Lindsay Fulton

PhD student
Disease Systems
Animal & Veterinary Sciences

Research interests 

The intestinal tracts of animals are home to diverse and complex communities of microbes, termed the microbiota. These microbes play a crucial role in the health of the host by contributing energy from otherwise indigestible food sources, helping to protect the host from pathogenic organisms and aiding the development of the immune system.

Antimicrobial growth promoters (AGPs) are antibiotics that have been used, at subtherapeutic concentrations, since the 1950s as a feed additive for livestock. The mechanisms by which AGPs improve growth and feed efficiency are yet to be elucidated, but they are thought to alter, or stabilise, the gut microbiota. My PhD focuses on the intestinal microbiota of broiler chickens and aims to:

  • Characterise the intestinal microbiota of broilers with different feed efficiencies
  • Describe the effect of AGP supplementation on bacterial community structure
  • Identify microbiological biomarkers of improved growth and feed efficiency
  • Describe the impact of host genetics on the gut microbiota

From this work, I hope to understand what constitutes a desirable microbiota in broilers and which bacterial groups may be detrimental or beneficial to health and commercial performance. Key groups of bacteria may then be targeted using probiotics or dietary interventions.  

PhD Title

  • Impact of Genetics and Growth Promoters on Avian Intestinal Microbiota and Health
    Describing the effect of antibiotics on the intestinal bacterial communities of broiler chickens. We hope to identify microbiological biomarkers of healthy intestinal function and improved growth and feed efficiency.

PhD supervisor

Lindsay Fulton

Address: SRUC, Roslin Institute Building, Easter Bush, Midlothian, EH25 9RG

Telephone: 01316519355