Dr Laura Brettell

School of Science, Engineering & Environment

Photo of Dr Laura Brettell

Current positions

University Fellow


I started my academic career at the University of Sheffield (2010-2012) where I researched the relationship between honey bees, parasitic Varroa mites and deformed wing virus. After a brief stint researching speciation in periwinkles at the University of Sheffield (2013-2014), I returned to insects with a PhD here at the University of Salford (2014-2017). Here I researched the effects of deformed wing virus on honey bees and virus spillover from honey bees to other insects. I then moved to Australia for a postdoc position at Western Sydney University (2017-2021) where I researched pollinator health in commercial apple and cherry orchards. I then took up a second postdoc position at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (2021-2023) where I worked on mosquito-microbiome interactions before returning to the University of Salford as a University Fellow in 2023.

Areas of Research

I am fascinated by the ecology and evolution of arthropod-associated viruses, in particular; the interplay between the ecology of the host(s), the host-virus interactions and the interactions among viruses and other microbes. These topics allow me to explore diverse systems, from understanding mosquito-virome/microbiome interactions and how these may be exploited to combat mosquito-borne pathogens and how global change is affecting vector-borne disease, to understanding honey bee disease relevant for the apiculture and honey industries, and studying pollinator health to conserve biodiversity and secure sustainable pollination in the face of global change.