Rhys White

Following a successful undergraduate degree in Biology at Cardiff University (2016), Rhys White has joined the Beatson lab at The University of Queensland (April 2017) to commence his PhD in Microbial Genomics under the supervision of A/Prof Scott Beatson.

Rhys’ dissertation topic concerned the use of genomic analyses techniques, in silico, to interrogate the antibiotic resistance gene profile of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli clinical isolates from within Wales in the United Kingdom. Rhys’ investigation exposed E. coli ST131 as the dominant sequence type among cultured blood samples from patients symptomatic of bacteraemia, and emphasises the importance of investigations into bacterial antimicrobial resistance prevalence. Rhys’ findings, combined with his comprehensive literature review of antibiotic resistance and E. coli ST131, are primary areas of research focus in the Beatson laboratory.

Complementing his specific expertise in microbial genomics, Rhys has also developed a portfolio of practical experience in other areas of infectious disease research. The MONKEYBAR project involved relocating to Malaysia to carry out in-field research into the biomedical, environmental, and social risk factors for human infection with Plasmodium knowlesi – in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Health in Borneo. Rhys’ time at the BARC project, under CRIPES at Cardiff University assisted research into the prevalence of common soil parasites across the United Kingdom, particularly Toxocara spp.

Rhys has a broad range of skills/knowledge in bioinformatics and a variety of field work methods, offering great insight across the full spectrum of research design and implementation. His interests include travel, the outdoors, and photography.


  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biology (Second-class Honours Division One)


  • Oxford Nanopore Technologies Bursary, 2021
  • The Australian Society for Microbiology (ASM) Nancy Millis Student Award Finalist, 2020
  • Oxford Nanopore Technologies Bursary, 2019
  • ASM national meeting registration grant, 2018, 2019, and 2021
  • UQ Research Training Scholarship (The University of Queensland, Australia), 2018
  • Research Higher Degree Scholarship Scholarship (The University of Queensland, Australia), 2017
  • UQ Research Training Scholarship (The University of Queensland, Australia), 2017
  • The Karen Folk Professional Training Year Scholarship (Cardiff University, United Kingdom), 2014

Community Outreach

  • ASM Queensland Branch Ex-officio, 2019 - present
  • ASM Communications Ambassador, 2018 - present
  • COMBINE (student-run Australian organisation for computational biology & bioinformatics) Media & Communications officer, 2019
  • ASM Queensland Branch Student representative, 2018
  • COMBINE local representative for Queensland, 2018
  • Research assistant at Danau Girang Field Centre, 2014

Previous Projects

  • Exploring and categorising the resistance repertoire of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli isolates within Wales, United Kingdom
  • Exploring and categorising the virulence resistance repertoire of an allocated Salmonella enterica isolate
  • The Effect of Different Secondary Forest Ecotypes and Seasonal Dynamics Nocturnal Anthropogenic Culicidae Diversity and Prevalence in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary of Sabah, East Malaysia.
  • The Effect of Host Sea Anemone Morphological Characteristics and Location on the Distribution of Amphipironinue in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia.