Mucosal surfaces in vertebrates are heavily colonised by bacteria and it is rapidly emerging that the gut bacterial microbiota has important functions in humans such as controlling body energetics and immunity . However, almost nothing is known about the evolutionary history of gut microbiota, the factors which influence host and bacterial colonisation, or the evolution of the mechanisms of colonization . To begin to address these issues this PhD will use high throughput sequencing of faecal contents from captive and wild primate taxa to explore primate gut microbiota diversity, evolution.
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