Pavilion sunset
St Hilda's College
Our people

Dr Joseph Parker

BSc Imp, DPhil Oxf


Dr Parker joined the National Biofilms Innovation Centre’ in 2018 shortly after its formation. He is developing lab techniques, statistical methods, and software to exploit portable, real-time DNA sequencing for biofilm microbial community analyses. These will enable non-experts with minimal equipment to explore these ubiquitous microcosms’ composition, evolution and ecology, rapidly, anywhere on the planet. During the COVID-19 pandemic he served on secondment to the Department for Health & Social Care, designing and commissioning a novel, highly-automated testing lab capable of processing tens of thousands of samples daily.

Previously he held an independent Early-Career Research Fellowship at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (where he published the first-ever demonstration of congeneric species ID by genome-scale DNA sequencing in the field), and Queen Mary, University of London, where he published the first-ever detection of adaptive molecular convergent evolution (in Nature). He is a Fellow of the Software Sustainability Institute, and tutors MBiol students in statistics, research skills, modelling and bioinformatics.

Publications (full list

Parker et al. (2008) Correlating viral phenotypes with phylogeny: accounting for phylogenetic uncertainty. Infection, Genetics and Evolution 8(3):239-246
Parker et al. (2013) Genome-wide signatures of convergent evolution in echolocating mammals. Nature 502(7470):228-231
Tsagkogeorga et al. (2013) Phylogenomic analyses elucidate the evolutionary relationships of bats. Current Biology 23(22): 2262-2267
Gray et al. (2011) The mode and tempo of hepatitis C virus evolution within and among hosts. BMC evolutionary biology 11 (1):1-10
Parker et al. (2018) Field-based species identification of closely-related plants using real-time nanopore sequencing. Scientific reports 7(1):8345
Highmore et al. (2022) Translational challenges and opportunities in biofilm science: a BRIEF for the future. npj Biofilms and Microbiomes 8(1):68.


  • Lecturer in Biology


  • Biology