John Krebs, Baron Krebs
The Lord Krebs
|Born||11 April 1945|
|Alma mater||Pembroke College, Oxford|
|Awards||Knight Bachelor (1999)|
Frink Medal (1996)
Fellow of the Royal Society (1984)
|Institutions||University of Oxford|
Food Standards Agency
University of British Columbia
University College of North Wales
|Thesis||A study of territorial behaviour in the Great tit Parus major L. (1970)|
|Doctoral advisor||John Michael Cullen|
John Richard Krebs, Baron Krebs, FRS (born 11 April 1945) is an English zoologist researching in the field of behavioural ecology of birds. He was the Principal of Jesus College, Oxford from 2005 until 2015. Lord Krebs was President of the British Science Association for the period 2012–2013.
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 where he obtained a BA degree in 1966, upgraded to an MA degree in 1970, and received a DPhil degree in 1970. He then held posts at the University of British Columbia and the University College of North Wales, before returning to Oxford as a University Lecturer in Zoology, with a fellowship at Wolfson College, Oxford, then Pembroke. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1984. and, from 1988 to 2005, held a Royal Society Research Professorship in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, where he was based at Pembroke College. He was the Chief Executive of the Natural Environment Research Council 1994–1999 and in 1999 was knighted. From 2000–2005 he was the first Chairman of the British Food Standards Agency. On 15 February 2007, the House of Lords Appointments Commission announced that he was to become a non-party political (cross-bench) life peer. The peerage was gazetted on 28 March 2007 as Baron Krebs, of Wytham in the County of Oxfordshire. In 2005 Lord Krebs accepted the role of Principal of Jesus College, Oxford, a post he held until 2015.
Krebs's career has been both productive and influential. 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."
Having led the Randomised Badger Culling Trials, Krebs became one of the UK's leading experts on bovine tuberculosis. The findings of the RBCT led him to oppose further badger culling in 2012 and he contributed to a paper on the subject written by centre-right think tank The Bow Group.
Krebs was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics 2006–2007 and chaired the Working Party on Public Health, 2006–07. He took up the chairmanship of the National Network of Science Learning Centres in 2007. He was a member of the independent, statutory body the Committee on Climate Change, and Chairman of its Adaptation Sub-Committee, from 2009 to 2017.
In 2005 he gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures on The Truth About Food.
- Stephens, D. W. & Krebs, J. R. (1986) Foraging Theory. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-08442-4
- 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 ISBN 0-632-03546-3
- Krebs, J. R. & Davies, N.B., eds. (1997) Behavioural Ecology: An Evolutionary Approach, 4th ed. Oxford: Blackwell. (1st ed. 1978.) ISBN 0-86542-731-3
- 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.
- 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.
- Dawkins, R.; Krebs, J. (1979). "Arms races between and within species". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 205 (1161): 489–511. Bibcode:1979RSPSB.205..489D. doi:10.1098/rspb.1979.0081. PMID 42057. S2CID 9695900.
- Krebs, J. R. (2005). "The Croonian Lecture 2004 Risk: Food, fact and fantasy". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 360 (1458): 1133–1144. doi:10.1098/rstb.2005.1665. PMC 1569505. PMID 16147514.
- Biegler, R.; McGregor, A.; Krebs, J.; Healy, S. (2001). "A larger hippocampus is associated with longer-lasting spatial memory". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 98 (12): 6941–6944. Bibcode:2001PNAS...98.6941B. doi:10.1073/pnas.121034798. PMC 34457. PMID 11391008.
- Clayton, N.; Krebs, J. (1994). "Hippocampal growth and attrition in birds affected by experience". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 91 (16): 7410–7414. Bibcode:1994PNAS...91.7410C. doi:10.1073/pnas.91.16.7410. PMC 44410. PMID 8052598.
- Krebs, J.; Sherry, D.; Healy, S.; Perry, V.; Vaccarino, A. (1989). "Hippocampal specialization of food-storing birds". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 86 (4): 1388–1392. Bibcode:1989PNAS...86.1388K. doi:10.1073/pnas.86.4.1388. PMC 286696. PMID 2919184.
- "KREBS, Baron". Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
- Krebs, John (1970). A study of territorial behaviour in the Great tit Parus major L. (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford.
- "BBC Radio 4 – The Life Scientific, Lord John Krebs".
- "Elliott Coues Award, 1999: Sir John R. Krebs", Jesus College Record, 2005.
- "Lord Krebs | Jesus College, University of Oxford".
- Clarke, Peter "Editorial", The Jesus College Record (2004), Jesus College, Oxford, 4–5.
- "No. 55610". The London Gazette. 14 September 1999. p. 9844.
- House of Lords Appointments Commission, New non-party-political peers Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, 15 February 2007.
- ISI Highly Cited Researcher (within top 0.5% of all scientists) (2002)
- BBC News, Organic food 'no healthier' . Friday, 1 September 2000
- The Bow Group – Common Sense and Bovine TB Archived 28 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- Public Health Nuffield Council on Bioethics' official website
- National Network of Science Learning Centres, UK.
- Principal Archived 5 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Jesus College, Oxford, UK.
- "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved 15 July 2021.