I graduated BVSc from the University of Liverpool in 1983 and after a brief period as a locum in mixed practice started a Wellcome Trust Research Studentship based in the Medical School at Liverpool, gaining a PhD in clinical virology (cowpox in domestic cats) in 1986. I then spent a year as PDRA in the Rouse Lab, University of Tennessee, using recombinant viruses to dissect the cell mediated immune response to herpesviruses before returning to Liverpool on a Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship/Lectureship in molecular virology, becoming a permanent lecturer in 1991, progressing to senior lecturer, Reader and then Professor of Veterinary Pathology in 2001. I was Associate Dean for Teaching and BVSc Programme Director (1997-2000) and then Head of the Department of Veterinary Pathology (2000-2008). I was Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Science / Head of School 2008-2010. I was also a founding Co-Director of the National Centre for Zoonosis Research, 2005-2010.
I moved to my current post as Professor of Zoonotic and Emerging Diseases at Nottingham in April 2015.
I currently chair the Veterinary Products Committee.
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. 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)..
My research and teaching interests are in infectious diseases, particularly the ecology/epidemiology of emerging, zoonotic and wildlife infections.
Current projects include antimicrobial resistance in the environment and bovine tuberculosis (TB) in badgers, along with a range of other, often zoonotic, infections in wildlife hosts.
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 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.
Much of my research has been in collaboration with colleagues in the biological/life sciences and medicine, and often mulit-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)