In 2010, Alison received a Ph.D from The University of Calgary in Biological Anthropology (with a primatology specialization). Her dissertation work examined the effects of a major hurricane on a howler monkey population in Southern Belize, specifically examining the roles of food supply, nutrition, stress hormones and parasitism in the recovery of this population. From 2009 - 2011, Alison lectured in both the Department of Anthropology at The University of Calgary and The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Mount Royal University in Calgary.
In 2011, Alison was appointed lecturer in Biological Anthropology at ANU. In 2015 she was appointed Head of Biological Anthropology in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology and in 2016 became a senior lecturer. Currently, Alison is also an ARC DECRA fellow researching the impact of cyclones and hurricanes on the behaviour and distribution of lemurs in Madagascar and New World Monkeys in Central America.
In addition to her interests in studying the impact of environmental change on non-human primates, Alison also explores similar interests in humans particularly focussing on how stress during pregnancy impacts birth outcomes and early childhood development in populations in the Asia-Pacific region.