Professor Rob Freckleton

School of Biosciences

Head of School, Professor of Population Biology

Rob Freckleton
Profile picture of Rob Freckleton
+44 114 222 0123

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Professor Rob Freckleton
School of Biosciences
Alfred Denny Building
Western Bank
S10 2TN
  • (2021-present) Head of School, School of Biosciences, University of Sheffield
  • (2018-present) Professor of Population Biology, School of Biosciences, University of Sheffield
  • (2012-2017) Director of Research and Innovation, Faculty of Science, University of Sheffield
  • (2006–2012) Royal Society University Research Fellow and Professor of Population Biology, Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield
  • (2004–2006) Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of Oxford
  • (2002–2004) Departmental Lecturer, University of Oxford
  • (2000–2002) Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Oxford
  • (1998–2000) Postdoctoral Researcher, University of East Anglia
Research interests

My research focuses on modelling population and community dynamics. I am particularly interested in large scale population dynamics, although have a range of interests, including:

  • Plant population ecology, modelling plant populations, modelling weed populations.
  • Evolutionary ecology, phylogenetic comparative methodology and its application to ecological problems.
  • Theoretical ecology, statistical methodology.

Show: Featured publications All publications

Journal articles

All publications

Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers

  • Watkinson AR & Freckleton RP (2001) Climate change and weed population dynamics. BCPC CONFERENCE - WEEDS 2001, VOLS 1 AND 2 (pp 83-90) RIS download Bibtex download


Research group

Postdoctoral reseachers

  • Dr Helen Hicks (2014-2017) Herbicide resistance in Blackgrass
  • Dr Daniel Bearup (2016-2017) Modelling soil quality in arable fields and landscapes
  • Dr Shaun Coutts (2015-2018) Modelling Blackgrass populations

PhD students

  • Ronan Byrne (2016-2019) The spread of arable weeds in Ireland
  • Robert Goodsell (2014-2018) Monitoring farmland arthropod communities
  • James Lambert (2014-2018) Using UAVs to monitor weeds
  • Nazarin Mohammed (2015-2019) Modelling forest restoration
  • Pamela Gonzalez del Pliego Castaneda (2013-2017) Tropical conservation
  • Simon Rolph

Former group members

  • Kwadjo Ahodo
  • Magnus Clark
  • Vian Hamed
  • Monica Ortiz
  • Dr Tom Webb Royal Society University Research Fellow at APS Sheffield
  • Dr Simon Queenborough Research fellow at NCEAS
  • Dr Colin Harrower Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • Dr Rémi Vergnon University of Waageningen


I also have collaborative projects with the following:

Teaching activities

At Level 1 I lecture for APS121 (Evolution) and at Level 3 I lecture for APS342 (Evolutionary Ecology).

At level 3 I teach on a 10-day residential course in Borneo (APS 306 - Tropical Biology Rain Forest Field Course) and I supervise Projects (APS330) on herbivore-plant interactions, spatial ecology and plant population dynamics, usually field-based.

I have supervised Level 4 Research Projects (APS 406) on conservation, macroecology and evolution.

Professional activities and memberships
  • Academy of Finland Panel Chair (2017)
  • NERC Panel C member (2016)
  • Global Food Security Programme Panel member (2016)
  • BBSRC/Newton Joint Research Centres, Panel co-chair (2015)
  • NERC Neonicotinoid Experiment Project Advisory Group (2015-present)
  • DEFRA Rural Development Plan Expert Evaluation Panel (2014-present)
  • Founding Editor in Chief, Methods in Ecology & Evolution (2009-present)
  • FORMAS (Swedish Research Council) Grant Panel (2014-2017)
  • NERC Panel D Core Member (2013–present)
  • Senior Editor, Journal of Applied Ecology (2004–2009)
  • Academy of Finland Grant Review Panel (2009-present)
  • Swedish Academy Biodiversity Review (2010)
  • NERC Ecology and Hydrology Funding Initiative moderating panel (2008)
  • Professorial appointment panel, NTNU, Norway (2008)
  • NERC peer review college (2004-2007; 2011-2012).
  • NERC small and standard grants panels committee member (2005, 2012)
  • PhD external examiner (Imperial College, London; UCL; University of Birmingham; University of Aberdeen; University of Reading; University of Newcastle, Swedish Agricultural University; University of Lausanne)