About Jesus College/Our community/ People
Lord Krebs

Roles and subjects

Honorary Fellow and Former Principal

Academic Background

The Lord Krebs Kt, MA, DPhil, FRS, FMedSci, Hon DSc

Between 2005 and 2015 I was the Principal of Jesus College, Oxford University. From 1988 to 2005 I held a Royal Society Research Professorship in the Edward Grey Institute. I served as the first Chairman of the UK Food Standards Agency from 2000-2005 and as Chief Executive of the Natural Environment Research Council from 1994-1999.

Earlier in my career I was a Demonstrator in Ornithology at the EGI, Assistant Professor of Animal Resource Ecology at the University of British Columbia, Lecturer in Zoology at the University College of North Wales, Bangor, and Lecturer in Zoology in the EGI.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Medical Academy of Sciences, a member of Academia Europaea and of the Max Planck Society, an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Foreign Member of the American Philosophical Society, and Foreign Honorary Member of the US National Academy of Sciences, Member of the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina).

I served as Chairman of the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee from 2010-2014 and as Chairman of the UK Science and Technology Honours Committee from 2008-2014. I was President of the British Science Association in 2012.  I am also a Trustee of the Nuffield Foundation, and served as member of the Climate Change Committee, Chairman of its Adaptation Sub Committee from 2009-17. I was a member of the House of Lords Energy and Environment Select Committee from 2015-19 and I currently chair the Select Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and the Enviroment. I also carry out advisory work for Marks & Spencer plc, Drax plc, and Ajinomoto inc. I co-founded and act as Chairman of a University Spinout Company, Oxford Risk Ltd.

I completed my undergraduate degree in Zoology (1966) and my DPhil (1970) at Pembroke College Oxford.

Visiting Professorships

Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Miami (1981)
Queen’s Quest Visiting Professor, Queen’s University, Ontario (1982)
Visiting Professor, University of Toronto (1984)
Storer Lecturer, University of California (1985)
Visiting Professor, S.U.N.Y., Stony Brook (1987)
Patten Lecturer and Fellow of Institute of Advanced Study, Indiana University (1994)
Messenger Lecturer, Cornell University (2011)

Honorary Degrees

DSc University of Sheffield (1993)
DSc University of Wales (1997)
DSc University of Birmingham (1997)
DSc University of Exeter (1998)
DUniv University of Stirling (2000)
DSc University of Warwick (2000)
DSc Cranfield University (2001)
DSc University of Plymouth (2001)
DSc University of Kent (2001)
DSc Queen’s University Belfast (2002)
DSc Heriot-Watt University (2002)
DSc South Bank University (2003)
DSc Lancaster University (2005)
DSc University of Guelph (2006)
DSc University of Aberdeen (2010)
DSc University of Newcastle upon Tyne (2012)


Fellow of the Royal Society (1984)
External scientific member of the Max Planck Society (1985)
President, International Society of Behavioural Ecology (1988-1990)
President, Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (1993-1994)
Member of Academia Europaea (1995)
Honorary Member, British Ecological Society (1999)
Honorary Fellow, Cardiff University(1999)
Foreign Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2000)
Foreign Member, American Philosophical Society (2000)
Honorary Fellow, German Ornithologists’ Society (DO-G) (2003)
Foreign Honorary Member, US National Academy of Sciences (2004)
Fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences (2004)
Honorary Fellow, Pembroke College, Oxford (2005)
Honorary Fellow, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (2006)
Honorary Fellow, Zoological Society of London (2006)
Honorary Fellow, University of Wales Bangor (2007)
Honorary Fellow, The Salters Company and Freeman of the City of London (2007)
Honorary Member, UK National Heart Forum (2008)
Honorary Member, Association for Nutrition (2011)
Member, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (2013)

Prizes, Awards and Medals

Nuffield Foundation Science Fellowship (1981)
Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society (1981)
Bicentenary Medal of the Linnaean Society (1983)
Frink Medal of the Zoological Society, London (1997)
Knighthood for services to Behavioural Ecology (1999)
Elliott Coues Award, American Ornithologists’ Union (1999)
Association of the Study of Animal Behaviour Medal (2000)
Benjamin Ward Richardson Gold Medal, Roy Soc for Promotion of Health (2002)
ISI Highly Cited Researcher (within top 0.5% of all scientists) (2002)
Wooldridge Medal, British Veterinary Association (2003)
Croonian Medal, Royal Society, London (2004)
Lord Rayner Memorial Medal (Royal College of Physicians) (2005)
Award for Outstanding Achievement (Soc for Food Hygiene Technology) (2005)
Harben Gold Medal, Royal Institute of Public Health (2006)

Research Interests

My academic research is in ecology and behaviour, and I have published more than 300 research papers, reviews, articles and books. My most recent books are “An introduction to behavioural ecology” (4th edition), coauthored with Nick Davies and Stu West (J Wiley 2012) and “Food: a Very Short Introduction” (Oxford University Press 2013).


Walking, tennis, running, cooking.