Photo of Prof. Jeff Ollerton

Prof. Jeff Ollerton

  • Job title: Professor of Biodiversity
  • Department: Environmental Science

General information

  • 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).


Jump to: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007


  1. Carstensen, D. W., Trøjelsgaard, K., Ollerton, J. and Morellato, L. P. C. (2018) Local and regional specialization in plant-pollinator networks. Oikos. 127, pp. 531-537. 1600-0706.


  1. Saunders, M. E., Duffy, M. A., Heard, S. B., Kosmala, M., Leather, S. R., McGlynn, T. P., Ollerton, J. and Parachnowitsch, A. L. (2017) Bringing ecology blogging into the scientific fold: measuring reach and impact of science community blogs. Royal Society Open Science. 4 2054-5703.
  2. Ollerton, J., Dötterl, S., Ghorpadé, K., Heiduk, A., Liede-Schumann, S., Masinde, S., Meve, U., Peter, C. I., Prieto-Benítez, S., Punekar, S., Thulin, M. and Whittington, A. (2017) Diversity of Diptera families that pollinate Ceropegia (Apocynaceae) trap flowers: an update in light of new data and phylogenetic analyses. Flora. 234, pp. 233-244. 0367-2530.
  3. de Brito, V. L. G., Rech, A. R., Ollerton, J. and Sazima, M. (2017) Nectar production, reproductive success and the evolution of generalised pollination within a specialised pollen-rewarding plant family: a case study using Miconia theizans. Plant Systematics and Evolution. 303(6), pp. 709-718. 0378-2697.
  4. Biella, P., Ollerton, J., Barcella, M. and Assini, S. (2017) Network analysis of phenological units to detect important species in plant-pollinator communities: can it inform conservation strategies? Community Ecology. 18(1), pp. 1-10. 1585-8553.
  5. Ollerton, J. (2017) Pollinator diversity: distribution, ecological function, and conservation. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. 48, pp. 353-376.
  6. Hall, D. M., Camilo, G. R., Tonietto, R. K., Smith, D. H., Ollerton, J., Jackson, J., Sirohi, M., Ahrne, K., Arduser, M., Ascher, J. S., Baldock, K. C. R., Fowler, R., Frankie, G., Goulson, D., Gunnarsson, B., Hanley, M. E., Langellotto, G., Lowenstein, D., Minor, E. S., Philpott, S. M., Potts, S. G., Spevak, E. M., Stone, G. N. and Threlfall, C. G. (2017) The city as a refuge for insect pollinators. Conservation Biology. 31(1), pp. 24-29. 1523-1739.


