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Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing.
Penrhyn Road
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT1 2EE

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 9000

Dr Scott Lawton

School/Department: Life Sciences, Pharmacy & Chemistry
Position: Lecturer


Specialising in evolutionary biology and parasitology I completed my first degree in Zoology (BSc Hons) at the University of Aberdeen in 2003. From 2004 - 2005 I went on to complete an MSc in the Biology and Control of Parasites and Disease Vectors at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. I became increasingly interested in the application of evolutionary biology in epidemiology and disease control and under took a research project of the molecular taxonomy, phylogenetics and identification of tsetse flies, the vectors of African trypanosomiasis also referred to as sleeping sickness. From 2005 – 2009 I undertook a NERC CASE PhD on the evolutionary biology and genomics of schistosomes, a parasitic worm of the blood that causes schistosomiasis throughout the tropics and subtropics. The project focused on the evolution of sex chromosomes in these parasites to understand their characteristics, phylogenetic signal and their potential utility for marker development for epidemiological and evolutionary studies. In 2009 I joined Kingston University (KU) as a Lecturer in Organismal Biology (Parasite and Invertebrate Biology) and became a member of the parasitology research group and the Molecular Parasitology Laboratory at KU .As well as teaching on a wide range of topics across several modules I have been able to establish a research theme in molecular evolutionary biology, ecology and epidemiology of parasites and their vectors of medical and veterinary importance.

Educational and Professional Qualifications

  • 2005 - 2009 PhD in Evolutionary Genomics and Biomedical Parasitology (Aberystwyth University & Natural History Museum London
  • 2004 - 2005 Masters of Science in the Biology and Control of Parasites and Disease Vectors (The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine)
  • 1999 - 2003 Bachelor of Science with Honours in Zoology (University of Aberdeen)

Research Interests

My research focuses on the application of evolutionary genomics and molecular ecology of parasitic helminths and their intermediate mollusc hosts, with particular focus on schistosomes and the zoonotic disease schistosomiasis. This is also coupled with the application molecular techniques of identification of invasive zoonotic flukes in Europe and the UK. My research utilises genomic data to develop markers to answer population genetic and taxonomic questions to inform disease epidemiology and control. Current projects range from using standard molecular bar-coding techniques to the generation of genomic data sets using next generation sequencing to mining genome assemblies and encompassing phylogenetic and population genetic methods

Current projects include:
Adaptive evolution in medically important schistosomes in relation to antigenic variation and drug resistance

Molecular systematics, epidemiology and evolution of invasive trematodes and their intermediate hosts with particular emphasis on schistosomatids and the invasion of Europe by Schistosoma

Genomics of trematodes and their intermediate snail hosts

Evolutionary epidemiology and molecular ecology of parasite host interactions

Teaching Area

Parasitology and Vector Biology: Medical parasitology and diagnosis, disease epidemiology and vector control, chemotherapy and drug strategies for neglected tropical diseases Evolutionary biology: Animal and microbial biodiversity, molecular evolution and phylogenetics, molecular genetics and genomics, evolutionary population genetics, practical computational biology I teach and/or assess these areas across several modules including: Cells and tissues, Genetics and Molecular Biology, Concepts in Human Genetics, Invertebrate Diversity, Molecular Genetics, Medical Microbiology, Chemotherapy of Infectious Disease, Parasite and Vector Biology and Bioinformatics I also offer undergraduate projects in molecular parasitology, epidemiology and evolutionary biology




020 8417 2103