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Pavel Payne

About me:

My research is driven by curiosity of how bacterial population evolve and adapt to various abiotic and biotic challenges in their environments, with a special focus on adaptation to antibiotics and pathogenic life history strategies. I tend to look at bacteria from the population genetics perspective, thus asking questions such as (i) what are the evolutionary forces that generate and maintain genetic polymorphism in bacterial populations, (ii) to what extent different genotypes compete with on another (clonal interference), (iii) what are the rates and means of genetic exchange between individual bacteria, and (iv) how this genetic transfer contribute to adaptation. 

As an undergraduate, I studied Ecology and Theoretical and Evolutionary biology at the Charles University in Prague. After I finished undergraduate studies I started my PhD at IST Austria under supervision of Jonathan Bollback and Nick Barton, which I completed in early 2017. My research focus there was on experimental and theoretical understanding of bacterial herd immunity - a process in which resistant individuals limit the spread of a phage pathogen among susceptible hosts. Besides that, I also experimentally studied bacterial social immunity - a phenomenon whereby bacteria communicate by small peptide pheromones to warn other population members about an incoming phage epidemic. Currently I work as a research associate at the University of Liverpool, where I focus on the role of bacterial immunity in horizontal gene transfer.



2011 - 2017

Institute of Science and Technology Austria

Advisor: Jonathan Bollback, Nick Barton

Thesis title: Bacterial Herd and Social Immunity to Phages

MSc, Evolutionary Biology

2009 - 2011

Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

Advisor: Jitka Polechová

Thesis title: The Role of Genetic Variance in Speciation

B.Sc., Ecology

2005 - 2009
Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

Advisor: Petr Sklenář


Payne P, Geyrhofer L, Barton NH, Bollback JP; CRISPR-based herd immunity can limit phage epidemics in bacterial populations, eLife 2018;7:e32035 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.32035

Manuscripts in Preparation:

Payne P, Acar H, Bollback JP; Differential gene expression of E. coli in standard and stressful environments

Payne P, Acar H, Bollback JP; Differential gene expression of E. coli in standard and stressful environments

Public outreach

Does herd immunity occur in bacteria? Life-on-Earth.

Contact details:

Functional and Comparative Genomics
Institute of Integrative Biology

Biosciences Building
University of Liverpool
Liverpool, L69 7ZB, UK


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