Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Prof David Wardle

Associate Chair (Faculty)

Prof David Wardle

David Wardle works as the Smithsonian Professor of Forest Ecology at the NTU, and also holds adjunct positions with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and with the University of Canterbury and Landcare Research in New Zealand. He has authored two books on aboveground-belowground linkages (published by Princeton University Press in 2002 and Oxford University Press in 2010), and around 340 peer-reviewed journal articles of which around 30 have appeared in Science and Nature. He serves or has served on over ten editorial boards, including for Science, Ecology and Ecology Letters. He has also been recognized in every highly cited scientist list from 2006 onwards and is among the world’s 10 most cited scientists in ecology and environmental sciences. Further, he has supervised a very diverse assortment of 46 postdoctoral researchers and PhD students, most of which have actively published in major journals under his supervision (including in Nature and Science), and most of which hold positions as university faculty or as research scientists in 16 separate countries. Wardle has been the recipient of several scientific awards (most recently the 2018 Eminent Ecologist award from the Journal of Ecology) and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and a Wallenberg Scholar.
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. Current projects focus on the community and ecosystem effects of invasive animals and plants; the ecological consequences of wildfire; ecosystem changes across successional, retrogressive and elevational gradients; aspects of island ecology; and the ecological role of forest understory vegetation.

More details can be found at:

A full list of publications can be found at:
Current Projects
  • Start-Up Grant
  • Winning against wildings
Selected Publications
  • van den Hoogen J, Geisen S, Routh D, Ferris H, Traunspurger W, Wardle, D. A., et al. (2019). Soil nematode abundance, distribution, and trophic group composition at a global scale. Nature, 572, 194-198.
  • Kardol P, Fanin N, Wardle DA. (2018). Long term impacts of species loss on community properties across contrasting ecosystems. Nature, 557, 710-713.
  • Isbell F, Gonzalez A, Loreau M, Cowles J, Díaz S, Hector A, Mace GM, Wardle DA, O'Connor MI, Duffy JE, Turnbull LA, Thompson PL, Larigauderie A. (2017). Linking the influence and dependence of people on biodiversity across scales. Nature, 546, 65-72.
  • Teste FP, Kardol P, Turner BL, Wardle DA, Zemunik G, Renton M, Laliberté E. (2017). Plant-soil biota feedback and the maintenance of diversity in Mediterranean-climate shrublands.. Science, 355, 173-176.
  • Mayor JR, Sanders NJ, Classen AT, Bardgett RD, Clément JJ, Fajardo A, Lavorel S, Sundqvist MK, Bahn M, Chisholm C, Cieraad E, Gedalof Z, Grigulis K, Kudo G, Oberski D, Wardle DA. (2017). Elevation alters ecosystem properties across temperate treelines globally. Nature, 542, 91-97.

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