April 2022: Congratulations to Matt Shepherd who was awarded Runner-Up for an Oral Presentation in the PhD student category at the Pseudomonas 2022 conference in Atlanta, Georgia, US. Very well deserved!

Matthew Shepherd was awarded runner-up for PhD oral presentation at Pseudomonas 2022

March 2022: New Review Article out in Current Opinion in Microbiology. This paper was written in collaboration with Matt Shepherd, Robert Jackson and Mark Silby. In this review we explore how crosstalk between gene regulatory networks can create opportunity for genetic innovation and new rewiring patterns, by revealing non-cognate interactions to natural selection. Matt has spent a lot of time thinking about these questions during his PhD and there are some exciting research papers to follow. Click on image below to access the article.

February 2022: Taylor lab clean up (again) at this year’s joint Biology and Biochemistry and Pharmacy and Pharmacology Research Day. Matt Shepherd won the prize for best talk, James Horton won the prize for best postdoc poster, Louise Flanagan won the prize for best third year PhD (making it 3 years out of 3) and Josie Elliott won the prize for best second year. Congratulations to all – you should feel proud (I certainly do)!

December 2021: Some exciting news to finish the year – thanks to a successful Royal Society Enhancement Award we will be welcoming Alan Rice as a post doctoral research assistant to the lab for a little over a year in July to work on the project,”Determining the factors necessary to predict regulator recruitment during gene regulator rewiring“. We’re very excited to welcome him to the Taylor group.

October 2021: We welcome to the lab Mitchell Reynolds. Mitch is a recipient of the prestigious Syncona Scholarship from the Windsor Fellowship, and will be doing his PhD on “Understanding the role of genetic background in determining the evolutionary outcome of gene regulatory network rewiring events“.We look forward to seeing all the amazing data to come!

October 2021: Our paper came out Nature Communications. This “tour de force” led by Dr James Horton reveals the fundamental role silent mutations can play in determining adaptive outcomes. This success is also shared with our collaborators Louise Flanagan, Prof Rob Jackson and Dr Nick Priest. Thanks also to Dr Mark Silby for the Pf0-2x strain used in the study and Prof Laurence Hurst for insightful feedback. Click the image below to read the full article.

September 2021: We combined our lab outing (which we were finally able to do this year) with a sad affair – We bid farewell to our incredibly talented and hard-working Research Assistant Aidan Pierce as he begins his PhD journey with London NERC DTP. We wish him all the best and can’t wait to see what awesome science he will produce.

September 2021: A tiny comment from me (right at the end) in NatGeo Science News, on some super cool science from the Ratcliffe lab in Georgia Tech on the early transitions in evolving multicellularity. If you don’t know about his mammoth yeast clumps yet, you should read the article below.

August 2021: The transformation is complete – introducing… Dr Horton.

July 2021: We welcome to the lab, Dr Horton in his new guise as a superstar postdoc (the first postdoc for the Taylor lab) and Shani Ali who is our Research Technician. Together, they will be working on a BBSRC funded project on using comparative experimental evolution to test the role of mutation, selection and genetic background on repeatable evolution.

July 2021: BIG NEWS!!! **Claxon, confetti etc.** James Horton has been nominated for the Sir Howard Dalton Young Microbiologist of the Year Award from the Microbiology Society. The finals are being held in September and open to all Microbiology Society members. Tune in if you can…

April 2021: The Taylor lab greatly enjoyed attending the virtual Microbiology Annual Conference 2020. Among the “Most Promising Science” winners was our own Louise Flanagan for her poster in the Genes and Genomics Forum. Congratulations!

April 2021: My outreach project “Storytelling Science: the letters of life” was shortlisted for the University of Bath VC Public Engage Awards – yippee!

February 2021: I was honoured to be invited to talk in the BRSLI virtual seminar series. If you’re interested, this talk gives a good introduction to the approaches and questions that interest us in the Taylor lab.

February 2021: The Taylor lab clean up the prizes at this year’s virtual University of Bath Biology and Biochemistry Research Day, organised by our marvellous PGBio: First year poster prize goes to Josie Elliott; Second year poster prize goes to Louise Flanagan (2nd year in a row); and best PhD talk is shared by James Horton and Stephen Richer. Congratulations to all!

January 2021: New year, new pre-print! We are very excited to share James Horton’s new paper on the silent drivers of extreme parallel evolution. Read the paper here.

December 2020: The judges were so impressed with the quality, the creativity and the science in the 566 entries we received for the “Storytelling Science: the letters of life” competition. After many hours of reading, debating and deliberating we have chose our 5 winners and 20 highly commended entries – congratulations to all! You can see all the winning and highly commended entries on the Milner Centre for Evolution Outreach Virtual Display wall.

