UCL Anthropology


Dr Alex Tasker

Teaching Fellow in Human Ecology/Health and Environment

Dept of Anthropology

Faculty of S&HS

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2019

Research summary

Alex's current research focuses on the exploration of informal creativity and networks in communities at the peripheries of state and development systems. Working as a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Refugee Studies Centre he is developing further studies around informal agriculture within refugee settlements, examining the dynamic and emergent relationships between the environment, indigenous and migrant communities, and policy-level actors. These topics engage with key questions of self-reliance, identity, livelihoods, and health.

 More recently discussion with both the Wellcome Trust and the ESRC have started on funding research in and around Kakuma Camp, Northern Kenya on informal refugee agriculture.  This project speaks to themes across Biological, Social, and Medical Anthropology and wider debates within sister centres such as the Institute of Global Health and Migration Studies.

Teaching summary

Alex's current teaching is informed by experience of course design and delivery at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and research around informal networks and creativity in marginalised populations. He has taught at undergraduate and postgraduate courses at UCL, Oxford, Sussex, and Kingston and currently holds a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). Alex has a particular interest in bringing in cross-disciplinary research that bridges theoretical and applied aspects of the discipline 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 that included working in developing countries, 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). Alex's doctoral research focused on exploring knowledge co-creation between pastoralist and development actors through informal networks, using a combined qualitative and network analytical approach.

 Alex also volunteers as a Search and Rescue crewman for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI), and continues to practice as a veterinarian in specialising in Emergency and Critical Care.