Alasdair Cook

Professor Alasdair Cook

Head of Department of Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health
+44 (0)1483 688781

Academic and research departments

School of Veterinary Medicine.



Alasdair “Alex” Cook is a veterinary epidemiologist with more than 25 years national and international experience in livestock animal health in Government, academic and development environments. He joined the new School of Veterinary Medicine in January 2013. Previously, he worked in the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) where he was a senior member of staff engaged in leading research and surveillance programmes as well as part of the senior management team formulating strategy and implementing change. His interest in epidemiology grew from working in farm animal veterinary practice in the UK and in preventive veterinary medicine. A decade of overseas experience in Yemen, Zambia and Mexico working with poor rural communities underlined the important role that veterinary epidemiology plays in supporting animals in sustainable livelihoods and poverty alleviation. A professional life engaged with and leading multi-disciplinary teams makes Alex a natural proponent of the One Health perspective.

Research interests

Alex's research interests are primarily in the epidemiology and control of zoonotic diseases, especially foodborne zoonoses. He also has a strong interest in surveillance and the impact of endemic disease on farm animal welfare and productivity. He is a firm believer in a multi-disciplinary team approach to research, engaging with molecular biologists, microbiologists and socio-economists to name but a few. Since joining Surrey, Alex has been working with the 5G Innovation Centre and the Business School in creating innovate digital solutions to animal health issues. He has been a principal investigator/ project leader on projects funded agencies including Defra, EC, AHDB-BPEx and the Wellcome Trust. Recent awards include funding from the British Council and FAPESP for an early career researcher workshop in São Paolo State, Brazil, on the theme of One Health, and a contract from Defra to join other providers in supporting surveillance of farmed livestock health in England through post-mortem examinations.


Alex is module leader for Animals in Society II that introduces concepts in epidemiology and veterinary public health, which takes place during the second year of the BVMSci degree. He is also the leader of the epidemiology module in the MSC in Veterinary Microbiology.

Departmental duties

Alex is Head of the Department of Veterinary Epidemiology & Public Health and is a member of the School's Senior Management Team. He is engaged in developing research and teaching in the areas of epidemiology and veterinary public health in the new School.

