I studied Zoology at Oxford University (1982-85), and then stayed on to undertake a PhD on the ecological interactions of lycaenid (blue) butterflies and ants (1985-89). This work was undertaken in Australia and Princeton University in the US. My first postdoctoral post was at the Tsetse Research Laboratory, University of Bristol, but I was permanently seconded to Kenya, where I spent 4 years in the wilderness of Galana Ranch near Malindi (1989-93).
In 1993 I joined the Institute for Animal Health (IAH), Pirbright Laboratory, to study African horse sickness in Morocco and, later, southern Africa. From 1998, now at the Compton Laboratory, I worked on TSEs (scrapie) in sheep in the UK. In 2003 I became the head of IAH's Division of Epidemiology.
In 2005 I took up the Chair in Veterinary Epidemiology at the University of Liverpool. With fellowship funding from the Leverhulme Trust, in 2007 I established the Liverpool University Climate and Infectious Diseases of Animals group (LUCINDA). From 2010-15 I was head of the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health in the Institute of Infection and Global Health (IGH), then Research Strategy Lead. In 2019 I was appointed as Executive Dean of the newly formed Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences (IVES).
I am the Principal Investigator of the £8.8m, GCRF-funded capacity building project, One Health Regional Network for the Horn of Africa (HORN), a partnership of the University of Liverpool with LSTM, ILRI, and national institutions of research and teaching in Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somaliland