Dr Sarah Hill

Research Interests

My research focuses on investigating the epidemiology and ecology of viruses in natural populations. I’m interested in how viral genomic sequence data can be used to reconstruct viral outbreak dynamics and spatio temporal dissemination. I’m particularly interested in how we can apply these techniques to better understand the dynamics of viruses that have a zoonotic reservoir, such as yellow fever virus or avian influenza virus. I’m currently working with colleagues in Angola and Brazil to research the spread of recent yellow fever outbreaks in those countries. 

I previously completed my DPhil at the University of Oxford (Wellcome Trust funded DTC in Genomic Medicine and Statistics), under the supervision of Prof Oliver Pybus. Using viral genomic data, I studied the geographic spread of a newly emerged lineage of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus. I researched broader patterns of viral diversity, seasonality and abundance in wild waterbirds, which form the key reservoir for avian influenza virus. I was awarded the John C Marsden Medal by the Linnean Society for my DPhil thesis. 

Contact Details


ORCID: 0000-0002-2995-2596

Twitter: @Hill_SarahC

01865 281639

Selected Publications

Hill SC, Hansen R, Watson S, Coward V, Russell C, Cooper J, Essen S, Everest H, Parag KV, Fiddaman S et al. 2019. Comparative micro-epidemiology of pathogenic avian influenza virus outbreaks in a wild bird population. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 374(1775):20180259. doi:10.1098/rstb.2018.0259.

Hill SC, de Vasconcelos JN, Granja BG, Thézé J, Jandondo D, Neto Z, Mirandela M, Sebastião C dos S, Candido ALM, Clemente C, et al. 2019. Early genomic detection of the Cosmopolitan genotype of dengue virus 2 in Angola, 2018. Emerg Infect Dis. 25(4):784-787. doi: 10.3201/eid2504.180958.

Faria NR, Kraemer MUG, Hill SC, Goes de Jesus J, Aguiar RS, Iani FCM, Xavier J, Quick J, du Plessis L, Dellicour S, et al. 2018. Genomic and epidemiological monitoring of yellow fever virus transmission potential. Science. 361(6405):894–899. doi:10.1126/science.aat7115.

Faria NR, Quick J, Claro IM, Thézé J, de Jesus JG, Giovanetti M, Kraemer MUG, Hill SC, Black A, da Costa AC, et al. 2017. Establishment and cryptic transmission of Zika virus in Brazil and the Americas. Nature. 546(7658):406–410. doi:10.1038/nature22401.

Hill SC, Lee Y-J, Song B-M, Kang H-M, Lee E-K, Hanna A, Gilbert M, Brown IH, Pybus OG. 2015. Wild waterfowl migration and domestic duck density shape the epidemiology of highly pathogenic H5N8 influenza in the Republic of Korea. Infect Genet Evol. 34:267–277. doi:10.1016/j.meegid.2015.06.014.



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