Mick Watson’s research group focuses on all aspects of second- and third- generation sequencing in applied sciences, with a focus on animal health and disease. We focus on the re-use of open-source software to integrate and analyse large datasets, only developing novel software where no good alternative exists. Many of our current projects focus on the analysis of small RNAs: in collaboration with the Kohl group at Glasgow we are investigating the small RNA response in insect vectors to important viral diseases; in collaboration with the Nair group at The Pirbright Institute, we are investigating the presence and expression of both host and viral microRNAs during infection with oncogenic viruses in chickens; and we are also investigating global patterns of microRNA expression across all clades of life using publicly available gene expression data. We also have an active interest in metagenomics, and we have deep-sequenced multiple ruminant gut samples to investigate the structure and function of the populations of bacteria that live there. We have other metagenomics projects in pig and chicken to investigate changes in population structure after infection. We maintain an active interest in microbial genome sequencing, assembly and annotation.