Professor Robert J. Whittaker

Emeritus Professor of Biogeography

Emeritus Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford

Academic Profile

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. He retired from his post in September 2023.

Rob has published over 200 peer-review articles and is author or co-author of several books.

Rob is the editor-in-chief of Frontiers of Biogeography, the scientific magazine of the International Biogeography Society. He 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, and was President of the International Biogeography Society for 2009-2010.

Rob 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, and in July 2022 was made a Distinguished Fellow of the International Biogeography Society in recognition of his contribution to the subject, especially in the fields of island biogeography and the application of biogeography to conservation.

Current Research

Rob is a member of the Biodiversity, Ecosystems and Conservation research cluster. He works on island biogeography, conservation biogeography, diversity theory and macroecology. His recent and ongoing research programmes are focussed on themes within island biogeography, and involve international collaborations with laboratories in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Denmark and Germany.

Teaching and Supervision

Rob is involved in the Tenerife Field Course for the MSc in Biodiversity Conservation and Management.

Selected Publications

BOOK
Island Biogeography: Geo-environmental Dynamics, Ecology, Evolution, Human Impact, and Conservation
Authors
Whittaker, R.J., Fernández-Palacios, J.M. and Matthews, T.J. (2023)
Oxford University Press
ISBN:
9780198868576
Island Biogeography
BOOK
The Species-Area Relationship: Theory and Application
Authors
Matthews, T.J., Triantis, K.A. and Whittaker, R.J. (eds.) (2021)
Cambridge University Press
ISBN:
9781108701877
The Species-Area Relationship: Theory and Application
BOOK
Biogeography, 5th edn
Authors
Lomolino, M.V., Riddle, B.R., and Whittaker, R.J. (2017)
Sinauer, Sunderland, MA
ISBN:
9781605354729
Biogeography, 5th edn
BOOK
Conservation Biogeography
Authors
Ladle, R.J. and Whittaker, R.J. (eds.) (2011)
Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford
ISBN:
978-1-4443-3503-3
Conservation Biogeography
Fernández‐Palacios, J., Otto, R., Capelo, J., Caujapé‐Castells, J., de Nascimento, L., Duarte, M., Elias, R., García‐Verdugo, C., Menezes de Sequeira, M., Médail, F., Naranjo‐Cigala, A., Patiño, J., Price, J., Romeiras, M., Sánchez‐Pinto, L. and Whittaker, R. (2024) Biological Reviews [Preprint].
2009051 - In defence of the entity of Macaronesia as a bioge...
Bhalla, I., Razgour, O., Rigal, F. and Whittaker, R. (2023) Landscape Ecology, 38(11), pp. 2931–2946.
1367536 - Landscape features drive insectivorous bat activit...
Bhalla, I., Razgour, O., Rigal, F. and Whittaker, R. (2023) Landscape Ecology, 38(11), pp. 2947–2963.
1517400 - Insectivorous bats in Indian rice fields respond t...
Bhalla, I., Razgour, O., Rigal, F. and Whittaker, R. (2023) Landscape Ecology, 38, pp. 2931–2946.
1517406 - Landscape features drive insectivorous bat activit...
Whittaker, R., Fernández-Palacios, J. and Matthews, T. (2023) Island Biogeography: Geo-environmental Dynamics, Ecology, Evolution, Human Impact, and Conservation, pp. 1–475.
1537270 - Island Biogeography: Geo-environmental Dynamics, E...
Whittaker, R., Fernández-Palacios, J. and Matthews, T. (2023) in Island Biogeography. Oxford University Press (OUP), p. v - vi.
1544380 - Preface and Acknowledgements
Matthews, T., Wayman, J., Whittaker, R., Cardoso, P., Hume, J., Sayol, F., Proios, K., Martin, T., Baiser, B., Borges, P., Kubota, Y., Dos Anjos, L., Tobias, J., Soares, F., Si, X., Ding, P., Mendenhall, C., Sin, Y., Rheindt, F., Triantis, K., Guilhaumon, F., Watson, D., Brotons, L., Battisti, C., Chu, O. and Rigal, F. (2023) Ecology letters, 26(6), pp. 965–982.
1291303 - A global analysis of avian island diversity-area r...
Matthews, T., Wayman, J. and Whittaker, R. (2023) Ecology Letters, 26(6), pp. 965–982.
1331552 - A global analysis of avian island diversity?area r...
Whittaker, R., Franklin, J., Ladle, R., La Sorte, F. and Schiebelhut, L. (2023) Frontiers of Biogeography, 15(1).
1331441 - Community science biogeography
Heinen, J., Florens, F., Baider, C., Hume, J., Kissling, W., Whittaker, R., Rahbek, C. and Borregaard, M. (2023) Nature Communications, 14(1).
1331439 - Novel plant?frugivore network on Mauritius is unli...