  1. Rahman, M. L., Tarrant, S., Ollerton, J. and McCollin, D. (2016) Effect of soil conditions and landscape factors on macro-snail communities in newly created grasslands of restored landfill sites in the UK. Zoology and Ecology. 26(4), pp. 275-281. 2165-8005.
  2. Laws, A., Littlemore, J. and Ollerton, J. (2016) Impacts of solar farms in UK agriculture. Seminar Presentation presented to: 5th Postgraduate Research Symposium, Moulton College, Northampton, 15 December 2016.
  3. Ollerton, J., Rouquette, J. R. and Breeze, T. D. (2016) Insect pollinators boost the market price of culturally important crops: holly, mistletoe and the spirit of Christmas. Journal of Pollination Ecology. 19, pp. 93-97. 1920-7603.
  4. Moles, A. T. and Ollerton, J. (2016) Is the notion that species interactions are stronger and more specialized in the tropics a zombie idea? Biotropica. 48(2), pp. 141-145. 1744-7429.
  5. Gill, R. J., Baldock, K. C. R., Brown, M. J. F., Cresswell, J. E., Dicks, L. V., Fountain, M. T., Garratt, M. P. D., Gough, L. A., Heard, M. S., Holland, J. M., Ollerton, J., Stone, G. N., Tang, C. Q., Vanbergen, A. J., Vogler, A. P., Woodward, G., Arce, A. N., Boatman, N. D., Brand-Hardy, R., Breeze, T. D., Green, M., Hartfield, C. M., O’Connor, R. S., Osborne, J. L., Phillips, J., Sutton, P. B. and Potts, S. G. (2016) Protecting an ecosystem service: approaches to understanding and mitigating threats to wild insect pollinators. Advances in Ecological Research. 54, pp. 135-206. 0065-2504.
  6. Ollerton, J. (2016) Scientist as poet as scientist. In: Strang, E., Hunt, N. and Chapman, C. (eds.) Uncivilised Poetics. London: The Dark Mountain Project. pp. 185-189.
  7. Watts, S., Dormann, C. F., Gonzalez, A. M. M. and Ollerton, J. (2016) The influence of floral traits on specialisation and modularity of plant-pollinator networks in a biodiversity hotspot in the Peruvian Andes. Annals of Botany. 118(3), pp. 415-429. 0305-7364.
  8. Maruyama, P. K., Vizentin-Bugoni, J., Sonne, J., Martın Gonzalez, A. M., Schleuning, M., Araujo, A. C., Baquero, A. C., Cardona, J., Cardona, P., Cotton, P. A., Kohler, G., Lara, C., Malucelli, T., Marın-Gomez, O. H., Ollerton, J., Rui, A. M., Timmermann, A., Varassin, I. G., Zanata, T. B., Rahbek, C., Sazima, M. and Dalsgaard, B. (2016) The integration of alien plants in mutualistic plant–hummingbird networks across the Americas: the importance of species traits and insularity. Diversity and Distributions. 22(6), pp. 672-681. 1472-4642.
  9. Rech, A. R., Dalsgaard, B., Sandel, B., Sonne, J., Svenning, J.-C., Holmes, N. and Ollerton, J. (2016) The macroecology of animal versus wind pollination: ecological factors are more important than historical climate stability. Plant Ecology & Diversity. 9(3), pp. 253-262. 1755-0874.


  1. Sirohi, M., Jackson, J., Edwards, M. and Ollerton, J. (2015) Diversity and abundance of solitary and primitively eusocial bees in an urban centre: a case study from Northampton (England). Journal of Insect Conservation. 19(3), pp. 487-500. 1366-638X.
  2. Bailes, E. J., Ollerton, J., Pattrick, J. G. and Glover, B. J. (2015) How can an understanding of plant-pollinator interactions contribute to global food security? Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 26, pp. 72-79. 1369-5266.
  3. Waser, N. M., Ollerton, J. and Price, M. V. (2015) Response to Aguilar et al.’s (2015) critique of Ollerton et al. (2009). Journal of Pollination Ecology. 17(22), pp. 148-149. 1920-7603.
  4. Laws, A., Littlemore, J. and Ollerton, J. (2015) Silicon, silage & serendipity: investigating impacts of ground-mounted solar photo-voltaic energy generation in UK agriculture. Seminar Presentation presented to: 4th Postgraduate Research Symposium, Moulton College, Northampton, 11 December 2015.
  5. Ollerton, J., Rech, A. R., Waser, N. M. and Price, M. V. (2015) Using the literature to test pollination syndromes — some methodological cautions. Journal of Pollination Ecology. 16, pp. 119-125. 1920-7603.
  6. Rahman, M. L., Tarrant, S., McCollin, D. and Ollerton, J. (2015) Vegetation cover and grasslands in the vicinity accelerate development of carabid beetle assemblages on restored landfill sites. Zoology and Ecology. 25(4), pp. 347-354. 2165-8005.


  1. Ollerton, J. (2014) Book review: Ann Brooks: A Veritable Eden - the Manchester Botanic Garden, a History (Oxford, 2011). Manchester Region History Review. 25, pp. 153-154. 0952-4320.
  2. Ollerton, J., Erenler, H. E., Edwards, M. and Crockett, R. G. M. (2014) Extinctions of aculeate pollinators in Britain and the role of large-scale agricultural changes. Science. 346(6215), pp. 1360-1362. 1095-9203.


