Alastair is Associate Professor of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management at the University of Leeds. His research specialism is wildlife conservation and management, including wildlife diseases that affect livestock and people. He mainly works on large mammals and birds, principally in the UK, but also overseas. Alastair's PhD, awarded by the University of York, was on the ecology and management of roe deer, and he continues an inter-disciplinary work programme focused on wild deer management. He is also a member of the UK Government's Task Force on Avian Influenza, where he is working with wildfowl hunters to collect samples to be tested for the presence of the virus. In the past, he has advised Defra and the devolved administrations on the ecology and control of bovine TB in badgers, deer and cattle, surveillance for swine influenzas in wild boar, mitigation of badger impacts to property in suburbia, and control of large vertebrate invasive non-native species.
Alastair is a member of the IUCN/SSC Deer Specialist Group and The Mammal Society's Science Advisory Committee, is honorary Scientific Advisor to the British Deer Society, and has been a member of several wildlife disease expert groups for Defra.