November 2020: “Storytelling Science: the letters of life”, a national year 4 primary schools competition launches in the UK. In this competition, year 4 pupils are asked to submit a one-page illustrated poem or story on the theme of genetics. To help get their creative juices flowing they are introduced to the book, Little Letters: an introduction to genetics, in combination with a classroom activity. The entries are judged by a panel of evolutionary and genetics researchers from the University of Bath. Five winning and twenty highly commended entries will be selected to be showcased on a new virtual Milner Centre for Evolution outreach display on the Milner Centre website. Winners will be announced soon…

October 2020: We welcome two new members to the Taylor Lab Group. Aidan Pierce will be our Research Assistant for the next 12 months, working on a project that aims to understand underlying rules that determine gene regulatory network rewiring pathways; and Josie Elliott, in collaboration with Edze Westra, will be starting a PhD looking at the maintenance and regulation of horizontally transferred CRISPR-Cas systems to a naive bacterial host. WELCOME!

September 2020: Matt Shepherd shows us how all to do a stellar science communication talk in this year’s virtual Pint of Science UK, talking about “Hotwiring Genes”. In case you missed it, catch up below.

July 2020: Taylor lab reopens… partially at least. Not at full capacity, and with MANY distancing rules in place. But it’s good to have some data to look forward to. I hope everyone has stayed safe and well during this extraordinary time, and we remain cautious as we move into the next phase.

June 2020: It might not have been quite as fancy as an all expenses paid trip to Québec, but our own Matt Shepherd did a sterling job in the virtual SMBE2020 Walter Fitch symposium. If you were crazy enough to miss it, catch up here:

April 2020: The rinkidinks return! My latest children’s book, that introduces concepts of DNA, genes and genetics to 6-9 year olds was released on the 27th of April in celebration of DNA day. The book can be read for free, and there are also some online teaching resources available for your little scientists, that require no special equipment – perfect for lockdown lessons.

April 2020: New paper out in Royal Society Open Science, “Cancer cell lines show high heritability for motility but not generation time”. Great collaboration with Ana Wass, George Butler, Louise Johnson and Phil Dash from the University of Reading.

March 2020: These are difficult times, and finding reasons to celebrate seem more important than ever. Recently, I found out I was successful in securing my first UKRI grant from the BBSRC. This will fund a 3 year post doc position and a 3 year 0.5FTE research assistant, on a new exciting project looking at using comparative experimental evolution to test the role of mutation, selection and genetic background on repeatable evolution. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, this project will not start until Jan 2021 at the earliest, but if you are interested in finding out more, please send me an email.

February 2020: I am truly grateful to the Royal Society for the support they give me. I have been awarded a Royal Society Enhancement Award 2020, allowing me to increase molecular efforts and productivity in my lab. Really looking forward to celebrating this one with my mate and fellow scientist (of the most epic kind) Ellie Harrison (check out

February 2020: Matt Shepherd nominated as a finalist for the Walter M. Fitch award symposium at SMBE 2020 in Québec city. James Horton and Louise Flanagan also receive Young Investigator Awards. Free Taylor lab trip to SMBE! Not too shabby.

February 2020: My newest book, Little Letters is almost complete. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the scrumptious illustrations by James Munro.

January 2020: Poster prizes galore at the University of Bath Biology and Biochemistry Departmental Research Day. Best poster in the first year PhD category for Louise Flanagan, and best third year PhD category win for James Horton. Go Taylor Team!

January 2020: James, Louise and Matt, still with a Christmas hangover, do the Taylor lab proud, all speaking at PopGroup 2020 in Leicester.

September 2019: A public engagement grant secured from the Genetics Society will fund the latest children’s book from Tiffany Taylor with brilliant illustrations from James Munro. This book will be an addition to the “Little Changes” series – looking at the genetics of the Rinkidinks. If you don’t know who the Rinkidinks are, check out the “Children’s Books” section of my website and follow links to read the story in full, for free.

Until one day whilst wandering, two strangers they caught sight,
One was short and tubby; the other tall and slight.
So different in so many ways: their tail, their shape, their skin;
That how could they imagine, that their ancestors were kin?

August 2019: The first annual Taylor Lab Summer Outing was spent enjoying a sunny day exploring Cheddar Gorge and sampling cheese. Well done to Matt Shepherd for winning the ultra competitive Exploding Kitten Championship.

July 2019: James Horton wins poster prize at SMBE2019 in the graduates poster competition. Well done!

June 2019: James Horton strikes again with another awesome article in “The Conversation”: Is evolution, a process based on random mutation, ever predictable? Why humans (or something very similar) may have been destined to walk the Earth

May 2019: Excellent and productive Probability meets Biology “collaborative incubator” (i.e. workshop) with the Maths Department at the University of Bath. Amazing what can be achieved in a few days when you have access to such talent. This work will hopefully pave the way for new papers and future grants… to be continued

Probability meets Biology collaborative incubator: Jamie Thompson, James Horton, Marcel Ortgiese, Nick Priest, Renee Dale, Tiffany Taylor, Lingyun “Ivy” Xiong

March 2019: James Horton featured on Spark podcast talking about his recent article in “The Conversation” tune in from 16:13 – 24:43

March 2019: Fantastic meet up with collaborators from University of Reading

Enjoying pizza with Dr Liam McGuffin, Dr Geraldine Mulley, Prof Rob Jackson, Dr Nick Priest, James Horton, Matt Shepherd, Dr Louise Johnson, Dr Tiffany Taylor, Louise Flanagan

Dec 2018: James Horton writes in “The Conversation” on Silicon Valley’s quest for immortality – and its worrying sacrifices