Dr Aidan Emery

Picture of Aidan Emery
  • Researcher/ Culture Facility Manager
  • Life Sciences department
  • Parasites and Vectors Division
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road


Employment history

  • Researcher and Laboratory Manager, Natural History Museum Department of Zoology.
  • Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Aberdeen.


  • BSc (Hons):  Biological and Biochemical Sciences, University of Salford.
  • PhD and Diploma of Imperial College:  Imperial College, University of London.


Wolfson Wellcome Biomedical Lab Parasite Culture Facility

Snail Trays

Trays containing the freshwater snails which act as intermediate hosts for schistosome parasites.


I manage the Wolfson Wellcome Biomedical Laboratory parasite culture facility.

Schistosomes and snails

Our laboratory maintains collections of schistosome parasites and their freshwater snail intermediate hosts.  Schistosomes (blood flukes) are trematode parasitic worms, which cause the disease schistosomiasis (Bilharzia) in humans.  Our extensive resources, including live and preserved snails and parasites supports the work of the Biomedical Laboratory as World Health Organization collaborating centre for the identification and characterization of schistosomes and their intermediate hosts.

Tapeworms and beetles

Supporting the work of Pete Olson, we also maintain Hymenolepis microstoma and its flour-beetle host.  H. microstoma is a model for some medically important tapeworms.

World Health Organization schistosomiasis page


Snails, schistosomes (and other parasites)

Schistosome cercaria

Cercaria - the schistosome life cycle stage infecting humans.


I am involved in a number of projects, either in my role as a researcher or by providing research support and facilities as laboratory manager.

Examples of current research activities include:
  • CONTRAST: A multidsciplinary alliance to optimize schistosomiasis control and transmission surveillance in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Regulators of growth and development in Schistosoma mansoni.
  • Gene  discovery and expression profiling in the snail Biomphalaria glabrata.


CONTRAST web site

DNA and collections

DNA card

DNA storage card

I am working in applied research projects to investigate innovative ways of using the museum's collections to provide material for molecular biological analysis, and new sampling formats suitable for long-term archiving of DNA.

Examples of current research activities include:


  • Exploring Whatman FTA technology at the Natural History Museum.
  • Examination of DNA extraction techniques for formalin-fixed planktonic samples.


  • Ludtmann M H R, Rollinson, D, Emery A M, Walker A J ( 2009 ) Protein kinase C signalling during miracidium to mother sporocyst development in the helminth parasite, Schistosoma mansoni. International Journal for Parasitology 39 : 1223-1233 . 10.1016/j.ijpara.2009.04.002
  • Akinwale O P, Laurent T, Mertens P, Leclipteux T, Rollinson D, Kane R, Emery A M, Ajayi M B, Akande D O, Fesobi T W ( 2008 ) Detection of schistosomes polymerase chain reaction amplified DNA by oligochromatographic dipstick. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 160 : 167-170 . 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2008.04.003
  • Golan R, Gower C M, Emery A M, Rollinson D, Webster J P ( 2008 ) Isolation and characterization of the first polymorphic microsatellite markers for Schistosoma haematobium and their application in multiplex reactions of larval stages. Molecular Ecology Resources 8 : 647-649 . 10.1111/j.1471-8286.2007.02031.x
  • Kane R A, Stothard J R, Emery A M, Rollinson D ( 2008 ) Molecular characterization of freshwater snails in the genus Bulinus: a role for barcodes? Parasites and vectors 1 : 15 . 10.1186/1756-3305-1-15
  • Gower C M, Shrivastava J, Lamberton P H L, Rollinson D, Webster B L, Emery A M, Kabatereine N B, Webster J P ( 2007 ) Development and application of an ethically and epidemiologically advantageous assay for the multi-locus microsatellite analysis of Schistosoma mansoni. Parasitology 134 : 523-536 . 10.1017/S0031182006001685
  • Wilkinson S, Emery A M, Khamis I S, Mgeni A F, Stothard J R, Rollinson D ( 2007 ) Spatial and temporal population genetic survey of Bulinus globosus from Zanzibar: an intermediate host of Schistosoma haematobium. Journal of Zoology 272 : 329-339 . 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2006.00274.x
  • DeJong R J, Emery A M, Adema C M ( 2004 ) The mitochondrial genome of Biomphalaria glabrata (Gastropoda : Basommatophora), intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni. Journal of Parasitology 90 : 991-997 . 10.1645/GE-284R
  • Emery A M, Loxton N J, Stothard R, Jones C S, Spinks J, Llewellyn-Hughes J, Noble L R, Rollinson D ( 2003 ) Microsatellites in the freshwater snail Bulinus globosus (Gastropoda : Planorbidae) from Zanzibar. Molecular Ecology Notes 3 : 108-110 . 10.1046/j.1471-8286.2003.00368.x