Dr Maria Costa

I obtained my vet degree from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine - Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal (2015). I developed an interest in pig welfare and epidemiology while working on my master thesis focused 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 a 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 veterinary epidemiologist (ERU species-expert for pigs). My main interests are pig health and welfare, with a 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 bridge the gap between pig research and the pig industry.

In EPIC, I am working on the use of meat inspection results for disease surveillance (Topic 3, Improving veterinary surveillance) and on providing evidence base needed to design control strategies tailored to the Scottish and UK pig industries (Topic 4, Analysis of potential disease control options).


Assessment of the Effectiveness of Pre-harvest Meat Safety Interventions to Control Foodborne Pathogens in Broilers: a Systematic Review. Pessoa J., Rodrigues da Costa M.*, Nesbakken T., and Meemken D. *EPIC scientist Maria Costa contributed to this work funded by COST Action

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