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School of Environment and Life Sciences

Dr Rachael Antwis

Lecturer in Global Ecology and Conservation


After completing my PhD at the University of Manchester looking at how environmental variables shape the bacterial communities of amphibians, I conducted a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at North-West University in South Africa to look more closely at interactions between bacterial communities of amphibian hosts and the hyper-virulent chytrid fungus. Following that, I took up my current position as a Lecturer in Global Ecology and Conservation at the University of Salford.


I teach on a number of undergraduate and Masters modules centred around wildlife conservation and field biology. Wherever possible, I use field trips, organisational visits and real-world assessment to complement the students learning, and adopt a student-led approach to content design and delivery. 

Research Interests

My research looks at how to harness the incredible functional power of microbes to solve real-world problems, ranging from wildlife disease to environmental contamination. I use both field and experimental study systems for this research, and work in collaboration with the James Hutton Institute, the Institute of Zoology (Zoological Society of London), Manchester Metropolitan University, North-West University in South Africa, and a number of organisations including Scottish Natural Heritage, City of Trees and The Woodland Trust. 

Qualifications and Memberships

I am the Co-Secretary of the Microbial Ecology Special Interest Group at the British Ecological Society, a member of the Steering Committee for the Amphibian Conservation Research Symposium, and Scientific Editor for The Herpetological Journal.

Member of the British Ecological Society

Member of the Society for Applied Microbiology

B.Sc. (Hons) Zoology, University of Manchester

Ph.D. Environmental Biology, University of Manchester


  • Antwis RE, Griffiths SM, Harrison XA, Aranega-Bou P, Arce A, Bettridge AS, Brailsford FL, de Menezes A, Devaynes A, Forbes KM, Fry EL, Goodhead I, Haskell E, Heys C, James C, Johnston SR, Lewis GR, Lewis Z, Macey MC, McCarthy A, McDonald JE, Mejia-Florez NL, O’Brien D, Orland C, Pautasso M, Reid WDK, Robinson H, Wilson K, Sutherland WJ. (2017) 50 important research questions in microbial ecology. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 93.
  • Rebollar EA, Antwis RE, Becker MH, Belden LK, Bletz MC, Brucker RM, Harrison XA, Hughey MC, Kueneman JG, Loudon AH, McKenzie V, Medina D, Minbiole KPC, Rollins-Smith LA, Walke JB, Weiss S, Woodhams DC, Harris RN. (2016) Using "omics" and integrated multi-omics approaches to guide probiotic selection to mitigate chytridiomycosis and other emerging infectious diseases. Frontiers in Microbiology, 7, 68.
  • Meredith HM, VanBuren CS, Antwis RE. (2016) Making amphibian conservation more effective. Conservation Evidence, 13, 1-5.
  • Antwis RE, Preziosi RF, Garner TWJ. (2015) Amphibian symbiotic bacteria do not show universal ability to inhibit growth of the global pandemic lineage of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, doi: 10.1128/AEM.00010-15.
  • Woodhams DC, Alford R, Antwis RE, Archer H, Becker MH, Belden LK, Bell SC, Bletz M, Daskin JH, Davis LA, Flechas SV, Lauer A, Peña AG, Harris RN, Holden WM, Hughey MC, Ibañez R, Knight R, Kueneman J, Rabemananjara F, Reinert LK, Rollins-Smith LA, Roman-Rodriguez F, Shaw SD, Walke JB, McKenzie V. (2015) Antifungal Isolates Database of Amphibian Skin-Associated Bacteria and Function Against Emerging Fungal Pathogens: Ecological Archives E096-059. Ecology, 96: 595-595.
  • Antwis RE, Purcell R, Walker SL, Fidgett AL, Presiosi RF (2014) Effects of visible implanted elastomer marking on physiological traits of frogs. Conservation Physiology, doi: 10.1093/conphys/cou042.
  • Antwis RE, Garcia G, Fidgett AL, Preziosi RF (2014) Passive integrated transponder (PIT) tagging frogs causes disruption to the cutaneous bacterial community and proliferation of opportunistic fungi. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, doi: 10.1128/AEM.01175-14.
  • Michaels CJ*, Antwis RE*, Preziosi RF (* joint first authors) (2014) Impact of plant cover on fitness and behavioural traits of captive red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas). PLoS ONE: 9, e95207.
  • Antwis RE, Haworth RL, Engelmoer DJP, Ogilvy V, Fidgett AL, Preziosi RF (2014) Ex situ diet influences the bacterial community associated with the skin of red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas). PLoS ONE, 9: e85563.
  • Antwis RE, Preziosi RF, Fidgett AL (2014) The effect of different UV and calcium provisioning on health and fitness traits of red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas). Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research, 2: 69-76.
  • Michaels CJ, Antwis RE, Preziosi RF (2014) Impacts of UVB provision and dietary calcium content on serum vitamin D3, growth rates, skeletal structure and colouration in captive oriental fire-bellied toads (Bombina orientalis). Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, doi: 10.1111/jpn.12203
  • Michaels CJ, Antwis RE, Preziosi RF (2014) Manipulation of the calcium content of insectivore diets through supplementary dusting. Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research, 2: 77-81.
  • Antwis RE, Browne RK (2009) Ultraviolet radiation and Vitamin D3 in amphibian health, behaviour, diet and conservation. Comprative Biochemistry and Physiology, 154: 184–190.