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Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Dr Sariqa Wagley

Dr Sariqa Wagley

NERC Independent Research Fellow

 Not Known

 Geoffrey Pope 419 ("GP Heights")


Geoffrey Pope Building, University of Exeter , Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD, UK


I am an experienced microbiologist with a strong passion for investigating the molecular basis of infection caused by bacterial pathogens. My current research focuses on pathogenic Vibrio species, how they survive in the environment, and how they cause disease in humans. I am interested in understanding what governs how bacterial species wake up and grow in the natural environment after a period of long-term dormancy.


Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2014) University of Exeter

PhD (2008) Cefas laboratories Weymouth UK/University of Surrey, Development of methods for the detection and characterisation of pathogenic Vibrio parahaemolyticus in seafood

BSc Hons (2004) Medical Microbiology, University of Surrey


2023 - present NERC Independant Research Fellowship 

2021 - 2023 - Lecturer, Education & Scholarship Fellow, MRC- Centre for Medical Mycology, Biosciences, Univeristy of Exeter.

2020 to 2021 - Education & Scholarship Fellow, Project Enhance’ Manager, Biosciences, Univeristy of Exeter.

2008 - present - Research Fellow, Biosciences, Univeristy of Exeter

2004-2008 - Microbiologist PhD Student, Cefas, Weymouth, UK

2002 - 2003 - Microbiologist, Cefas, Weymouth,


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Research interests

My main research interests are:

  • Bacterial human pathogens
  • Bacterial dormancy
  • Bacterial virulence and responses to stress
  • Galleria mellonella Insect model
  • Seafood safety
  • Climate change

Research projects

  • Understanding how the bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus causes disease
    • The role of viable but non-culturable cells of V. parahaemolyticus and its significance on food safety
    • Galleria mellonella as an alternative infection model for V. parahaemolyticus.
    • Exploring the epidemiological significance of V. parahaemolyticus in the environment
  • Understand the role of Clostridium perfringens epsilon toxin in Multiple sclerosis
  • Studying carbon utilisation in Campylobacter species
  • Understanding the role of a proteasome inhibitor (glbC) in Burkholderia pseudomallei
  • Identification and characterisation of the Twin Arginie Translocation system in Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia thailandenisis


  • 2020: University of Exeter: Researcher Led Initiatives Grant. Conduct a national workshop called ‘The ImageStream Revolution! A novel solution to answering complex environmental questions’. (Co-Applicant).
  • 2019: Microbiology Travel Grant £750 to travel and present at International Vibrio Conference in Montreal, Canada.
  • 2016-2020: BBSRC Industrial Partnership Award: ‘Uncovering the molecular basis of infection of viable but non-culturable cells’.  (Researcher Co-Investigator).
  • 2016-2020: Lyons Seafood (Warminster, UK): ‘Uncovering the molecular basis of infection of viable but non-culturable cells’. (Researcher Co-Investigator).
  • 2014: GW4+ Innovation Primer Fund: ‘Using remote sensing modelling to monitor the incidence of the human pathogen V. parahaemolyticus in the UK.’ Dr Sariqa Wagley (Principal Investigator),
  • 2012: Cefas Laboratories:  Consumables grant to understand the molecular basis of disease in V. parahaemolyticus. (Principal Investigator). I
  • 2012: University of Exeter: Researcher Led Initiatives Grant. Conduct a workshop for early career researchers entitled ‘Women in Science: A workshop for young researchers’. (Principal Investigator).


