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School of Environment and Life Sciences

Dr Kevin Bown

Senior Lecturer in Biology; Programme Leader for Biology and Zoology


I studied for my first degree in Zoology at the University of Cardiff before completing an MRes in Ecology and Environmental Management at the University of York. My PhD was at the University of Liverpool where I studied diseases of woodland rodents with particular focus on vector-borne infections, before working as a Postdoctoral Researcher on the transmission and ecology of vector borne disease at Liverpool. I joined the School of Environment and Life Sciences in 2011 as a Lecturer in Biology and since 2015 I have been Programme Leader for the Biology, and Zoology programmes. In 2018 I was promoted to Senior Lecturer. 


My teaching links to my background in ecology and infectious disease and I coordinate the second year module ‘Ecology in Action’, as well as teaching on modules such as ‘Veterinary and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases’.  I am interested in embedding quantitative skills through the curriculum both in formal statistics teaching and through practical, field and research based teaching.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the ecology and epidemiology of vector-borne infections. After discovering that rodents in the UK were reservoir hosts for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, a tick-borne bacterium of veterinary and medical importance, I undertook further research that demonstrated that different tick-host systems maintained discrete bacterial strains.

I am also investigating the ecology of Lyme borreliosis in northern England, assessing the role that different host species play in the maintenance of this medically important infection.

I am interested in the ecology of infectious diseases more generally, and the disruption of natural host-parasite relationships by invasive species.

Qualifications and Memberships

PgCert Academic Practice, University of Salford (2013)

PhD, University of Liverpool (2000)

MRes in Ecology and Environmental Management, University of York (1996)

BSc (Hons) in Zoology, University of Cardiff (1993)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)


J.L. Hall, K. Alpers, K.J. Bown, S.J. Martin & R.J. Birtles (2017). Use of mass-participation outdoor events to assess human exposure to tickborne pathogens. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 23, 463-467.

A.K. Turner, P.M. Beldomenico, K. Bown, S.J. Burthe, J.A. Jackson, X. Lambin & M. Begon (2014). Host-parasite biology in the real world: the field voles of Kielder. Parasitology, 141, 997-1017.

E.R. Kallio, M. Begon, R.J. Birtles, K.J. Bown, E. Koskela, T. Mappes & P.C.Watts (2014). First Report of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia microti in Rodents in Finland. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 14, 389-393.

S. Stuen, K.S. Pettersen, E.G. Granquist, K. Bergstrom, K.J. Bown & R.J. Birtles (2014). Anaplasma phagocytophilum variants in sympatric red deer (Cervus elaphus) and sheep in southern Norway. Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases, 4, 197-201.

J. Bettridge, M. Renard, F. Zhao, K.J. Bown & R.J. Birtles (2013). Distribution OF Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu lato in Ixodes ricinus populations across central Britain. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 13, 139-146.

Telfer, S & Bown, K. (2012). 'The effects of invasion on parasite dynamics and communities', Functional Ecology, 26, pp.1288-1299.

Harrison, A & Bown, K & Montgomery, I & Birtles, R. (2012). 'Ixodes ricinus is not an epidemiologically relevant vector of Bartonella species in the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus). ', Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 12, pp.366-371.

Bown, K & Lambin, X & Telford, G & Heyder-Bruckner, D & Ogden, N & Birtles, R. (2011). 'The Common Shrew (Sorex araneus): A Neglected Host of Tick-Borne Infections?', Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 11(7), pp.947-953.

Harrison, A & Montgomery, I & Bown, K. (2011), 'Investigating the persistence of tick-borne pathogens via the R(0) model', Parasitology, 138(7), pp.896-905.

Harrison, A & Bown, K & Horak, I. (2011). 'Detection of Anaplasma bovis in an undescribed tick species collected from the eastern rock sengi Elephantulus myurus', Journal of Parasitology, 97, pp.1012-1016.

Bown, K & Lambin, X & Ogden, N H & Begon, M & Telford, G & Woldehiwet, Z & Birtles, R. (2009). 'Delineating Anaplasma phagocytophilum Ecotypes in Coexisting, Discrete Enzootic Cycles', Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Bown, K & Lambin, X & Telford, G & Ogden, N & Telfer, S & Woldehiwet, Z & Birtles, R. (2008). 'Relative Importance of Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes trianguliceps as Vectors for Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia microti in Field Vole (Microtus agrestis) Populations', Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 74(23), pp.7118-7125.