Durda Slavic grew up in Krapina, a small town in northern Croatia known for discovery of Neanderthal fossil remains. She graduated with her DVM degree from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, after which she worked for 2 years in veterinary inspection. After moving to Canada, she earned her MSc and PhD degrees from the Department of Pathobiology at the Ontario Veterinary College. During her MSc and PhD studies, she worked on characterization of Actinobacillus suis cell-surface associated polysaccharides.
She is currently a bacteriologist at the Animal Health Laboratory and is also involved in various research and teaching activities. Her areas of expertise cover bacteriology and mycology of numerous animal species including food animals, small animals, zoo animals, and wildlife.