Rob is a Matthew Flinders Fellow in Bioinformatics, College of Science and Engineering.
Rob received his BSc (Hons) from De Montfort University, Leicester, England, and then completed a PhD at the Nitrogen Fixation Laboratory at the University of Sussex, England exploring the regulation of nitrogen fixation in Klebsiella pneumoniae. He moved to the US as a PostDoc, first at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia studying enterotoxigenic E. coli, and then at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign studying the genomics and pathogenesis of Salmonella, work that he continued as an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis, TN._ _Working with Argonne National Labs and the Fellowship for the Interpretation of Genomes (FIG) he developed the RAST and MG-RAST systems for bacterial genome and metagenome annotation. In 2006, Rob took a position in the Departments of Computer Science and Biology at San Diego State University, and his work there led to breakthroughs in our understanding of how viruses interact with their hosts, and how viruses from around the world carry important genetic information. Rob has continued to push current sequencing and bioinformatics technologies, in 2013 took a next-generation sequencing machine to the remote Southern Line Islands to explore metagenomics of coral reefs in real-time. In 2014 Rob’s team identified a virus that is present in the intestines of approximately half the people in the world, and in 2019 Rob assembled a consortium of 115 colleagues from every continent to demonstrate the global spread of the virus. In addition to science and teaching Rob is also an advanced scientific SCUBA diver having led teams to study Coral Reefs all over the world. In his spare time, he is a cyclist, black-diamond skiier and an avid international yachtsman, navigating in long-distance offshore races, including navigating the 2019 TransPac race from Los Angeles to Honolulu finishing 4th out of 89 boats.