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Department of Zoology


The Department of Zoology is delighted to announce that the Vice Chancellor has appointed Professor Robert Fletcher as the second Miriam Rothschild Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Cambridge.

The Chair fell vacant when Professor Bill Sutherland FRS retired in September 2023, and became a Director of Research. The Board of Electors has now elected Professor Fletcher to be the next Chair and we are thrilled to welcome him to this very prestigious post.

Rob trained for his PhD at Iowa State University. He then held post-doctoral positions at the University of Montana before moving to the University of Florida to take up a faculty position in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. He has been a full professor there since 2019.

Rob’s work focuses on large-scale applied ecological and conservation problems that address the biodiversity crisis. His research identifies how land change, agriculture and energy development can be implemented sustainably and develops new quantitative methods for predicting the effects of environmental change on biodiversity. Rob’s quantitative skills in spatial ecology and conservation modelling add a new dimension to work in the Department, and create research opportunities for staff and students at all levels.

Rob’s experience in working with conservation agencies in the US also means he is ideally positioned to collaborate extensively across the Cambridge Conservation Initiative. He will join the Conservation Research Institute (UCCRI), and work with the NGOs based in the David Attenborough Building and beyond. Professor David Coomes, UCCRI Director said: “We are delighted that Rob will soon join the Conservation Research Institute. He brings new research strengths and perspectives to interdisciplinary research in conservation at Cambridge and we are looking forward to working with him”.

Rob will take up the Miriam Rothschild Chair later this year in September. We will announce the date of Rob’s inaugural lecture and accompanying celebrations in due course.

I’m sure all members of the Department will want to join me in celebrating this appointment, and in congratulating Rob and welcoming him to Cambridge.


Professor Rebecca Kilner
Head of Zoology Department