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Staff photo David Wardle

David Wardle

My work focuses on the linkages between aboveground and belowground communities, how they drive ecosystem  functioning, and how they interact with drivers of global change.



Works at

KBC-huset, Linnaeus väg 6, Umeå Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

David Wardle’s research explores the links between aboveground and belowground communities and how these in turn drive the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, as well as how these linkages are impacted by global change factors. A large proportion of this research is field based and in natural ecosystems, and is mostly focused on forests and subarctic and subalpine tundra. Much of this work is done in ecosystems of northern Sweden, though with significant past and present work also in several other parts of the world, notably Southeast and East Asia, Oceania, the Americas, and elsewhere in Europe. Current projects focus on:
- The community and ecosystem effects of invasive and overabundant plants and animals.
- The ecological consequences of wildfire in forests
- Ecosystem changes across natural gradients of elevation (and temperature), ecosystem development and degradation, and retrogression
- The ecology, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of island ecosystems
- Ecological consequences of biodiversity loss in real world contexts

PhD in Ecology, University of Calgary, Canada, 1989
BSc (Hons) in Botany, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 1985

Research supervision:
A key part of David Wardle’s work has been to mentor the next generation of excellent ecologists. As such he has supervised a very diverse assortment of around 60 postdoctoral researchers and PhD students, most of which have actively published in major journals under his supervision (in e.g., Nature, Science, Ecology Letters, Nature Ecology and Evolution, New Phytologist, Annual Reviews, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, etc), and nearly all of which hold university faculty positions, or environmental research, policy and management positions, in 17 separate countries, and representing all continents except Antarctica.

Representative Awards:
- 2006-present: Identified by ISI/Clarivate as a ‘Highly Cited’ scientist (Ecology/Environment) in every ‘highly cited’ list from 2006 onwards.
- 2022. Honorary Professorship with East China Normal University, Shanghai, China.
- 2022. Amongst the world's 20 most cited scientists in ecology and evolution according to 'research.com'.
- 2021. Nanyang Research Award.
- 2020. R. H. Whittaker ‘Distinguished Ecologist’ award from the Ecological Society of America.
- 2020. Elected as a Member of Academia Europaea.
- 2018. Journal of Ecology Eminent Ecologist award.
- 2016. Rosén´s Linneus Prize in Botany from the Royal Physiographic Society, Lund, Sweden.
- 2016. ‘Wallenberg Scholars’ continuation award.
- 2014. Distinguished Alumnus, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury.
- 2010. Selected as a ‘Wallenberg Scholar’.
- 2006. Swedish Univ of Agric Sciences (SLU) ‘Excellence Award’
- 2003 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand
- 2001 New Zealand Ecological Society (Te Tohu Taiao) award for Ecological Excellence.
- 1999 New Zealand Association of Scientists (Hill Tinsley) Research Medal.

Editorial work:
- Series Editor, Book Series ‘Ecological Studies’, Springer (2018-present)
- Member, Board of Reviewing Editors, Science (2009-2016).
- Editorial Board, New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1997-present; Chief Editor 1998-2002)
- Past editorial board member of Ecology Letters, Journal of Ecology, Ecology, Ecological Monographs, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Biology and Fertility of Soils, Pedobiologia.

David Wardle has published around 400 peer-reviewed publications of which around 30 have appeared in Science and Nature, as well as two books on aboveground-belowground linkages (published as a Monograph in Population Biology by Princeton University Press in 2002 and by Oxford University Press in 2010).
A full publication list can be found at https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=Nvu7BxYAAAAJ&hl=en


Molecular Ecology
Bowd, Elle J.; Egidi, Eleonora; Lindenmayer, David B.; et al.
Geoforum, Elsevier 2023, Vol. 145
Fatimah, Yuti A.; Prasojo, Zaenuddin Hudi; Smith, Stuart W.; et al.
Journal of Ecology, John Wiley & Sons 2023, Vol. 111, (9) : 1814-1831
Fridley, Jason D.; Liu, Xiaojuan; Pérez-Harguindeguy, Natalia; et al.
Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, Frontiers Media S.A. 2023, Vol. 6
Jessen, Maria-Theresa; Krab, Eveline J.; Lett, Signe; et al.
Ecology and Evolution, John Wiley & Sons 2023, Vol. 13, (5)
Pérez-Izquierdo, Leticia; Bengtsson, Jan; Clemmensen, Karina E.; et al.

Research groups

Group member