• Bye-Fellow and Director of Studies (Biology), Peterhouse, Cambridge
  • Affiliated researcher, University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge Justin Gerlach exploring biodiversity
  • Academic Associate, Pembroke College, Cambridge
  • Senior Member (Teaching), Robinson College, Cambridge
  • Chair, IUCN/SSC Terrestrial and Freshwater Invertebrate Red List Authority

    I am a university teacher with independent research interests, which are summarised below. For the past 25 years I have taught undergraduates at Cambridge University, covering whole organism biology courses (including those relevant to evolution, physiology, behaviour and ecology). Over the years I have developed a special focus on bringing students up to the highest standards of science writing. More details of these courses can be found here.

    Research and Conservation Interests

    Taxonomy, ecology, evolution and conservation, especially on islands. Plants and animals, especially molluscs, reptiles and bats.

    Recent work has concentrated on evaluating the status of the world's invertebrates through my role as Chair of the IUCN/SSC Terrestrial and Freshwater Invertebrate Red List Authority and climate change, recently founding the Climate Change Working Group of the IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. In 2013 I became active in Partula snail conservation after a gap of 20 years. These snails are emblematic of the biodiversity crisis, with 51 of the French Polynesian species being driven to extinction within two decades. 12 species may survive in the wild and a further 11 survive only in captivity. In 2017 I surveyed the surviving populations and am now investigating the impacts of introduced predators, especially the flatworm menace and the impacts of tree snail extinction on forest health.

    Other conservation projects have included breeding giant tortoises, recovery of the Seychelles sheath-tailed bat and establishment of the Silhouette Island National Park.

    With Sir David Attenborough, patron of the Giant Tortoise Conservation Project

    Of my published research, the most widely cited papers are:

    Global biodiversity conservation priorities. Science 2006 313(5783): 58-61 [1548 citations]
    The impact of conservation on the status of the world's vertebrates. Science 2010 1194442: 863 [978 citations]
    The conservation status of the world's reptiles. Biological Conservation 2013 157: 372-385 [451 citations]
    Terrestrial invertebrates as bioindicators: an overview of available taxonomic groups. Journal of insect conservation 2013 17(4): 831-850 [180 citations]
    and the most frequently downloaded: International scientists formulate a roadmap for insect conservation and recovery. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2020 4: 174-176
    1991MA Zoology - Class I (Wadham College, Oxford)
    1994DPhil "The Ecology of the Carnivorous Snail Euglandina rosea". Department of Zoology, Oxford University. Funded by the Christopher Welch Scholarship

    Awards, appointments and fellowships:
    1990Pacific Land Snail Group  member- international conservation co-ordination group
    1991Royal Geographic Society fellow 
    Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles council member
    1999Affiliated Researcher - University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge
    IUCN Species Survival Commission member:
  • Madagascar & Mascarene Reptile Amphibian Specialist Group (1999-2005)
  • Heron Specialist Group (from 2000)
  • Southern African Invertebrate Specialist Group (2001-2005)
  • Tortoise Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (from 2002)
  • Invertebrate Conservation Subcommittee (from 2005)
  • Indian Ocean Plant Specialist Group (2007-2009)
  • Amphibian Specialist Group (from 2007)
  • Mollusc Specialist Group (from 2008)
  • Terrestrial and Freshwater Red List Authority chair (from 2010)
  • Conservation Planning Subcommittee (2011-2015)
  • 2000Kay Gray Memorial Award for contributions to Chelonian conservation,British Chelonia Group
    2009-Academic Associate - Pembroke College, Cambridge
    2013-Senior Member (Teaching) - Robinson College, Cambridge
    2016-9College Lecturer and Director of Studies (Biology) - Peterhouse, Cambridge
    2019-Bye-Fellow and Director of Studies (Biology) - Peterhouse, Cambridge
  • Publications

    New Species

    Partula snails


    Biodiversity assessments

    Giant tortoises


    Invertebrate Red Listing


    Justin Gerlach by e-mail