I am a Head of Division within the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, and Academic Lead for Industrial Strategy and Knowledge Exchange for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. My research and teaching focuses on infectious diseases, especially zoonotic diseases, emerging infections and infections of wildlife (infections that jump species). I also have interests in food security and safety, conservation medicine and rural governance. Much of my research is interdisciplinary, and undertaken in collaboration with colleagues in other disciplines and institutions, taking a very 'one-health' and policy-relevant approach.
Current projects include:
- the role of badgers in the transmission of bovine TB
- antimicrobial resistance in wildlife and the environment
- ecotoxicology and infection interactions
- water-borne zoonotic pathogens
- rodent-borne zoonoses
I Chair the Veterinary Products Committee and I am a member of the Medilink Midland Board.
Until recently, I was a Trustee of the North of England Zoological Society (which owns and runs Chester Zoo, the largest zoo in the UK) and a member of its Conservation and Education Committee for which I chaired the Animal Health and Welfare sub-Committee. I was also, until recently, a member of the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens. Before joining the University of Nottingham, I was at the University of Liverpool where I was founding co-Director of the National Centre for Zoonosis Research (NCZR ), and at various times Dean of the School of Veterinary Science, Head of the Department of Veterinary Pathology and Associate Dean for Teaching / BVSc Programme Director.
I was a university-appointed member of Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons when at Liverpool, and I am a past President of the Association of Veterinary Teaching and Research Work (AVTRW). I have been a member of several RCVS/EAEVE/AVMA accreditation panels both within the UK and overseas.
My research and teaching interests are in infectious diseases, particularly the ecology/epidemiology of emerging, zoonotic and wildlife infections.
I teach across a range of disciplines and modules in the Nottingham veterinary curriculum including:
- infectious diseases, particularly zoonoses and their control
- parasitic diseases, particularly ectoparasites and protozoa
- veterinary public health, outbreak control and emerging infections
- veterinary pathology
- clinical relevance
My teaching includes lectures, PBL, DSL, tutorials, practicals/demonstrations and research project supervision at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
My research interests are the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases, zoonotic transmission, emerging infectious diseases, and infectious diseases of wild animals. I have become increasingly… read more
SWIFT BMC, BENNETT M, WALLER K, DODD C, MURRAY A, GOMES RL, HUMPHREYS B, HOBMAN JL, JONES MA, WHITLOCK SE, MITCHELL LJ, LENNON RJ and ARNOLD KE, 2018. Anthropogenic environmental drivers of antimicrobial resistance in wildlife. The Science of the total environment. 649, 12-20
BARRON, ELSA SANDOVAL, SWIFT, BEN, CHANTREY, JULIAN, CHRISTLEY, ROBERT, GARDNER, RICHARD, JEWELL, CHRIS, MCGRATH, IAN, MITCHELL, ANDREW, O'CATHAIL, COLMAN, PROSSER, ALISON, RIDOUT, SUE, SANCHEZ-CABEZUDO, GONZALO, SMITH, NOEL, TIMOFTE, DORINA, WILLIAMS, NICOLA and BENNETT, MALCOLM, 2018. A study of tuberculosis in road traffic-killed badgers on the edge of the British bovine TB epidemic area SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. 8,
KIPAR, A., BURTHE, S. J., HETZEL, U., ROKIA, M. ABO, TELFER, S., LAMBIN, X., BIRTLES, R. J., BEGON, M. and BENNETT, M., 2014. Mycobacterium microti Tuberculosis in Its Maintenance Host, the Field Vole (Microtus agrestis): Characterization of the Disease and Possible Routes of Transmission VETERINARY PATHOLOGY. 51(5), 903-914
My research interests are the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases, zoonotic transmission, emerging infectious diseases, and infectious diseases of wild animals. I have become increasingly interested in resolving conflicts between public health and biodiversity, and issues such as 'to what extent should we try to control infectious diseases?', ie in seeing infectious diseases in an interdisciplinary 'ecosystems services' context.
Current projects include:
- TB and other diseases in badgers on the edge of the cattle epidemic
- The drivers of antimicrobial resistance in wildlife populations and the environment
- Rodent-borne zoonoses
- A range of protozoal infections in wildlife and water - including cryptosporidia, Giardia and Acanthamoeba.
- Other zoonotic/wildlife diseases
Much of my research has been in collaboration with colleagues in the biological/life sciences and medicine, and often multi-institutional. Examples of projects include: ecology of infection (using several microbial parasites in wild rodents as model systems for studying the interactions between endemic infection and host population dynamics); epidemiology/ecology of antimicrobial resistance (antibiotic resistance in commensal bacteria, in wild and domestic animals and in man); the role of wildlife in the epidemiology of zoonoses; diseases of garden birds, and the role of disease in sparrow declines.
I am an author or co-author of over 120 peer-reviewed papers, plus several books and book chapters, and I have been PI or co-PI on external grants worth in excess of £20m.
I was a founder member and Director of the Liverpool Centre for Comparative Infectious Diseases (a cross-University network for ID research), was Programme Manager and a PI for the Liverpool VTRI (~£4.5m), PI and Co-Director for the National Centre for Zoonosis Research (£~1.7m), and was a co-PI in the Wellcome Trust SRIF bid that refurbished much of the research space at the the University of Liverpool's Leahurst campus (~£3.5m).
- ENIGMA': Social ecology of campylobacteriosis (ESEI programme, funded by MRC,BBSRC, ESRC and NERC)
- INTEGRATE: Fully integrated, real-time detection, diagnosis and control of community diarrhoeal disease clusters and outbreaks (Wellcome Trust and DoH)
- NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Zoonotic and Emerging Risks (DoH/NIHR)
We are currently continuing our work on TB in badgers in the 'edge' area of England, where the cattle TB epidemic is expanding, along with studies of other infections and diseases in badgers (such as salmonellosis, pathology, and the effects of pollution).
We also have a range on ongoing studies on wildlife zoonotic infections (in particular viruses) and ecotoxicology.
A lot of recent time has been spent helping develop covid testing regimens for students, now rolled out across the University.