Dr Rachel WheatleyBack to People

Subjects: Biological Sciences, Biology
Department: Biological Sciences
Academic position: George Grosvenor Freeman Fellow by Examination


Rachel is a microbiologist interested in microbiome interactions, genomics, evolution, and metabolism. Prior to joining Magdalen College in 2021 as a Fellow by Examination, Rachel completed a BSc. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Durham University, and her DPhil at University College, University of Oxford.

Research interests

The lungs can be considered an ecosystem. They host a diversity of microorganisms, collectively known as the microbiome, both in healthy and in diseased states. The primary focus of Rachel’s research is to understand how a single pathogen species is able to emerge in a lung microbiome, and to characterise the genetic and metabolic determinants of this success. Rachel is also interested in understanding the role adaptive immune systems (CRISPR-Cas systems) play in populations of bacteria.

Her google scholar profile can be found here.

Selected Publications

Wheatley, R. M., Caballero, J. D., Kapel, N., de Winter, F. H., Jangir, P., Quinn, A., … & MacLean, C. (2021). Rapid evolution and host immunity drive the rise and fall of carbapenem resistance during an acute Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. Nature Communications, 12(1), 1-12.

Wheatley, R. M., & MacLean, R. C. (2021). CRISPR-Cas systems restrict horizontal gene transfer in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The ISME Journal, 15(5), 1420-1433.

Wheatley, R. M., Ford, B. L., Li, L., Aroney, S. T., Knights, H. E., Ledermann, R., … & Poole, P. S. (2020). Lifestyle adaptations of Rhizobium from rhizosphere to symbiosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(38), 23823-23834.

Wheatley, R. M., Ramachandran, V. K., Geddes, B. A., Perry, B. J., Yost, C. K., & Poole, P. S. (2017). Role of O2 in the growth of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae 3841 on glucose and succinate. Journal of Bacteriology, 199(1), e00572-16.