Nathalie Seddon

Nathalie Seddon

Professor of Biodiversity, Oxford University


I studied Zoology and obtained my PhD at Cambridge University, where I then held a Junior Research Fellowship at Newnham College. I moved to the Department of Zoology, Oxford as a Royal Society University Research Fellow in 2005, was appointed a University Lecturer in 2009 and made Professor of Biodiversity in 2015. In summer 2017, I was awarded a a NERC Knowledge Exchange fellowship to work at the science-policy interface of nature-based solutions to climate change.


Research Interests

I study the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss and climate change. My current work as a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow and Research Associate of the International Institute for Environment and Development involves translating ecosystem science for the benefit of decision makers in government and business in order to bring the equitable protection of nature to the centre of the sustainable development agenda.

To see me talking about climate change, biodiversity loss and solutions, click here; to see me talking about nature-based solutions, click here.


Research Associate at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED); Senior Fellow at the Oxford Martin SchoolSmithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panama); Research Associate of the Centre for Tropical Research (UCLA); Associate of The Biodiversity Consultancy.


My work is currently funded by NERC and the GCRF. In the past I have also been supported by the Royal Society, EPSRC, the European Commission British Ecological Society, John Fell Fund, Wetlands Trust, Rhodes Foundation and Fulbright Programme.


Selected Papers

Waldron A, Garrity D, Malhi Y , Girardin C , Miller DC , Seddon N (2017) Agroforestry can enhance food security while meeting other sustainable development goals. Tropical Conservation Science 10: 1–6

Cooney C, Tobias, JA, Weir J, Botero C, Seddon N (2017) Sexual selection, speciation, and constraints on geographical range overlap in birds Ecology Letters 20: 863–871.

Seddon N, Mace GM, Naeem S, Tobias JA, Pigot AL, Cavanagh RD, Mouillot D, Vause J, Walpole M (2016) Biodiversity in the Anthropocene: prospects and policy. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Special Feature 283 (1844), 20162094. [Guest Editor of the Special Feature: The Value of Biodiversity in the Anthropocene]

Seddon N, Hou-Jones X, Pye T, Reid H, Roe D, Mountain D, Raza Rizvi A (2016).Ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation: a win-win formula for sustainable development in a warming world? IIED Policy Briefing.

Seddon N, Reid H, Barrow E, Hicks C, Hou-Jones X, Kapos V, Raza Rivi A, Roe D (2016) Ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation: strengthening the evidence and informing policy. Research overview and overarching questions. IIED Report.

Cooney C, Tobias JA, Seddon N (2016) Widespread correlation between climate niche evolution and species diversification in birds. Journal of Animal Ecology 85: 869-878.

Bregman, TP, Seddon N, Lees AC, Darski B, Aleixo A, Bonsall MB, Tobias JA (2015) Species interactions regulate the collapse of biodiversity and ecosystem function in fragmented tropical forests. Ecology 96: 2692-2704. Read paper

Tobias, J.A., Planque, R., Cram, D., Seddon, N. 2014. Species interactions and the structure of complex communication networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (published online 6 Jan 2014). Read paperFront cover

Tobias, J.A., Cornwallis, C.K., Derryberry, E.P., Claramunt, S., Brumfield, R.T., Seddon, N. 2014. Species coexistence and the dynamics of phenotypic evolution in adaptive radiation. Nature (published online 22 Dec 2013)  Read paper | Press release | Media coverage

Seddon, N., C. A. Botero, J. A. Tobias, P. O. Dunn, H. E. A. MacGregor, D. R. Rubenstein, J. A. C. Uy, J. T. Weir, L. A. Whittingham, and R. J. Safran. 2013. Sexual selection accelerates signal evolution during speciation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 280: 20131065 . Read paper

Wilkins, M., Seddon, N., Saffran, R. J. 2013. Evolutionary divergence in acoustic signals: causes and consequences. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28:156–166. Read paper | Front cover

Salisbury, C., Seddon, N., Cooney, C., Tobias, J.A. 2012. The latitudinal gradient in dispersal constraints: ecological specialisation drives diversification in tropical birds. Ecology Letters 15: 845-855 | Read paper

Derryberry, E.P., Seddon, N., Claramunt, S., Tobias, J.A., Baker, A., Aleixo, A., Brumfield, R.T. 2012. Correlated evolution of beak morphology and song in the Neotropical woodcreeper radiation. Evolution 66: 2784–2797 | Read paper

Tobias, J. A., Brawn, J. D., Brumfield, R.T., Derryberry, E.P., Kirschel, A. N. G., Seddon, N. 2012. The importance of suboscine birds as study systems in ecology and evolution. Ornitologia Neotropical 23: 261-274. | Read paper

Tobias, J.A., Aben, J., Brumfield, R. T., Derryberry, E., Halfwerk, W., Slabbekoorn, H., Seddon, N. 2010. Song divergence by sensory drive in Amazonian birds Evolution 64: 2820–2839. | Read PaperFront cover

Seddon, N., Tobias, J.A. 2010. Character displacement from the receiver’s perspective: species and mate-recognition despite convergent signals in suboscine birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 277: 2475-2483. | Read Paper

Tobias, J.A., Seddon, N. 2009. Signal design and perception in Hypocnemis antbirds: evidence for convergent evolution via social selection. Evolution 63: 3169-3189. | Read PaperPress release | Science | BBC | Science Daily | ESA

Tobias, J.A., Seddon, N. 2009. Signal jamming mediates sexual conflict in a duetting bird. Current Biology19: 577-582. | Read PaperPress Release | National Geographic | Washington Post | New York Times | Sunday Telegraph | Daily Mail | The Age | Times Online | BBC Radio 5 Live

Tobias, J.A., Bates, J.M., Hackett, S., & Seddon, N. 2008. Comment on “The Latitudinal Gradient in Recent Speciation and Extinction Rates of Birds and Mammals”. Science 319: 901c. | Read Paper

Seddon, N., Merrill, R. M. & Tobias, J.A. 2008. Sexually selected traits predict patterns of species richness in a diverse clade of suboscine birds. American Naturalist 171: 620-631. | Read Paper

Seddon, N. 2005. Ecological adaptation and species recognition drives vocal evolution in Neotropical suboscine birds. Evolution 59: 200-215. | Read Paper

View complete list of publications