Dr Joe Ironside PhD

Dr Joe Ironside

Senior Lecturer

Contact Details


I obtained a BSc(Hons) in Biology and an MSc in Ecology from Bangor University before moving to The University of Leeds to engage in PhD studies of the evolution of parasitic sex ratio distortion in amphipod crustaceans. After a period of postdoctoral research into sex chromosome evolution at Birmingham University, I joined Aberystwyth University as Lecturer in Animal Genetics. Since then, I have continued my studies of sex-ratio distorting parasites, particularly the microsporidian parasites of crustaceans. I have broadened my research to study microsporidian phylogenetics and life cycles, particularly the evolution of sex in these unusual organisms. I have also studied the population genetics of the parasites' crustacean and mollusc hosts and this has led to research into conservation genetics of commercially harvested shellfish. I teach at all levels, from foundation, through undergraduate to masters and have developed several modules in genetics and evolutionary biology. I also participate in the governance of Aberystwyth University as a member of its Senate and Council.



Parasitic sex-ratio distortion, evolution of sex chromosomes, parasite biodiversity, population and conservation genetics of shellfish and other animals.



Ironside, J., Wilkinson, T. 2017 (In press). Accumulation and exchange of parasites during adaptive radiation in an ancient lake. International Journal for Parasitology

Pickup, J., Ironside, J. 2017. Multiple origins of parasitic feminisation: thelygeny and intersexuality in beach-hoppers are caused by paramyxid parasites, not microsporidia. Parasitology 10.1017/S0031182017001597


Watson, H., McKeown, N., Coscia, I., Wootton, E., Ironside, J. 2016. Population genetic structure of the European lobster (Homarus gammarus) in the Irish Sea and implications for the effectiveness of the first British marine protected area. Fisheries Research 183 pp. 287-293. 10.1016/j.fishres.2016.06.015 Cadair


Arundell, K., Dunn, A., Alexander, J.L., Shearman, R., Archer, N.L., Ironside, J. 2015. Enemy release and genetic founder effects in invasive killer shrimp populations of Great Britain. Biological Invasions 17 (5) pp. 1439-1451. 10.1007/s10530-014-0806-y Cadair

Ironside, J., Alexander, J.L. 2015. Microsporidian parasites feminise hosts without paramyxean co-infection: support for convergent evolution of parasitic feminisation. International Journal for Parasitology 45 (6) pp. 427-433. 10.1016/j.ijpara.2015.02.001 Cadair


Ironside, J.E. 2013. Diversity and recombination of dispersed ribosomal DNA and protein coding genes in microsporidia. PLoS One 8 (2) e55878 10.1371/journal.pone.0055878 Cadair

Ovcharenko, M.O., Świątek, P., Ironside, J.E., Skalski, T. 2013. Orthosomella lipae sp. n. (Microsporidia) a parasite of the weevil, Liophloeus lentus Germar, 1824 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 112 (1) pp. 33-40. 10.1016/j.jip.2012.10.007 Cadair


Coscia, I., Robins, P., Porter, J., Malham, S., Ironside, J.E. 2012. Modelled larval dispersal and measured gene flow: seascape genetics of the common cockle Cerastoderma edule in the southern Irish Sea: Conservation Genetics. Conservation Genetics 14 (2) pp. 1-16. 10.1007/s10592-012-0404-4 Other Cadair


Ironside, J.E., Smith, J.E., Hatcher, M.J., Dunn, A.M. 2011. Should sex ratio distorting parasites abandon horizontal transmission? BMC Evolutionary Biology 11 370 10.1186/1471-2148-11-370 Cadair

Lawton, S.P., Hirai, H., Ironside, J.E., Johnston, D.A., Rollinson, D. 2011. Genomes and geography: genomic insights into the evolution and phylogeography of the genus Schistosoma. Parasites & Vectors 4 (1) 131 pp. Paper 131. 10.1186/1756-3305-4-131 Other Cadair

Wilkinson, T.J., Rock, J., Whiteley, N.M., Ovcharenko, M.O., Ironside, J.E. 2011. Genetic diversity of the feminising microsporidian parasite Dictyocoela: new insights into host-specificity, sex and phylogeography. International Journal for Parasitology 41 (9) pp. 959-966. 10.1016/j.ijpara.2011.04.002 Cadair


