Dr Barbara Morrissey


Barbara Morrissey


+44 (0)1463 273567

My background is in molecular ecology and evolutionary biology.  I completed my undergraduate degree in Evolutionary biology at the University of Edinburgh in 2007 and went on to work as a research assistant at the University of Sheffield’s NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility (NBAF). I identified molecular markers to study speciation in two Drosophila populations. I then studied for a masters of research at the University of York where my dissertation was on a bacterial disease of honey bees at the National Bee Unit (NBU).  I was able to extend this project into a PhD that was shared between the NBU and the University of York.  As part of my PhD I developed a genetic scheme to differentiate amongst strain types of the bacterium as well as using next generation sequencing to compare the genomes of these strains.  In my both my roles as research assistant and a PhD student I was able to work with visiting staff and students and teach them to use molecular techniques in the lab for their own research questions. I have recently joined the Rivers and Lochs institute where I will be applying molecular genetic techniques to work on the conservation and management of biodiversity in our rivers and lochs.

Research Interests

  • I am interested in using molecular genetic and genomic  tools to answer applied research questions
  • Phylogeography
  • Phylogenetics

Current and recent projects

AMBER Project.  The Adaptive Management of Barriers in European Rivers (AMBER) project seeks to apply adaptive management to the operations of dams and barriers in European rivers to restore river connectivity and address the impacts caused by river fragmentation. My research will focus on developing environmental DNA (eDNA) and metabarcoding tools to assess the biodiversity of freshwater vertebrates.

I will be working in the BioMAG lab to support and advise on molecular genetic and genomic techniques used in the facility.


Morrissey, B.J., Helgason,T., Poppinga,L., Fünfhaus,A., Genersch,E., and Budge,G.E. (2014) Biogeography of Paenibacillus larvae , the causative agent of American foulbrood, using a new multilocus sequence typing scheme: MLST scheme for Paenibacillus larvae. Environ. Microbiol. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.12625

Veltsos P, Gregson E, Morrissey B.J., Slate J, Hoikkala A, Butlin R.K., & Ritchie M.G. (2015) The genetic architecture of sexually selected traits in two natural populations of Drosophila Montana. Heridity. DOI:10.1038/hdy.2015.63.