Profile of Dr Kata Farkas

Dr Kata Farkas
Postdoctoral Research Officer
(44) 01248 383056
Environment Centre Wales Building, 2nd floor


My research focuses on water microbiology; I study the fate, behaviour and ecology of microbes and viruses in water environment. I am particularly interested in the development of molecular techniques for the accurate quantification of bacteria and viruses in the environment, investigating viral survival and infectivity. I recently started to explore novel viral strains might be harmful to humans and animals and to describe viral ecology in relation to other microbes found in water using metaviromics.

I am currently the lead research scientist on the Viraqua Project at the Bangor University, Wales. The project aims to describe the fate and behaviour of wastewater-derived enteric viruses in the water and improve current risk assessment ( 




Since 2015:      Postdoctoral Research Officer, Bangor University, UK
2014-2015:      Post-doctoral research scientist, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
2007-2011:      Molecular biologist, National Institute of Environmental Health, Hungary
Onward:           Postgraduate certificate in higher education teaching and learning, Bangor University, UK
2014:               PhD in Microbiology, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Thesis: Mimicking virus removal and transport in aquifer media using surface-modified silica nanoparticles (
2007:               MSc in Biology and Molecular Genetics, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary
                        Thesis: Molecular examination of the xylanase enzyme

Innovation Award – Innovative research at the School of Biological Sciences at the Annual Biology Conference, New Zealand, 2011.
PhD scholarship – Royal Society of New Zealand, 2011 – 2014.

Presentations – 2017:

Farkas K. The secret life of enteric viruses in water environment. Invited speaker at Seminar Series of the Centre for Water Resource Systems. Vienna University of Technology, Austria, 24 November 2017.
Farkas K, Kienmoser V, Malham SK. Enteric viruses is shellfish – What, how, where? 7th International Oyster Symposium, Bangor, Wales. 11-14 September 2017.
Farkas K, Cooper DM, Robins P, Jones, DL. Viraqua – Tracing human pathogenic viruses through the environment. Invites speaker at 58th Water Network Meeting, Cranfield, UK, 22 June 2017.
Farkas K, McDonald JE, Peters DE, Cross L, Malham SK, Jones DL. Viraqua – New approaches for the surveillance of enteric viruses in the environment. 19th International Symposium on Health-Related Microbiology, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 15-19 May 2017.


I am currently working on a NERC funded project entitled ‘New approaches for the quantitative detection of human pathogenic viruses within the freshwater-marine continuum’. The project aims are:

1. Develop robust technologies for the reproducible enumeration of viruses in different environmental matrices.
2. Evaluate new high-throughput molecular technologies for the rapid detection and characterisation of multiple target viruses from environmental samples.
3. Develop new time-integrating samplers which can be deployed in situ to capture low frequency, high risk events that are currently missed by traditional spot sampling.
4. Evaluate the application of the new methodologies to identify key viral inputs and reservoirs within the freshwater-marine continuum.
5. Use advanced mathematical models to improve prediction of viral flow from diffuse and point source discharges into high risk receptor areas (bathing waters & shellfish harvesting areas).
6. Develop and apply new techniques to evaluate viral infectivity.
7. Provide clear technical guidance on new virus methods and the use of those methods for risk assessment and risk management of shellfish and bathing water pollution.

For more details please visit


Farkas K, Cooper DM, McDonald JE, Malham SK, de Rougemont A, Jones DL (2018). Seasonal and spatial dynamics of enteric viruses in wastewater and in riverine and estuarine receiving waters. Science of the Total Environment. Under review.

Van Doorslaer K, Austin C, Farkas K, Kraberger S, Bergeman M, Paunil E, Jandova J, Buck CB, Davison W, Varsani A (2018) Fish Polyomaviruses belong to two distinct evolutionary lineages. Journal of General Virology. Under Review.

Adriaenssens E, Farkas K, Harrison C, Jones DL, Allison HE, McCarthy AJ (2018). Viromic analysis of wastewater input to a river catchment reveals a diverse assemblage of RNA viruses. mSystems. Under review. BioRxiv.

Pang L, Robson B, Farkas K, McGill E, Varsani A, Gillot L, Li J, Abraham P. (2017) Tracking effluent discharges in undisturbed stony soil and alluvial gravel aquifer using synthetic DNA tracers. Science of the Total Environment, 592:144-52. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.03.072.

Susi H, Laine A, Filloux D, Kraberger S, Farkas K, Bernardo P, Frilander MJ, Martin DP, Varsani A, Roumagnac P. (2017) Genome sequences of a capulavirus infecting Plantago Lanceolata in the Åland archipelago of Finland. Archives of Virology. 162:2041–2045. doi:10.1007/s00705-017-3298-0.

