Dr. Justin Gerlach

College Lecturer and Director of Studies (Biology), Peterhouse, Cambridge

Affiliated researcher, University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge

Academic Associate, Pembroke College, Cambridge

Senior Member (Teaching), Robinson College, Cambridge

Chair, IUCN/SSC Terrestrial and Freshwater Invertebrate Red List Authority

Justin Gerlach exploring biodiversity

E-mail: gerlachs@btinternet.com


I am a university teacher with independent research interests, which are summarised below. For the past 20 years I have taught undergraduates at Cambridge University, covering whole organism biology courses (including those relevant to evolution, physiology, behaviour and ecology). Over the years I have developed a special focus on bringing students up to the highest standards of science writing. More details of these courses can be found here.

Research and Conservation Interests

Taxonomy, ecology, evolution and conservation, especially on islands. Plants and animals, especially molluscs, reptiles and bats.

Recent work has concentrated on evaluating the status of the world's invertebrates through my role as Chair of the IUCN/SSC Terrestrial and Freshwater Invertebrate Red List Authority and climate change, recently founding the Climate Change Working Group of the IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. In June 2013 I became active in Partula snail conservation after a gap of 20 years. These snails are emblematic of the biodiversity crisis, with 51 of the French Polynesian species being driven to extinction within two decades. 12 species may survive in the wild and a further 11 survive only in captivity. I am planning a new project to investigate the wild populations and their predators in the field in 2017.


New taxa described by Justin Gerlach

1991 MA Zoology - Class I (Wadham College, Oxford)
1994 DPhil "The Ecology of the Carnivorous Snail Euglandina rosea".  Department of Zoology, Oxford University. Funded by the Christopher Welch Scholarship

Awards, appointments and fellowships:

1990 Pacific Land Snail Group  member- international conservation co-ordination group
1991 Royal Geographic Society fellow 
Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles council member
1999 IUCN Species Survival Commission member:
  • Madagascar & Mascarene Reptile Amphibian Specialist Group (1999-2005)
  • Heron Specialist Group (from 2000)
  • Southern African Invertebrate Specialist Group (2001-2005)
  • Tortoise Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (from 2002)
  • Invertebrate Conservation Subcommittee (from 2005)
  • Indian Ocean Plant Specialist Group (2007-2009)
  • Amphibian Specialist Group (from 2007)
  • Mollusc Specialist Group (from 2008)
  • Terrestrial and Freshwater Red List Authority chair (from 2010)
  • Conservation Planning Subcommittee (2011-2015)
Affiliated Researcher - University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge
2000 Kay Gray Memorial Award for contributions to Chelonian conservation, British Chelonia Group
2000- IUCN UK Committee member
2009- Academic Associate - Pembroke College, Cambridge
2013- Senior Member (Teaching) - Robinson College, Cambridge
2016- College Lecturer and Director of Studies (Biology) - Peterhouse College, Cambridge