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Research Profile

Prof Jeff

Professor of Biodiversity

Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology

    • 1995 – present Senior Lecturer in Ecology, School of Environmental Science.
    • 1994 – 1995 Part time lecturer, Oxford Brookes University. Writing and delivering courses on population ecology and plant anatomy.
    • 1989 – 1993 PhD: “Ecology of flowering and fruiting in Lotus corniculatus L.”, Oxford Brookes University (Supervisor: Dr. Andrew Lack).
    • 1987 – 1989 BSc (Hons) Environmental Biology (2:i) Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes University).


    Member of The British Ecological Society.  Grant reviewer for the Natural Environment Research Council, Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council, Science Foundation Ireland, and the Norwegian Research Council.  Academic referee for over 30 journals (including:  PNAS-USA, Proceedings of the Royal Society series B., Ecology, Ecology Letters, Evolution, Biology Letters, American Naturalist, PLOS Biology, Heredity, Journal of Ecology) and for books published by Blackwell Science and Oxford University Press.   

    Acted as internal examiner at The University of Northampton and external examiner for PhDs at the Open University, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, the Swedish Agricultural University  and the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Lausanne, Leeds, Southampton, Stockholm, Sidney & Zurich. 

    Other Interests

    In addition Jeff also researches and writes in the area of the history of botanical science and horticultural exploration. Currently working on a biography of John Tweedie, a notable 19th Century plant collector, who introduced a number of plants from South America that continue to be grown in British gardens.

  • Course leader for BSc (Hons) Biology; Jeff also contributes to the courses BSc Environmental Management, BSc Biological Conservation, BSc Applied Conservation Biology and MSc Environmental Management via teaching on the following modules:

    • ENV1002 – Introduction to Ecology
    • ENV1012 – Diversity and Adaptation
    • ENV1016 – Fundamentals of Environmental Science
    • ENV2002 – Field Module
    • ENV2015/19 – Overseas Field Course
    • ENV2018 – Habitat Ecology and Management
    • ENV2103 – Biogeography
    • ENV3020 – Plants and Their Environment
    • ENV3021 – Biodiversity and Conservation
    • ENV4001/10/11 – Research Project modules
    • ENVM003 – Applied Project in Environmental Management
  • Mutualistic interactions, in which all participants benefit from the relationship, are the main focus of my research interests. Mutualisms are hugely important ecological relationships that play key roles in determining community structure and ecosystem function. Jeff’s research involves field, laboratory and theoretical investigations of the ecology, evolution and conservation of mutualisms, with a particular emphasis on plant-pollinator relationships, plant reproductive biology, and the evolution of flowers. As a member of the Landscape and Biodiversity Research Group at the University of Northampton, research in the U.K., Australia, Africa, Tenerife and South America has been funded by grants totalling over £100,000, including a NERC award of £30,000 in collaboration with Dr Lars Chittka (Queen Mary College, London), and SITA Environmental Trust funding of two PhD scholarships in collaboration with the SITA Centre for Sustainable Wastes Management at the University of Northampton. Currently supervising three research students at the University of Northampton, having supervised five others to completion in the past five years. Involved in research collaborations with colleagues at the following institutions: University of California, Riverside; University of Bayreuth; University of KwaZulu-Natal; University of Cape Town; National Museums of Scotland; Rothamsted Research (formerly IACR Rothamsted).

  • For publications, projects, datasets, research interests and activities, view Jeff Ollerton’s research profile on Pure, the University of Northampton’s Research Explorer.