School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Dr Axel Rossberg


Reader in Theoretical Ecology

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5688
Room Number: Room 6.01, Fogg Building


Research Interests:

As a theoretical ecologist, I am interested in structure and dynamics of food-webs, biodiversity, the relationships between them, and what all this means for the protection and sustainable use of living nature. In a monograph on Food Webs and Biodiversity: Foundations, Models, Data I sketched a theory integrating the main underlying ecological mechanisms. It is well-supported for aquatic systems. The proposed cause-effect network reveals dependencies between food-web structure, competition, species richness, invasions, body size, ecological niches, abundances, stability, and predictability. My current research interests relate to:

  • remaining weaker elements of the theory, such as mechanisms determining dietary diversity, competition among primary producers, or the dynamics of size spectra,
  • underlying mathematical questions, e.g. the eigenvalues of competition matrices,
  • extension of the theory to a spatially explicit formulation and
  • its applications in advice to policy and management.

Policy applications also made me interested in sustainable use of marine ecosystems and its assessment through ecological indicators.

Research department

Public Engagement

  • Expert advisor to Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
  • Lead Author of IPBES Regional assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services for Europe and Central Asia