Dr Nuno Miguel Oliveira



2016: Herchel Smith Postdoctoral Fellow (DAMTP) and Governing Body Fellow of Wolfson College

2015: PhD in System Biology (University of Oxford, UK)

2008: Msc in Ecology (University of Lisbon, PT)

2006: Bsc in Biology (university of Lisbon, PT)



I study the marvels of microbial behaviour, ecology and evolution. In particular, my research aims to uncover the natural ecology of bacterial motility. How do bacteria sense clonemates, other bacterial species or potential hosts and control their motility accordingly? And how does that motile behaviour affect their impacts on us? To answer these questions I spy bacteria using time-lapse microscopy and single-cell tracking algorithms, which I combine with classical tools from molecular genetics and mathematical modelling.


Selected Publications

Oliveira NM, Foster KR, Durham WM (2016). Single-cell twitching chemotaxis in developing biofilms. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 23(113):6532-6537. Recommended Article by Faculty 1000 (Recommendation: Very Good).


Oliveira NM, Martinez-Garcia E, Xavier J, Durham WM, Kolter, R, Kim W, Foster KR (2015) Biofilm formation as a response to ecological competition. PLoS Biol 13(7). Research Highlight in Nature, Dispatch in Current Biology by Vega & Gore, and Editor’s Pick in Microbiology at PloS. Recommended Article by Faculty 1000 (Recommendation: Very Good / Exceptional).


Oliveira NM, Niehus R, Foster KR (2014) Evolutionary limits to cooperation in microbial communities. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 111(50):17941-17946. Recommended Article by Faculty 1000 (Recommendation: Very Good).