UCL Anthropology

Dr Alex Tasker

Dr Alex Tasker

Honorary Associate Professor

Dept of Anthropology

Faculty of S&HS

Joined UCL
1st Jun 2023

Research summary

explore emerging areas of global research.Alex's personal research explores informal creativity and networks incommunities at the peripheries of state and development systems. Working with anumber of organisations, he is developing research projects to betterunderstand the social, biological, and environmental influences driving informalagricultural adaptations within refugee settlements. Alex examines thesedynamic and emergent relationships between environments, indigenous and migrantcommunities, and policy-level actors to engage with key questions of self-reliance,identity, livelihoods, and health.


Alex continues to advocatefor the use of qualitative evidence in developing national and international policies.Drawing on his experiences as a seconded Embedded Scientist in the COVID-19Task Force, Alex continues to speak and teach on social science evidence. Alexhas recently developed scoping proposals for the Wellcome Trust and the ESRC onfunding research in and around Kakuma Camp, Northern Kenya on informal refugeeagriculture, and with King’s College London on One Health in conflict-affected settings. These project speaks to themes across Biological, Social, and MedicalAnthropology and wider debates within sister centres such as the Institute ofGlobal Health and Migration Studies. 

Teaching summary

Alexcurrently teaches on a range of specialist and generalist topics in biological andenvironmental anthropology, biosocial medical anthropology, and mixed-methodsresearch. Alex’s teaching is informed by his experience of the academic-policyinterface, and his work with informal networks and creativity in marginalisedpopulations. Alex currently advises four doctoral students at Cambridge, Oxford,and Kingston; he has taught at undergraduate and postgraduate courses at UCL,Oxford, Sussex, and Kingston and currently holds Senior Fellowship of theHigher Education Academy (SFHEA). Alex has a particular interest in bringing incross-disciplinary research that bridges theoretical and applied aspects of thediscipline into his teaching practice.


Alex's first degree was as veterinarian with a specialist interest in Medical Physics and Bioengineering. Following a period in general practice working in the global south, Alex returned to academia to study Anthropology, Environment, and Development at UCL. His work with the Gabra nomadic pastoralist group in Norther Kenya led into his PhD at Sussex, supervised between The Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). Following his award, Alex took up a range of Visiting Fellowships including at the University of Oxford Refugee Studies Centre, the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya, and Pastoralism, Uncertainty and Resilience (PASTRES)Project at the Institute of Development Studies. In May 2020, Alex was seconded into the UK Cabinet Office COVID-19task Force, and developed his work on qualitative evidence and policy through current Policy Associateships with the ESRC International Public Policy Observatory, and University of Sussex Optimising Coronavirus Testing Systems project.


Alex now holds a range of research and policy posts, including visiting research posts at King’s College London’s Conflict and Health Research Group (CHRG), and his Lectureship in Human Ecology at UCL.