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About Dr Nicola Beesley

I graduated from the University of Liverpool with a veterinary science degree and an intercalated Masters in Veterinary Parasitology, and then spent time working as a vet in clinical practice.

In 2012, inspired to return to academic research by my Masters, I embarked on a PhD at the University of Liverpool. For my PhD thesis I studied the population genetics of liver fluke, a parasite of livestock with a snail intermediate host.

I completed my PhD in 2016, and then worked on two postdoctoral projects. The first was a BBSRC Industrial Partnership Award project concentrating on liver fluke control by identifying snail habitats on farms. The second, also funded by the BBSRC, aimed to explore the genetic basis of triclabendazole resistance in liver fluke. I developed skills in genomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics. Subsequently, I was awarded a Veterinary Postdoctoral Fellowship to explore how the snail intermediate host responds to liver fluke infection using ‘omics technologies.

I joined the University of Chester in 2021 as a Lecturer in Bioveterinary Science.


I teach on a range of modules on the Bioveterinary Science programme including Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics; Animal Welfare Considerations in Clinical Practice; and Veterinary Disease Investigation.


The aim underpinning my research is a better understanding of host-parasite interactions. This has been recognised as a future research opportunity in parasitology and will further our understanding of parasite transmission and disease control.

I have experience using a combination of parasitological techniques, molecular biology tools, and ‘omics technologies; and I use these to answer questions about parasite biology and disease transmission.

Most recently I have been exploring how the snail intermediate host responds to infection with liver fluke parasites by analysing changes in gene expression and metabolites. I’m interested in extending this work to other host-parasite systems.

Published Work


Beesley, N.J. Attree, E., Vázquez-Prieto, S., Vilas, R., Paniagua, E., Ubeira, F.M., Jensen, O., Pruzzo, C., Álvarez, J.D., Malandrini, J.B., Solana, H., Hodgkinson, J.E. (2021) Evidence of population structuring following population genetic analyses of Fasciola hepatica from Argentina. International Journal for Parasitology 51, 471 – 480. Available here


Howell, A.K., Malana, F., Beesley, N.J., Hodgkinson, J.E., Rhodes, H., Sekiya, M., Archer, D., Clough, H.E., Gilmore, P., Williams, D.J.L. (2020) Fasciola hepatica in UK horses. Equine Veterinary Journal 52, 194 – 199. Available here


Kamaludeen, J., Graham-Brown, J., Stephens, N., Miller, J., Howell, A., Beesley, N.J., Hodgkinson, J., Learmount, J., Williams, D. (2019) Lack of efficacy of triclabendazole against Fasciola hepatica is present on sheep farms in three regions of England and Wales. Veterinary Record 184, 502. Available here

Hodgkinson, J.E., Kaplan, R.M., Kenyon, F., Morgan, E.R., Park, A.W., Paterson, S., Babayan, S.A., Beesley, N.J., Britton, C., Chaudhry, U., Doyle, S.R., Ezenwa, V.O., Fenton, A., Howell, S.B., Laing, R., Mable, B.K., Matthews, L., McIntyre, J., Milne, C.E., Morrison, T.A., Prentice, J.C., Sargison, N.D., Williams, D.J.L., Wolstenholme, A.J., Devaney, E. (2019) Refugia and anthelmintic resistance: Concepts and challenges. International Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and Drug Resistance 10, 51 – 57. Available here


Beesley, N.J., Caminade, C., Charlier, J., Flynn, R.J., Hodgkinson, J.E., Martinez-Moreno, A., Martinez-Valladares, M., Perez, J., Rinaldi, L., Williams, D.J.L. (2018) Fasciola and fasciolosis in ruminants in Europe: Identifying research needs. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases 65 Supplement 1, 199 – 216. Available here

Hodgkinson, J.E., Cwiklinski, K., Beesley, N., Hartley, C., Allen, K., Williams, D.J.L. (2018) Clonal amplification of Fasciola hepatica in Galba truncatula: within and between isolate variation of triclabendazole-susceptible and –resistant clones. Parasites and Vectors 11, 363. Available here

Takeuchi-Storm, N., Denwood, M., Petersen, H.H., Enemark, H.L., Stensgaard, A.S., Sengupta, M.E., Beesley, N.J., Hodgkinson, J., Williams, D., Thamsborg, S.M. (2018) Patterns of Fasciola hepatica infection in Danish dairy cattle: implications for on-farm control of the parasite based on different diagnostic methods. Parasites and Vectors 11, 674. Available here


Beesley N.J., Williams D.J.L., Paterson S., Hodgkinson J.E. (2017) Fasciola hepatica in the UK demonstrates high levels of genetic diversity, a lack of population structure and high gene flow, possible implications for drug resistance. International Journal for Parasitology 47, 11 – 20. Available here


Beesley, N. J., Cwiklinski, K., Williams, D. J. L., Hodgkinson, J. (2015) Fasciola hepatica from naturally infected sheep and cattle in Great Britain are diploid. Parasitology 142, 1196 – 1201. Available here


Hodgkinson, J., Cwiklinski, K., Beesley, N. J., Paterson, S., Williams, D. J. L. (2013) Identification of putative markers of triclabendazole resistance by a genome-wide analysis of genetically recombinant Fasciola hepatica. Parasitology 140, 1523 – 1533. Available here


Bachelor of Veterinary Science (University of Liverpool; 2009)

Masters in Veterinary Parasitology (University of Liverpool; 2009)

PhD in Veterinary Parasitology (University of Liverpool; 2016)

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons