Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Lecturer in Human and Animal Health



+44 (0)20 7594 2255p.graystock Website




2.4MunroSilwood Park





The Graystock lab studies the interactions of microorganisms with their environment, each other, and plant and animal species. This includes the study of parasites and symbionts and the interaction of microbes with anthropogenic effects such as agrochemical exposure and climate change.

Much of this research is focused on the parasites and wider microbial community (microbiome) that live in the guts of bees.

Visit our website: for more details of our activities

Ongoing research

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Microbiome Engineering: The in-situ engineering of microbiomes is a new paradigm in microbial research, opening novel, exploitable frontiers in both community-scale genetics and microbial engineering. We are developing cutting -edge techniques to engineer microbiomes of bees to increase bee health.


Microbial transmission dynamics: The health of an organism is largely governed by the actions of both beneficial and parasitic microbes acting at the same time. The initial transmissions and establishment of these microbes are therefore hugely influential events. We are collecting data to understand these key events and how they influence the health of bees across entire pollinator communities.


Gut-Brain axis: The concept of a gut-brain axis is relatively new and exciting field of neurobiology. Research has found multiple links between the microbiome and host brain activity. The lab is exploring this with an array of cutting-edge techniques.

Lab News

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  • We start 2022 with an early conference talk - Ryan presented his Masters research on bumblebee population genetics at the UK Population Genetics Group conference
  • Our work on European foul brood is of great interest and Monika was invited to the UK Bee Health Advisory Forum to discuss the ongoing EFB work from her PhD and the lab. 
  • Publication! as part of a European collaboration we published work in Scientific Reports showing the results of screening bees from across Europe for viruses. We find climate and honeybees are linked to virus prevalence in wild bees
  • Spring harvest - We took a spring honey harvest this year to help prepare our research hives for some experiments we have planned this year on their brood. A tasty bit of research prep!
  • The Graystock and Gill groups shared a tent at the Great Exhibition road festival in South Kensington. Together with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, The Butterfly Trust, and the Seedball company we spoke to the public about the value of pollinators and gave hands-on workshops on making your own seedballs!
  • Monika presented work on EFB disease and pesticide exposure to the 2022 IUSSI conference in San Diego, USA. 
  • Publication! Monika published the first manuscript from her PhD, reviewing the risks posed by disease and pesticides to bee larvae. 
  • The lab held stalls at the Silwood park Bees, Birds and Beasts day where we showed off our honey bees and bumblebees to visitors and discussed our ongoing research
  • Monika received full funding to attend the 2-week SymbNet PhD workshop in Portugal to learn about recent discoveries and advancements in symbiosis research.