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Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School

Studying at Cambridge


Andrew Balmer

Andrew Balmer

PhD Biological Sciences (BBSRC DTP)

Supervisor: Olivier Restif and Lucy Weinert

Office Phone: 01223764361


I am a Ph.D. student as part of the Disease Dynamics research theme of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge (see here for my full CV). I completed my M.Phil. in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge.


In addition to my studies I have extensive experience in the field of popular science journalism, publishing in high profile publications such as Scientific American, Yahoo News and Salon magazine. I also founded my own popular science media outlet, Lu:Sci popular science magazine.


Twitter: @Quackscience

Subject groups/Research projects

Infection and Immunity:

Research Interests

The apparently limitless ability of pathogens to defeat control measures through evolution poses growing threats to human and animal health. In particular, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria is often perceived as an unavoidable outcome that can only be slowed down by careful use of available antibiotics and development of new ones. However, these strategies remain highly theoretical, and are based on rudimentary assumptions about the evolutionary processes involved. My current research focuses on furthering our understanding of the evolution of adaptations involved in host-pathogen systems. I study these processes by developing mechanistic models for the evolution of AMR in bacterial pathogens, alongside bioinformatics, comparative analysis and laboratory approaches.




  • Experimentral evolution
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Pathogenic evolution
  • Evolutionary biology

Key Publications

Andrew J. Balmer, Paul M. Brakefield, Oskar Brattström and Erik van Bergen “Developmental plasticity for male secondary sexual traits in a

group of polyphenic tropical butterflies”, Oikos (2018),