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Dr Rob Francis earned a BSc (Hons) in Landscape Ecology (1st class) at De Montfort University in 2000. After a year spent working for the Surrey Wildlife Trust, he began a PhD in Geography at the University of Birmingham, completing ahead of time and starting a Lectureship in Ecology at King’s College London in 2004.

His PhD focused on biogeomorphological processes relating to riparian trees in natural European rivers (most particularly the River Tagliamento in Italy), and this remains a key research area, alongside more recent work on urban ecology and biodiversity, reconciliation ecology, invasive species and the environmental impacts of warfare.

Rob has published over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and five books. He is currently Reader in Ecology, Deputy Head (Education) of the Department of Geography, and Pro-Dean (Academic Portfolio) for the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy.


  • Ecohydrology and biogeomorphology
  • Urban biodiversity and reconciliation ecology
  • Invasive alien species, in particular those found within freshwater and urban ecosystems
  • Warfare ecology
  • Nature-society interactions

Rob has served as Secretary of the Invasive Species Specialist Group of the British Ecological Society (2008-2012) and is Reviews Editor for the journal Progress in Physical Geography (2009-present). Since 2004, he has published over 70 peer-reviewed academic papers and book chapters.

He has edited several books, including A Handbook of Global Freshwater Invasive Species (2012), Urban Landscape Ecology: Science, Policy and Practice (2016, with James Millington and Mike Chadwick), The Routledge Handbook of Biosecurity and Invasive Species (2021, with Kezia Barker) and The Routledge Handbook of Landscape Ecology (2021, with James Millington, George Perry and Emily Minor). His textbook, Urban Ecosystems: Understanding the Human Environment (also with Mike Chadwick) was published in 2013.



  • 4SSG1013 The Changing Natural Environment II
  • 6SSG3079 Urban Ecology

PhD supervision

Rob is interested in supervising PhD projects that focus on aspects of the following:

  • Urban ecological patterns and processes, particularly in relation to plant science, reconciliation ecology and invasive species
  • River science in an urban context
  • Human/nonhuman interactions within cities

Further details

See Rob's research profile