Gamarra, J.G., Ironside, J., De Vere, N., Allainguillaume, J., Wilkinson, M.J. 2010. Research-based Residential Fieldwork Learning: Double Bonus? Bioscience Education 16 (1) pp. 1-9. 10.3108/beej.16.6 Cadair

Ironside, J.E. 2010. No amicable divorce? Challenging the notion that sexual antagonism drives sex chromosome evolution. BioEssays 32 (8) pp. 718-726. 10.1002/bies.200900124 Cadair

Ovcharenko, M.O., Bacela, K., Wilkinson, T., Ironside, J.E., Rigaud, T., Wattier, R.A. 2010. Cucumispora dikerogammari n. gen. (Fungi: Microsporidia) infecting the invasive amphipod Dikerogammarus villosus: a potential emerging disease in European rivers. Parasitology 137 (2) pp. 191-204. 10.1017/S0031182009991119 Cadair


Barber, I., Davies, A.J., Ironside, J.E., Forsgren, E., Amundsen, T. 2009. First record of a Kabatana sp. microsporidium infecting fish in the Atlantic Ocean. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 83 (2) pp. 145-152. 10.3354/dao02019 Cadair Other

Wright, H.A., Ironside, J.E., Gwynn-Jones, D. 2009. Sustainability in bioscience fieldwork: Practical information from a UK agricultural research institute. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 10 (1) pp. 54-67. 10.1108/14676370910925253 Cadair


Ironside, J.E., Wilkinson, T.J., Rock, J. 2008. Distribution and host range of the microsporidian Pleistophora mulleri. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 55 (4) pp. 355-362. 10.1111/j.1550-7408.2008.00338.x Cadair

Wright, H.A., Ironside, J.E., Gwynn-Jones, D. 2008. The current state of sustainability in bioscience laboratories: a statistical examination of a UK tertiary institute. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 9 (3) pp. 282-294. 10.1108/14676370810885899 Cadair


Hibbett, D.S., Binder, M., Bischoff, J.F., Blackwell, M., Cannon, P.F., Eriksson, O.E., Huhndorf, S., James, T.Y., Kirk, P.M., Lücking, R., Lumbsch, H.T., Lutzoni, F., Matheny, P.B., McLaughlin, D.J., Powell, M.J., Redhead, S., Schoch, C.L., Spatafora, J.W., Stalpers, J.A., Vilgalys, R., Aime, M.C., Aptroot, A., Bauer, R., Begerow, D., Benny, G.L., Castlebury, L.A., Crous, P.W., Dai, Y., Gams, W., Geiser, D.M., Griffith, G.W., Gueidan, C., Hawskworth, D.L., Hestmark, G., Hosaka, K., Humber, R.A., Hyde, K.D., Ironside, J.E., Kõljalg, U., Kurtzman, C.P., Larsson, K., Lichtwardt, R., Longcore, J.E., Miądlikowska, J., Miller, A., Moncalvo, J., Mozley-Standridge, S.E., Oberwinkler, F., Permasto, E., Reeb, V. 2007. A higher-level phylogenetic classification of the Fungi. Mycological Research 111 (5) pp. 509-547. 10.1016/j.mycres.2007.03.004 Cadair

Ironside, J.E. 2007. Multiple losses of sex within a single genus of Microsporidia. BMC Evolutionary Biology 7 48 10.1186/1471-2148-7-48 Cadair


Ironside, J.E., Filatov, D.A. 2005. Extreme population structure and high interspecific divergence of the Silene Y chromosome. Genetics 171 (2) pp. 705-713. 10.1534/genetics.105.041210 Cadair


Ironside, J.E., Dunn, A.M., Rollinson, D., Smith, J.E. 2003. Association with host mitochondrial haplotypes suggests that feminizing microsporidia lack horizontal transmission. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 16 (6) pp. 1077-1083. 10.1046/j.1420-9101.2003.00625.x Other Cadair

Ironside, J.E., Smith, J.E., Hatcher, M.J., Sharpe, R.G., Rollinson, D., Dunn, A.M. 2003. Two species of feminizing microsporidian parasite coexist in populations of Gammarus duebeni. Journal of Evolutionary Biology pp. 467-473. 10.1046/j.1420-9101.2003.00539.x Cadair