Carsten Rahbek

Carsten Rahbek


Member of:

    Short Curriculum Vitae (2018)

    Carsten Rahbek, Professor (macroecology), Research leader of the ‘Biodiversity and Macroecology' Group, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen

    Nationality: Danish     Born: 3 March 1965     Age:  53     Sex: Male

    Working address: 

    Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate

    Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, Building 3

    DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark. Phone: +45 35 32 10 30; Email:


    MSc Zoology, (1992); PhD Biogeography, (1995) University of Copenhagen.

    Research fields

    Biodiversity, macroecology, evolution, biogeography, ecology, environmental economy, null model, predictive model, cost-efficiency and priority analyses, human health relations.

    Current appointments

    • Full Professor, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. (2013-present);
    • Professor Chair of Macroecology (20%), Imperial College, UK (2013-  present);
    • Adjunct Professor at Peking University (2012-present);
    • Centerdirector, DNRF Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate (2010-present).


    Past appointments


    • Full Professor, Department of Biology, Univ. of Copenhagen (2008-2013)
    • Professor MSO, Zoological Museum, Univ. of Copenhagen (2005-2008);
    • Curator of Birds, Zoological Museum, Univ. of Copenhagen (1998–2005);
    • Asso. Professor, Zoological Museum, Univ. of Copenhagen (1998–2001);
    • Assist. Professor, Zoological Museum, Univ. of Copenhagen (1995–1998);.


    Personal research grants since 2010 total >180 million DKK (~21 million £) from Danish, Norwegian, German, British and US national science foundations, governmental bodies and private foundations, as well as from EU, OECD, Worldbank, UNEP, and UN.


    • 369 publications (including a 869-page monographs) listed in Google
    • Scholar and  302 papers listed in Web-of-Science “all databases” (including
    • 14xScience, 8xNature, 7xPNAS, 13xProc. R. Soc. Lond.);
    • Bibliometric from Google Scholar:
    • >20,300 citations (adding >2300 per year)
    • h-index 71;
    • i10- index 173;
    • 11 papers cited >500 times; and 50> 100 times.

    Fellowships and stays abroad

    • Bingzhi Forum Professorship at Institute of Zoology, Chinese Acad. of Sciences (2012);
    • Visiting Research fellow at the NMNH, Smithsonian, USA (1994-1995);
    • Fulbright Research Fellow at the NMNH, Smithsonian, USA (1993–1994)
    • Visiting graduate student, University of Wisconsin, USA (1990–1991);

    Awards and Honors

    • The Villum Kann Rasmussen's Annual Award for Technical and Scientific Research – the highest personal research award in Denmark (2012).
    • Last Round Nominee for the Kyoto Prize in Biological Science (2012);
    • Danish 'Elite Researcher Price' – the highest personal research award in Denmark given by the government (2010)


    • One first- and one second-authored paper was in 2007 and 2010, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History Science Achievement Award, respectively.
    • Elected Member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters (2006);
    • Elected member of The International Ornithological Committee (2002);
    • Fulbright Scholar (1993).

    Editorial Boards


    • Adjunct Editor of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (2018)
    • Editorial Advisory Council of Frontiers of Biogeography (2018-present)
    • Editor-in-Chief of Ecography (IF>5) 2004-2014 (journal has >30 subject
    • editors), now EiC emeritus;
    • Publication Board of Oikos (2004-2014)
    • Publication Board of Journal of Avian Biology (2004-2014)
    • Subject Editor of Journal of Ornithology (2003-2008);
    • Editorial Advisory Board of Global Ecology and Biogeography (2002-2005);



    Institutional leadership at University of Copenhagen

    • Member of ILT (Institutional Leaderteam) of the Natural History Museum of Denmark, UC (2013-present);
    • Section Head of the Biodiversity Section, Natural History Museum of Denmark, UC (2013-2015; 2017-present);
    • Member of ILT (Institute Leaderteam) of the Department of Biology, UC (2008-2013);
    • Board Member of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Copenhagen (2006-2009);


    International and National Leadership

    • Presidency (Elect, Current, Past) of the International Biogeography Society (January 2014-2020);
    • Daily leader and hosting the Danish Universities IPBES office in Denmark (2016-present);
    • Vice-Chairman of WWF-Denmark, with Nils Smedegaard Andersen as Chairman (2018-onwards);
    • Board member of WWF-Denmark, with Steen Riisgaard as Chairman (2010-2018);
    • Head and member of dozens of departmental and faculty-level committees, working-groups, taskforces etc. (1995-present).


