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John Richard Krebs, Baron Krebs FRS (born 11 April 1945, Sheffield, England) is a renowned English zoologist researching in the field of behavioural ecology of birds. He is currently the Principal of Jesus College, Oxford.[1] [2] Krebs was knighted in 1999, was the first Chairman of the British Food Standards Agency (2000–05), and was created a life peer in 2007. He is currently President of the British Science Association.

Life and careerEdit

The son of Hans Adolf Krebs, the German biochemist who described the uptake and release of energy in cells (the Krebs cycle), John Krebs was educated at the City of Oxford High School and Pembroke College, Oxford (Bachelor of Arts in 1966; Master of Arts in 1970 and Doctor of Philosophy in 1970).[3][4] He then held posts at the University of British Columbia and the University College of North Wales, before returning to Oxford as a University Lecturer in Zoology, with a fellowship at Wolfson College, Oxford, then Pembroke.[5] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1984[3] and since 1988 has held a Royal Society Research Professorship in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, where he was based at Pembroke College, Oxford until his appointment to the position of Principal of Jesus College in 2005.

Krebs's career has been both productive and influential.[6] His speciality is ornithology. His publications include more than 130 refereed papers, 5 books, and 130 book chapters, reviews, or popular pieces. They have introduced new methods to the science of ornithology, including the use of optimality models to predict foraging behaviour, and, more recently, techniques from neurobiology and experimental psychology to assess the mental capacities of birds and to relate these to particular regions of the brain.

During his chairmanship of the Food Standards Agency, Krebs criticised the organic food movement, saying that people buying such food were "not getting value for money, in my opinion and in the opinion of the Food Standards Agency, if they think they're buying food with extra nutritional quality or extra safety. We don't have the evidence to support those claims."[7]

Having led the Randomised Badger Culling Trials, Krebs became one of the UK's leading experts on bovine tuberculosis. The findings of the RBCT led him to oppose further badger culling in 2012 and he contributed to a paper on the subject written by centre-right think tank The Bow Group.[8]

Lord Krebs was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics 2006-2007 and chaired the Working Party on Public Health, [9] 2006-07. He took up the chairmanship of the National Network of Science Learning Centres[10] in 2007.[11]

On 15 February 2007, the House of Lords Appointments Commission announced that he was to become a non-party political (cross-bench) life peer.[12] The peerage was gazetted on 28 March 2007 as Baron Krebs, of Wytham in the County of Oxfordshire.


Notable publicationsEdit

BooksEdit

  • Stephens, D. W. & Krebs, J. R. (1986) Foraging Theory. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-08442-4
  • Kamil, Alan C., John R. Krebs and H. Ronald Pulliam. (1987) Foraging Behavior, Plenum Press, New York and London.
  • Krebs, J. R. & Davies, N.B. (1993) An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology, 4th ed. Oxford: Blackwell ISBN 0-632-03546-3
  • Krebs, J. R. & Davies, N.B., eds. (1997) Behavioural Ecology: An Evolutionary Approach, 4th ed. Oxford: Blackwell. (1st ed. 1978.) ISBN 0-86542-731-3
  • Dawkins, R. & Krebs, J. R. (1978). "Animal signals: information or manipulation?", Behavioural Ecology: an evolutionary approach 1st ed. (Krebs, J. R. & Davies, N.B., eds) Blackwell: Oxford, pp 282–309.
  • Krebs, J. R. and Dawkins, R. (1984). "Animal signals: mind-reading and manipulation", Behavioural Ecology: an evolutionary approach, 2nd ed (Krebs, J. R. & Davies, N.B., eds), Sinauer: pp 380–402.

Journal articlesEdit

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ReferencesEdit

  1. "Elliott Coues Award, 1999: Sir John R. Krebs", Jesus College Record, 2005.
  2. http://www.jesus.ox.ac.uk/fellows-and-staff/fellows/lord-krebs
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named whoswho
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named krebsphd
  5. Clarke, Peter "Editorial", The Jesus College Record (2004), Jesus College, Oxford, 4–5.
  6. ISI Highly Cited Researcher (within top 0.5% of all scientists) (2002)
  7. BBC News, Organic food 'no healthier' . Friday, 1 September 2000
  8. The Bow Group - Common Sense and Bovine TB
  9. Public Health Nuffield Council on Bioethics' official website
  10. National Network of Science Learning Centres, UK.
  11. Principal, Jesus College, Oxford, UK.
  12. House of Lords Appointments Commission, New non-party-political peers, 15 February 2007.


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