Debra graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1996 and worked in mixed and equine practice in the UK for 4 years prior to completing an equine surgical residency at the University of Liverpool in 2003. She gained the RCVS Certificate in Equine Surgery (soft tissue) in 2003 and the ECVS Diploma in Equine Surgery in 2004. She completed a PhD in 2006 investigating the Epidemiology of Colic at the University of Liverpool. Subsequent to her appointment as Senior Lecturer in Equine Soft Tissue Surgery in 2006 she was appointed as Professor of Equine Surgery and Head of Equine Surgery at Liverpool in 2013. She divides her time between equine clinical work and teaching at the University’s Equine Hospital and research.
Debra is a European and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Specialist in Equine Surgery and was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2017. Her clinical interests include all aspects of equine emergency care, surgery of the abdomen, head, neck, urogenital tract and skin, laser and laparoscopic surgery and imaging of the head. She is an active researcher and holds a number of grants investigating various aspects of equine health and welfare, including research into vector-borne diseases of horses and understanding horse owner decision-making about equine health. She is the lead investigator on an international Randomised Controlled Trial (CHARIOT lidocaine project) and the international colic audit (INCISE project).