    • Member of the board and Director of Admittance of the International Ph.D. School of Biodiversity Sciences in Denmark – across all Danish Universities (2002 2007);
    • Co-organizing the World Wide Views Biodiversity Program involving thousands of citizens consultancy on five continent ;
    • Board Member of the EURING, The European Union for Bird Ringing (2003-2005);       
    • Board member of the Danish Ornithological Society, BirdLife Denmark (1995-1998).
    • Head of the Danish Bird Ringing Centre (1995-2005);



    Research leadership on major programs

    • Director of DNRF Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate (2010-onwards);
    • Member of the 6-person organizational committee of the b10k project aimed at sequence the genomes of all 10,000+ bird species of the world (with >200 scientists from institutions from >20 countries);
    • Theme-leader on the global research infrastructure program ICARUS (with the European Space Agency) to follow movement of organism from the permanent space station;
    • Co-PI and Theme-leader of the EU COST Action Program on Harmonizing Global Biodiversity Modelling, including appointed EU scientists from 14 countries;
    • PI on University of Copenhagen Program of Excellence grant (“Stjerneprogram”) for Macroecology and Evolution (2008 –2013);
    • PI of the FNU/SNF “Center for Macroecology” (2004 – 2010);
    • Member of the European Science Foundation (ESF) Steering Committee for Optimality in Bird Migration;
    • PI for US-NSF NCEAS ([US] National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis) workgroup program (comprising 22 scientists in 10 countries);
    • PI for US-NSF NESCent ([US] National Evolutionary Synthesis Center) workgroup (15 scientists in 8 countries



    Invited talks

    Currently 10 per year with  > 100 in total including 50 plenary addresses at

    conferences within the fields of biology, economy and science in general.

    Review & Assessment



    • Reviewer for 70 international journals
    • Reviewer for >15 foreign research councils and trust-foundations;



    • Chairing and/or member of evaluation committees in Denmark and abroad for: >30 PhD-thesis and doctoral thesis,
    • >50 external reviews/assessment on academic positions,
    • >20 tenure reviews and professor-evaluations
    • A number of institutional and center evaluations.





    Organizing of Conference and meetings


    • >10 International conferences;
    • >20 Conference symposium;
    • >30 workshops.



    Development of courses and education programs

    • Developed > 10 Bsc, Msc and Ph.D-courses
    • Developed at the cross-institutional and interdisciplinary Msc in Climate change .
    • Developed at the cross-institutional and interdisciplinary Msc in Nature Management.
    • Developed the “Ecology & Evolution” (organismal biology) part of the Curriculum in Biology (2007-2009)
    • Establish and co-directed the Danish Universities International School of Biodiversity Sciences (ISOBIS) (2001-2007).


    Bsc, Msc and PhD: Course-teaching

    • Taught and lectured at  > 35 courses (across five faculties)



    • > 20 Bsc thesis
    • > 25 Msc thesis
    • > 30 PhD thesis
    • > 35 Postdocs, including 9 Marie Curie Fellows
    • > 10 Assistant Professors

    Scientific Consultancy work, and science policy  reports



    • The Worldbank,
    • United Nation,
    • UN World Conservation Monitoring Center,
    • UNEP - United Nations Environmental Programme,
    •  IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature
    • FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    • WWF-US – World Wildlife Fund
    • Conservation International
    • BirdLife International.
    • The Nature Conservancy




    • Danish Economic Council
    • Danish Board of Technology
    • Danish Culture & Food Council
    • Danish National Environmental Research
    • Fehmarn Belt A/S
    • DHI (and VKI)
    • Cowi Consult
    • Ornis Consult
    • Danish Outdoor Council,
    • Birdlife Denmark
    • WWF-Denmark
    • The Danish Society for Nature Conservation



    Governmental Consultancy

    • Danish Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark
    • Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    • Danish Ministry of Transport, Building and Housing
    • Danish Ministry of Environment
    • Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy
    • Danish Ministry of food, agriculture and Fisheries

    Science Advisory


    • Scientific advisor to the Danish governmental delegation in establish the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in 2012 and subsequent Danish advisor at IPBES COP meetings (2012-present).
    • Member of the future policy of The European Research Council (ERC) on data sharing reporting to the ER Commission (2017)
    • Cooperating with and the EU presidency on formulating EU-policy on Biodiversity (2012-2013);
    • Senior scientific advisor to the Danish Technical Council helping the Danish Parliament’s Environment Committee in the formulation of a long-term strategy to fulfill the Danish obligation to the Biodiversity Convention and the EU-2010 aims (2007-2009)
    • Member of the Nature and Agriculture Commission established by the Danish Government to suggest a plan for the future of Danish agriculture and biodiversity that is economic viable and environmental sustainable (2011-2013).

    Public Dissemination


    • Coverage in > 1000 Danish newspaper articles, including Seven front-page stories in Berlingske Tidende and Morgenavisen Jyllandsposten,
    • Multiple reports and full length features in national radio and television news broadcasts.
    • Regularly interview for National Radio and TV News , including expert in the studio.
    • International media coverage is also extensive, including coverage in, among others, the Washington Post, New York Times, The Times, BBC, and the Discovery Channel.
    • Research developments from the lab have repeatedly generated world-wide news coverage.
    • Active on social media (Facebook and Twitter)
    • >10 authored chronicles in largest Danish newspapers
    • >100 popular articles
    • >100 talks in the public
    • Teaching material and teaching in primary and high School
    • >10 citizen science program with > 100,000 Danes participating
    • Several collaborative projects with the Danish National Radio, including a series for 2019 on Danish Nature  and cross-platform collaborative project on a citizen science project aimed at > 100,000 citizen.


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