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Fellows Directory

Colin Prentice

Colin Prentice

Professor Colin Prentice FRS


Elected: 2018


Professor Iain Colin Prentice holds the AXA Chair in Biosphere and Climate Impacts in the Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, and an Honorary Chair in Ecology and Evolution at Macquarie University. He has a PhD in Botany from Cambridge University and has held academic and research leadership positions in several countries, including the Chair of Plant Ecology at Lund University and a founding Directorship of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry. He led the research programme Quantifying and Understanding the Earth System for NERC. He developed the standard model for pollen source area, popularized now widely used techniques to analyse species composition along environmental gradients, and led the international development of succcessive generations of large-scale ecosystem models – from equilibrium biogeography (BIOME) to coupled biogeochemistry and vegetation dynamics (LPJ). His current research applies eco-evolutionary optimality concepts to develop and test new quantitative theory for plant and ecosystem function and land-atmosphere exchanges of energy, water and carbon dioxide, with the goal of more robust and reliable numerical modelling of land processes in the Earth System.

Professional positions

AXA Professor of Biosphere and Climate Impacts, Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Earth and environmental sciences
    • Climate sciences
  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
    • Ecology (incl behavioural ecology), Environmental biology
  • Other
    • Scientific information provision


Biosphere dynamics, carbon cycle, climate impacts, palaeoecology, ecophysiology, ecosystem modelling, plant functional ecology, phytogeography

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