Prof. Alasdair “Alex” Cook is a veterinary epidemiologist with more than 25 years experience in livestock animal health in Government, academic and development environments. He joined the new School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey in January 2013, where he is Head of the Department of Veterinary Epidemiology & Public Health. Previously, he worked in the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) where he led research and surveillance programmes. His interest in epidemiology grew from working in production animal veterinary practice and preventive veterinary medicine. Overseas experience in Yemen, Zambia and Mexico underlined the role that epidemiology plays in supporting animals in sustainable development. Alasdair’s research interests concern the surveillance and epidemiology of infectious diseases of farmed livestock including the integration of multiple large-scale databases to yield new information, with a particular focus on foodborne zoonoses and endemic disease.