He has been an Elected Member of Royal Academy of Sciences and Letters since 2006 and in 2010 he was awarded with the prestigious ‘Elite Researcher Price’ – the largest governmental research price in Denmark. In 2012 he received the Villum Kann Rasmussen’s Annual Award for Technical and Scientific Research, which is the largest private foundation research price in Denmark. The same year her received a Bingzhi Forum Professorship at the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Furthermore, he is Past President of the International Biogeography Society from January 2014 to 2020.
In his biodiversity research he merges macroecological distribution data on thousands of species (millions of records) with evolutionary information derived from phylogenetic trees. Currently he is exploring new frontiers of research by combining the use of modern DNA- and genomic-techniques, including information from ancient DNA, novel macroecological predictive and null models, new biodiversity and climate-change ensemble forecast models of species distribution, and powerful bioinformatics tools and statistics.
The aim is to enable a truly holistic approach in which he attempts to elucidate how the major geophysical, terrestrial and oceanic processes act together in shaping the distribution of life on Earth and how it’s inhabitants may manage and preserve it.
The natural “other side” of his research relates to whether biological principles can be combined with socio-economic factors and economic analytical tools to identify robust priorities for conservation of biodiversity. His socio-economic research focuses on cost-efficiency and priority methods, as well as practical single-species or whole-sale conservation/management cases.