Biology Faculty: George Robinson

George Robinson

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Ph.D., University at California, Davis

Office BI253B
Telephone (518) 442-4302
Fax (518) 442-4767

Areas of Interest

  • Biodiversity distributions and conservation watershed ecology and restoration
  • Disease ecology
  • Forest ecology


  • Biodiversity distributions and conservation.  I am working with NY State Parks and the Natural Heritage Program to analyze patterns of rare species and natural community distributions in NY State.  The state’s relatively large range of climate zones and geological features are linked to high beta diversity (geographic variation in species composition) for many plant and animal species and ecological communities.  On-the-ground studies include work by graduate student Lisa Pipino, who is conducting herpetofauna inventories in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.
  • Ecological restoration.  Graduate student Shabana Hoosein and I are working with NY State Parks staff to assess impacts of an invasive species on Schodack Island, in the Hudson River Estuary.  This research is being done in preparation for avian habitat restoration and flood plain reclamation.  Also, in collaboration with faculty from Union College and Rutgers University, we are revisiting an experimental woodland reclamation project in the New Jersey Meadowlands, to review progress 20 years after it was begun.
  • Forest ecology.  Working in the E.N. Huyck Preserve in the nearby Helderberg Plateau, I and tracking late successional stages of native forests and aging plantations.  This research involves elements of disease ecology (tree diseases), climate change (shortening winter seasons) and herbivory (overabundant white-tail deer).


  • Robinson, G.R. 2012. Assessing the conservation significance of a state park system, New York, USA. Natural Areas Journal 32: 412-419.
  • Robinson, G.R.  2012.  Distributions of Natural Heritage Program communities and their use as surrogates for rare species in New York State Parks.  Northeastern Naturalist 19 (Special Issue 6): 115-128.  [more...]
  • Davis, J.B., and G.R. Robinson.  2012.  A geographic model to assess and limit cumulative ecological degradation from Marcellus Shale exploitation in NY State.  Ecology and Society 17: 25. [more...]
  • Beachy, B.L., and G.R. Robinson. 2008. Divergence in avian communities following woody plant invasions in a pine barrens ecosystem. Natural Areas Journal 28: 395-403.
  • Madden, S.S., G.R. Robinson, and J.G. Arnason. 2007. Spatial variation in stream water quality in relation to riparian buffer dimensions in a rural watershed of eastern New York State. Northeastern Naturalist 14: 605-618.
  • Strong, K.F. and G.R. Robinson. 2004. Acid deposition and Odonate community structure in eastern New York State. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 24: 839-852.
  • Robinson, G.R., S.N. Handel, and J.H. Mattei. 2002. Experimental Techniques for Evaluating the Success of Restoration Projects. Korean Journal of Ecology 25: 1-7.
  • Lee, C.-S., H.H You, and G.R. Robinson. 2002. Succession and habitat recovery in abandoned rice paddy fields in central Korea. Restoration Ecology 10:306-314.
  • Robinson, G.R., N.D. Wright, and I. Peters Robinson. 2001. Land use history and spatial variability in the beech bark disease. Pages 31-52 in: M.S. Adams, editor. Catskill Ecosystem Health. Purple Mountain Press, Fleischmanns, NY.
  • Glavanakov, S., D.J. White, T. Caraco, A. Lapenis, G.R. Robinson, B.K. Szymanski, and W.A. Manniaty. 2001. Lyme disease in New York State: Spatial pattern at a regional scale. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Health 65: 538-535. [Selections reprinted in Public Health GIS News and Information, May 2002 (No. 46).]
  • Robinson, G.R. and Handel, S.N. 2000. Directing spatial patterns of recruitment in an urban woodland restoration. Ecological Applications 10:174-188.
  • Robinson, G.R., and J. Zappieri. 1999. Biodiversity policy in time and space: Lessons from divergent approaches to salvage logging on public lands. Conservation Ecology, Volume 3, on line (URL: Graphic reprinted in Saving Biological Diversity: Balancing Protection of Endangered Species and Ecosystems.
  • Handel, S.N., Robinson, G.R., Parsons, W.F., and Mattei, J.H. 1997. Restoration of woody plants to capped landfills: Root dynamics in engineered soils. Restoration Ecology 5: 178-186.
  • Holt, R.D., Robinson, G.R., and Gaines, M.S. 1995. Vegetation dynamics in an experimentally fragmented landscape. Ecology 76: 1610-1624.
  • Robinson, G.R., Quinn, J.F., and Stanton, M.L. 1995. Invasion of experimental habitat islands in a California winter annual grassland. Ecology 76: 786-794.
  • Robinson, G.R. and Handel, S.N. 1995. Woody plant roots fail to penetrate a clay landfill liner: Management implications. Environmental Management 19: 57-64.
  • Handel, S.N., Robinson, G.R., and Beattie, A.J. 1994. Biodiversity resources for ecological restoration. Restoration Ecology 2: 230-241.
  • Robinson, G.R., Yurlina, M.E, and Handel, S.N. 1994. A century of change in the Staten Island flora: Ecological correlates of species losses and gains. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 121: 119-129.
  • Robinson, G.R., and Handel, S.N. 1993 Forest restoration on a closed landfill: Rapid addition of new species by bird dispersal. Conservation Biology 7: 271-278. Reprinted in Readings from Conservation Biology, Wildlife and Forests, 1995,
  • Robinson, G.R., Handel, S.N., and Schmalhofer, V.R. 1992. Survival, reproduction and recruitment of woody plants after fourteen years on a forested landfill. Environmental Management 16: 265-271.
  • Robinson, G.R., Holt, R.D., Gaines, M.S., Hamburg, S.P., Johnson, M.L., Fitch, H.S., and Martinko, E.A. 1992. Diverse and contrasting effects of habitat fragmentation. Science 257: 524-526.
  • Gaines, M.S., Foster, J., Diffendorfer, J.E, Sera, W.E., Holt, R.D. and Robinson, G.R. 1992. Population processes and biological diversity. Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 57: 252-262.
  • Rejmnek, M., Robinson, G.R. and Rejmankova, E. 1989. Weed-crop competition: experimental designs and models for data analysis. Weed Science 37: 276-284.
  • Robinson, G.R. and Quinn, J.F. 1988. Extinction, turnover and species diversity in an experimentally fragmented California annual grassland. Oecologia (Berlin) 76: 71-82.
  • Quinn, J.F. and Robinson, G.R. 1987. The effects of experimental subdivision on flowering plant species diversity in a California annual grassland. Journal of Ecology 75: 837-856.