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Laura Sheehy

School of Biological and Environmental Sciences

Faculty of Science

I am a PhD student with the school of Biological and Environmental Sciences. The focus of my research is the investigation into the genomes of parasitic nematodes of gastropods from the genus Phasmarhabditis. Gastropods such as slugs are a serious pest in agriculture and a persistent problem for home gardens. Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita was developed as a biological control agent over 25 years ago, providing an alternative to pesticide pellets, though little is currently known about it's genome.

Through whole genome sequencing and genetic analysis of Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita, along with other Phasmarhabditis species, this research will help better understand key parasitic traits such as virulence, longevity and stress tolerance leading to improvements of Phasmarhabditis as biological control agent.


2014, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, BSc (Hons) Cell Biology with Industrial Experience


Sheehy L. 2024. Investigation of the genetic architecture of Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita and other wild isolated Phasmarhabditis species Rae R, Weedall G. Public Url

Journal article

Rae R, Sheehy L, McDonald-Howard K. 2023. Thirty years of slug control using the parasitic nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita and beyond Pest Management Science, DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Sheehy L, MacDonald-Howard K, Williams CD, Weedall GD, Jones H, Rae R. 2023. A parasitic nematode induces dysbiosis in susceptible but not resistant gastropod hosts MicrobiologyOpen, 12 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Sheehy L, Cutler J, Weedall GD, Rae R. 2022. Microbiome analysis of malacopathogenic nematodes suggests no evidence of a single bacterial symbiont responsible for gastropod mortality Frontiers in Immunology, DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Keyte M, Grannell A, Sheehy L, Shepherd J, Rae R. 2022. Phasmarhabditis californica in Germany Nematology: international journal of fundamental and applied nematological research, :1-6 DOI Publisher Url Public Url