John Templeton Foundation
Home Approach Chair Participants

John Stanley Rodwell is a professional ecologist and an Anglican priest in the diocese of Blackburn. For sixteen years, he served as coordinator the United Kingdom National Vegetation Classification Project, the first systematic and comprehensive inventory of British plant communities. He is an honorary canon of Blackburn Cathedral. A graduate of Leeds University, where he took first-class honors in botany, Dr. Rodwell earned his Ph.D. in ecology at Southampton University in 1974. He also studied at Cuddesdon Theological College in Oxford and received a post-graduate diploma in theology from Oxford University. He joined the Lancaster faculty as a research fellow in 1975. In 1991, he became the founding director of the university's Unit of Vegetation Science. Appointed a reader in vegetation science four years later, he was made professor of plant ecology in 1997. He also served as director of studies for Lancaster's master's program in environmental and ecological sciences. His research has been supported by numerous grants from British and European environmental and conservation organizations. A former chair of the Forest Commission Advisory Group on Conservation-related Research, Dr. Rodwell served for more than a decade as British Ecology Society representative on the Council of the National Trust. He has delivered invited lectures throughout the United Kingdom as well as in Europe and the United States. In addition to publishing articles in scientific journals and technical reports, he has contributed chapters to volumes of collected works, including Faith in Science, a publication of the Science and Spiritual Quest program coordinated by the Center for Theology and Natural Science in Berkeley. He is the editor of the five volume British Plant Communities, which was published between 1991 and 2000 by Cambridge University Press. Dr. Rodwell is presently preparing a collection of his sermons and other theological writings for publication under the title The Tissue of His Kingdom.