Dr Deborah Hoyle



I graduated from the University of Cambridge with BA (Hons) Pathology in 1991 and Vet MB, MRCVS in 1994. I spent a year at the University of Oxford studying the epidemiology of human infectious disease, before working for a short period in mixed clinical practice. In 1996, I moved to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Medicine, Edinburgh, to study for a doctorate, investigating the early immune response to Fasciola hepatica infection in cattle (2000). Following this, I joined Professor Mark Woolhouse’s group, initially on a quarantine surveillance project, examining the risk of zoonotic disease importation by pets into the UK and then as a post-doctoral researcher studying the molecular epidemiology of antimicrobial resistant commensal and pathogenic Escherichia coli in beef cattle. From 2005-2015, I took a ten year career break to raise a family. I returned to research in 2015 with a Wellcome Trust Career Re-entry Fellowship investigating the epidemiology of Shiga toxin positive non-O157 E.coli on farms throughout the UK.

My current research focuses on the epidemiology of veterinary and zoonotic pathogens, antimicrobial resistance, emerging disease and One Health. 


2000: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh, "Bovine immune responses to the common liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica, during the early stages of infection"

1995:  Master of Arts, University of Cambridge

1994: Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge

1991: Bachelor of Arts (Pathology), University of Cambridge

Professional Qualifications

1994: Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, MRCVS


Responsibilities & affiliations

Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS)

Postgraduate teaching

  • Course organiser for the Applied Epidemiology and Surveillance for Conservation Medicine course, part of the Conservation Medicine MVetSci Programme
  • Emerging Infectious Disease week for the Introduction to One Health course, part of the One Health MSc Programme

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

Molecular epidemiology of zoonotic and emerging pathogens, antimicrobial resistance, disease surveillance and control, One Health.

Current research interests

I am a qualified veterinarian and researcher, with research interests in the One Health field, focussing on the epidemiology of veterinary pathogens and zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and emerging disease. My current projects focus on the molecular epidemiology of foodborne zoonotic pathogens Shiga-toxin non-O157 Escherichia coli in cattle, the role of mobile genetic elements in the dissemination and retention of AMR genes in livestock, and the impact of withdrawing therapeutic levels of zinc oxide supplementation during piglet weaning on stakeholder antibiotic use and on-farm AMR gene carriage. As a veterinarian, I have further interests in the epidemiology and control of endemic disease in livestock and the impact of disease on animal welfare.

Current project grants

03/2024 - 02/2027: "Intended and unintended consequences of the ZnO ban from pig diets on antimicrobial resistance, post-weaning diarrhoea and the microbiome"; Hoyle D (PI), Stevens M, Muwonge A, Oyama L, Kyriazakis I, Creevey C, Anjum M, Abu Oun M, Beechener E; BBSRC (£1.3 M)

Past project grants

09/2022 - 12/2023: "Management of post-weaning diarrhoea and the implications for AMR in response to the upcoming ban on zinc supplementation in pigs"; Hoyle D (PI), Anjum M, Ekiri A, Stevens M, Kyriazakis I, Beechener E, Wheelhouse N; BBSRC (£252 k)

03/2015 - 05/2022: "Prevalence and diversity of Shiga-toxin and non-O157 Escherichia coli carriage in cattle"; Hoyle D (PI), Wellcome Trust Career Re-entry Fellowship (£518 k)