Erica became an Institute Fellow in 2016 and was promoted to Group Leader of the the Coronavirus group in 2018. Her current research utilises molecular virology, next generation sequencing and reverse genetics to characterise the pathogenicity determinants of the avian coronavirus, infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). Infectious bronchitis is the most economically important infectious disease affecting chickens in the UK and affects not only the production of meat-type birds but also the quality and production levels of eggs from layer and breeder birds. IBV is prevalent in all types of poultry flocks globally and continues to be responsible for economic losses and welfare problems in chickens.
The aim of Erica’s research is to develop rationally attenuated vaccines for the better control of infectious bronchitis virus and other coronaviruses. She has strong links to major veterinary pharmaceutical companies and is a member of The Pirbright Institute Animal Welfare & Ethical Review Board (AWERB). Erica was elected to the Microbiology Society virology division committee in 2014 and was appointed as a member of the BBSRC Follow-on Fund Committee in 2019.