About the Author

About Stephen Boyle

I am scientist by training, in biology to be precise. I received my B.Sc Biology in 1998 from Waterford Institute of Technology.

I received a PhD in entomopathogenic nematology from IT Carlow in 2007.

I completed 3 year postdoctoral research fellowship in 2009 at IT Carlow where I studied the utility of entomopathogenic nematodes as environmental bioindicators for chromium pollution in soils.

Current research interests that I read and think a lot about: zoology, nematodes, parasites, evolution, the evolution of parasitolgy, horizontal gene transfer, molecular biology, bioinformatics and computational biology, bioindicators and much more.


Bioindicator: The use of biological material to detect, study, or monitor changes in the natural world. As a word it has an immensely broad meaning in the biological sciences. It can refer to the monitoring of a population of elephants to see how they react to increasing droughts in their home range, or it can be the detection of certain bacteria in polluted soils, or even can refer to the monitoring of changes in proteins or DNA in cells.

Bioinformatics: The study of molecular biology using computers: ie analysis of DNA sequences and genomes using computers to infer relationships.

Chromium: An element in nature, known as a heavy metal. Not like Lars Ulrich from Metallica. That’s a different thing. However, both chromium and Metallica are extremely toxic to life at higher concentrations.

Entomopathogenic: A parasite or other organism that infects insects.

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT):  The passing of genetic material between between organisms in ways other than sexual or asexual reproduction.  In sexual or asexual reproduction genes are passed from parents to offspring directly, to put it rather deceptively simply. In HGT, genes are passed directly between non-related organisms: ie, between two bacteria, between bacteria and animal host, between viruses and animal host cells etc.

Nematode: A ubiquitous non-segemented worm ranging in size from microscopic to 8 meters long, depending on species. They are everywhere on the planet.

Nematology: The scientific study of nematodes.

Scientific Publication Record:

Boyle, S., Kakouli-Duarte,.T. (2020) Differential gene expression in the insect pathogen Steinernema feltiae in response to chromium VI exposure in contaminated host cadavers. Computational Biology and Chemistry,
Volume 88. 2020.    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compbiolchem.2020.107331

Boyle, S, and Kakouli-Duarte, T. (2018). The Behaviour of the nematode,  Steinernema feltiae (Nematoda: Steinernematidae) in sand contaminated with the industrial pollutant chromium VI. Ecotoxicology (27, 590–604).

Boyle, S. and Kakouli-Duarte, T. (2010). Fellowship End of Research Report: Soils & Bioindicators; The development of the nematode Steinernema feltiae as a bioindicator for Chromium VI soil pollution. EPA STRIVE programme 2007-2013 publication.

Rolston, A., Meade, C., Boyle, S., Kakouli-Duarte, T. and Downes, M. (2009). Intraspecific variation among isolates of the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema feltiae from Bull Island, Ireland. Nematology. 11(3), 439-451.

Boyle, S. and Kakouli-Duarte, T. (2008). The effects of Chromium VI on the fitness and on the -tubulin genes during in vivo development of the nematode Steinernema feltiae. Science of the Total Environment. 404: 56-67.

Valadas, V., Boyle, S., Vieira, P., Kakouli-Duarte, T. and Mota, M. (2007). First report on entomopathogenic nematodes from continental Portugal. Helminthologia, 44: 226-229.

Rolston, A.N., Boyle, S., Kakouli-Duarte, T., Griffin, T and M.J. Downes. (2005). Intraspecific variation among naturally occurring Steinernema feltiae populations from Bull Island,Republic of Ireland. COST 850 Workshop on Natural occurrence and evolution of EPNs, Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic (14-17 January 2005).