Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Reader in Biodiversity Theory



+44 (0)20 7594 2242j.rosindell




W1.5KennedySilwood Park





My research field, biodiversity theory, is focused on using tools from mathematics and computing to improve our understanding of biodiversity, which is the variety of life on earth. A large part of my motivation for working in this area of research is to provide research that has the potential to contribute to conservation efforts.   

I convene the essentials of ecology second year undergraduate module which focuses on giving students a solid foundational understanding of ecology and understanding of how these can then be applied to address real-world problems. This is an optional module that introduces students to their first computer-based models of ecological systems, including models of competition and predation. I co-direct and teach for the Computational Methods in Ecology and Evolution masters course (CMEE).

Outside of my normal teaching and research duties I have a strong interest in public engagement and creating impact from scientific research. I founded the charity (non-profit) OneZoom which aims to provide easy access to scientific knowledge about biodiversity and evolution, and raise awareness about the variety of life on earth together with the need to conserve it. The key activity of OneZoom is maintaining an explorer for the tree of life and to do this OneZoom uses the outputs from some of my earlier research. I founded the spinout ZoomPast Ltd., also based on my research, which aims provides tools for visualisation of human genealogy data,  specifically family trees.

Selected Publications

  • Relationship between conservation biology and ecology shown through machine reading of 32,000 articles, Hintzen RE,  Papadopoulou M, Mounce R, Banks‐Leite C, Holt RD, Mills M, Knight AT, Leroi AM, Rosindell J, Conservation Biology, 2020, 34 (3), 721-732
  • Characterising extinction debt following habitat fragmentation using neutral theory, Thompson SED , Chisholm RA, Rosindell J, Ecology letters, 2019, 22 (12), 2087-2096
  • Uncovering the rules of microbial community invasions, Vila JCC, Jones ML, Patel M, Bell T, Rosindell J, Nature ecology and evolution, 2019, 3 (8), 1162-1171
  • Species–area relationships and biodiversity loss in fragmented landscapes, Chisholm RA , Lim F , Yeoh YS, Seah WW, Condit R , Rosindell J
    Ecology letters, 2018, 21 (6), 804-813
  • Unifying ecology and macroevolution with individual‐based theory, Rosindell J, Harmon LJ, Etienne RS, Ecology letters, 2015, 18 (5), 472-482
  • OneZoom: A fractal explorer for the tree of life, Rosindell J and Harmon LJ, PLoS Biology, 2012, 10(10) e1001406 (2012)
  • Prolonging the past counteracts the pull of the present: protracted speciation can explain observed slowdowns in diversification, Etienne RS, Rosindell J, Systematic Biology, 2012, 61, 204-213
  • The unified neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography at age ten, Rosindell J, Hubbell SP, Etienne RS, Trends in Ecology and  Evolution, 2011, 26, 340-348
  • A unified model of island biogeography sheds light on the zone of radiation, Rosindell J, Phillimore AB, Ecology letters, 2011, 14, 552-560
  • Protracted speciation revitalizes the neutral theory of biodiversity, Rosindell J, Cornell SJ, Hubbell SP, Etienne RS, Ecology letters, 2010, 716-727
  • Species-area relationships from a spatially explicit neutral model in an infinite landscape., Rosindell J and Cornell SJ, Ecology letters, 2007, 10, 586-595



Overcast I, Ruffley M, Rosindell J, et al., 2021, A unified model of species abundance, genetic diversity, and functional diversity reveals the mechanisms structuring ecological communities, Molecular Ecology Resources, Vol:21, ISSN:1755-098X, Pages:2782-2800

Tao R, Sack L, Rosindell J, 2021, Biogeographic drivers of evolutionary radiations, Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, Vol:9, ISSN:2296-701X, Pages:1-14

Leroi AM, Lambert B, Rosindell J, et al., 2021, Neutral Theory is a tool that should be wielded with care, Nature Human Behaviour, Vol:5, ISSN:2397-3374, Pages:809-809

Thompson SED, Chisholm RA, Rosindell J, 2020, pycoalescence and rcoalescence : packages for simulating spatially explicit neutral models of biodiversity, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Vol:11, ISSN:2041-210X, Pages:1237-1246

Leroi AM, Ben L, Rosindell J, et al., 2020, Neutral syndrome, Nature Human Behaviour, Vol:4, ISSN:2397-3374, Pages:780-790

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