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Professor Mark Fellowes

Professor Mark Fellowes

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Strategy, Planning & Resources)

Mark Fellowes is Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic Strategy, Planning and Resources) at Royal Holloway, where his portfolio of responsibilities sits in three key areas. Mark has responsibility for leading the development of the University’s new strategy, integrating this into a new planning and change system; for Research, working with the APVCs to ensure that our Research Strategy keeps Royal Holloway at the forefront of global research-intensive universities; and for Sustainability, working with colleagues to help our community play their part in facing the threats of the global biodiversity and climate crises.

At Reading, Mark was Head of the School of Biological Sciences (2010-2017) and then Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic Planning and Resources) until 2023. As Head of School, Mark was responsible for leading the School from a position of considerable challenge to notable success, ultimately leading to a substantial investment in a new home for the School, which opened in 2020. As PVC, Mark successfully led significant large strategic change programmes, had oversight of the academic Schools, co-Chaired the annual planning round, and was responsible for student recruitment, marketing and communications. Mark also acted as PVC (international) for much of his last year, and he was responsible for the development and leadership of the University’s highly successful and effective sustainability strategy.

Mark is also Professor of Zoology at Royal Holloway. He received his BSc and PhD from Imperial College, where he was supervised by Professor Sir Charles Godfray. This was followed by a PDRA role at the NERC Centre for Population Biology (Imperial College at Silwood Park) and then a lectureship in Zoology at the University of Reading. He was promoted to Professor of Ecology at Reading in 2013. His research initially focused on the evolutionary ecology of host-parasitoid interactions, but then moved to study insect prey - natural enemy interactions in a range of more field-based systems. In the past 10 years he has continued to study insect ecology (notably of insect pests) while focusing now on human-wildlife interactions, particularly in urban areas. His work and doctoral students have been funded by a range of funding sources, including research councils, charities and international scholarships. His publications are available through his PURE profile.

Mark has worked on systems as diverse as domestic cats, garden birds, lawns, and red kites (UK), leopards (South Africa), sloth bears (India), grackles (USA), and macaws (Brazil) and his most recent PhD student is working on raptors, including from an archaeological perspective. Mark has given talks and plenary lectures at a wide range of institutions and conferences, was editor and on the editorial boards of six journals. He was visiting Professor at Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2021/22. Mark is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and of the Royal Society of Biology.

In teaching, Mark has considerable experience in developing new modules and programmes in Zoology and Ecology, and he believes in the fundamental importance of field-based organismal teaching. In addition to teaching modules on fundamental ecology, and groups such as insects and birds, Mark has led innovative and challenging tropical biology field-courses in Java and Borneo, Madagascar, and Ecuador and the Galapagos, and his undergraduate students have worked on final-year projects in the UK, Caribbean, South Africa and Malaysia.  

Mark’s work has had significant media coverage, including featuring in major television pieces on BBC Autumnwatch and Springwatch, and twice on BBC Countryfile Diaries. He has been interviewed regularly by local and national radio (BBC Radio 4, including all four main news programmes; Radio 5Live) as well as by CBC (Canada), ABC (Australia) and the BBC World Service Newshour. His work has received considerable press interest, with major pieces on BBC (TV, Radio, websites), ITV news, BBC Wildlife, all major UK broadsheet newspapers (including major pieces in the Guardian, Telegraph and Financial Times), Scientific American, NBC News, the Huffington Post, New York Times, and on national TV in Brazil. His outreach work includes numerous talks to local community and wildlife groups, and he won a medal at the Chelsea Flower Show for an exhibit on improving lawn biodiversity. He has edited and co-authored four books in the Ivy Press 30-Second Series, on Evolution, Biology, Ecology, and Zoology, the last of which was selected as a natural history book of the year by BBC Wildlife magazine. These books have been translated into 13 languages and are available internationally. He also edited a book on Insect Evolutionary Ecology, and he is co-editor of a book currently in press on Tropical Urban Ecosystems.

Please see Mark’s research here.


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