Prof Joanne Hamilton PhD, PGCEtHE, SFHEA, FRSB.

Prof Joanne Hamilton


Department of Life Sciences

Contact Details


I am a Professor of Zoology and Parasitology in the Department of Life Sciences at Aberystwyth University. My research focuses on the use of proteomic and molecular technologies to explore host- parasite interactions in a wide variety of host-parasite systems including blood-sucking insects and nematodes and trematodes of medical and veterinary importance. My twenty-five-year passion for parasites and research-led teaching extends to STEM education and outreach through leadership of programmes to increase science capital at all stages of learners' journeys. This ranges from schools' engagement (£8.2M Trio Sci Cymru project and SusNet Wales) to developing the next generation of zoonotic disease scientists (Research Culture and Wellbeing lead of the £7.2 M OneZoo Centre for Doctoral Training). I am the Faculty Associate Dean for Learning, Teaching and Student Experience, Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Advance HE), Fellow of the Royal Society for Biology and the current President of the British Society for Parasitology.     



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Example of PhD Project

Arthropods as environmental reservoirs of potential human pathogens
Cronobacter sakazakii (formerly known as Enterobacter sakazakii) is a foodborne pathogen that causes meningitis, sepsis, or necrotizing enterocolitis in newborns, particularly affecting premature or other immunocompromised infants. Morbidity&mortality associated with C. sakazakii infection in neonates varies considerably, & mortality rates as high as 80% have been recorded. Although most documented cases involve infants, reports also describe adult infections. Whilst this organism has been susceptible to antibiotics in the past, there is concern regarding antibiotic resistance in C. sakazakii. C. sakazakii was isolated from the guts of larvae of the stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans, demonstrating, for the first time, an environmental reservoir for C. sakazakii & raising the possibility that environmental contamination by insects may be important in the spread of this opportunistic organism (Hamilton, Lehane & Braig, 2003). This PhD project will investigate the role of arthropods as environmental reservoirs of human pathogens using a combination of entomological, molecular & bioinformatics approaches.

Joanne V. Hamilton, Michael J. Lehane, & Henk R. Braig. Isolation of Enterobacter sakazakii from Midgut of Stomoxys calcitrans. Emerg Infect Dis. 2003 Oct.

If you are interested in pursuing postgraduate research with me please contact me .


My research focuses on the use of proteomic and molecular technologies to explore host- parasite interactions. My current interests are unravelling the complexities of innate immunity in a range of invertebrates and in exploring the mechanisms used by parasites to overcome the host immune system. Current projects include drug resistance mechanisms in model and parasitic nematodes; liver fluke biology; tsetse fly-trypanosome interactions; immunity in Giant African land snails; immunity in Biomphalaria sp. (an intermediate snail host involved in the transmission of schistosomiasis); schistosome biology and the role of the arthropod gut in the transmission of human pathogens.

I also had a major role in ensuring that University research becomes part of the school curriculum as Principal Investigator on the RCUK funded Schools University Partnership Initiative: SusNet Wales (Sustainability Network Wales.

SusNet Wales is a collaborative multi-disciplinary approach to delivering modules in Sustainability and Social Responsibility developed, led and delivered by practising researchers within Aberystwyth University. It provides exposure to world class research to encourage young people to pursue relevant post-16 studies, establish research careers and become better informed global citizens.

More recently, through my passion for promoting STEM research and education, I am the Aberystwyth University Biology PI on the on the £8.2million pan-Wales Trio Sci Cymru initiative to increase STEM uptake in Wales. This initiative is funded by the Welsh Government and WEFO. 


  • Commendation Award House of Commons, Science Engineering and Technology for Britain.
  • BBSRC Schools Regional Champion (2011-2013)


In addition to my teaching and research roles I am also the Associate Dean for the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences. 

Research Groups

  • Parasitology and Helminth Control


Hamilton, J & Hughes, PM 2017, School-University Partnerships Lessons from the RCUK-funded School-University Partnerships Initiative (SUPI). National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement. <>
Hamilton, J, Davey, H & Rose, M 2016, Life Sciences Aberystwyth University: A Blended Higher Education Environment for Raising Ambition, Aspirations and driving Social Mobility. Response to Welsh Government’s Consultation on Foundation Degrees in Wales.
Hamilton, J, Grattan, J & Hughes, P 2016, SusNet Wales: Blended Learning Environments for Raising Ambition, Aspirations and driving Social Mobility.
Hamilton, J, Grattan, J & Hughes, P 2016, SusNet Wales: Blended Learning Environments for Raising Ambition, Aspirations and driving Social Mobility. <>
Hart, E, Brophy, P, Prescott, M, Bartley, DJ, Wolf, B & Hamilton, JV 2015, 'A new enabling proteomics methodology to investigate membrane associated proteins from parasitic nematodes: Case study using ivermectin resistant and ivermectin susceptible isolates of Caenorhabditis elegans and Haemonchus contortus', Veterinary Parasitology, vol. 207, no. 3-4, pp. 266-275. 10.1016/j.vetpar.2014.12.003
More publications on the Research Portal