Department: Pathobiology and Population Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: Ecosystems Health, Safe and Sustainable Food

Research Centres: Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health

Barbara is working as a Senior Lecturer in Agrihealth at the RVC in collaboration with colleagues from the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH). She has a strong interest in applying integrated approaches to health to understand better food systems and how changes in those impact on food safety and food security and to improve the wellbeing of people and animals through better resource allocation.

Barbara was born in Switzerland and graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Bern in 2002. Her doctoral thesis on the ‘Economic and epidemiological aspects of bovine neosporosis in Switzerland’ undertaken at the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office (2003-2005) received the ‘Faculty Award’ (Fakultätspreis) for the best veterinary medicine dissertation and the award from the Association of Bernese Female Academics (Vereinigung Bernischer Akademikerinnen).

From 2006 to 2007 she worked as a border veterinary inspector at the border inspection post in Basel, checking imports of live animals, animal products and by-products. She came to the RVC in April 2007 to work as a research assistant in Veterinary Public Health. From 2008 to 2011 she did a PhD on the economics of veterinary surveillance. During the same time, she obtained a Certificate of Higher Education in Economics from Birkbeck College, University of London.

Since 2012 she has been working (first as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and then as a lecturer/senior lecturer in Agrihealth) for the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH) at the Royal Veterinary College. During that time she also obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Veterinary Education.

Barbara's main area of interest is the integration of economic, social and epidemiological aspects in animal disease mitigation to provide practical and feasible tools that support decision-makers in the efficient allocation of resources. She is particularly committed to the development of interdisciplinary frameworks that support appropriate surveillance and intervention programmes for the control of foodborne and zoonotic diseases in food systems both in the North and the South. Her research and engagement activities can be summarised in four main streams:

  1. Economics of animal health surveillance: Elaboration of conceptual and theoretical foundations for the (economic) evaluation of surveillance, development of practical tools for evaluation, and application to national and international case studies.
  2. Food systems approach to disease epidemiology and management including nutrition: Use of a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to understand how food system practices and change impact on foodborne and zoonotic disease risks as well as food and nutrition security and how these can be managed in a sustainable manner.
  3. Economics of animal disease management: Economic evaluation to assess the economic efficiency and feasibility of management options for production and zoonotic diseases.
  4. Evaluation of One Health: Conceptualisation of key characteristics of One Health, development of standardised evaluation protocols based on key indicators and systems thinking, application of frameworks to case studies to investigate the potential added value of One Health. She is the coordinator of the international Network for Evaluation of One Health (NEOH) 

Barbara is the leader of the RVC research group Safe and Sustainable Food.

She regularly acts as a reviewer for a range of peer-reviewed journals and funding bodies and is a visiting editor to the journal Infection Ecology and Epidemiology.

Barbara's publications include peer-reviewed papers,book chapters and articles in lay magazines on: 1) Economics of animal health surveillance; 2) Food systems approach to disease management including nutrition; 3) Economics of animal disease management; and 4) Evaluation of One Health. 

A short selection is provided below; for the full list please refer to the profiles on Google Scholar Citations or Researchgate

Where food safety meets nutrition outcomes in livestock and fish value chains: a conceptual approach. Häsler B, Dominguez-Salas P, Fornace K, Garza M, Grace D, Rushton J (2017). Food Security, doi: org/10.1007/s12571-017-0710-2. Or have a look at the Read-only version on SharedIt.

A Systems Approach to Evaluate One Health Initiatives. Rüegg SR, Nielsen LR, Buttigieg SC, Santa M, Aragrande M, Canali M, Ehlinger T, Chantziaras I, Boriani E, Radeski M, Bruce M, Queenan K, Häsler B (2018). Front Vet Sci. 2018 Mar 9;5:23. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2018.00023. eCollection 2018.

Practices of traditional beef farmers in their production and marketing of cattle in Zambia. Mumba C, Häsler B, Muma JB, Munyeme M, Sitali DC, Skjerve  E, and Rich KM (2017). Tropical Animal Health and Production, doi: 10.1007/s11250-017-1399-0. Or have a look at the Read-only version on SharedIt.

The broiler meat system in Nairobi, Kenya: using a value chain framework to understand animal and product flows, governance and sanitary risks. Carron M, Alarcon P, Häsler B, Fèvre E, Karani M, Muinde P, Akoko J, Onono J, Rushton J (2017). Preventive Veterinary Medicine, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2017.08.013

Achieving an optimal allocation of resources for animal health surveillance, intervention and disease mitigation. Häsler B, Delabouglise A, Babo Martins S (2017). Revue scientifique et technique (International Office of Epizootics) 36(1):57-66.

