Educated at Millfield and St Peter's College, Oxford, he gained his PhD in community ecology from Imperial College, London in 1983. He remained at Imperial as a post-doc until 1985, when he returned to Oxford as a demonstrator. In 1987 he returned to Imperial as a lecturer until 2006, when he again returned to Oxford, now as a fellow of Jesus College and Hope Professor of Zoology.
He was awarded the Scientific Medal in 1994, and Frink Medal in 2009 of the Zoological Society of London. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours.
- The London Gazette: . 31 December 2010.
- Leslie Pitterson (8 September 2011). "Shooting Blanks:Researchers Say Spermless Mosquitoes Could Tide Malaria Spread". Clutch Magazine.