Paul H. Harvey

Last updated

Paul Harvey

Paul H. Harvey

(1947-01-19) 19 January 1947 (age 74) [1]
Alma mater University of York (BA, DPhil)
Scientific career
Fields Evolutionary biology
Institutions University of Oxford
Thesis Studies on the polymorphism of cepaea nemoralis  (1971)
Doctoral students Oliver Pybus
Other notable students

Paul H. Harvey CBE FRS (born 19 January 1947) is a British evolutionary biologist. He is Professor of Zoology and was head of the zoology department at the University of Oxford from 1998 to 2011 and Secretary of the Zoological Society of London from 2000 to 2011, holding these posts in conjunction with a professorial fellowship at Jesus College, Oxford. [4]



Harvey was educated at the University of York where he was awarded Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

Research and career

Harvey has led the development of robust statistical methods to decipher evolutionary relationships. His work has applied a rigorous basis to the comparative method in evolutionary biology — employed since the days of Charles Darwin — and as such, he has shaped modern thinking in the field. [2] The comparative method of evolutionary biology is used to correlate characteristics between species. Paul pioneered techniques to use the data and knowledge available in modern science, whilst avoiding artefacts, in untangling the evolutionary relationships between organisms. These problem-solving tools for evolutionary studies have become widely used. [2]

Selected publications

  • Garland Jr, Theodore; Harvey, P.H.; Ives, A.R. (1992). "Procedures for the analysis of comparative data using phylogenetically independent contrasts" (PDF). Systematic Biology. 41 (1): 18–32. doi:10.2307/2992503. JSTOR   2992503.
  • Harvey, P.H. Martin, R.D., & Clutton-Brock, T.H. (1987) Life Histories in Comparative Perspective. In Primate Societies. Smuts, B.B., Cheney, D.L., Seyfarth, R.M., Wrangham, R.W., Struhsaker, T.T. (eds). Chicago & London:University of Chicago Press. pp. 181–196 ISBN   0-226-76715-9
  • Harvey, P.H. & Pagel, M.D. (1991) The Comparative Method in Evolutionary Biology. Oxford Monographs in Ecology and Evolution edited by Harvey, P.H. and May, R.M.. Oxford University Press.
  • Pybus, O.G.; Rambaut, A; Holmes, E.C.; Harvey, P.H. (2002). "New inferences from tree shape: numbers of missing taxa and population growth rates". Syst. Biol. 51 (6): 881–888. doi: 10.1080/10635150290102582 . PMID   12554454.
  • Pybus, O.G.; Charleston, M.A.; Gupta, S.; Rambaut, A; Holmes, E.C.; Harvey, P.H. (2001). "The epidemic behaviour of the Hepatitis C virus". Science. 292 (5525): 2323–2325. doi:10.1126/science.1058321. PMID   11423661.
  • Freckleton, R.P.; Harvey, P.H. (2006). "Detecting Non-Brownian Trait Evolution in Adaptive Radiations". PLOS Biology. 4 (11): e373. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0040373. PMC   1634878 . PMID   17090217.
  • Kelly, C.K.; Bowler, M.G.; Pybus, O.; Harvey, P.H. (2008). "Phylogeny, niches and relative abundance in natural communities". Ecology. 89 (4): 962–970. doi:10.1890/07-0322.1. PMID   18481521.. Also see Leibold, Mathew A. (2008). "Ecology: Return of the niche". Nature. 454 (7200): 39–41. Bibcode:2008Natur.454...39L. doi: 10.1038/454039a . PMID   18596794. and Sugden, A. M. (2008). "ECOLOGY: Deterministic Competition". Science. 320 (5878): 851a. doi: 10.1126/science.320.5878.851a .
  • Charlesworth, B.; Harvey, P. (2005). "John Maynard Smith. 6 January 1920 - 19 April 2004: Elected F.R.S. 1977". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society . 51 (3): 253–265. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2005.0016.

Awards and honours

Harvey was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1992 in recognition of his status as a leading evolutionary biologist of his era. Harvey was awarded the Scientific Medal and the Frink Award from the Zoological Society of London, the J. Murray Luck Award from the National Academy of Sciences, and the University of Helsinki Medal. He is an ISI highly cited researcher.

From 2000 to 2011, he served as Secretary of the Zoological Society of London (constitutionally the Chief Executive responsible for London and Whipsnade Zoos, the Institute of Zoology, and the Conservation Programmes)

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours. [5]

Related Research Articles

Fellow of the Royal Society Elected Fellow of the Royal Society, including Honorary, Foreign and Royal Fellows

Fellowship of the Royal Society is an award granted by the judges of the Royal Society of London to individuals who have made a "substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science, and medical science".

Christopher Miles Perrins, is Emeritus Fellow of the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology at the University of Oxford, Emeritus Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford and Her Majesty's Warden of the Swans since 1993.

Beth Shapiro American biologist

Beth Alison Shapiro is an American evolutionary molecular biologist. She is a Professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Shapiro's work has centered on the analysis of ancient DNA. She was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2009 and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (URF) in 2006.

Evolutionary physiology Study of changes over time in a populations physiological characteristics in response to natural selection

Evolutionary physiology is the study of the biological evolution of physiological structures and processes; that is, the manner in which the functional characteristics of individuals in a population of organisms have responded to natural selection across multiple generations during the history of the population. It is a sub-discipline of both physiology and evolutionary biology. Practitioners in the field come from a variety of backgrounds, including physiology, evolutionary biology, ecology, and genetics.