Economic evaluation of the eradication program for bovine viral diarrhea in the Swiss dairy sector. Thomann B, Tschopp A, Magouras I, Meylan M, Schuepbach-Regula G, Häsler B (2017). Preventive Veterinary Medicine 145, 15 September 2017, pp 1-6 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2017.05.020

Roadmap to a One Health agenda 2030. Queenan K, Garnier J, Nielsen LR, Buttigieg S, de Meneghi D, Holmberg M, Zinsstag J, Ruegg S, Häsler B, Kock R. CAB Review, May 2017. ISSN 1749- 8848. doi: 10.1079/PAVSNNR201712014

A blueprint to evaluate One Health. Rüegg SR, McMahon BJ, Häsler B, Esposito R, Rosenbaum Nielsen L, et al 2017. Frontiers in Public Health, section Public Health Policy. February 2017, doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00020

Mapping of beef, sheep and goat food systems in Nairobi — A framework for policy making and the identification of structural vulnerabilities and deficiencies. Alarcon P, Fèvre EM, Murungi MK, Muinde P, Akoko J, Dominguez-Salas P, Kiambi S, Ahmed S, Häsler B, Rushton J, 2017. Agricultural Systems, Volume 152, March 2017, Pages 1-17, doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2016.12.005.

Active animal health surveillance in European Union Member States: Gaps and opportunities. Bisdorff B, Schauer B, Taylor N, Rodríguez-Prieto V, Comin A, Brouwer A, Dórea F, Drewe J, Hoinville L,  Lindberg A, Martinez Avilés M, Martínez-López B, Peyre M, Pinto Ferreira J, Rushton J, Van Schaik G, Stärk KDC, Staubach C, Vicente-Rubiano M, Witteveen G, Pfeiffer D, Häsler B (2016). Epidemiol. Infect. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268816002697? 

Cross-sectional study of drivers of animal-source food consumption in low-income urban areas of Nairobi, Kenya. Cornelsen L, Alarcon P, Häsler B, Amendah DD, Ferguson E, Fèvre EM, Grace D, Dominguez-Salas P, Rushton J (2016). BMC Nutrition. doi: 10.1186/s40795-016-0109-z.

Nutritional characterisation of low-income households of Nairobi: socioeconomic, livestock and gender considerations and predictors of malnutrition from a cross-sectional survey. Dominguez-Salas P, Alarcon P, Häsler B, Dohoo IR, Colverson K, Kimani-Murage EW, Alonso S, Ferguson E, Fevre EM, Rushton J, Grace D (2016). BMC Nutrition 2:47. doi10.1186/s40795-016-0086-2

A One Health approach to antimicrobial resistance surveillance: is there a business case for it? Queenan K, Häsler B, Rushton J (2016). International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2016.06.014 

A One Health Framework for the Evaluation of Rabies Control Programmes: A Case Study from Colombo City, Sri Lanka. Häsler B, Hiby E, Gilbert W, Obeyesekere N, Bennani H, Rushton J (2014). PLoS Negl Trop Dis 8(10): e3270. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003270

Economic principles for resource allocation decisions at national level to mitigate the effects of disease in farm animal populations. Howe, KS, Häsler B, Stärk, KD, 2013. Epidemiol. Infect. Open Access: https://doi.org/10.1017/S095026881200060X? 

Linking agriculture and health in low- and middle-income countries: an interdisciplinary research agenda. Dangour AD, Green R, Häsler B, Rushton J, Shankar B, and Waage, J, 2012. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, Mar 16:1-7 (Epub ahead of print). PubMed ID 22420829

Conceptualising the technical relationship of animal disease surveillance to intervention and mitigation as a basis for economic analysis. Häsler B, Howe KS, Stärk KD, 2011. BMC Health Services Research, Sep 19; 11:225. Open access: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6963/11/225

Financial analysis of various strategies for the control of Neospora caninum in dairy cattle in Switzerland. Prev. Vet. Med., Dec 18; 77(3-4):230-53. Häsler B, Regula G, Stärk KD, Sager H, Gottstein B, Reist M, 2006. PubMed ID 16982104

Edited book:

Integrated approaches to health - A handbook for the evaluation of One Health. 2018. Wageningen Academic Publishers. Edited by Simon R. Rüegg, Barbara Häsler and Jakob Zinsstag. Open access.

