Robert Ricklefs

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Robert Eric Ricklefs
Robert Eric Ricklefs.jpg
Robert Eric Ricklefs
Born (1943-06-06) June 6, 1943 (age 75)
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
AwardsSewall Wright Award (2005)
National Academy of Sciences (2008)
Ramon Margalef Prize in Ecology (2015)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Missouri, St. Louis
Stanford University
ThesisThe Significance of Growth Patterns in Birds (1967)

Dr Robert Eric Ricklefs (born June 6, 1943) is an American ornithologist and ecologist. He is the Curators' Professor of Biology at the University of Missouri, St. Louis.


Born in 1943, he graduated with an Bachelor of Science from Stanford University in 1963 and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1967. He completed a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute before taking up a faculty position at the University of Pennsylvania. He was the 1982 recipient of the American Ornithologists' Union's William Brewster Memorial Award, the union's most prestigious award given annually for an exceptional body of work on birds of the Western Hemisphere. In 2003, he received the Pacific Seabird Group's Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on growth and development in seabirds.[1] He was awarded the 2003 Margaret Morse Nice Medal by the Wilson Ornithological Society.[2] He was the 2006 recipient of the Cooper Ornithological Society’s Loye and Alden Miller Research Award, which is given in recognition of lifetime achievement in ornithological research.[3]


During his career[4] he has made major contributions to the island biogeography, including testing E. O. Wilson's Taxon Cycle Concept.[5] His most-cited scientific paper examined ecological communities.[6] Recent work has sought to rescale the concept of an ecological community.[7] His textbook "Ecology" was first published in 1973.[8] He has also published a textbook titled The Economy of Nature[9]



  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, 1968-1972
  • Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, 1972-1978
  • Professor, Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, 1978-1995
  • Curators’ Professor, Department of Biology, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 1995-.[12]


  1. ^ Pacific Seabirds Vol. 30
  2. ^ "Margaret Morse Nice Medal". Wilson Ornithological Society. 2010-05-29. Archived from the original on 2012-12-09. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  3. ^ COS: Miller Awards Archived 2007-08-14 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Robert Ricklefs publications indexed by Google Scholar
  5. ^ Ricklefs, Robert. E.; Cox, George W. (1972). "Taxon Cycles in the West Indian Avifauna". The American Naturalist. 106 (948): 195–219. doi:10.1086/282762. JSTOR 2459928.
  6. ^ Ricklefs, R. E. (1987). "Community Diversity: Relative Roles of Local and Regional Processes". Science. 235 (4785): 167–171. doi:10.1126/science.235.4785.167. PMID 17778629.
  7. ^ Ricklefs, R. E. (2008). "Disintegration of the Ecological Community". The American Naturalist. 172 (6): 741–750. doi:10.1086/593002. PMID 18954264.
  8. ^ Ricklefs, Robert E.; Miller, Gary L. (2000). Ecology. San Francisco: Freeman. ISBN 0-7167-2829-X.
  9. ^ " The Economy of Nature (9780716786979): Robert E. Ricklefs: Books".
  10. ^ Viegas, J. (2012). "Profile of Robert Ricklefs". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109 (38): 15075–15077. doi:10.1073/pnas.1213178109. PMC 3458327. PMID 22908302.
  11. ^ "Home - The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine - - Where the Nation Turns for Independent, Expert Advice".
  12. ^ "Robert E".