Thomas M. Yuill was born in Berkeley, California in 1937, and grew up in rural Maryland. He received his B.S. degree from Utah State University in Wildlife Management, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Veterinary Science and Wildlife Ecology, with emphasis in the epizootiology of infectious diseases of domestic and wild animals. Following completion of his Ph.D. degree, he held research positions in the Department of Virus Diseases, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and in the Virology Department of the SEATO Medical Research Laboratory, Bangkok, Thailand. He joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an assistant professor in 1968, with joint appointments in the Departments of Veterinary Science and of Wildlife Ecology, developing research and graduate training programs in epizootiology of infectious diseases of wildlife and domestic animals in Wisconsin and Latin America. He became professor and chairman of the Department of Veterinary Science in 1979. He was appointed Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Training in the UW School of Veterinary Medicine and an assistant director in the Agricultural Experiment Station in 1982. In 1992-93, he served for one year as the Chief of Party for a University of Wisconsin-led team advising the Bolivian Government on restructuring their national agricultural research and extension agency. Upon his return from Bolivia in 1993, Dr. Yuill became director of the Institute for Environmental Studies and primarily involved in academic administration. In 2003 Dr. Yuill became Emeritus Director and Professor of the Institute, and Emeritus Professor of Pathobiological Sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Emeritus Professor of Wildlife Ecology.
Dr. Yuill has been active in a variety of scientific organizations. He chaired the Viral Diseases Panel of the US-Japan Biomedical Sciences Program. He was active in the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) from 1971 to 1999. He served on the OTS Executive Committee and was its president for five years. He has served as treasurer and president of the Wildlife Disease Association, which awarded him its Distinguished Service Award in 1989 and its emeritus Award in 2003. Dr. Yuill has served as a consultant on wildlife diseases to the states of Wisconsin and North Dakota, and to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on arthropod-borne diseases to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and on higher education in the agricultural sciences to the U.S. Agency for International Development, mainly in India. Dr. Yuill has authored more than 125 scientific papers and book chapters.