Roger Nisbet

(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- Professor of Biology, University of California at Santa Barbara.
  • 2001-4 Chair: Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, UCSB.


My research covers many areas of theoretical ecology. The overarching 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 work is based on 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. Current applications include ecotoxicology, coral biology, zooplankton ecology and fish bioenergetics. I am on the Executive Committee of the University of California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, and am an investigator in the Moorea Coral Reef (MCR) LTER project. I am also continuing some work on a long-standing interest: population dynamics in streams and rivers.

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.
  • Anderson, K.E., Hilker, F.H. and Nisbet, R.M. (2012) Directional dispersal and emigration behavior drive a flow-induced instability in a stream consumer-resource model. Ecology Letters, 15: 209-217.
  • Nisbet, R.M., Jusup, M., Klanjscek, T., and Pecquerie, L. (2012). Integrating Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory with traditional bioenergetic models. Journal of Experimental Biology: 215, 892-902.
  • Klanjscek, T., Nisbet, R.M., Priester, J.H. and Holden, P.A. (2012). Relating toxicant exposure to bacterial population dynamics by modeling intracellular processes. PLoS ONE: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021903.
  • Pecquerie, L., Johnson, L.R. and Nisbet, R.M. (2011). Analyzing variations in life-history traits of Pacific salmon in the context of Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory, Journal of Sea Research: 66: 424-433
  • Carroll, I.T., Cardinale, B.J. and Nisbet, R.M. (2011). Niche and fitness differences relate the maintenance of diversity to ecosystem function, Ecology, 92: 1157-1165.
  • Ananthasubramaniam, B., Nisbet, R.M., Nelson, W.A., McCauley, E., and Gurney, W.S.C. (2011). Stochastic growth reduces fluctuations in interacting consumer and resource populations. Ecology 92: 362–372.
  • Nisbet, R.M., McCauley, E.and Johnson, L.R. (2010) Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory and ecology: lessons from Daphnia. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 365: 3541-3552.

External Publication List

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