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Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School

Studying at Cambridge


Dr Bethany Dearlove


I completed both my BSc. in Mathematics and Statistics (2009) and MSc. in Biometry (2010) at the University of Reading, where I was introduced to statistical genetics and forensics. Inspired by the wider applications of these approaches, my D.Phil. focused on using genetic epidemiological methods to understand the transmission and spread of infectious disease in hospitals, using new technologies and data collected as part of the Modernising Medical Microbiology Consortium at the University of Oxford. I have been in Cambridge since November 2013, working on viral phylodynamics as part of Simon Frost’s group.

Subject groups/Research projects

Infection and Immunity:
Mathematical Biology:

Research Interests

My research uses mathematical and statistical modelling to understand the evolution, dynamics and spread of infectious diseases including norovirus, hepatitis C and HIV, looking to inform treatment and control strategies. My interest lies in developing realistic models that combine epidemiological models with those of pathogen evolution, looking to understand the dynamics of infectious disease using sequence data alone. The lack of reliance on detailed surveillance means that my research is particularly appropriate for understanding emerging disease, about which little may be  known, but potentially represent a substantial burden on public health.

I am also passionate about science communication, coming second in the Infectious Diseases zone of I'm a Scientist, get me out of here in June 2014. I was awarded a Wellcome Trust ISSF Public Engagement Award in September 2014 to develop my Learning is Infectious: Pass it on kit of activities aimed at introducing primary age school children to how genetic sequencing can be used to understand the spread of infectious disease.


  • Evolution
  • Transmission dynamics
  • Public health
  • Epidemiology
  • Infectious disease dynamics


Key Publications

Dearlove BL, Cody AJ, Pascoe B, Meric G, Wilson DJ and Sheppard SK. 2015. Rapid host switching in generalist Campylobacter strains erodes the signal for tracing human infections. The ISME Journal. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2015.149

Dearlove BL and Frost SDW. 2015. Measuring asymmetry in time-stamped phylogenies. PLoS. Comput. Biol., 7: 11.

Dearlove B and Wilson DJ. 2013. Coalescent inference for infectious disease: meta-analysis of hepatitis C. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B., 368: 20120314. doi:10.1098/rstb.2012.0314

Wong THN, Dearlove BL, Hedge J, et al. 2013. Whole genome sequencing and de novo assembly identifies Sydney-like variant noroviruses and recombinants during the winter 2012/2013 outbreak in England. Virol. J., 10: 335. doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-335

My google scholar profile can be found here.