Professional summary

Glenn is presently a Higher Scientific Officer within the UKCEH Lake Ecosystems Group. He first joined UKCEH's predecessor IFE Windermere and went on to complete his NERC-Liverpool University PhD on mobile genetic elements in bacteria from within the post-glacial sediments of Windermere. His IFE/UKCEH supervisor at the time, Roger Pickup, became a long term collaborator with whom the majority of his research to date has been carried out.

After completion of his PhD and in collaboration with colleagues in Ireland and Belgium and through EU grant funding his research addressed antibiotic resistance (mainly tetracycline) between environmental compartments and were the first to show that a specific group of resistance plasmids have global ubiquity and are not confined to any human-defined environmental compartments. This also led to the first DNA sequence and description of a globally significant IncU plasmid, pFBAOT6.

This work was followed by what became a long standing interest in the environmental distribution, epidemiology and microbial ecology of the animal and human pathogen Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP). They were the first to show that MAP can survive for long periods in river water, can replicate within amoebal hosts and to predict its occurrence based upon hydrological data. They also provided the first model of environmental sources and sinks of MAP with respect to human exposure.

They have confirmed that river aerosols and domestic showers are also route for exposure to MAP and on an unrelated topic have discovered a novel mobile genetic element that they termed an 'integron-like element' (ILE) that potentially has significant influence on the adaptation and evolution of bacterial pathogens.

Glenn also works within the Environmental Data Centre (EIDC) which is one of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) commissioned Data Centres based at UKCEH.