Last week I attended the Society for General Microbiology’s Autumn Conference held this year at the University of Sussex in Brighton (actually just outside of Brighton in Falmer). The main reason for going was the ‘Impact of bacteriophage in the environment’ session co-hosted by collaborator Martha Clokie from the University of Leicester. I saw some excellent talks, for instance Karin Holmfeldt spoke about her genomic discoveries of unusual phages infecting Bacteroidetes in the Baltic Sea, Heather Allison spoke about population dynamics of shiga toxin gene carrying phages that can turn harmless E. coli into dangerous pathogens and Hans Peter Kleppen gave a great overview of phage therapy in the context of fish farming. Martha remarked that the 1990’s were about phage abundance, the 2000’s about phage diversity and the 2010’s will be about phage ecology; I think she is spot on!
Going to this conference also gave me the opportunity to catch up with University of Sussex odose collaborator Adam Eyre-Walker and talk about follow-up papers. Good talks, a good organization, lovely weather and as you can see I briefly managed to see some of Brighton’s sights when travelling on to Beijing (next post)!