Rob Whittaker has a BSc in Botany and Geography from the University of Hull (1980), an MSc in Ecology from University College North Wales (1982), and a doctorate from University College Cardiff (1985), where he studied vegetation succession on recently deglaciated terrain, in the Jotunheimen, Norway. He joined the Oxford School of Geography and the Environment in 1986, having previously worked for a year as a research officer at Birkbeck College, London. In 1990 he was appointed to a university lectureship and a fellowship at St Edmund Hall. In 1999 he was awarded the title of Reader and, in 2004, Professor of Biogeography.
Rob has published over 140 peer-review articles and is author or co-author of several books. Recently collaborations within Rob's research group have included two Marie Curie fellows (Dr Miguel Araújo and Dr Kostas Triantis) and three Rhodes Scholars (Dr Niall O'Dea, Dr Ben Sharp and Dr James Watson).
Rob served as editor-in-chief of Global Ecology & Biogeography - a journal of macroecology from 1995 to 2004, and as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Biogeography, the leading international journal in biogeography from 2004 to 2015. Rob is a founding member of the International Biogeography Society, was a Director-at-Large from 2005-2006, was co-convener of the biennial meeting, Tenerife 9-13 January 2007, and was President of the International Biogeography Society for 2009-2010.
Rob Whittaker was appointed a Full Professor (part time) in the Centre for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate at the University of Copenhagen for a fixed term from June 2015 to December 2019. He was admitted as a Fellow of the Society of Biology in September 2011. Rob was elected a foreign member of the Academia das Ciências de Lisboa in July 2011.
Rob is a member of the Biodiversity, Ecosystems and Conservation research cluster. He works on island biogeography, conservation biogeography, diversity theory and macroecology and is a core member of the Conservation Biogeography and Macroecology Programme. His recent and ongoing research programmes have involved international collaborations with laboratories in Greece, Portugal and Spain including the following projects as member or partner:
- Species-area relationship: new challenges for an old pattern.
2007-2008: European Commission, 6th Framework Programme on Research, Technological Development and Demonstration (Marie Curie Actions, Intra-European Fellowships held by Kostas A. Triantis).
- Native and invasive species on islands: the functionality perspective.
Fundação da Ciência e Tecnologia, funding 2008-2010; partner on project led by Dr Paulo Borges of the Azorean Biodiversity Group, University of the Azores.
- Predicting extinctions on islands: a multi-scale assessment
Project FCT- PTDC/BIA-BEC/100182/2008; partner on project led by Dr Paulo Borges of the Azorean Biodiversity Group, University of the Azores; (2010-2013).
- Biodiversity on oceanic islands: towards a unified theory
PTDC/BIA-BIC/119255/2010 Budget: 99 000 Euros; started July 2012.
- Palaeoecological studies in the Canary Islands
Please also see: The long-term dynamics of the Macaronesian islands and their biota.
- Laguna Grande in the National Park of Garajonay
Ref: 003/2008; Spanish Ministry of the Environment, and Rural and Marine Environs, 2008-2009; PI: J.M. Fernández-Palacios, participants: K.J. Willis, R.J. Whittaker, and L. de Nascimento.
- History of Canarian vegetation since Last Glacial Maximum: using the past to manage the future
Ref: CGL2009-10939; Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, 2010-2012); PI: J.M. Fernández-Palacios, participants: K.J. Willis, R.J. Whittaker, R. Otto, and L. de Nascimento.
- Vegetation history in Tenerife during the Holocene
Ref: SolSubC200801000053; Canarian Government, 2009-2012; PI: J.M. Fernández-Palacios, participants: K.J. Willis, R.J. Whittaker, S. Nogué, and L. de Nascimento.
Understanding biodiversity dynamics in tropical and subtropical island in an aid to science based conservation action. Member of steering group for project provisionally selected for funding under the Netbiome 2010 call. PI: Brent Emerson.
Rob teaches the 'Ecology of the Biosphere' module of the 'Earth System Processes' course for the Preliminary Examination. He also teaches on the Option course 'Biogeography, Biodiversity and Conservation' for the Final Honour School.
Rob teaches 'Conservation Biogeography', 'Strategic Conservation Planning' and takes the Tenerife Field Course for the MSc in Biodiversity Conservation and Management. Rob also acts as college adviser to around four students a year on the MSc in BCM within St Edmund Hall.
Recent Graduate Research Students (since 2006)
Completed DPhil in 2015
Isolated Ficus trees and conservation in human-modified landscapes
Completed DPhil in 2015
Analysing and modelling the impact of habitat fragmentation on species diversity: a macroecological perspective
|Leticia Ochoa Ochoa|
Completed DPhil in 2012
Amphibian diversity conservation in a changing world: a view from Mexico
Completed DPhil in 2011
Tropical montane forest ecosystem responses to mean temperature change
Completed DPhil in 2009
The functional biogeography of the Amazon forest canopy.
Completed DPhil in 2008
Change in plant biodiversity of the Flora Zambesiaca region of south-central Africa.