Animal Science Department

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Faculty and Staff

Rachael Lyons, D.V.M., M.S.

Office: Bldg 10, Rm 148

Phone: (805) 756-2470


Dr. Rachael Lyons grew up in Torrance, California. She graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo as the Distinguished Senior in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science and an Equine Science minor in 2011. At Cal Poly, she worked as the student manager of the Equine Center and developed a passion for cattle and small ruminants through her coursework and involvement in bovine enterprise projects. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from UC Davis in 2015 and completed a large animal rotating internship at the University of Tennessee in 2016. After working in large animal private practice and returning as a lecturer and veterinarian at Cal Poly, Dr. Lyons went on to complete a 3-year large animal internal medicine residency with a livestock emphasis at Colorado State University, combined with a master’s program in Clinical Sciences, in 2022. She is actively pursuing board certification in large animal internal medicine, but also enjoys veterinary surgery.

Dr. Lyons is excited to rejoin the Cal Poly team as a tenure-track faculty member and food animal physiologist. She loves combining teaching with veterinary clinical practice and looks forward to training the next generation of animal scientists while improving the health and welfare of equine and livestock patients. “Learn by doing” embodies her teaching philosophy, and she encourages students to step outside their comfort zone to become involved and learn new skills. Dr. Lyons is eager to support the building and use of the proposed Animal Health Center and elevate the veterinary services available to the Cal Poly animals and local community through this facility.

Dr. Rachael Lyons lives in San Luis Obispo with her husband Mark, a fire protection engineer who is also a Cal Poly alum, her Cal Poly horse “Mr. Strawberry”, and their little terrier-chihuahua mix “Honey.” She enjoys biking, hiking, kayaking, wakeboarding, and other outdoor activities with Mark, cattle sorting and riding on the beach with “Mr. Strawberry” and cuddling and playing with Honey. Dr. Lyons is also an avid soccer player and is ecstatic to hit the field any chance she gets!

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