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Prof. Dr.

Lord John R. Krebs

Wahljahr: 2013
Sektion: Organismische und Evolutionäre Biologie
Stadt: Oxford
Land: Großbritannien

Forschung

John Krebs has played a unique and seminal role, through his original research, as well his syntheses in text books, in the development of a new field of research: behavioural ecology. In a 2006 survey by GA Parker, Krebs was voted as the single most influential individual in the development of the field.

His research weaves together strands from population ecology, evolutionary theory, behavioural biology and economics. The new field created by this synthesis is followed by many thousands of scientists around the world. The field was essentially defined by two books that have appeared in many editions and have been translated into many languages: An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology, co-authored with Professor Nick Davies, and Behavioural Ecology: an evolutionary approach, edited by Krebs and Davies. These books remain the standard texts in the field 30 years after their original editions appeared.

Krebs’s own original research, together with his many Ph D students and post-docs, has encompassed the following areas: population ecology, foraging theory, social groups, signalling, and the ecology of learning.

In addition to his scientific contributions, Krebs has pursued a high profile career at the interface between science and policy at the national and international level, particularly in relation to environment and food. Among the issues on which he has had a major input to UK government policy are: control of bovine tuberculosis in cattle; management of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (“mad cow disease”) at the height of the epidemic; public health policy in relation to obesity; the UK’s adaptation to climate change; the future of nuclear energy in the UK. He has served as the Chief Executive of the UK Natural Environment Research Council, the first Head of the UK Food Standards Agency and as Chair of the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee, where he an independent cross-bench peer.

©Image: Keith Barnes

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