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veg 2009 meeting

The sixth VEG meeting will take place on the 30th & 31st of March. It will again be held at the University of Leicester botanical gardens. Registration is now open.  

Virus Ecology Group (VEG)

The virus ecology group (VEG) was started in July 2001 as a ‘spinout’ interest group of the Marine and Freshwater Microbial Biodiversity (M&FMB) thematic programme of the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) of the UK.  The original  virus ecology  group was started from researchers involved from some of the 6 virus projects funded through the M&FMB programme (see project details).

VEG has a very simple aim:
To enhance interactions between environmental virologists in the UK and worldwide.

The idea was to bring together UK researchers interested in different aspects of virus ecology in a forum to discuss current research and exchange ideas.  The initial proposal was to hold a low-cost informal meeting once a year.  In time, we planned to set up a web site where ideas on virus ecology could be exchanged and information on our annual meeting publicised more effectively to expand end-user involvement.

VEG now has more than 100 members.  The annual meetings held to date (in February 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007 predominantly at Leamington Spa Cricket Club, each attracted about 60 participants. Whilst most VEG members are based in universities and research laboratories, a few commercial organizations and Public Health bodies are also represented.

The areas of interest of current VEG members are diverse, covering a broad spectrum of virus ecology topics.  Talks at our annual meetings have discussed: marine & freshwater viruses, cyanophages & bacteriophages; baculoviruses; phage-mediated gene transfer; algal viruses; viruses & biogeochemistry; soil bacteriophages; modelling virus interactions; phage therapy; plant viruses; virus exploitation; coral viruses; virus evolution; virus genomics & proteomics; bacteriophage molecular genetics and viruses affecting public health.  We have also invited eminent international speakers such as Professor Henry Krisch (University of Toulouse, France) and Professor Curtis Suttle (University of British Columbia, Canada).

VEG has received funding from the NERC to help develop a stronger knowledge transfer (KT) role for UK virus ecology.  This website will be the main vehicle to disseminate KT activities for VEG.  It will provide an interactive forum for virus ecology researchers in the UK and hopefully encourage contributions from around the globe.

Future VEG activities will include: 

  • VEG workshops.  Annual meetings will continue in February of each year at Leamington Spa Cricket Club (usually school half-term week).
  • VEG Website.  This will provide the main communication avenue for the VEG group.
  • Training course on virus ecology methods.  A training course (of 4-5 days), to be held in summer 2006, will help disseminate and standardise virus ecology research protocols (click here for details)


The viruses area of the BlueMicrobe website was launched in April 2005 and its construction is currently in progress.





VEG 2009 registration is open 











To join the Virus Ecology Group (VEG) please email Martha Clokie on mrjc1@le.ac.uk or Andrew Millard on a.d.millard@warwick.ac.uk  detailing your affiliation and area(s) of interest. You will be added to the VEG mailing group and receive updates on VEG activities.