Michael Gallagher [Alumni]

Macqueen Group, PhD student


Mike Gallagher

My PhD project is a BBSRC funded EASTBIO studentship and partnered with Marine Science Scotland. My work is focused on RNA viruses that infect finfish in aquaculture – particularly pathogens of salmonids (e.g. ISAV and SAV). I am using second-generation (Illumina) and third-generation (Nanopore) sequencing to generate whole genome sequences for these viruses, with the goal to develop faster and more efficient approaches to characterise viral pathogens in fish. I will use these genomes in phylogenetic and molecular evolutionary studies to model the population dynamics of target viruses and characterize viral evolution linked to different outbreaks and transmission routes. In addition, a goal of my project is to improve our ability to rapidly and effectively diagnose viral infections in fish farms. 


Favourite aquaculture species  

Any filter feeding mollusc, mainly because they are basically virus collectors!



​I was awarded a 1st class MSci in Biological Sciences here at the University of Aberdeen. During this time, I did Honours and Masters research projects within the Macqueen group, where I also undertook a 10-week research placement funded by the BBSRC EASTBIO scheme. These projects are where my interest in genomics and molecular biology first developed. In my undergraduate research, I investigated the non-blood globin genes of fish using phylogenetic, comparative genomic and gene expression analyses. This work was published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution. I started my PhD at the University of Aberdeen but transferred to the University of Edinburgh with Dr Daniel Macqueen at the end of my second year (October 2018)

  • [2011 – 2016]            MSci of Biological Sciences (University of Aberdeen)
  • [2016 – 2018]            PhD (University of Aberdeen)
  • [2018 – 2021]      PhD continued… (Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh)