Claire Risley

Dr, D.Phil

  • Aberystwyth University
    Edward Llwyd Building

    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


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Personal profile

Research interests

I am an infectious disease epidemiologist with interests in biodiversity and conservation modelling. My research focuses on the large-scale predictors of disease, for example the relationship between disease, biodiversity and climate.

Past research:
I have developed models to investigate several phenomena including conditions minimising antibiotic resistance transfer to Salmonella in chickens and the spatial localisation of Gonorrhoea strains, published in the Lancet. Later I modelled the impact that HIV has on African education systems in collaboration with governments and UN agencies. I was lucky enough to work both in the field and at ministry level in low-income countries, gathering data and training Education and Health specialists in impact projection. Concurrently to these projects, my passion for biodiversity and conservation led to a collaboration with the Institute of Zoology at London Zoo, modelling the extinction of Steller's Sea Cow (published in Biology Letters and recognised for the "Faculty of 1000" award for scientific merit), and declines in currently endangered animals including the recently extinct Baiji. I have investigated the impact of climate and diseases of threatened wildlife populations, both undertaking large-scale analyses and specialising in diseases in threatened animals of Madagascar, and worked to improve the ENHanCED Infectious Disease database (EID2), a useful resource detailing pathogens, their hosts and locations using information directly sourced from the literature. It outputs lists of hosts by pathogen and pathogens by host, and distribution maps both by country and modelled on climate:

Additional information

D.Phil Thesis:

Risley C.L. (2002) Population dynamics of plasmid-mediated antibiotic resistance in Salmonella typhimurium in chickens. DPhil thesis, Oxford University.


  • 2013-Present: Lecturer in Animal Disease Epidemiology, IBERS, Aberystwyth University, UK.
    • 2010-2013: Prof Matthew Baylis' PDRA, Liverpool University Climate and Infectious Diseases of Animals group, Institute of Infection and Global Health, Liverpool, UK.
    • 2005-2010: PDRA, Partnership for Chid Development, Imperial College London, UK.
    • 2003-2005: Prof Azra Ghani's PDRA, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London, UK.
    • 1998-2002: D. Phil at University of Oxford's Wellcome Trust Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease and the Institute for Animal Health Compton.
    • 1995-1995: Degree in Biological Sciences (Botany) from the University of Oxford, UK.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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