John Robinson, Ph.D.

John Robinson

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Assistant Professor
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife



Areas of Expertise:

Population Genetics; Conservation Genetics


B.S., University of Alabama (Marine Sciences / Biology)
M.S., College of Charleston (Marine Biology)
Ph.D., University of Georgia (Genetics)

Research Overview:

My research is broadly centered on the development and application of population genetic and genomic methods in the fields of natural resource management, ecology, and evolutionary biology.  My previous research has involved simulation-based methodological studies, computational approaches to empirical data analysis, and experimental work in laboratory mesocosms.  In particular, I am interested in developing, testing, and applying Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC)-based methods for demographic inference.  Other focal areas include effective population size and its utility in natural resource management, environmental DNA (eDNA) as a means of documenting presence of rare or invasive aquatic species, and the influence of genetic diversity on population-level processes (e.g., expansion, persistence).

Research Interests:

  • Reconstruction of demographic history using ABC and frequency spectrum-based approaches
  • Estimation of effective population size from genetic / genomic data
  • Importance of genetic diversity in population-level processes
  • Development of methods in population genetics and phylogeography
  • Use of eDNA to determine distribution and relative abundance of rare or invasive aquatic taxa

Publication Profiles:

Selected Publications:

Darden TL, Robinson JD, Strand AE, and Denson MR (2016) Forecasting the genetic impacts of net pen failures on Gulf of Mexico cobia populations using individual-based model simulations.  Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 48: 20-34.

Robinson JD, Coffman AJ, Hickerson MJ, and Gutenkunst RN (2014) Sampling strategies for frequency spectrum-based population genomic inference. BMC Evolutionary Biology 14: 254.

Robinson JD, Bunnefeld L, Hearn J, Stone GN, and Hickerson MJ (2014) ABC inference of multi-population divergence with admixture from un-phased population genomic data. Molecular Ecology 23: 4458-4471.

Robinson JD, Hall DW, and Wares JP (2013) Approximate Bayesian estimation of extinction rate in the Finnish Daphnia magna metapopulation. Molecular Ecology 22: 2627-2639.

Robinson JD, Simmons JW, Williams AS, and Moyer GR (2013) Population structure and genetic diversity in the endangered bluemask darter (Etheostoma akatulo). Conservation Genetics 14: 79-92. 

Robinson JD, Wares JP, and Drake JM (2013) Extinction hazards in experimental Daphnia magna populations: effects of genotype diversity and environmental variation. Ecology and Evolution 3: 233-243

Robinson JD and Moyer GR (2013) Linkage disequilibrium and effective population size when generations overlap. Evolutionary Applications 6: 290-302.

Robinson JD, Diaz-Ferguson E, Poelchau M, Pennings SC, Bishop TD, and Wares JP (2010) Multiscale diversity in the marshes of the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER.  Estuaries & Coasts 33: 865-877.

Diaz-Ferguson E, Robinson JD, Silliman B, and Wares JP (2010) Comparative phylogeography of North American salt marsh communities.  Estuaries & Coasts 33: 828-839.

Dillon RT Jr. and Robinson JD (2009) The snails the dinosaurs saw: are the pleurocerid populations of the Older Appalachians a relict of the Paleozoic Era?  Journal of the North American Benthological Society 28: 1-11.