Prof Joseph Jackson

School of Science, Engineering & Environment

Photo of Prof Joseph Jackson

Current positions



I originally started out studying helminth parasites and I am still fascinated by the natural history, ecology and evolution of these organisms. But over the years I have broadened my interests to include other infectious agents and I have also focussed more on the biggest enemy of parasites – the host’s immune system - and how this is regulated by the environment.

These days, my central research question is how the environment (including the microbiome) controls the expression of the immune system, and, in turn, how this determines patterns of infection, disease progression and transmission. There is well known be huge individual variation in immune response and infection susceptibility – in humans and in animals – and this plays a key role in determining health and infection dynamics. But we do not fully know what causes this variation. It seems to me that understanding how individuals, and their immune systems, interact with the environment will form a big part of the answer.

I work in the field and laboratory, using methods ranging from traditional parasitological techniques through to high throughput molecular measurements and next generation sequencing. I often integrate experimental and observational data and have a lot of experience in analysing the complex datasets that are typically generated in such studies.

Areas of Research

• Ecoimmunology
• Infection ecology
• Parasitology

Areas of Supervision

I am happy to supervise Ph. D. studies in the areas of wildlife or domestic animal parasitology, ecological parasitology, infectious disease dynamics, wildlife zoonotic reservoirs (especially respiratory viruses) and ecoimmunology (including using marine invertebrate models that can combine field observations with laboratory experiments and genetic dissection).

I can provide training in traditional Parasitology techniques, field and experimental study design, bioinformatics, real-time PCR, transcriptomics and a wide variety of modern data analysis techniques.

Specific funded opportunities will be advertised.

Qualifications and Recognitions

  • Ph. D. Parasitology

    1988 - 1993
  • B. Sc. Marine Biology

    1985 - 1988