Dr Alexander Betts

BSc, MSc, DPhil


Junior Research Fellow in Virology

Alex Betts is a microbiologist using Pseudomomas aeruginosa and a panel of lytic bacteriophage (phages) as a model system to research host-parasite coevolution and to better understand the challenges facing the therapeutic use of phages to treat infections. He uses experimental evolution, next generation sequencing and classic microbiological techniques to investigate the effects of phage cocktail diversity on evolutionary interactions.


Betts, A., Rafaluk, C, and King, K.C. 2016.  Host and Parasite Evolution in a Tangled Bank. Trends in Parasitology. DOI: 10.1016/j.pt.2016.08.003

Harcombe, W.R., Betts, A., Shapiro, J.W. and Marx, C.J., 2016. Adding biotic complexity alters the metabolic benefits of mutualism. Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/evo.12973​

Betts, A., Gifford, D., MacLean, R.C. and King, K.C., 2016. Parasite Diversity Drives Rapid Host Dynamics And Evolution Of Resistance In A Bacteria-Phage System. Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/evo.12909​

King, K.C., Brockhurst, M.A., Vasieva, O., Paterson, S., Betts, A., Ford, S., Frost, C.L., Horsburgh, M., Haldenby, S., Hurst, G.D.D. 2016. Rapid evolution of microbe-mediated protection against pathogens in a worm host. ISME J. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2015.259

Expert round table on acceptance and re-implementation of bacteriophage therapy (2016), Silk route to the acceptance and re-implementation of bacteriophage therapy. Biotechnology Journal. doi: 10.1002/biot.201600023​

Betts, A., Kaltz, O. and Hochberg, M.E. (2014). Contrasted coevolutionary dynamics between a bacterial pathogen and its bacteriophages. PNAS 111(30), pp 11109–11114

Harcombe, W.R, Riehl, W.J., Dukovski, I., Granger, B.R., Betts, A., Lang, A.H., Bonilla, G., Kar, A., Mehta, P., Marx, C.J, Segre, D. (2014) Metabolic resource allocation in individual microbes determines ecosystem interactions and spatial dynamics. Cell Reports 7(4), pp 1104-1115

Betts, A., Kaltz, O., Vasse, M. and Hochberg, M.E. (2013). Back to the Future: Evolving bacteriophages to increase their effectiveness against the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. Evolutionary Applications 6(7), pp 1054-1063