Roger Nisbet

Research Professor
(805) 893-7115
2001 Noble Hall



  • 1964-68 BSc. University of St. Andrews, Scotland.
  • 1968-71 PhD in Theoretical Physics, University of St. Andrews, Scotland.
  • 1971-72 Postdoctoral training in biology at University of Sussex, England.


  • 1972-1991 Lecturer, Reader, Professor, University of Strathclyde, Scotland.
  • 1977-9 Seconded from Strathclyde to University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji.
  • 1991- 2016 Professor of Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara.
  • 2016-present. Research Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara.


Please Note: Dr. Nisbet is not accepting new graduate students.

My research covers many areas of theoretical ecology. The long-running theme is the use of “individual-based” or “structured” population models to relate population dynamics to the physiology and behavior of individual members of a population. Much current work uses Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory to describe the rates at which individual organisms assimilate and utilize energy and elemental matter. My research group both develops new fundamental theory and applies it to environmental problems, with particular emphasis on ecotoxicology. I am on the Executive Committee of the University of California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology. Other current areas of application include coral biology, zooplankton ecology and fish bioenergetics.

Selected Publications

  • Nisbet R.M. and Gurney W.S.C. 1982, 2003. Modelling Fluctuating Populations. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester and New York. Reprinted in 2003 by Blackburn Press, New Jersey.
  • Gurney, W.S.C. and Nisbet, R. M. 1998. Ecological Dynamics. Oxford University Press, New York.
  • Murdoch, W.W., Briggs, C.J. and Nisbet, R.M. 2003. Consumer-Resource Dynamics. Princeton University Press.
  • Rohr, J. R., C. J. Salice, and R. M. Nisbet. 2017. Chemical safety must extend to ecosystems. Science 356:917-917.
  • Nisbet, R. M. 2017. Challenges for dynamic energy budget theory Comment on "Physics of metabolic organization" by Marko Jusup et al. Physics of Life Reviews 20:72-74.
  • Klanjscek, T., E. B. Muller, P. A. Holden, and R. M. Nisbet. 2017. Host-Symbiont Interaction Model Explains Non-monotonic Response of Soybean Growth and Seed Production to Nano-CeO2 Exposure. Environmental Science & Technology 51:4944-4950
  • Martin, B. T., R. Heintz, E. M. Danner, and R. M. Nisbet. 2017. Integrating lipid storage into general representations of fish energetics. Journal of Animal Ecology 86:812-825.
  • Nisbet, R. M., B. T. Martin, and A. M. de Roos. 2016. Integrating ecological insight derived from individual-based simulations and physiologically structured population models. Ecological Modelling 326:101-112.
  • Rohr, J. R., C. J. Salice, and R. M. Nisbet. 2016. The pros and cons of ecological risk assessment based on data from different levels of biological organization. Critical Reviews in Toxicology 46:756-784.
  • Adeleye, A. S., L. M. Stevenson, Y. M. Su, R. M. Nisbet, Y. L. Zhang, and A. A. Keller. 2016. Influence of Phytoplankton on Fate and Effects of Modified Zerovalent Iron Nanoparticles. Environmental Science & Technology 50:5597-5605.
  • Gust, K. A., A. J. Kennedy, N. L. Melby, M. S. Wilbanks, J. Laird, B. Meeks, E. B. Muller, R. M. Nisbet, and E. J. Perkins. 2016. Daphnia magna's sense of competition: intra-specific interactions (ISI) alter life history strategies and increase metals toxicity. Ecotoxicology 25:1126-1135.
  • Klanjscek, T., E. B. Muller, and R. M. Nisbet. 2016. Feedbacks and tipping points in organismal response to oxidative stress. Journal of Theoretical Biology 404:361-374.
  • Martin, B., T. Jager, R. M. Nisbet, T. G. Preuss, and V. Grimm. 2014. Limitations of extrapolating toxic effects on reproduction to the population level. Ecological Applications 24:1972-1983.
  • Martin, B. T., R. M. Nisbet, A. Pike, C. J. Michel, and E. M. Danner. 2015. Sport science for salmon and other species: ecological consequences of metabolic power constraints. Ecology Letters 18:535-544.
  • • Carroll, I. T., and R. M. Nisbet. 2015. Departures from neutrality induced by niche and relative fitness differences. Theoretical Ecology 8:449-465.

External Publication List

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