The Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford traces its origins to 1860, when George Rolleston became the first Linacre Professor. This coincided with the opening of the University Museum, where zoological research and teaching was then based. Rolleston had responsibility for the zoological collections at the Museum, other than the entomology collections. There have been ten subsequent holders of the Linacre Chair since Rolleston, the current being Professor Peter Holland FRS.
As the Department expanded and diversified, additional Established Chairs were created:
- Hope Professorship - currently vacant
- Professorship of Zoology - held by Tim Coulson
- Luc Hoffmann Chair of Field Ornithology - held by Ben Sheldon
- Tasso Leventis Chair of Biodiversity - held by E.J. Milner-Gulland
Professor Ben Sheldon is the current Head of Department. We are dedicated to gender equality and in 2010 Zoology was the first department in Oxford to be given an Athena Swan Silver Award in recognition of its success at promoting the careers of women.