & business

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Dr Rebecca Clark

Assistant Professor in the Department of Biosciences

(email at

Research Interests

Host-associated microbial populations have a significant and wide-ranging influence on the physiology of the host organism. We aim to identify the drivers of this dynamic host-microbe association through the use of the fruit-fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a simple model organism.

We have a particular interest in the impact of the intestinal microbial population on the aging process of the host, and on the maintenance of health, or development of disease, in aged animals. Our ultimate goal is to inform the development of interventions that will allow us to engage the microbial population in the maintenance of host health throughout the lifespan.

We have three main areas of interest:

1) Identifying the drivers of microbial population dynamics during the lifespan of the host.

2) Understanding the impact of microbial dynamics on whole-animal physiology during aging.

3) Characterising microbial contributions to the maintenance, or decline, of gastrointestinal function in aged animals.

Research Groups

Department of Biosciences


Journal Article