Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Honorary Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 3820k.lythgoe CV




Norfolk PlaceSt Mary's Campus





I apply ecological and evolutionary theory to better predict the evolutionary dynamics of infectious disease in humans and other species, with the ultimate aim of informing public health decisions.  In particular, I am interested in disentangling the, often conflicting, selection pressures acting on pathogens at different ecological levels, and to assess the impact this has on the evolutionary epidemiology of infectious disease.  My approach is inter-disciplinary in nature, including the application and development of evolutionary theory, using and making sense of next generation sequence data, and applying epidemiological theory. The current focus of my research is on HIV and malaria, but the theory I develop has implications for our understanding of infectious disease more widely. I currently hold a Wellcome Trust Re-Entry Fellowship, and I am member of the Evolutionary Epidemiology Group within the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology.

Previously, I was the Editor of Trends in Ecology & Evolution (TREE) for seven years, the leading reviews journal in the fields of ecology and evolution. Before becoming the Editor of TREE my research focussed on using population genetic and population dynamical models to investigate how host-acquired immunity can affect the evolution of pathogens, such as the evolution of sex and recombination in helminths, and the evolution of antigenic variation in trypanosomes.

Oh, and I also have two kiddies, Robyn and Arthur:Robyn and Arty in poppy field

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

van de Vijver DA, Nichols BE, Abbas UL, et al., 2013, Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) will have a limited impact on the prevalence of HIV-1 drug resistance in sub-Saharan Africa: comparison of mathematical models, AIDS, Vol:27, ISSN:0269-9370, Pages:2943-2951

Lythgoe KA, Pellis L, Fraser C, 2013, IS HIV SHORT-SIGHTED? INSIGHTS FROM A MULTISTRAIN NESTED MODEL, Evolution, Vol:67, ISSN:0014-3820, Pages:2769-2782

Lythgoe KA, Fraser C, 2012, New insights into the evolutionary rate of HIV-1 at the within-host and epidemiological levels, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol:279, ISSN:0962-8452, Pages:3367-3375

Lythgoe KA, Morrison LJ, Read AF, et al., 2007, Parasite-intrinsic factors can explain ordered progression of trypanosome antigenic variation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:104, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:8095-8100

Lythgoe KA, Chao L, 2003, Mechanisms of coexistence of a bacteria and a bacteriophage in a spatially homogeneous environment, Ecology Letters, Vol:6, ISSN:1461-023X, Pages:326-334

Lythgoe KA, 2000, The coevolution of parasites with host-acquired immunity and the evolution of sex, Evolution, Vol:54, ISSN:0014-3820, Pages:1142-1156

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