  1. Ollerton, J. and Nuttman, C. (2013) Aggressive displacement of Xylocopa nigrita carpenter bees from flowers of Lagenaria sphaerica (Cucurbitaceae) by territorial male Eastern Olive Sunbirds (Cyanomitra olivacea) in Tanzania. Journal of Pollination Ecology. 11, pp. 21-26. 1920-7603.
  2. Parker, W. and Ollerton, J. (2013) Evolutionary biology and anthropology suggest biome reconstitution as a necessary approach toward dealing with immune disorders. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health. 2013(1), pp. 89-103. 2050-6201.
  3. Tarrant, S., Ollerton, J., Rahman, M. L., Tarrant, J. and McCollin, D. (2013) Grassland restoration on landfill sites in the East Midlands, United Kingdom: an evaluation of floral resources and pollinating insects. Restoration Ecology. 21(5), pp. 560-568. 1061-2971.
  4. Dalsgaard, B., Trøjelsgaard, K., Martín González, A. M., Nogués-Bravo, D., Ollerton, J., Petanidou, T., Sandel, B., Schleuning, M., Wang, Z., Rahbek, C., Sutherland, W. J., Svenning, J.-C. and Olesen, J. M. (2013) Historical climate-change influences modularity and nestedness of pollination networks. Ecography. 36(12), pp. 1331-1340. 1600-0587.
  5. Rahman, M. L., Tarrant, S., McCollin, D. and Ollerton, J. (2013) Plant community composition and attributes reveal conservation implications for newly created grassland on capped landfill sites. Journal for Nature Conservation. 21(4), pp. 198-205. 1617-1381.
  6. Ollerton, J. (2013) The Biodiversity Index – a tool for facilities management. Essential FM Report. 109, pp. 2-3. 2049-8063.


  1. Ollerton, J. (2012) Biogeography: are tropical species less specialised? Current Biology. 22(21), R914-R915. 0960-9822.
  2. Munguia-Rosas, M. A., Parra-Tabla, V., Ollerton, J. and Cervera, J. C. (2012) Environmental control of reproductive phenology and the effect of pollen supplementation on resource allocation in the cleistogamous weed, Ruellia nudiflora (Acanthaceae). Annals of Botany. 109(2), pp. 343-350. 0305-7364.
  3. Rahman, M. L., Tarrant, S., McCollin, D. and Ollerton, J. (2012) Influence of habitat quality, landscape structure and food resources on breeding skylark (Alauda arvensis) territory distribution on restored landfill sites. Landscape and Urban Planning. 105(3), pp. 281-287. 0169-2046.
  4. Ollerton, J., Chancellor, G. and van Wyhe, J. (2012) John Tweedie and Charles Darwin in Buenos Aires. Notes and Records of the Royal Society. 66(2), pp. 115-124. 0035-9149 (print), 1743-0178 (online).
  5. Cranmer, L., McCollin, D. and Ollerton, J. (2012) Landscape structure influences pollinator movements and directly affects plant reproductive success. Oikos. 121(4), pp. 562-568. 0030-1299.
  6. Ollerton, J., Watts, S., Connerty, S., Lock, J., Parker, L., Wilson, I., Schueller, S., Nattero, J., Cocucci, A. A., Izhaki, I., Geerts, S., Pauw, A. and Stout, J. C. (2012) Pollination ecology of the invasive tree tobacco Nicotiana glauca: comparisons across native and non-native ranges. Journal of Pollination Ecology. 9, pp. 85-95. 1920-7603.
  7. Watts, S., Ovalle, D. H., Herrera, M. M. and Ollerton, J. (2012) Pollinator effectiveness of native and non-native flower visitors to an apparently generalist Andean shrub, Duranta mandonii (Verbenaceae). Plant Species Biology. 27(2), pp. 147-158. 0913-557x.
  8. Ollerton, J. (2012) The importance of native pollinators. The Plantsman. 11(2), pp. 86-89. 1477-5298.


