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John Richard Krebs, Baron Krebs FRS (born 11 April 1945, Sheffield) is a world leader in zoology and more specifically bird behaviour. He is currently the Principal of Jesus College, Oxford University. Krebs was knighted in 1999, and was the first Chairman of the British Food Standards Agency (2000–05).

Contents

Life and career

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 (BA 1966; MA 1970; DPhil 1970). He then held posts at the University of British Columbia and the University College of North Wales, Bangor, before returning to Oxford as a University Lecturer in Zoology, with a fellowship at Wolfson College, then Pembroke.[1] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1984 and since 1988 has held a Royal Society Research Professorship in the Department of Zoology, Oxford University, where he was based at Pembroke College until his appointment to the position of Principal of Jesus College in 2005.

Krebs's career has been both productive and influential.[2] 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."[3]

Krebs is currently chairing an enquiry into the ethics of public health for the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, and will take up the chairmanship of the National Network of Science Learning Centres in 2007.[4]

On 15 February 2007 the House of Lords Appointments Commission announced that he was to become a non-party political (cross-bench) life peer.[5] The peerage was gazetted on 28 March 2007 as Baron Krebs, of Wytham in the County of Oxfordshire.

Notable publications

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Books

  • Stephens, D. W. & Krebs, J. R. (1986) Foraging Theory. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • 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.
  • Krebs, J. R. & Davies, N.B., eds. (1997) Behavioural Ecology: An Evolutionary Approach, 4th ed. Oxford: Blackwell. (1st ed. 1978.)

Papers

  • 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.
  • Dawkins, R. & Krebs, J. R. (1979). "Arms races between and within species." Proceedings of the Royal society of London, B 205:489–511.
  • 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.

See also

References

  • "Elliott Coues Award, 1999: Sir John R. Krebs", Jesus College Record, 2005.
  1. ^ Clarke, Peter "Editorial", The Jesus College Record (2004), Jesus College, Oxford, 4-5
  2. ^ ISI Highly Cited Researcher (within top 0.5% of all scientists) (2002)
  3. ^ BBC News, Organic food 'no healthier' . Friday, 1 September 2000
  4. ^ Jesus College Principal website
  5. ^ House of Lords Appointments Commission - New non-party-political peers, 15 February 2007 [1]

External links


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