Dr Maria Costa

Veterinary Epidemiologist

I obtained my vet degree from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine - Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal (2015). While working on my master thesis, I developed an interest on pig welfare and epidemiology by focusing on the links between pig welfare on farm and meat sanitary inspection results. Before joining Teagasc (The Irish Food and Agriculture Development Authority) for my doctoral studies in 2015, I did a traineeship at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU, Sweden) on animal welfare and epidemiology, and I worked as veterinary meat inspector in pig slaughterhouses in Portugal. In 2018, I completed my PhD in Animal Production between the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB, Spain) and Teagasc (Ireland). My thesis focused on the main factors affecting pig production in Ireland, namely biosecurity, feeding practices, and respiratory disease. In Teagasc, I also worked as a post-Doctoral researcher working on the subjects of antibiotics’ usage and resistance in pig and poultry production.


I joined SRUC in 2020 where I work as a lecturer in veterinary epidemiology (CEPH’s species-expert for pigs). My main interests are pig health and welfare, with focus on its interconnections with veterinary public health. I combine data analysis and visualization with my veterinary expertise to generate and interpret useful information for farmers, stakeholders and national authorities. My current training as a resident of the European College of Porcine Health Management helps me to bridge the gap between pig research and the pig industry.


In EPIC IV, contribute mostly to Challenge 3 - Improving veterinary surveillance to detect and reduce animal and zoonotic disease threats. One of the projects I am working on is the use of meat inspection results for disease surveillance and on providing evidence needed to design control strategies tailored to the Scottish and UK pig industries. I also contribute expertise to the EPIC Centre Of Expertise.

Maria Costa Bw 2

Contact details

Centre for Epidemiology and Planetary Health, SRUC
RAVIC, Inverness Campus