  1. Ollerton, J. (2011) Editor. Journal of Pollination Ecology. Cambridge, Ontario: Enviroquest Ltd. 1920-7603.
  2. Ollerton, J. (2011) Academic Editor. PLoS ONE. San Francisco: Public Library of Science. 1932-6203.
  3. Ollerton, J., Winfree, R. and Tarrant, S. (2011) How many flowering plants are pollinated by animals? Oikos. 120(3), pp. 321-326. 0030-1299.
  4. Munguía-Rosas, M. A., Ollerton, J., Parra-Tabla, V. and De-Nova, J. A. (2011) Meta-analysis of phenotypic selection on flowering phenology suggests that early flowering plants are favoured. Ecology Letters. 14(5), pp. 511-521. 1461-023X.
  5. Munguia-Rosas, M. A., Ollerton, J. and Parra-Tabla, V. (2011) Phenotypic selection on flowering phenology and size in two dioecious plant species with different pollen vectors. Plant Species Biology. 26(3), pp. 205-212. 0913-557x.
  6. Mayer, C., Adler, L., Armbruster, W. S., Dafni, A., Eardley, C., Huang, S.-Q., Kevan, P. G., Ollerton, J., Packer, L., Ssymank, A., Stout, J. C. and Potts, S. G. (2011) Pollination ecology in the 21st Century: key questions for future research. Journal of Pollination Ecology. 3, pp. 8-23. 1920-7603.
  7. Parra-Tabla, V., Vargas, C. F., Naval, C., Calvo, L. M. and Ollerton, J. (2011) Population status and reproductive success of an endangered epiphytic orchid in a fragmented landscape. Biotropica. 43(5), pp. 640-647. 0006-3606.
  8. Dalsgaard, B., Magård, E., Fjeldså, J., Martín González, A. M., Rahbek, C., Olesen, J. M., Ollerton, J., Alarcón, R., Cardoso Araujo, A., Cotton, P. A., Lara, C., Machado, C. G., Sazima, I., Sazima, M., Timmermann, A., Watts, S., Sandel, B., Sutherland, W. J. and Svenning, J.-C. (2011) Specialization in plant-hummingbird networks is associated with species richness, contemporary precipitation and Quaternary climate-change velocity. PLoS ONE. 6(10), e25891. 1932-6203.
  9. Rahman, M. L., Tarrant, S., McCollin, D. and Ollerton, J. (2011) The conservation value of restored landfill sites in the East Midlands, UK for supporting bird communities. Biodiversity and Conservation. 20(9), pp. 1879-1893. 0960-3115.
  10. Waser, N. M., Ollerton, J. and Erhardt, A. (2011) Typology in pollination biology: lessons from an historical critique. Journal of Pollination Ecology. 3(1), pp. 1-7. 1920-7603.


  1. Allen, S. C. H., Ollerton, J., Murray, T. and Wayne, S. (2010) A new 3D immersive environment for visualising biological data. Paper presented to: Biological Sciences Research Council/Arts & Humanities Research Council (BBSRC/AHRC) Workshop on The Challenges of Visualising Data, Bristol, England, 16-17 November 2010. (Unpublished)
  2. Ricciardi, F., Boyer, M. and Ollerton, J. (2010) Assemblage and interaction structure of the anemonefish-anemone mutualism across the Manado region of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Environmental Biology of Fishes. 87(4), pp. 333-347. 0378-1909.
  3. Erenler, H. E., Ashton, P. A., Gillman, M. P. and Ollerton, J. (2010) Factors determining species richness of soil seed banks in lowland ancient woodlands. Biodiversity and Conservation. 19(6), pp. 1631-1648. 0960-3115.
  4. Dalsgaard, B., Timmermann, A., Martín González, A. M., Olesen, J., Ollerton, J. and Andersen, L. (2010) Heliconia-hummingbird interactions in the Lesser Antilles: a geographic mosaic? Caribbean Journal of Science. 46(2/3), pp. 328-331. 0008-6452. [Mailed 2012]
  5. Ollerton, J. (2010) The evolution of pollination systems in Ceropegia. Paper presented to: 24th Annual Meeting of the Scandinavian Association for Pollination Ecologists (SCAPE), Stockholm, Sweden, 21-24 October 2010. (Unpublished)
  6. Ollerton, J. (2010) W(h)ither science? In: Hine, D. and Kingsnorth, P. (eds.) Dark Mountain: Issue 1. Dark Mountain Project. pp. 146-149.


