Alan Hamilton has been a lecturer in botany, geography and environmental science, variously in the UK and Uganda. His research has been mainly on the environmental history of East Africa during the Quaternary, for which he was awarded a Doctorate in Science from the University of Cambridge. He served as Plants Conservation Officer for WWF-International (1989-2004) and as Plants Conservation and Livelihoods Officer for Plantlife International (2005-2008), in which roles he was responsible for many plant conservation projects around the world. He was one of the originators and the overall manager of the People and Plants Initiative (PPI) of WWF, UNESCO and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which aimed to increase global capacity in applied ethnobotany. One of his duties in PPI was to organize publication and distribution of a number of manuals on plant conservation in three languages (English, Spanish and Chinese). He is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and remains actively involved in conservation in China. He is the author of eight scientific books and about 100 scientific papers.