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Journal articles

Witherall L, Wagley S, Butler C, Tyler C, Temperton B (In Press). Genome sequences of four Vibrio parahaemolyticus strains isolated from the English Channel and the River Thames. Microbiology Resource Announcements
Wagley S (2023). The Viable but Non-Culturable (VBNC) State in Vibrio Species: Why Studying the VBNC State Now is More Exciting than Ever. Adv Exp Med Biol, 1404, 253-268. Abstract.  Author URL.
Wagley S, Morcrette H, Kovacs-Simon A, Yang ZR, Power A, Tennant RK, Love J, Murray N, Titball RW, Butler CS, et al (2021). Bacterial dormancy: a subpopulation of viable but non-culturable cells demonstrates better fitness for revival. PLoS Pathogens, 17(1). Abstract.
Power AL, Barber DG, Groenhof SRM, Wagley S, Liu P, Parker DA, Love J (2021). The Application of Imaging Flow Cytometry for Characterisation and Quantification of Bacterial Phenotypes. FRONTIERS IN CELLULAR AND INFECTION MICROBIOLOGY, 11  Author URL.
Harrison J, Nelson K, Morcrette H, Morcrette C, Preston J, Helmer L, Titball RW, Butler CS, Wagley S (2021). The increased prevalence of Vibrio species and the first reporting of Vibrio jasicida and Vibrio rotiferianus at UK shellfish sites. Water Research, 211
Morcrette H, Kovacs-Simon A, Tennant RK, Love J, Wagley S, Yang ZR, Studholme DJ, Soyer OS, Champion OL, Butler CS, et al (2020). Campylobacter jejuni 11168H Exposed to Penicillin Forms Persister Cells and Cells with Altered Redox Protein Activity. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, 10 Abstract.
Wagley S, Bokori-Brown M, Morcrette H, Malaspina A, D'Arcy C, Gnanapavan S, Lewis N, Popoff MR, Raciborska D, Nicholas R, et al (2019). Evidence of Clostridium perfringens epsilon toxin associated with multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler, 25(5), 653-660. Abstract.  Author URL.
Wagley S, Scott AE, Ireland PM, Prior JL, Atkins TP, Bancroft GJ, Studholme DJ, Titball RW (2019). Genome Resequencing of Laboratory Stocks of Burkholderia pseudomallei K96243. Microbiol Resour Announc, 8(9). Abstract.  Author URL.
Wagley S, Titball R, Butler C (2019). Uncovering the molecular basis of viable but non culturable (VBNC) cells. Access Microbiology, 1(1A).
Wagley S, Borne R, Harrison J, Baker-Austin C, Ottaviani D, Leoni F, Vuddhakul V, Titball RW (2018). Galleria mellonella as an infection model to investigate virulence of Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Virulence, 9(1), 197-207. Abstract.  Author URL.
Wagley S, Vanaporn M, Rinchai D, Conejero L, Lertmemongkolchai G, Bancroft GJ, Titball RW (2017). A proteasome inhibitor produced by Burkholderia pseudomallei modulates intracellular growth. Microb Pathog, 107, 175-180. Abstract.  Author URL.
Champion OL, Wagley S, Titball RW (2016). Galleria mellonella as a model host for microbiological and toxin research. Virulence, 7(7), 840-845. Abstract.  Author URL.
Cizmeci D, Dempster EL, Champion OL, Wagley S, Akman OE, Prior JL, Soyer OS, Mill J, Titball RW (2016). Mapping epigenetic changes to the host cell genome induced by Burkholderia pseudomallei reveals pathogen-specific and pathogen-generic signatures of infection. Sci Rep, 6 Abstract.  Author URL.
Wagley S, Newcombe J, Laing E, Yusuf E, Sambles CM, Studholme DJ, La Ragione RM, Titball RW, Champion OL (2014). Differences in carbon source utilisation distinguish Campylobacter jejuni from Campylobacter coli. BMC Microbiol, 14 Abstract.  Author URL.
Wagley S, Hemsley C, Thomas R, Moule MG, Vanaporn M, Andreae C, Robinson M, Goldman S, Wren BW, Butler CS, et al (2014). The twin arginine translocation system is essential for aerobic growth and full virulence of Burkholderia thailandensis. J Bacteriol, 196(2), 407-416. Abstract.  Author URL.
Powell A, Baker-Austin C, Wagley S, Bayley A, Hartnell R (2013). Isolation of Pandemic Vibrio parahaemolyticus from UK Water and Shellfish Produce. Microbial Ecology, 65(4), 924-927. Abstract.
Roque A, Lopez-Joven C, Lacuesta B, Elandaloussi L, Wagley S, Furones MD, Ruiz-Zarzuela I, de Blas I, Rangdale R, Gomez-Gil B, et al (2009). Detection and identification of tdh- and trh-positive Vibrio parahaemolyticus strains from four species of cultured bivalve molluscs on the Spanish Mediterranean Coast. Appl Environ Microbiol, 75(23), 7574-7577. Abstract.  Author URL.
Wagley S, Koofhethile K, Rangdale R (2009). Prevalence and potential pathogenicity of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in Chinese mitten crabs (Eriocheir sinensis) harvested from the River Thames estuary, England. J Food Prot, 72(1), 60-66. Abstract.  Author URL.
Wheeler RW, Davies RL, Dalsgaard I, Garcia J, Welch TJ, Wagley S, Bateman KS, Verner-Jeffreys DW (2009). Yersinia ruckeri biotype 2 isolates from mainland Europe and the UK likely represent different clonal groups. Dis Aquat Organ, 84(1), 25-33. Abstract.  Author URL.
Wagley S, Koofhethile K, Wing JB, Rangdale R (2008). Comparison of V. parahaemolyticus isolated from seafoods and cases of gastrointestinal disease in the UK. Int J Environ Health Res, 18(4), 283-293. Abstract.  Author URL.
Ellingsen AB, Jørgensen H, Wagley S, Monshaugen M, Rørvik LM (2008). Genetic diversity among Norwegian Vibrio parahaemolyticus. J Appl Microbiol, 105(6), 2195-2202. Abstract.  Author URL.
Nordstrom JL, Rangdale R, Vickery MCL, Phillips AMB, Murray SL, Wagley S, DePaola A (2006). Evaluation of an alkaline phosphatase-labeled oligonucleotide probe for the detection and enumeration of the thermostable-related hemolysin (trh) gene of Vibrio parahaemolyticus. J Food Prot, 69(11), 2770-2772. Abstract.  Author URL.


Raciborska D, Turner B, Titball R, Bokori-Brown M, Wagley S, Gnanapavan S, Lewis N (2017). Epsilon toxin as a causative agent in MS.  Author URL.

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  • BIOM509 Science Communication session
  • Supervision of final year undergraduate and Masters research projects

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