Dr. Laura Cristina Falzon profile

Post-doctoral research associate (University of Liverpool)


I come from the sunny island of Malta, and studied veterinary medicine at the University of Perugia in Italy. I then completed a PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Guelph in Canada. For my PhD, I investigated the epidemiology of gastro-intestinal nematodes in sheep flocks, looking both at the frequency of resistance towards anthelmintic drugs, and how well the nematodes survived on pasture during the winter. I was also involved in a systematic review looking at management practices associated with anthelmintic resistance in sheep.

I then completed a residency with the European College of Veterinary Public Health based at the University of Bern in Switzerland. During this residency I participated in several teaching activities, provided statistical consultancy for under- and graduate students, and was involved in various research projects. These included a project on the prioritization of zoonotic diseases for surveillance and control programs, evaluation of an on-field diagnostic test for Brucellosis, and a systematic review looking at the type of quantitative outcomes described when using a “One Health” approach. I recently became a Diplomat of the European College of Veterinary Public Health (sub-specialty Population Medicine).

I joined the University of Liverpool as a post-doctoral research associate in June 2016, and am working on the ZooLinK project based in western Kenya. The objective of this project is to develop an integrated surveillance system for fourteen zoonotic diseases in Western Kenya, by building on existing services while enhancing sampling, improving diagnostic capacity, and facilitating data-sharing. To this purpose we plan on sampling ruminants and pigs at selected livestock markets and slaughterhouses, and patients at selected hospitals.

My main research interests are small ruminant epidemiology, endemic and emerging zoonotic diseases, and systematic review methodology. I have a keen interest in the translation and implementation of research results, both within policy frameworks, and in practice by the end-users. I also volunteer with a small ruminant producer organization in Malta, where I provide consultancy and guidance on how to improve management practices and the overall sustainability of the local sheep and goat industry.

Selected publications

  1. Stebler, N., Schuepbach-Regula, G., Braam, P., Falzon, L.C. (2016). Weighting of Criteria for Disease Prioritization Using Conjoint Analysis and Based on Health Professional and Student Opinion. PLoS One, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151394.
  2. Stebler, N., Schuepbach-Regula, G., Braam, P., Falzon, L.C. (2015). Use of a modified Delphi panel to identify and weight criteria for prioritization of zoonotic diseases in Switzerland. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 121, 165-169.
  3. Falzon, L.C., O’Neill, T.J., Menzies, P.I., Peregrine, A.S., Jones-Bitton, A., VanLeeuwen, J., Mederos, A. (2014). A systematic review and meta-analysis of factors associated with anthelmintic resistance in sheep. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 117, 388-402.

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