Kamali M, Heydarnejad J, Pouramini N, Masumi H, Farkas K, Kraberger S, Varsani A. (2017) Genome sequences of beet curly top Iran virus, oat dwarf virus, turnip curly top virus, and wheat dwarf virus identified in leafhoppers. Genome Announcements 5:e01674-16. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.01674-16

Farkas K, Peters DE, McDonald JE, De Rougemont A, Malham SK, Jones DL. (2017) Evaluation of two triplex one-Step qRT-PCR assays for the quantification of human enteric viruses in environmental samples. Food and Environmental Virology. 9:342-349. doi: 10.1007/s12560-017-9293-5.

Farkas K, Hassard F, McDonald JE, Malham SK, Jones DL. (2017) Evaluation of molecular methods for the detection and quantification of pathogen-derived nucleic acids in sediment. Frontiers in Microbiology 8:53. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.00053.

Bernardo P, Brejnev M, François S, Deshoux M, Hartnady P, Farkas K, Kraberger S, Filloux D, Fernandez E, Galzi S, Ferdinand R, Granier M, Marais A, Blasco PM, Candresse T, Escriu, F, Varsani A, Harkins GW, Martin DP, Roumagnac P. (2016) Molecular characterization and prevalence of two capulaviruses: Alfalfa leaf curl virus from France and Euphorbia caput-medusae latent virus from South Africa. Virology 493:142-53. doi:10.1016/j.virol.2016.03.016.

Hassard F, Gwyther CL, Farkas K, Andrews A, Jones V, Cox B, Brett H, Jones DL, McDonald JE, Malham SK. (2016) Abundance and distribution of enteric bacteria and viruses in coastal and estuarine sediments—a review. Frontiers in Microbiology 7. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2016.01692.

Stenzel T, Farkas K, Varsani A. (2015) Genome sequence of a diverse goose circovirus recovered from greylag goose. GenomeA 3:7-8. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00767-15.

Kraberger S, Farkas K, Bernardo P, Booker C, Argüello-Astorga GR, Mesléard F, Martin DP, Roumagnac P, Varsani A. (2015) Identification of novel Bromus and Trifolium associated circular DNA viruses. Archives of Virology. 160:1303-11. doi:10.1007/s00705-015-2358-6

Farkas K, Plutzer J, Moltchanova E, Török A, Varró MJ, Domokos K, Frost F, Hunter PR. (2015) Serological responses to Cryptosporidium antigens in inhabitants of Hungary using conventionally filtered surface water. Epidemiology and infection. 143:2743-274 doi:10.1017/S0950268814003859.

Varsani A, Julian L, Porzig EL, Massaro M, Jennings S, Ballard G, Kraberger S, Farkas K, Ainley DG. (2015) Identification of an avian polyomavirus associated with Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae). Journal of General Virology. 96: 851-857. doi:10.1099/vir.0.000038.

Farkas K, Pang L, Marjoshi D, Easingwood R, Varsani A. (2014) Size exclusion-based purification and PCR-based quantification of MS2 bacteriophage particles for environmental applications. Journal of Virological Methods, 213:135-138.doi:10.1016/j.jviromet.2014.11.024.

Farkas K, Varsani A., Pang L. (2014) Adsorption of rotavirus, MS2 bacteriophage and surface-modified silica nanoparticles to hydrophobic matter. Food and Environmental Virology. 7: 261-268. doi:10.1007/s12560-014-9171-3.

Pang L, Farkas K, Bennett G, Varsani A, Easingwood R, Tilley R, Nowostawska U, Lin S. (2014) Mimicking retention and transport of rotavirus and adenovirus in sand media using DNA-labeled, protein-coated silica nanoparticles. Water Research, 64, 167-179. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2014.05.055.

Plutzer J, Török A, Szenasi Z, Kucsera I, Farkas K, Karanis P. (2014). Detection and genotype analysis of Giardia duodenalis from asymptomatic Hungarian inhabitants and comparative findings in three distinct locations. Acta Microbiologica et Immunologica Hungarica 61:19-26. doi: 10.1556/AMicr.61.2014.1.3.

Farkas K, Pang L, Lin S, Williamson W, Easingwood R, Fredericks R, Jaffer MA, Varsani A. (2013). A gel filtration-based method for the purification of infectious rotavirus particles for environmental research applications. Food and Environmental Virology 5:231-235. doi:10.1007/s12560-013-9122-4.