Mr Shaun Keegan

  • Research Assistant (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health & Comparative Medicine)

Biography

I am a quantitative disease ecologist currently involved in the Combatting African Animal Trypanosomiasis (COMBAAT) project with Prof Louise Matthews, where I will be mathematically modelling the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in AAT and to determine how this can be limited.

I undertook my PhD in the 'Spatial Ecology of Host Parasite Communities' at the University of Liverpool under the supervision of Prof Andy Fenton, Prof Mike Begon and Dr Amy Pedersen from the University of Edinburgh. Throughout, I have focused on the issue of spatial scale and how ecological interactions scale over space. In particular, I have developed novel approaches to investigate the spatial scaling of within host interactions between parasite species. 

Before undertaking my PhD, I completed my BSc (Hons) Zoology from the University of Glasgow. Here is where I develeoped an interest i data analysis and mathematical modelling working with Prof Dan Haydon to explore complexity-stability relationships in food webs, returning to the work of Robert MacArthur's seminal 1955 paper.  

Aside from my research, I have taken an interest in LGBT+ equality and representation in STEM. Throughout my time at the University of Liverpool I pioneered visibility campaigns and networking events to bring LGBT+ scientists together.


Research interests

Antimicrobial Resistance

African Animal Trypanosomiasis (AAT) is a disease primarily caused by T. congolense and T. vivax. In the last 50 years, there have onlybeen 2 drugs availible to treat the parasites, and resistance has been growing. Treatment is also often given prophylactically, to provide protection to cattle in AAT endemic areas of Tanzania. I am interested in modelling the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in AAT in Tanzania with the aim to be able to identify key risk factors for AMR emergence.

This work is undertaken as part of the Combatting African Animal Trypanosomiasis (COMBAAT) group.