Department: Pathobiology & Population Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: Pathogen Flow in Ecosystems, Sustainable Food Systems, Food Safety, IRLFS (Research Programme)

Research Centres: Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health

Barbara is working as a Professor in Agrihealth at the RVC. She has a strong interest in applying integrated approaches to health, in particular One Health, to understand better livestock and fish food systems and to identify solutions for improved wellbeing of people and animals, food safety, food security, and environmental sustainability. 

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/Professor in Agrihealth) at the Royal Veterinary College and from 2012 to 2020 also at the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH). 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 technical aspects in livestock and fish food systems to support the development of practical solutions that can support sustainably the health of animals, people, and the environment. She is particularly committed to the use of interdisciplinary and systems approaches that allow addressing problems holistically.

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 for food safety, nutrition and sustainability: 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. 

Barbara is the leader of the RVC research group Sustainable Food Systems.

She regularly acts as a reviewer for a range of peer-reviewed journals and funding bodies and takes on editorial roles for some journals. 

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

Exploring the potential of using nudges to promote food hygiene in the pork value chain in Vietnam.
Hennessey M, Kim S, Unger F, Nguyen-Viet H, Dang-Xuan S, Nguyen-Thi T, Häsler B.Prev Vet Med. 2020 Aug;181:105003.
doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2020.105003

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,

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

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,

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,

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. 

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: 

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:

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 (, 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 was regularly involved in training schools and workshops on One Health evaluation approaches delivering training to international members of the Network.

  • CoEval-AMR: Convergence in Evaluation Frameworks for Integrated surveillance of Antimicrobial use (AMU) and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

    The CoEval-AMR network was created in 2019 with the goal of bringing people together to harmonize and refine existing methods and tools for assessing AMU and AMR surveillance from an integrated and systemic perspective.

    Multiple research groups worldwide are working on the evaluation of integrated AMU/AMR surveillance looking at how approaches and methods can be refined to provide information that is relevant for making decisions on what surveillance approaches to use and thereby support the management of AMU and AMR. So far, the work of different research and implementation groups has resulted in multiple frameworks and disjointed recommendations for evaluation and measurement, which can be confusing for users.

  • Control of brucellosis in dairy herds in Rwanda

    We are working with overseas partners to research the frequency and distribution of brucellosis among dairy herds, and longitudinal studies to identify Brucella species causing infection in dairy herds.

    Brucellosis is the world's most widespread zoonosis, imposing a substantial burden on the livelihoods of poor people as a result of human disease and reduced livestock productivity. However, brucellosis is rarely a priority for health systems and for this reason the WHO classifies brucellosis as a "neglected endemic zoonosis"

  • Evaluating the surveillance system for Antimicrobial Use (AMU) and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the United Kingdom from a One Health perspective

    The project aims to assess the value of integrated surveillance systems for AMU and AMR in the UK from a One Health (OH) perspective.

    Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health threat with major economic implications. Bacteria carrying resistance genes can be transmitted between humans, animals and the environment. Therefore, an integrated surveillance programme for AMR and antimicrobial use (AMU) needs to take into consideration the various routes of AMR transmission.

  • Evaluation of the implementation of the UK Antimicrobial Resistance National Action Plan in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The project aims to evaluate the implementation of the UK Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) National Action Plan (NAP) 2019-2024 to contribute to the development and implementation of future AMR policy and adjustment of current implementation plans.

     AMR is a global threat; microorganisms with resistance genes can spread through the movement of people, animals, food, soil, air, and water. In addition, some resistance genes can be directly transferred between microorganisms.

  • Interdisciplinary Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL)

    The food system is not functioning the way it should anymore, IFSTAL is designed to bring about the systemic change that the food system requires in order to limit the negative outcomes its currently delivering and prepare for the future.

    IFSTAL is an interactive training programme designed to improve knowledge and understanding of the food system. It brings together expertise and experience of faculty and students from five leading higher education institutions (RVC, LSHTM, SOAS, The University of Oxford and The University of Warwick). IFSTAL addresses the urgent lack of a workforce skilled in food systems thinking. 

  • Sustainable Beef & Sheep Food Systems

    This project brings together different disciplinary and One Health specialists from two collaborating universities; the Royal Veterinary College and the University of Hertfordshire to contribute creatively to solutions for more sustainable beef and sheep production and marketing systems in Great Britain.  

    Using trans-disciplinary, systems modelling approach we aim to map the British beef and sheep food systems and identify metrics of sustainability for each farming system to create an integrated model to assess impacts.

  • The Network for the Evaluation of One Health (NEOH) / the Network for Ecohealth and One Health (NEOH)

    The Network for Evaluation of One Health (NEOH) was an international EU-COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) funded network (2014-2018) that aimed to enable evaluation of One Health activities and comparison of initiatives, as well as informed decision-making and resource allocation. It was then converted into the Network for Ecohealth and One Health as the European Chapter of Ecohealth International that has several active working groups.

  • The Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS) programme

    SHEFS is led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the RVC’s work will focus on livestock-derived foods (LDF) in South Africa.South Africa bears a triple burden of malnutrition, with persistent levels of stunting, micronutrient deficiencies and rising obesity. LDF provide an energy dense and micronutrient rich food, important for pregnant and breast-feeding women and children’s cognitive development. However, they may also present health risks through overconsumption, foodborne diseases and chemical hazards and have a greater environmental impact than plant-based diets.

  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) One Health Poultry Hub

    With integrated streams of social, economic, biological, mathematical and policy-led research, we are co-producing detailed knowledge on the biological, structural and socio-economic factors that shape networks of chicken production and distribution. The RVC-led UKRI GCRF One Health Poultry Hub brings together leading laboratory, clinical, veterinary and social scientists, as well as skilled communications experts, programme support staff and external stakeholders.  

  • UKRI GCRF Action Against Stunting Hub

    The UKRI GCRF Action Against Stunting Hub is conducting vital research to address the intractable global challenge of child stunting. We work directly with communities across India, Indonesia and Senegal who are facing this burden. Applying a holistic, Whole Child Approach, we’re developing child-focused interventions to prevent, improve and even reverse some key features of this global issue. The tools and approaches we develop in the Hub have the potential to change the lives of a million children worldwide.

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