Dr Gemma Murray

MPhys, MA, MPhil, MSc, PhD

Research Fellow

College Jobs

  • Wheldale Onslow Junior Research Fellow

University Jobs

  • Research Associate, Department of Veterinary Medicine

Contact

Email: ggrm2@cam.ac.uk

Biography

I am currently a Research Associate in the Department of Veterinary Medicine, and hold the Wheldale Onslow Junior Research Fellowship in Evolutionary Biology at Newnham College.

I studied Physics as an undergraduate at the University of St Andrews, and Philosophy as a postgraduate at the University of Western Ontario and the University of Cambridge. I began my study of evolutionary biology at the University of Edinburgh, where I completed a master’s degree in Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis, and worked as a Research Assistant for a project on infectious disease in East African cattle.

I undertook my PhD in the Department of Genetics in Cambridge, where I developed methods of analysing bacterial genome sequences to understand how pathogens evolve and respond to selective pressures. Following this, I spent two years as a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where I studied the genomes of extinct and endangered animals through analysis of ancient DNA.

Research Interests

I am an evolutionary biologist, whose research has involved investigating genome evolution across a variety of taxa. I am interested in the influence of natural selection on the evolution of populations,
especially in relation to the evolution of bacterial pathogens.

I am currently investigating why bacteria that cause disease often have smaller genomes and fewer genes than their closest non-pathogenic relatives. I am studying this link in Streptococcus suis, which is an important pathogen of pigs that is also capable of transmission into humans.