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Dr Sue Tongue

Senior Researcher - Veterinary Epidemiologist

Future Farming Systems - Epidemiology Research Unit

Research interests

With a background in:

  • general veterinary practice,
  • science for policy (VLA-Weybridge, Epidemiology Department, Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy programme) and
  • the science/regulatory interface (Veterinary Assessor, Pharmaceutical and Feed Additives team, Veterinary Medicines Directorate),

I joined the Epidemiology Research Unit at SRUC Inverness in August 2011 and I am an EBVS European Specialist in Veterinary Public Health and a RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Public Health.

My ‘research interest’ is:

  • the provision (i.e. delivery) of
  • robust, relevant, epidemiological science
  • that meets the needs of those commissioning the research,
    • be it policy-makers or ‘industry’; and
  • the translation of that science
    • into practical and feasible options, or actions, that can
  • make a difference,
    • within the boundaries and constraints encountered in everyday life...

and, if sheep, cattle, surveillance, anthelmintics, antimicrobials, ticks, zoonoses and/or public health are involved then all to the good.

Selected research projects

  • The Scottish Government’s Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment  (RAFE) Strategic Work Programme 2016-2021, Work Package 2, Research Deliverable (RD) 2:
    • SRUC lead/co-ordinator and principal investigator (PI) for RD 2.2.2 Evaluation of livestock health;
    • Deputy RD lead within SRUC and PI for RD 2.2.6 Animal Disease Epidemiology
  • EPIC – The Scottish Government’s Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks 2016-2021 – contributing researcher, providing veterinary epidemiological and sheep industry knowledge input to
    • Topic 3 Improving veterinary surveillance strategy
    • Topic 4 Analysis of potential disease control options
  • British E. coli O157 in Cattle Study (BECS) - Project lead for farm surveys in 2014/15 to investigate the prevalence of E. coli O157 infection amongst cattle destined for the food chain.
  • BBSRC Industry Partnership Award: Improving the control of liver fluke infection in cattle in the UK (BB/K0152449/1)
    • Principal investigator and project lead for SRUC’s contribution to a initiative to improve the control of liver fluke infection in cattle in the UK, led by Prof. Diana Williams of the University of Liverpool, with the Moredun Research Institute, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the five UK cattle levy boards.
    • SRUC’s component, Work package 4, involves the use of industry databases and the development of economic models to assess the impact of fluke and possible control measures on the UK cattle industry.
  • BECS ‘added-value’ projects - project lead for the SRUC component of three pieces of work that ‘add-value’ to the samples collected in the BECS surveys above. These are in collaboration with:
    • Dr Tom McNeilly (Moredun Research Institute) and Prof. Diana Williams (University of Liverpool)
      • exploring whether there is an association between VTEC O157 and liver fluke infection,
    • Dr Deborah Hoyle (Wellcome Trust Career Re-entry Fellow; The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh)
      • investigating aspects of non-O157 STECs, and
    • Dr Luke Randall (Animal Health and Plant Agency, APHA) in the Veterinary Medicines Directorate’s VM0526
      • a survey for and characterisation of antibiotic resistance in Enterobacteriacceae from beef cattle in England & Wales and Scotland, with particular emphasis on Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) and carbapenemase resistance.
  • Inverness Campus Challenge Fund – Developing a Canine Cancer Registry – a scoping and feasibility study. Joint academic lead with Dr Aaron Reeves in collaboration with:
    • Simon Bate, Oncology, Scottish Vet Referrals
    • Dr Antonia Pritchard, University of the Highlands and Islands
    • Bridge Pathology Ltd

PhD students/supervisor

  • Students N/A
  • External examiner 2018 - University of Northampton

Selected publications

See all of Sue Tongue's publications here.

Dr Sue Tongue

Senior Researcher

Address: Future Farming Systems
Epidemiology Research Unit
An Lòchran
Inverness Campus
Inverness IV2 5NA

Telephone: 01453 246064