Joshua Box

University of Warwick


The potential of natural phage communities in biofilm degradation


Dr Eleanor Jameson, University of Warwick Dr Freya Harrison, University of Warwick Dr Andrew Millard, University of Leicester

PhD Summary

Biofilms, a community of microorganisms adhered to a surface, are largely considered to be the preferred mechanism by which microorganisms exist in the natural world. Biofilms are the cause of a number of issues in a many industrial processes, often resulting in costly biofouling that can result in shutdowns and intrusive cleaning regimes. The aim of this project is to investigate the capability of naturally occurring communities of bacteriophages (Viruses that infect bacteria) to degrade established biofilms and/or their ability to prevent biofilm formation.

What inspires you?

I’ve held an interest in science since a young age and was always inquisitive, in particular I was always curious as to why things happen the way they do in the natural world, in particular, the unseen processes and mechanisms that regulate the things around us. Also, David Attenborough.

Previous Activity

My previous study includes an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science and a Masters by Research in Applied Science specialising in Microbiology, both from the University of the West of England. After completing my masters degree, I spent a year employed by the University of the West of England as laboratory demonstrator.

Why did you choose Docotoral Research?

Throughout my academic life I have always been happiest whilst in the lab conducting research and is something I wish to continue to do as a career. A PhD is not only an important career stepping stone, but an excellent opportunity to develop the skills required, in and outside of the lab required to forge a career in scientific research. It is also the first step to making your mark within the scientific community.

Why did you choose a CENTA Studentship?

The project advertised by CENTA greatly overlapped with my previous research interests and offered a great opportunity to complete PhD research with impact. CENTA’s overlapping themes offer an excellent setting for interdisciplinary research that encourages integrative collaboration.

What are your future plans

CENTA is a collaborative effort between a number of the best universities in the UK, I believe this will help greatly going forward. I would look to pursuit a career in academia and I believe that CENTA’s rigorous training and professional develop programme will be key for developing the skills necessary for this.