Alan graduated from Liverpool in 1993 with degrees in veterinary science and molecular biology. After a one year internship in Small Animal Medicine in Dublin, he returned to Liverpool to complete his PhD on the evolution of feline calicivirus. Since then he has continued using “next generation” sequence data to understand the biology of infectious diseases from viruses to antimicrobial resistance. In parallel, and with BSAVA, Alan helped establish the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (www.liverpool.ac.uk/savsnet). SAVSNET collects large volumes of companion animal electronic health data from veterinary practitioners and diagnostic laboratories across the UK. These are collated centrally, and used for a wide range of research and surveillance including antibacterial use and resistance. Quarterly surveillance reports are published in the Veterinary Record, and SAVSNET is generating real-time data on diseases (www.savsnet.co.uk). As well as research, anonymised data are fed back to participating practices in real-time providing a new population perspective to daily practice.