Alex Sparks

I am a MRC-funded PhD student investigating the role of helminth-specific immunity in a wild population of Soay sheep supervised by Dan Nussey & Rose Zamoyska. I am involved with generating 25 years’ worth of data on three helminth-specific immunoglobulin isotypes, which will provide us with a huge longitudinal dataset of variation in immunity over the course of the study. I’m particularly interested in the role of maternal antibody transfer in the wild, as well as maternal, genetic and environmental causes of variation in immunity in later life and its fitness consequences under natural conditions.


Nausch, N., Appleby, L.J., Sparks, A.M., Midzi, N., Mduluza, T. & Mutapi, F. (2015). Group 2 innate lymphoid cell proportions are diminished in young helminth infected children and restored by curative anti-helminthic treatment. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 9: e0003627.

Meekums, H., Hawash, M.B.F., Sparks, A.M., Oviedo, Y., Sandoval, C., Chico, M.E., Stothard, J.R., Cooper, P.J., Nejsum, P. & Betson, M. (2015). A genetic analysis of Trichuris trichiura and Trichuris suis from Ecuador. Parasites & Vectors, 8: 1-5.

Sparks, A.M., Betson, M., Oviedo, G., Sandoval, C., Cooper, P.J. & Stothard, J.R. (2015). Characterization of Ascaris from Ecuador and Zanzibar. Journal of Helminthology, 89: 512-515.