Julian graduated from Edinburgh University in 1992 (BSc, BVM+S) and received his PhD in wildlife epidemiology from Liverpool University in 1999. He studied anatomic veterinary pathology in a residency programme jointly at Cambridge University and the RVC (1999-2002). He then went to Liverpool University (2003) as a lecturer in veterinary pathology specialising in wildlife and exotic animal species. Since 2003, he has been the veterinary pathologist for Chester Zoo and is a member of their Scientific Committee.
Julian works with a variety of animal species and their infectious agents, with emphasis on infections that switch host species, particularly in wildlife and exotic animal species. His research has been on projects including: squirrelpox in UK squirrels, diseases of garden birds, the UK cetacean strandings program, the reservoir of monkeypox and the immunopathogenesis of infectious bronchitis virus in birds. He currently is researching mycobacteriosis in Cheshire badgers and infectious diseases in rodents. His research experience includes field, laboratory and modelling studies of infectious diseases in wild animals and domestic species with research outputs including 36 peer reviewed papers.