I received my Ph.D in Microbiology from Queen’s University Belfast in 2011, working on how marine microbes store phosphate as polyphosphate, particularly in oligotrophic environments. Fascinated by how nutrient limitation can drive genome streamlining, I moved to Oregon State to complete a postdoc in Steve Giovannoni’s lab. Whilst there, I was involved in numerous projects including metaproteomics, single-cell genomics and metagenomics to evaluate functional and taxonomic diversity of the Pelagibacterales. During this time, I was involved in the discovery of the pelagiphages, viruses that infect the Pelagibacterales, and putatively the most abundant viruses on Earth. Thus began a deep interest in phage biology and their role in global carbon biogeochemistry. After a second postdoc at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, where I established the UK’s first Environmental Single cell Genomics Centre, before moving to Exeter as a Lecturer in Bioinformatics in September 2015. There, I established a group to investigate host-virus interactions in organisms with streamlined genomes, coupling viral metagenomics with high-throughput culturing of fastidious bacteria and their phages.