Derek Elsby


PhD Research Student

E-Mail Address

Joined the ERI

October 2, 2016

Job Description

I am investigating the prevalence of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria within the wildlife of the Scottish Highlands. My primary area of research is on the faecal coliforms of red deer.

I am also investigating AMR in the gut microbiota of freshwater invertebrates, and assessing their potential use in future biomonitoring programmes.


2015-2016: Scientist (Microbiology)  – Scottish Water

2015: Seasonal EcologistHeritage Environmental Ltd.

2015: Laboratory Demonstrator (Animal/Environmental) – Edinburgh Napier University

2012-2015: Animal PresenterRoyal Zoological Society of Scotland (Edinburgh Zoo)


2011 – 2015: B.Sc. (Hons) 1st Class, Animal Biology – Edinburgh Napier University


Derek spent most of his early adult life working as an actor, performer, tour guide, and retail assistant.
He returned to university in 2011 to pursue a scientific career with a focus on wildlife.

While at university he worked for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, at Edinburgh Zoo, in the presentation team at the giant panda enclosure. After graduating he worked as a seasonal ecologist dealing with amphibian relocation. Following this, he worked at Scottish Water as a microbiologist, carrying out routine monitoring of drinking water for signs of human and animal faecal contamination.

In his free time, Derek has continued to build his upon his outdoor skills via badger surveying with Scottish Badgers, bat tracking with Scottish Natural Heritage, and working as a volunteer animal keeper at his local zoo.

His current PhD project – assessing antimicrobial resistance in wild deer – allows him to continue studying wildlife while developing his analytical skills as a microbiologist.