My publications


  • A.J.C. Cook (2013) Implementing biosecurity on dairy farms: Rewriting the 'cultural script'. The Veterinary Journal 197; 118-119
  • M.E. Arnold, R.M. Irvine, O Tearne, D. Rae, A.J.C. Cook, A.C. Breed (2013) Investigation into sampling strategies in response to potential outbreaks of Low Pathogenicity Notifiable Avian Influenza initiated in commercial duck holdings in Great Britain. Epidemiology & Infection 141 751-662; doi:10.1017/S0950268812001483
  • Sarah L. Lambton, Adrian D. Colloff, Richard P. Smith, George L. Caldow, Sandra F. E. Scholes, Kim Willoughby, Fiona Howie, Johanne Ellis-Iversen, Graham David, Alasdair J. C. Cook, Andrew Holliman (2012) Factors Associated with Bovine Neonatal Pancytopenia (BNP) in Calves: A Case-Control Study. PLoS ONE 7 (5): e34183 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034183
  • Drewe, J.A., Hoinville, L.J., Cook, A.J.C., Floyd, T. and Stärk, K.D.C. (2012) Evaluations of animal and public health surveillance systems: a systematic review. Epidemiology and Infection 140: 575-590
  • Smith, R P; Sanchez-Vazquez, M J; Cook, A J C; Edwards, S A (2011) Abattoir-based study investigating the association between gross pathological lesions and serological tests for Salmonella infection in pigs. Veterinary Record: 168 240 DOI: 10.1136/vr.c6823
  • A. Ortiz-Pelaez; M. A. Stevenson; J. W. Wilesmith; A. J. C. Cook & J. B. M. Ryan (2012). A case control study of cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy born after July 31, 1996 (BARB cases) in Great Britain. Veterinary Record (170) 389 doi:10.1136/vr.100097
  • M. Kirchner, E. Marier, A. Miller, L. Snow, I. McLaren, R. H. Davies, F. A. Clifton-Hadley, A.J.C. Cook (2011) Application of variable number of tandem repeat analysis to track Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium infection of pigs reared on three British farms through the production cycle to the abattoir. Journal of Applied Microbiology 111 960-970 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2011.05096
  • Snow, L.C.; Davies, R.H.; Christiansen, K.H.; Carrique-Mas, J.J.; Cook, A.J.C. & Evans, S.J. (2011). Survey of Salmonella prevalence on commercial turkey breeding and fattening farms in the UK in 2006 to 2007. Veterinary Record (169) 493-U46 doi:10.1136/vr.d4408
  • Santos, AC; Roberts, JA; Cook, AJC; Simons, R; Sheehan, R; Lane, C; Adak, GK, Clifton-Hadley, FA & Rodrigues, LC (2011) Salmonella Typhimurium and Salmonella Enteritidis in England: costs to patients, their families, and Primary and Community Health Services of the NHS. Epidemiology & Infection 139 742-753 (doi:10.1017/S0950268810001615)
  • Ellis-Iversen, J; Smith, RP; Gibbens, JC; Sharpe, CE; Dominguez, M & Cook, AJC (2011). Risk factors for transmission of foot-and-mouth disease during an outbreak in southern England in 2007. Veterinary Record 168, 128 doi: 10.1136/vr.c6364
  • L. Alban, E. Pozio, J. Boes, P. Boireau, F. Boué, M. Claes, A.J.C. Cook, P. Dorny, H. Enemark, J. van der Giessen, K.R. Hunt, M. Howell, M. Kirjusina K. Nöckler, P. Rossi, G.C. Smith, L. Snow, M.A. Taylor, G. Theodoropoulos, I. Vallée, M.M. Viera-Pinto, I.A. Zimmer (2011) Towards a standardised surveillance for Trichinella in the European Union. Preventive Vet Med 99 148-160 doi:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2011.02.008
  • Smith, R.P.; Sanchez-Vazquez, M.J.; Cook, A.J.C.; & Edwards, S.A. (2011) Abattoir-based study investigating the association between gross pathological lesions and serological tests for Salmonella infection in pigs. Veterinary Record 168 p 240. doi: 10.1136/vr.c6823
  • A. D. Wales, I. M. McLaren, S. Bedford, J. J. Carrique-Mas, A. J. C. Cook, R. H. Davies (2009) A longitudinal survey of the occurrence of Salmonella in pigs and the environment of nucleus breeder and multiplier pig herds in England. Veterinary Record 165 648-657
  • Andrew C. Breed, Kate Harris, Uta Hesterberg, George Gould, Brandon Z. Londt, Ian H. Brown and Alasdair J. C. Cook (2010) Surveillance For Avian Influenza In Wild Birds In The European Union In 2007. Avian Diseases 54, 399-404.
  • Ellis-Iversen, J; Cook, AJC; Watson, EA; Nielen, M; Larkin, L; Wooldridge, M & Hogeveen, H (2009). Perceptions, circumstances and motivators that influence implementation of zoonotic control programs on cattle farms. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 93, 276-85
  • Smith, R. P.; Clough, H. E.; Cook, A. J. C.(2010) Analysis of Meat Juice ELISA Results and Questionnaire Data to Investigate Farm-Level Risk Factors for Salmonella Infection in UK Pigs Zoonoses & Public Health 57 39-48 DOI: 10.1111/j.1863-2378.2010.01362.
  • Hill, A.A., Snary, E.L., Arnold, M.E., Alban, L. & Cook, A.J.C. (2008). Dynamics of Salmonella transmission on a British Grower-Finisher Farm: A stochastic model. Epidemiology and Infection, Volume 136, 320-333
  • Cook, AJC; Gilbert, RM & Dunn, D (2000). Population Attributable Risk for Human Toxoplasmosis in Europe - a Case-Control study. British Medical Journal 312 142-147.