Staff at the Natural History Museum – University of Copenhagen

Carsten Rahbek

Carsten Rahbek


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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