Dr Rob Kelly

Senior Lecturer in Livestock Health and Livelihoods


After graduating from the University of Liverpool, with an MSc in Veterinary Parasitology, I worked in mixed animal practice across the North of England. Concurrently I was involved with various clinical, research and knowledge exchange livestock projects in Latin America, North and sub-Saharan Africa. I then went on to complete a part-time PhD in tropical epidemiology with the Roslin Institute. The 3.5 year project was based in Cameroon investigating parasitic and zoonotic diseases of cattle reared by pastoral herdsmen and small holder dairy farmers. After working as a livestock clinician at the University of Glasgow, gaining Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, I returned to Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in 2016.

I am currently Senior Lecturer at the R(D)SVS,  where I continue to combines my interests in population medicine and understanding the impact of livestock infectious diseases to implement sustainable control programs. 



  • 2014 Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice , University of Glasgow
  • 2011 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. Thesis title: The Epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis and liver fluke co-infection in Cameroon, Central Africa
  • 2006 Master of Science, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine: Veterinary Parasitology. 
  • 2003 Bachelor of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool

Professional Qualifications

  • 2021 RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Production Animal Practice
  • 2016 Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, SFHEA
  • 2009 Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, MRCVS

Responsibilities & affiliations


  • Farm Animal Practice and Hospital. 


  • UG and PG teaching staff
  • BVM&S Farm animal teaching including clinical rotation lead. 
  • Co-chair Clinical and Education Career Development Committee. 2016-2020.
  • Veterinary Ethical Review Committee. 2018-2020.

Undergraduate teaching

BVM&S in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery

  • Year 3: Professional and clinical skills 3
  • Year 4: Farm Animal subjects, professional and clinical skills 4
  • Year 5: Final year core and selective clinical rotations (Farm animal course lead)
  • All Years: Professional development and personal tutor. 

Postgraduate teaching

  • MVetSci in Advanced Clinical Practice: Farm animal course coordinator. 
  • MSc in Global Food Security and Nutrition: Exam board chair. 
  • Edinburgh Teaching Award: EdTA mentor (AFHEA & FHEA)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current PhD students supervised

BVM&S SRC projects (R(D)SVS):

  • Zuzanna Klikowicz: Appraisal of different data gathering tools for the evaluation of training success in the FAO EuFMD sustainable business in animal health service provision through training for veterinary paraprofessionals project. 2022-25. (co-supervisor external: University of Cambridge). 
  • Abigail Galantowicz: Survey of current knowledge and use of antibiotics in american smallholder dairy farms. 2022-25. 
  • Kenna Doeden: Assessment of livestock educational tools in supporting Malawian smallholder dairy farmers and animal health care workers. 2021-24 (co-supervisor).
  • Eilidh Galbraith: Gastrointestinal parasites and anthelmintic resistance present in grazing animals kept in Scottish zoological collections. 2021-23. (co-supervisor).
  • Euan Woodside: Equivalence Trial Testing for Progesterone Levels using a pen-side monoclonal antibody test and a standard ELISA method using Bovine Milk Samples. 2021-23. (co-supervisor).
  • Emily Horbury: An evaluation into the anthelmintic protocols currently used by UK lowland sheep farmers in the control of gastrointestinal nematodes in their flocks, and the degree of influence veterinarians have on anthelmintic selection by these farmers. 2021-22. (co-supervisor).
  • Claudia Talbot: The epidemiology of cyathostomin species in a naturally infected population of Scottish horses between 2015-16. 2019-21. (co-supervisor).
  • Camille Glazer: Epidemiology of gastrointestinal helminths in canine populations in Blantyre, Malawi. 2019-21. (co-supervisor).
  • Julia Dahm: Transmission of fleas in small holder livestock communities in Malawi. 2018-2021. (co-supervisor).
  • Emily Freeman: Influence of viral and bacterial co-infections on bTB prevalence in African cattle. 2018-22. (primary supervisor).
  • Kristine Schultze: Variation in the major histocompatibility complex of Scottish cattle breeds. 2018-21. (co-supervisor). 
  • Ailsa McMillan: Investigation of the link between the grazing locations of cattle and sheep, locations of snails and the incidence of liver fluke infection in cattle and sheep. 2017. (co-supervisor). 
  • Jennie Hunt: Zoonotic diseases in pastoral and dairy cattle in Cameroon. 2016-18. (co-supervisor).  
  • Tessa Cornell: Bovine trypanosome infections in the Vina Division, Cameroon. 2014-16. (co-supervisor). 
  • Jean-Marc Bagninbom (external): Epidemiology of Rift Valley Fever in cattle in Cameroon. 2013-16. (co-supervisor). 

MSc projects:

  • Alberto Luque-Castro (DVetMed co-supervisor in Small Ruminant Health and Production): Significance and causal agents of ovine mastitis in UK lowland sheep flocks.  2021-2025. 
  • Jayne Orr (part-time MEd co-supervisor with M Mihm-Carmichal): Evaluation of calving simulator training in the veterinary undergraduate curriculum as part of a blended learning programme. 2018-2022.
  • Emily Freeman (MScR supervisor with N Sargison, R(D)SVS, UK): Dynamics of gastrointestinal helminth co-infections in Kenyan livestock and wildlife. 2019-20. 
  • Lina Gonzalez (MSc Infectious Diseases and One Health, project supervisor with M Bronsvoort R(D)SVS, UK): Epidemiology of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhoagic Fever in cattle in Cameroon. 2018-19. 

PhD projects:

  • Bibiana Zirra Shallangwa (PhD supervisor with Mark Bronsvoort and Annie Cook (ILRI): The epidemiology of bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) in the Tanzanian small holder dairy sector. 2020-2024.
  • Francesca Shepherd (PhD co-supervisor with Spiradoula Athanasiadou, Mike Hutchings (SRUC) & Alastair Macrae): Development of strategies to replace anthelmintic use in livestock. 2018-22. 

Research summary

Livestock health and livelihoods:

  • Clinical population medicine. 
  • Assessing the impact of parasites and co-infections. 
  • Monitoring and evaluation of sustainable interventions for infectious disease control.

I am a veterinary clinical academic, with a mixed background in clinical practice, education and field-based research. The focus of my work is assessing the impact of livestock infectious diseases and implementing pragmatic health interventions to improve livestock health. In particular, I have experience in assessing the performance of diagnostic tests in naturally infected populations to understand the epidemiology and impact of infectious diseases. I am also passionate about using technology-enhanced learning to improve clinical outcomes and widen participation access in health education globally. In future, I seek to collaborate on projects to improve the health and food security of livestock rearing communities in resource-limited settings.

Affiliated research centres

View all 23 publications on Research Explorer