I was originally trained in Zoology, obtaining a degree from the University of Wales, Swansea in 1968. After studying for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education I spent 5 years teaching Biology in the UK and in Uganda.

I took a career gap whilst my son and daughter were pre-school age and then returned to higher education, obtaining a PhD in Parasitology in 1985 under the supervision of Prof. Chris Arme, Keele University. The focus of my thesis was on interaction between the rat tapeworm and its beetle intermediate host. This began my long-term research interest on parasitic diseases transmitted by insects, finally focussed on malaria and mosquitoes.

I was one of the first recipients of a Daphne Jackson Fellowship for Women Returners to Science in 1988 and was appointed to a lectureship at Keele University in 1990. After promotions to Senior Lecture and Reader I was appointed to a chair in Parasitology in 2002. I acted as Director of the Centre of Applied Entomology and Parasitology, Keele University from 1996 to 2007 and was President of the British Society for Parasitology 2004-2006. I also served on the Membership Committee of the American Society of Parasitologists and was a past Council member of the Royal Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

I retired in December 2013 but am still on the editorial board of Parasites and Vectors and the Malaria Journal and am an editor for Microbes and Infection. I also act as editor and contributor to the Parasites and Vectors blog "bugbitten".

Research and scholarship

My major research interests have been in the field of parasite-arthropod interactions, including tapeworm /beetle and acanthocephalan / shrimp intermediate hosts, filarial nematode / blackfly and malaria / mosquito vectors. Latterly they were focused on the involvement of apoptosis in malaria / mosquito interactions, the fitness effects of malaria parasites upon both susceptible and refractory mosquitoes, the identification and deployment of peptides that kill the human malaria parasite and the development of transgenic mosquitoes that are incompetent malaria vectors.

Further details


I no longer have any teaching duties at Keele University. For many years I ran a final year module on Parasitology, a second year module on Symbiotic Interactions and taught on the MSc course in Vector Biology and Molecular Parasitology. I also taught on the Medical Parasitology module when it began. I was sole or lead supervisor for 13 PhD and 2 MPhil students, co-supervised 3 PhD and supervise many MSc and undergraduate research projects and dissertation students.


Articles in peer reviewed journals

1. Hilary Hurd (2015). Ant brains manipulated by a fungus. Microbiology Today 42:1, 18-21.

2. Victoria Carter, Ann Underhill, Ibrahima Baber, Lakamy Sylla, Mounirou Baby, Isabelle Larget-Thiery, Agnès Zettor, Catherine Bourgouin, Ülo Langel, Ingrid Faye, Laszlo Otvos, John Wade, Sekou Traore, Mamadou Coulibaly, Frederic Tripet, Paul Eggleston and Hilary Hurd. 2013. Killer Bee Molecules: Antimicrobial Peptides as Effector Molecules to Target Sporogonic Stages of Plasmodium. Plos Pathogens. 9, 11, e1003790

3. Emilie Taylor-Brown and Hilary Hurd. 2013. The first suicides: a legacy inherited by parasitic protozoans from prokaryote ancestors. Parasites and Vectors, 6: 108

4. Hilary Hurd. 2012. Taking the fight to Malaria. Public service review: European Science and Technology. Issue 17.

5. Hilary Hurd. 2012. Review of “Host manipulation by parasites” by David P. Hughes, Jacques Brodeur and Frédéric Thomas. Parasites and vectors 5:228

6. Holly Matthews, Medhat Ali, Victoria Carter, Ann Underhill, Jennifer Hunt, Hannah Szor, and Hilary Hurd. 2012, Variation in apoptosis mechanisms employed by malaria parasites: the roles of inducers, dose dependence and parasite stages. Malaria Journal, 11:297 (28 August 2012) doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-297

7. Meredith J. M., Basu S., Nimmo D. D., Larget-Thiery I., Warr E. L., Underhill A., McArthur C. C., Carter V., Hurd H., Bourgouin C. and Eggleston P. 2011. Site-Specific Integration and Expression of an Anti-Malarial Gene in Transgenic Anopheles gambiae Significantly Reduces Plasmodium Infections. Plos Pathogen (Jan).

8. Jiménez-Ruiz A., Alzate J.F., MacLeod E.T., Lüder C.G.K., Fasel N., and Hurd H. 2010. Apoptotic Markers in Protozoan Parasites. Parasites and Vectors, 3:104. Published online 2010 November 9. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-3-104. PMC2993696

9. Carter, V and Hurd, H. 2010. Choosing anti-Plasmodium molecules for genetically modifying mosquitoes: focus on peptides. Trends in Parasitology, 26, 12, 582-590.doi:10.1016/j.pt2010.07.005

10. Ali, M. Ebtesam M. Al-Olayan, E.M., Lewis, S., Matthews, H., and Hurd, H. 2010. Naturally occurring triggers that induce apoptosis-like programmed cell death in Plasmodium berghei ookinetes. PLoS One; 5(9): e12634. Published online 2010 September 9. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012634

Hurd publications - Full list

School of Life Sciences,
Huxley Building,
Keele University,
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 734414