Areas of Expertise: Public lands, energy issues, climate change effects on biological diversity, negotiation and group facilitation.
Prior to joining defenders in 2014, Rob was executive director of the Western Slope Conservation Center in the small town of Paonia, Colorado, and before that worked for World Wildlife Fund as an expert on how global warming affects biological diversity. Rob worked for Defenders as a conservation biologist in Washington, DC from 1994 to 1997. Rob has also been a web programmer, free-lance editor and college teacher. Rob is co-editor with Tom Lovejoy of the book Climate Change and Biological Diversity, author of Defenders’ report Beyond Cutting Emissions: Protecting Wildlife and Ecosystems in a Warming World, and most recently co-editor with Michael Soulé on his Island Press book Collected Papers of Michael E. Soulé.
Rob works with other scientists to plan for the eventual return of a viable jaguar population to the U.S., leads Defenders' efforts to protect Arizona's Mountain Empire against ill-considered mining projects, and supports actions to protect native fish and other aquatic species in Arizona. He authored major Defenders reports that include In the Shadow of the Wall: Borderlands Wildlife, Habitat and Collaborative Conservation at Risk; Potential Impacts of Proposed Liquified Natural Gas Facilities on Ocelot Recovery in Texas; Bringing el Tigre Home: Jaguar Recovery in the U.S. Southwest; and Beyond Cutting Emissions: Protecting Wildlife and Ecosystems in a Warming World. He was first author of the 2018 Bioscience article "Nature Divided, Scientists United: US-Mexico Border Wall Threatens Biodiversity and Binational Conservation," which was signed by more than 3,000 scientists world-wide.
Rob received a Ph.D. in biology from Stanford University and a B.S. with highest honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz.