Ashleigh Hayes

What does your research focus on and why is it important?

My research focus is on bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), which is a major human pathogen and is recognised as a significant public health concern worldwide. My research involves understanding how S. aureus adapts to its environment (e.g. humans) and treatments, such as antibiotic use. The changes in S. aureus DNA (mutations) that are recognised as important across the global population of S. aureus have not been well investigated. My findings will contribute to a better understanding of how S. aureus survives and adapts in human infection and develops antibiotic resistance.

What did you learn from your biggest mistake?

Preparation is crucial. Always take the time to plan and look over your notes/protocol before starting a task/experiment.

How do you see your area of research evolving in the next five years?

Currently my research is predominantly undertaken in a laboratory environment called a wet lab, with a smaller dry lab component which involves using computer power to study the bacteria (i.e. S. aureus). However, in the next five years I expect to be undertaking more dry lab work since this space is rapidly growing as it is more accessible and affordable, and is becoming more expected.

Learn more about Ashleigh and her research here.