Comparative Stress Physiologist, PhD student at George Mason University & Research Fellow, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Robert currently works with a diverse range of species from Asian elephants and red pandas, to smallmouth bass and marine iguanas. Many wild populations of these species are under threat due to climate change, anthropogenic conflict, and habitat fragmentation. His immediate research goals focus on supporting ongoing efforts at the National Zoological Park, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, and the Potomac Science Research Center to monitor animal wellbeing and understand the complex physiological changes that occur in response to stress, disease, and reproduction. Robert also aspires to communicate the results of these efforts to the general public through outreach programs and sponsored events.
His long-term goal is to validate set of stress and disease responsive biomarkers that can be used to monitor wellbeing and provide support for a robust preventative care system in managed populations of at-risk species. He also hopes to foster collaborative relationships with conservationists around the world by translating the success of these monitoring techniques into field applications. In doing so, he hopes to assist ongoing global conservation efforts and protected reserve design by providing a quantitative method for monitoring species health and reproductive success.
Robert holds BSc. degrees in Animal Physiology and Human Health & Disease from the University of Toronto and an MS in Animal Stress Physiology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Environmental Science and Public Policy at George Mason University, where he is co-advised by Dr. Janine Brown (SCBI) and Dr. Scott Glaberman (George Mason University).