The Lord Krebs Kt, MA, DPhil, FRS, FMedSci, Hon DSc
Honorary Fellow and Former Principal

Academic Background

Academic Career

I completed my undergraduate degree in Zoology (1966) and my DPhil (1970) at Pembroke College Oxford. After a year as a Departmental Demonstrator in Ornithology at Oxford I moved to the University of British Columbia as an Assistant Professor of Ecology (1970-73). I then spent a period at the University College of North Wales in Bangor as lecturer in Zoology (1973-75) before returning to Oxford as University Lecturer in Zoology in the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology. I was a Fellow of Wolfson College until 1981, when I became EP Abraham Fellow of Pembroke College. Between 1988 and 2005 I was a Royal Society Research Professor at Oxford. From 1994 to 1999 I was Chief Executive of the Natural Environment Research Council and between 2000 and 2005 I was Chairman of the UK Food Standards Agency. In 2005 I gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.

I sit in the House of Lords as an independent cross-bencher and I was Chairman of the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee from 2010-2014.  I was Chairman of the UK Science and Technology Honours Committee from 2008-2014, and President of the British Science Association 2012-13. I sit on the UK Climate Change Committee and chair its Adaptation Sub-Committee and I am a Trustee of the Nuffield Foundation.

I was Principal of Jesus College, Oxford from 2007-2015.

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.