  1. Ollerton, J., Alarcon, R., Waser, N. M., Price, M. V., Watts, S., Cranmer, L., Hingston, A., Peter, C. I. and Rotenberry, J. (2009) A global test of the pollination syndrome hypothesis. Annals of Botany. 103(9), pp. 1471-1480. 0305-7364.
  2. Gonzalez, A., Dalsgaard, B., Ollerton, J., Timmermann, A., Olesen, J., Andersen, L. and Tossas, A. (2009) Effects of climate on pollination networks in the West Indies. Journal of Tropical Ecology. 25(5), pp. 493-506. 0266-4674.
  3. Ollerton, J. and Coulthard, E. (2009) Evolution of animal pollination. Science. 326(5954), pp. 808-809. 0036-8075.
  4. Ollerton, J., Masinde, S., Meve, U., Picker, M. and Whittington, A. (2009) Fly pollination in Ceropegia (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae): biogeographic and phylogenetic perspectives. Annals of Botany. 103(9), pp. 1501-1514. 0305-7364.
  5. Dalsgaard, B., Gonzalez, A., Olesen, J., Ollerton, J., Timmermann, A., Andersen, L. and Tossas, A. (2009) Plant–hummingbird interactions in the West Indies: floral specialisation gradients associated with environment and hummingbird size. Oecologia. 159(4), pp. 757-766. 0029-8549.
  6. Ollerton, J., Masinde, S., Meve, U., Picker, M. and Whittington, A. (2009) Why do species interact? A test of four hypotheses using Ceropegia (Apocynaceae) as a case study. Paper presented to: National Museum of Nature and Science International Symposium 2009 - Origin of Biodiversity by Biological Interactions, Tokyo, Japan, 21 - 23 November 2009. (Unpublished)


  1. Ollerton, J. (2008) A Review of: “Ecology and Evolution of Flowers” / Lawrence D.Harder, Spencer C.H. Barrett (eds.). Systematic Biology. 57(3), pp. 516-517. 1063-5157.
  2. Ollerton, J., Cranmer, L., Stelzer, R. J., Sullivan, S. and Chittka, L. (2008) Bird pollination of Canary Island endemic plants. Naturwissenschaften. 1432-1904.
  3. Dalsgaard, B., Gonzalez, A., Olesen, J., Timmermann, A., Andersen, L. and Ollerton, J. (2008) Pollination networks and functional specialization: a test using Lesser Antillean plant–hummingbird assemblages. Oikos. 117(5), pp. 789-793. 1600-0706.
  4. Alarcon, R., Waser, N. M. and Ollerton, J. (2008) Year-to-year variation in the topology of a plant–pollinator interaction network. Oikos. 117(12), pp. 1796-1807. 1600-0706.


  1. Ollerton, J., McCollin, D., Fautin, D. and Allen, G. (2007) Finding NEMO: nestedness engendered by mutualistic organisation in anemonefish and their hosts. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B. 274(1609), pp. 591-598. 0962-8452.
  2. Stelzer, R. J., Ollerton, J. and Chittka, L. (2007) Keine Nachweis für Hummelbesuch der Kanarischen Vogelblumen (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Entomologia Generalis. 30, pp. 153-154. 0171-8177.
  3. Ollerton, J., Killick, A., Lamborn, E., Watts, S. and Whiston, M. (2007) Multiple meanings and modes: on the many ways to be a generalist flower. Taxon. 56(3), pp. 717-728. 0040-0262.
  4. Ollerton, J., Stott, A., Allnut, E., Shove, S., Taylor, C. and Lamborn, E. (2007) Pollination niche overlap between a parasitic plant and its host. Oecologia. 151(3), pp. 473-485. 0029-8549.
  5. Ollerton, J., Grace, J. and Smith, K. (2007) Pollinator behaviour and adaptive floral colour change in Anthophora alluadii (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and Erysimum scoparium (Brassicaceae) on Tenerife. Entomologia Generalis. 29, pp. 253-268. 0171-8177.
This list was generated from NECTAR on Fri Aug 17 07:45:56 2018 BST.

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