Robert (Rob) Ewers is a 2021 NOMIS Awardee and has been professor of ecology at Imperial College London, UK, since 2017. He is leading the project A Virtual Rainforest for Understanding the Stability, Resilience and Sustainability of Complex Ecosystems.
Born in rural New Zealand, Ewers studied ecology and geography for his BSc (hons) at the University of Canterbury (Christchurch, NZ), where he went on to receive a PhD in zoology in 2004. He completed a short postdoctoral research fellowship at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama before completing a joint fellowship with the Institute of Zoology and the University of Cambridge (UK). Ewers became a lecturer at Imperial College London (UK) in 2007. He is a member of the British Ecological Society, the New Zealand Ecological Society and the New Zealand Entomological Society. He is the recipient of the Zoological Society of London Scientific Medal and his group earned the UNESCO Netexplo Innovation Forum Award.
Ewers is an international leader in the discipline of landscape ecology, for which he has developed new theories for modeling the time-delayed impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on species’ extinction rates. He is widely recognized for having established the groundbreaking Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) Project—one of the world’s largest ecological experiments—which has provided key insights into the ecological resilience of human-modified tropical forests. By creating a computer simulation of one of the world’s most complex ecosystems, a tropical rainforest, Ewers’ research will advance our understanding of how rainforest systems perpetuate themselves, and gain insight into their ability to resist the ever-increasing pressures that people place upon these ecosystems.
A Virtual Rainforest for Understanding the Stability, Resilience and Sustainability of Complex Ecosystems
NOMIS RESEARCH PROJECT