Department of Biology & Biochemistry



3 South 0.28

Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 4292


Dr Jaime Martinez-Urtaza

My research interests are focused on studying the population structure and epidemic dynamics of human pathogenic bacteria to address basic questions in relation to a range of topics from ecology to disease. Using the genus Salmonella and Vibrio as models, we combine disciplines such as microbiology, genetics, oceanography, climate sciences and epidemiology, to glean insights into the dynamics and epidemiology of enteric pathogenic bacteria. Our current research activities are mainly focus on three areas:


Development and implementation of new molecular tools for studying the population structure and epidemic dynamics of enteric pathogens. We apply recent advances in molecular typing techniques to investigate the distribution, diversity and transmission of pathogenic bacteria associated with food- and waterborne diseases.


Impact of climate change on the epidemic dynamics and spread of the two waterborne pathogens Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio cholerae. In association with an international network of collaborators, we are investigating the dissemination of the main pathogenic clones of pathogenic Vibrio around the globe and the ecological changes behind the emergence of major epidemics and outbreaks associated with these pathogens. We are currently involved in collaborations with ECDC, NOAA, CEFAS and USC in the use of remote sensing technologies as a cost-effective approach for reducing the impact of waterborne pathogens on a global scale through use of real time global data to delineate area of suitability of Vibrio pathogens.


Understanding the role of non-host environments in the transmission of salmonellosis. We are characterizing the populations of Salmonella prevailing in the environment and unravelling the biological mechanisms behind the long-term survival of this pathogen outside the host to understand how the occurrence and persistence of Salmonella in natural settings contribute to the transmission of disease. We are also investigating the climatic factors governing the contamination dynamics of Salmonella in different regions of the world.


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