Imperial College London

Professor Matthew Fisher

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Professor of Fungal Disease Epidemiology



+44 (0)20 7594 3787matthew.fisher Website




VC3Norfolk PlaceSt Mary's Campus





My research uses an evolutionary framework to investigate the biological and environmental factors that are driving emerging fungal diseases in both human, wildlife and plant species. Wildlife species play a key role in the emergence of human emerging infectious disease (EID) by providing a 'zoonotic pool' from which previously unknown pathogens emerge. Conversely, human action impacts on patterns of disease by perturbation of natural systems, introduction and spread of pathogenic fungi. Current projects focus on several human HIV-associated fungal pathogens, significantly Penicillium marneffei in southeast Asia and Cryptococcus neoformans worldwide. The emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and now B. salamandrivorans impacting global amphibian populations has been recognised as a major driver of extinction. Our research group is focused on developing mechanistic, statistical and animal-based models to uncover the factors driving these EIDs and to attempt to develop new methods of control. Major recent funders are the Wellcome Trust, the MRC, NERC, BiodivERsA and the Leverhulme Trust.


I am the project leader of the BiodivERsA project RACE (Risk Assessment of Chytridiomycosis to European amphibian biodiversity). A Blog of our recent research on amphibian pandemic disease can be found at and we have reviewed the field in Nature. Our Facebook page is at A recent filmclip of our work on fungal (Penicillium) biodiversity can be found here.


Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Martel A, Blooi M, Adriaensen C, et al., 2014, Recent introduction of a chytrid fungus endangers Western Palearctic salamanders, Science, Vol:346, ISSN:0036-8075, Pages:630-631

Schmeller DS, Blooi M, Martel A, et al., 2014, Microscopic Aquatic Predators Strongly Affect Infection Dynamics of a Globally Emerged Pathogen, Current Biology, Vol:24, ISSN:0960-9822, Pages:176-180

Martel A, Spitzen-van der Sluijs A, Blooi M, et al., 2013, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp nov causes lethal chytridiomycosis in amphibians, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:110, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:15325-15329

Farrer RA, Henk DA, Garner TWJ, et al., 2013, Chromosomal Copy Number Variation, Selection and Uneven Rates of Recombination Reveal Cryptic Genome Diversity Linked to Pathogenicity, Plos Genetics, Vol:9, ISSN:1553-7404

Henk DA, Shahar-Golan R, Devi KR, et al., 2012, Clonality Despite Sex: The Evolution of Host-Associated Sexual Neighborhoods in the Pathogenic Fungus Penicillium marneffei, PLOS Pathogens, Vol:8, ISSN:1553-7366

Fisher MC, Henk DA, Briggs CJ, et al., 2012, Emerging fungal threats to animal, plant and ecosystem health, Nature, Vol:484, ISSN:0028-0836, Pages:186-194

Farrer RA, Weinert LA, Bielby J, et al., 2011, Multiple emergences of genetically diverse amphibian-infecting chytrids include a globalized hypervirulent recombinant lineage, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:108, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:18732-18736

Henk DA, Eagle CE, Brown K, et al., 2011, Speciation despite globally overlapping distributions in Penicillium chrysogenum: the population genetics of Alexander Fleming's lucky fungus, Molecular Ecology, Vol:20, ISSN:0962-1083, Pages:4288-4301

Simwami SP, Khayhan K, Henk DA, et al., 2011, Low Diversity Cryptococcus neoformans Variety grubii Multilocus Sequence Types from Thailand Are Consistent with an Ancestral African Origin, PLOS Pathogens, Vol:7, ISSN:1553-7366

Walker SF, Bosch J, Gomez V, et al., 2010, Factors driving pathogenicity vs. prevalence of amphibian panzootic chytridiomycosis in Iberia, Ecology Letters, Vol:13, ISSN:1461-023X, Pages:372-382

James TY, Litvintseva AP, Vilgalys R, et al., 2009, Rapid Global Expansion of the Fungal Disease Chytridiomycosis into Declining and Healthy Amphibian Populations, PLOS Pathogens, Vol:5, ISSN:1553-7366

Fisher MC, Bosch J, Yin Z, et al., 2009, Proteomic and phenotypic profiling of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis shows that genotype is linked to virulence, Molecular Ecology, Vol:18, ISSN:0962-1083, Pages:415-429

Fisher MC, Garner TWJ, Walker SF, 2009, Global Emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Amphibian Chytridiomycosis in Space, Time, and Host, Annual Review of Microbiology, Vol:63, ISSN:0066-4227, Pages:291-310

Fisher MC, 2008, Molecular toolkit unlocks life cycle of the panzootic amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:105, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:17209-17210

Walker SF, Bosch J, James TY, et al., 2008, Invasive pathogens threaten species recovery programs, Current Biology, Vol:18, ISSN:0960-9822, Pages:R853-R854

Fisher MC, Hanage WP, de Hoog S, et al., 2005, Low effective dispersal of asexual genotypes in heterogeneous landscapes by the endemic pathogen Penicillium marneffei, PLOS Pathogens, Vol:1, ISSN:1553-7366, Pages:159-165

Fisher MC, Rannala B, Chaturvedi V, et al., 2002, Disease surveillance in recombining pathogens: multilocus genotypes identify sources of human Coccidioides infections., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:99, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:9067-9071

Fisher MC, Koenig GL, White TJ, et al., 2001, Biogeographic range expansion into South America by Coccidioides immitis mirrors New World patterns of human migration., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:98, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:4558-4562

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