Book chapter: 

The Economic Value of One Health in Relation to the Mitigation of Zoonotic Disease Risks. Barbara Häsler, William Gilbert, Bryony Anne Jones, Dirk Udo Pfeiffer, Jonathan Rushton, Martin Joachim Otte. In Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology 2012.

Conference presentations:

  • Invited speaker (panel session): Rushton, J (chair), Alarcon P, Häsler B, Cornelsen L, Dominguez-Salas, P. Food in Poor Urban Settings. N8 AgriFood International Conference "People, Health and Food Systems", Liverpool, UK, 13 and 14 June 2018.
  • Invited speaker: Häsler B, Options, costs and benefits of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) control in the context of livestock trade: Findings from STDF studies in Tanzania and Zimbabwe. STDF Information Session as part of the WTO committee on sanitary and phytosanitary measures. Geneva, Switzerland, 1 November 2017.
  • Invited speaker: Häsler B, Added value and impact of participating in a COST Action, Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) July 2017, Manchester, UK.
  • Invited speaker: Häsler B, Evaluating One Health, One Health/EcoHealth Workshop, October 2016, Brussels, Belgium.
  • Comin A* & Häsler B*, Hoinville L, Peyre M, Dórea F, Schauer B, Snow L, Stärk KDC, Lindberg A, Brouwer A, Van Schaik G, Staubach C, Schulz K, Bisdorff B, Goutard F, Pinto Ferreira J, Conraths F, Cameron A, Martinez Aviles M, Sanchez-Vizcaino JM, Varan V, Traon D, Pinto J, Rushton J, Ripperger J, Pfeiffer DU (2016). RISKSUR Tools: Taking animal health surveillance into the future through interdisciplinary integration of scientific evidence. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, March 16th - 18th Elsinore, Denmark. *joint first authorship and presentation.
  • Invited speaker: I. Karabozhilova I, Häsler B, Booth R, Rushton J. Economic analysis of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea control in England. Dairy Discover, Innovate and Grow, AHDB Dairy Research Seminar, 1st & 2nd March 2016, Kegworth, UK.
  • Häsler B, Howe K, Peyre M, Vergne T, Calba C, Bisdorff, Comin A, Lindberg A, Brouwer A, Snow L, Schulz K, Staubach C, Martínez Avilés M, Traon D, Hoinville L, Stärk K, Pfeiffer D, Rushton J. Economic evaluation of animal health surveillance – moving from infancy to adolescence? 14th Conference of the International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, 3-7 November 2015, City of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.
  • Häsler B, Msalya G, Garza M, Fornace K, Eltolth M, Sikira M, Kurwijila L, Rushton J, Grace D. Integration of food safety and nutrition research to promote food security: A case study from Tanzania. 14th Conference of the International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, 3-7 November 2015, City of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.
  • Invited speaker: Häsler B, Alarcon P, Dominguez-Salas P, Carron M, Rushton J. A food systems approach to investigate disease emergence. London International Development Centre Biennal conference, 11th May 2015, London.
  • Invited speaker: Häsler B. Assessing the benefits of One Health approaches. 4th annual scientific conference of MedVetNet.7-9th October 2015, Paris, France.
  • Invited speaker: Häsler B, Rushton J. Studying livestock food systems – the need to create clarity. 3rd Global Risk Forum One Health Summit, 4-6th October 2015, Davos, Switzerland.

Barbara has also delivered various presentations at workshops and meetings of the Network for Evaluation of One Health

Barbara contributes to the preparation and delivery of animal health economics, food systems, and Veterinary Public Health lectures, directed learning sessions and seminars for undergraduate (BVetMed, BSc Bioveterinary Sciences) and postgraduate courses (MSc Veterinary Epidemiology, MSc One Health). She has also been supervising several BSc and BVetMed research projects and MScCIDA, MSc Veterinary Epidemiology and MSc One Health dissertations. She is a tutor on the RVC's distance learning programme.

Further, Barbara co-led a Lifelong Learning Programme funded network that aimed to promote the use of economics in animal health teaching and training: NEAT (www.neat-network.eu), Networking to enhance the use of economics in animal health education, research and policy making in Europe and beyond.

Barbara is the RVC-LCIRAH lead academic for the Interdisciplinary Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL) programme, an interdisciplinary and cross-university food systems training programme addressing global food security and environmental change. 

As the coordinator of the international Network for Evaluation of One Health, she is regularly involved in training schools and workshops on One Health evaluation approaches delivering training to international members of the Network.

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