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Ecology and Conservation

 Meaghan Castledine

Meaghan Castledine

Postdoctoral Researcher

 Environment and Sustainability Institute 


Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK


My PhD research focusses on bacteria-phage interactions during clinical phage therapy. Phage therapy is the use of viruses (phage) to treat bacterial diseases and is being trialled as a complement or alternative to antibiotics. The advantage of using phage is that they can evolve rapidly in response to bacterial resistance which antibiotics cannot. Additionally, evolving resistance to phage is costly for bacteria and therefore may improve the efficacy of antibiotics or the immune system in clearing infections. The aim of my PhD is to understand how bacteria and phage are coevolving in patients with often chronic and antibiotic resistant infections. This will involve replicating coevolution in vitro (to compare in vivo), sequencing their DNA and tracking the evolution of other phenotypes such as virulence.


2015 - 2019: MSci Evolutionary Biology (University of Exeter)


Castledine M., Padfield D. & Buckling A. 2020 Experimental (co)evolution in a multispecies microbial community results in local maladaptation. Ecol. Lett. DOI:

Castledine M., Sierocinski P., Padfield D, Buckling A. 2020 Community coalescence: an eco-evolutionary perspective. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 375: 20190252.

Padfield, D., Castledine, M. & Buckling, A. (2019) Temperature-dependent changes to host–parasite interactions alter the thermal performance of a bacterial host. ISME. DOI:

Castledine M., Buckling A. & Padfield, D. (2019) A shared coevolutionary history does not alter the outcome of coalescence in experimental populations of Pseudomonas fluorescens. J. Evol. Biol. DOI:

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Research interests

  • Phage therapy
  • Host - parasite coevolution
  • Microbial communities
  • Evolutionary ecology

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