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Laura Hayes

Miss Laura Hayes

Graduate Demonstrator

School of Biosciences


I obtained an Mbiol in Biological Sciences from Cardiff University in 2019, with a focus on animal behaviour and disease ecology. For the past year, I have been employed as a senior technician with an international animal nutrition company, testing the effectiveness of feed additives containing natural compounds in boosting fish immunity against parasitic infections.  I am now undertaking a PhD at Cardiff University under the supervision of Prof. Jo Cable, Dr Anna Paziewska-Harris and Dr Tom Williams in collaboration with my stakeholder partner, Public Health Wales. Broadly, this project looks into the fate of Cryptosporidium oocysts in the environment. Cryptospordium species are critical waterborne parasites and the second world leading cause of diarrhoea, a status set to worsen in the near future following implementation of the rotavirus vaccination. The huge excess production of oocysts compared to the infective dose (only 10 oocysts can start an infection) suggests that in the natural environment, most oocysts are removed biotically, probably by grazing and suspension feeding invertebrates and protists. These interactions are likely adversely affected by anthropogenic change. This research provides the exciting opportunity to study a blue marble pathogen which has far reaching implications for the health of both animals and humans in developing and developed countries.