David Wardle, Professor (Smithsonian Chair of Forest Ecology)                         

Phone: 6592 3602
Office Location: N2-01c-49



  • PhD in Ecology, University of Calgary, Canada, 1989
  • BSc (Hons) in Botany, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 1985


Research Interests


David Wardle’s research explores the links between aboveground and belowground communities, and how these in turn drive the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. A large proportion of this work is field based and in natural ecosystems, including in forested ecosystems around the world as well as subarctic and subalpine tundra. Major regions of current field research include northern Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei and Singapore. Current projects focus on:

-  The community and ecosystem effects of invasive and overabundant plants and animals, including overabundant wild boar in Singapore

-  The ecological consequences of wildfire in forests

-  Ecosystem changes across natural gradients of elevation (and temperature), succession and retrogression

-  Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in island ecosystems

-  Ecology and restoration of tropical peatland forests, with particular focus on Brunei

-  Ecological consequences of biodiversity loss in real ecosystems



Representative Awards


2006-present: Identified by ISI/Clarivate as a ‘Highly Cited’ scientist (Ecology/Environment) in every ‘highly cited’ list from 2006 onwards.

2021. Nanyang Research Award.

2021. Honorary Professorship with East China Normal University, Shanghai, China.

2020. R. H. Whittaker ‘Distinguished Ecologist’ award from the Ecological Society of America.

2020. Elected as a Member of Academia Europaea.

2018. Journal of Ecology Eminent Ecologist award.

2016. Rosén´s Linneus Prize in Botany from the Royal Physiographic Society, Lund, Sweden.

2016. ‘Wallenberg Scholars’ continuation award.

2014. Distinguished Alumnus, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury.

2010. Selected as a ‘Wallenberg Scholar’.

2006. Swedish Univ of Agric Sciences (SLU) ‘Excellence Award’

2003 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand

2001 New Zealand Ecological Society (Te Tohu Taiao) award for Ecological Excellence.

1999 New Zealand Association of Scientists (Hill Tinsley) Research Medal.




Editorial work


Series Editor, Book Series ‘Ecological Studies’, Springer (2018-present)

Member, Board of Reviewing Editors, Science (2009-2016).

Editorial Board, New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1997-present; Chief Editor 1998-2002)

Past editorial board member of Ecology Letters, Journal of Ecology, Ecology, Ecological Monographs, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Biology and Fertility of Soils, Pedobiologia.



Research group


David Wardle has supervised a very diverse assortment of >60 postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate research students, most of which have actively published in major journals under his supervision, and nearly all of which hold university faculty positions, or environmental research, policy and management positions, in 17 separate countries and 5 continents.

 Current Postdoctoral Research Fellows:

            Rene Dommain (starts February 2022)

            Juan Carlos Quezada Rivera (starts February 2022)

            Shailendra Mishra

            Kenny Png

            Deepthi Chimalakonda

            Weng Ngai Lam (co-advisor)

 Current PhD students:

            Jing Hua Chiu

            Colton Collins

            Aaron Bell (co-supervisor)

 Current Research Assistants

            Leon Lu (lab manager)

            Sylvia Tan

            Shane Chiok




ES3305 Current Issues in Ecology

ES3304 Advanced Field Placement in Ecology and Society




A full publication list can be found at https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=Nvu7BxYAAAAJ&hl=en 



Wardle, D. A. (2002) Communities and Ecosystems: Linking the Aboveground and Belowground Components. Princeton University Press (Monographs in Population Biology series), Princeton, U.S.A. 392pp.

Bardgett, R. D. and Wardle, D. A. (2010) Aboveground-Belowground Linkages: Biotic Interactions, Ecosystem Processes and Global Change. Oxford University Press (Series in Ecology and Evolution), Oxford, U.K. 302pp.

Selected recent journal articles

Chong, K. Y., Corlett, R. T., Nuñez, M., ……Ngo, K., M., Wardle, D. A. (2021) Are terrestrial biological invasions different in the tropics? Annual Reviews of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics (in press).

Mishra, S., Page, S. E., Cobb, A. R.,……..Idris, A., Wardle, D. A. (2021) Degradation of Southeast Asian tropical peatlands and integrated strategies for their better management and restoration. Journal of Applied Ecology 58: 1370-1387.

Wardle, D. A., Gundale, M. J., Kardol, P., Nilsson M.-C. and Fanin, N. (2020) Impact of plant functional group and species removals on soil and plant nitrogen and phosphorus across a retrogressive chronosequence. Journal of Ecology 108: 561-573.

Frost, C. M., Allen, W. J., Courchamp, F.,……Saul, W. C. and Wardle, D. A. (2019) Using network theory to understand and predict biological invasions. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 33: 831-843.

van den Hoogen, J., Geisen, S., Routh, D., Ferris, H., Traunspurger, W., Wardle, D. A.,….. (2019) Soil nematode abundance, distribution, and trophic group composition at a global scale. Nature 572: 194-198.

Fanin, N., Kardol, P., Farell, M……,Gungale, M. J., Wardle, D. A. (2019) Effects of plant functional group removal on structure and function of soil communities across contrasting ecosystems. Ecology Letters 22: 1095-1103.

Kardol, P., Fanin, N. and Wardle, D. A. (2018) Long term impacts of species loss on community properties across contrasting ecosystems. Nature 557: 710-713.

Fanin, N., Gundale, M. J., ….. , Kardol, P. and Wardle, D. A. (2018) Consistent effects of biodiversity loss on multifunctionality across contrasting ecosystems. Nature Ecology and Evolution 2: 269-278.

Mayor, J. R., Sanders, N. J., Classen, A. T., Bardgett, R.,…….. Kudo, G.,  Oberski, D. and Wardle, D. A. (2017) Elevation alters ecosystem properties across temperate treelines globally. Nature 542: 91-97.

Wardle, D. A. and Lindahl, B. (2014) Disentangling global soil fungal diversity. Science 346: 1052-1053.  

Wardle, D. A., Bardgett, R. D., Callaway, R. M. and Van der Putten, W. H. (2011) Terrestrial ecosystem responses to species gains and losses. Science 332: 1273-1277.

Wardle, D. A., Bardgett, R. D., Klironomos, J. N., Setälä, H., Van der Putten, W. H. and Wall, D. H. (2004) Ecological linkages between aboveground and belowground biota. Science 304: 1629-1633.