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Fellows Directory

Michael Crawley

Professor Michael Crawley FRS


Elected: 2002


Michael Crawley is a global leader in studies of the ecological relationship between plants and the animals that feed on them. His field studies and experimental models have explored the impact of herbivores on the diversity, distribution and abundance of plants, and the reciprocal changes in populations of grazing animals.

These insights have particular relevance to the conservation of endangered habitats, and Michael has shown how the introduction of alien herbivores such as pigs and goats can promote the spread of alien plant species. He has also analysed the risks and benefits of introducing insect predators to control weeds.

Michael has also advised on the risks associated with the introduction of genetically modified (GM) plants, and allayed fears about ‘superweeds’ through a ten-year study showing that existing GM crops were no more likely to flourish in the wild than conventional crops. Michael is the Editor of the definitive textbook, Plant Ecology (1986).

Professional positions

Emeritus Professor of Plant Ecology, Imperial College London
Trustee, Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland
Council Member, Royal Horticultural Society

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Alien Plants, Botanical Recording, Ecological Statistics, Experimental design, Floras, Herbivory, Natrual History, Plant ecology, Teaching and Field Studies