Phylogenetic comparative methods (PCMs) use information on the historical relationships of lineages (phylogenies) to test evolutionary hypotheses. The comparative method has a long history in evolutionary biology; indeed, Charles Darwin used differences and similarities between species as a major source of evidence in The Origin of Species. However, the fact that closely related lineages share many traits and trait combinations as a result of the process of descent with modification means that lineages are not independent. This realization inspired the development of explicitly phylogenetic comparative methods. Initially, these methods were primarily developed to control for phylogenetic history when testing for adaptation; however, in recent years the use of the term has broadened to include any use of phylogenies in statistical tests. Although most studies that employ PCMs focus on extant organisms, many methods can also be applied to extinct taxa and can incorporate information from the fossil record.

Georgina Mace British ecologist

Dame Georgina Mary Mace, was a British ecologist and conservation scientist. She was Professor of Biodiversity and Ecosystems at University College London, and previously Professor of Conservation Science and Director of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Centre for Population Biology, Imperial College London (2006–2012) and Director of Science at the Zoological Society of London (2000–2006).

Timothy Hugh Clutton-Brock is a British zoologist known for his comparative studies of the behavioural ecology of mammals, particularly red deer and meerkats.

Veronica van Heyningen is an English geneticist who specialises in the etiology of anophthalmia as an honorary professor at University College London (UCL). She previously served as head of medical genetics at the MRC Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh and the president of The Genetics Society. In 2014 she became president of the Galton Institute. As of 2019 she chairs the diversity committee of the Royal Society, previously chaired by Uta Frith.

Robert McNeill Alexander

Robert McNeill (Neill) Alexander, CBE FRS was a British zoologist and a leading authority in the field of biomechanics. Until 1970, he was mainly concerned with fish, investigating the mechanics of swim bladders, tails and fish jaw mechanisms. Subsequently, he concentrated on the mechanics of terrestrial locomotion, notably walking and running in mammals, particularly on gait selection and its relationship to anatomy and to the structural design of skeletons and muscles.

Laurence Hurst

Laurence Daniel Hurst is a Professor of Evolutionary Genetics in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Bath and the director of the Milner Centre for Evolution.

Timothy Robert Birkhead is a British ornithologist. He has been Professor of Behaviour and Evolution at the University of Sheffield since 1976.

Bryan Thomas Grenfell is a British population biologist and the Kathryn Briger and Sarah Fenton Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Mark David Pagel FRS is an evolutionary biologist and professor. He heads the Evolutionary Biology Group at the University of Reading. He is known for comparative studies in evolutionary biology. In 1994, with his spouse, anthropologist Ruth Mace, Pagel pioneered the Comparative Method in Anthropology.

Viral phylodynamics is defined as the study of how epidemiological, immunological, and evolutionary processes act and potentially interact to shape viral phylogenies. Since the coining of the term in 2004, research on viral phylodynamics has focused on transmission dynamics in an effort to shed light on how these dynamics impact viral genetic variation. Transmission dynamics can be considered at the level of cells within an infected host, individual hosts within a population, or entire populations of hosts.

The term phylogenetic niche conservatism has seen increasing use in recent years in the scientific literature, though the exact definition has been a matter of some contention. Fundamentally, phylogenetic niche conservatism refers to the tendency of species to retain their ancestral traits. When defined as such, phylogenetic niche conservatism is therefore nearly synonymous with phylogenetic signal. The point of contention is whether or not "conservatism" refers simply to the tendency of species to resemble their ancestors, or implies that "closely related species are more similar than expected based on phylogenetic relationships". If the latter interpretation is employed, then phylogenetic niche conservatism can be seen as an extreme case of phylogenetic signal, and implies that the processes which prevent divergence are in operation in the lineage under consideration. Despite efforts by Jonathan Losos to end this habit, however, the former interpretation appears to frequently motivate scientific research. In this case, phylogenetic niche conservatism might best be considered a form of phylogenetic signal reserved for traits with broad-scale ecological ramifications. Thus, phylogenetic niche conservatism is usually invoked with regards to closely related species occurring in similar environments.

Jane A. Langdale British botanist and academic

Jane Alison Langdale, is a British botanist and academic. She is Professor of Plant Development in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Oxford and a Professorial Fellow at The Queen's College, Oxford.

Andrew F. Read

Andrew Fraser Read FRS is Evan Pugh professor of biology and entomology in the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics (CIDD) at Pennsylvania State University.

Christl Donnelly Professor of statistical epidemiology

Christl Ann Donnelly is a professor of statistical epidemiology at Imperial College London, the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Peters College, Oxford. She serves as associate director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis.

Josephine Pemberton British evolutionary biologist

Josephine M. Pemberton is a British evolutionary biologist. She is Chair of Natural History at the University of Edinburgh, where she conducts research in parentage analysis, pedigree reconstruction, inbreeding depression, parasite resistance, and quantitative trait locus (QTL) detection in natural populations. She has worked primarily on long-term studies of soay sheep on St Kilda, and red deer on the island of Rùm.

Edward C. Holmes

Edward Charles Holmes is an evolutionary biologist and virologist, and since 2012 a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australia Fellow and professor at the University of Sydney. He is also an Honorary Visiting Professor at Fudan University, Shanghai, China (2019–present) as well as Guest Professor at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China (2014–present)


  1. "HARVEY, Prof. Paul H.". Who's Who . 2015 (online Oxford University Press  ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.(subscription or UK public library membership required)(subscription required)
  2. 1 2 3 Anon (2000). "Professor Paul Harvey CBE FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 8 October 2015. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:
    "All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License." -- "Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 11 November 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. Holmes, Eddie (2017). "Edward C. Holmes - Curriculum Vitae". University of Sydney.
  4. "Professor Paul Harvey". Jesus College, Oxford. 23 May 2008. Archived from the original on 1 June 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2008.
  5. "No. 58729". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2008. p. 7.
Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
R. McNeill Alexander
Secretary of the
Zoological Society of London

Succeeded by
Geoffrey Boxshall