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Robert Anderson

Robert Anderson


Ecology & evolution


Office Phone: (212) 650-8504


  1. Ph.D. (honors), Biology (Sytematics and Ecology), University of Kansas, 2001
  2. B.A. cum laude, Biology, Kansas State University, 1994


Robert Anderson conducts biogeographic studies at the interface between ecology and evolution. His current research program centers on developing GIS-based methods of modeling species’ geographic ranges using occurrence records and environmental data. In addition to these techniques of general application to biogeography and conservation, his taxonomic and geographic specialty is Neotropical mammals. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Kansas and subsequently conducted postdoctoral research at the American Museum of Natural History.
Research Associate, American Museum of Natural History
Research Associate, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
Phi Beta Kappa
Fulbright Scholar to Colombia (1994–1995)
Recent grants/funding:
Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History
“Biological Diversity of the Guiana Shield Program”
PI Vicki A. Funk (Anderson is one of 12 Co-PIs).
1 October 2010–30 September 2013
National Science Foundation, award # DEB-0717357
“Integrating systematics and GIS modeling: biogeography of spiny pocket mice (Heteromyidae) in South America”
Systematic Biology and Biodiversity Inventories Program, Division of Environmental Biology
$156,500 including REU supplements (Research Experiences for Undergraduates); 15 September 2007–31 August 2011
PSC-CUNY (Professional Staff Congress of the City University of New York) grant # 3435-0185
“A phylogenetic component to studies of species formation: reconstructing the evolutionary relationships of spiny pocket mice”
$4800; 1 May 2004–31 December 2005
Recent peer-reviewed books:
Peterson, A.T., J. Soberón, R. G. Pearson, R. P. Anderson, E. Martínez-Meyer, M. Nakamura, and M. B. Araújo. (in press) Ecological niches and geographic distributions. Monographs in Population Biology, Princeton University Press; accepted for publication 1 November 2010.
Recent peer-reviewed journal publications:
Anderson, R. P. and I. Gonzalez, Jr. (undergraduate student, CCNY). (in press) Species-specific tuning increases robustness to sampling bias in models of species distributions: an implementation with Maxent. Ecological Modelling. 57 manuscript pp. plus 6 figures.
Anderson, R. P. and A. Raza (undergraduate and master’s student, CCNY). 2010. The effect of the extent of the study region on GIS models of species geographic distributions and estimates of niche evolution: preliminary tests with montane rodents (genus Nephelomys) in Venezuela. Journal of Biogeography, 37:1378–1393.
Anderson, R. P. and E. E. Gutiérrez (Ph.D. student, CUNY). 2009. Taxonomy, distribution, and natural history of the genus Heteromys (Rodentia: Heteromyidae) in central and eastern Venezuela, with the description of a new species from the Cordillera de la Costa. In: R. S. Voss and M. D. Carleton (editors), Systematic mammalogy: contributions in honor of Guy G. Musser. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 331:33–93.
Anderson, R. P. and S. A. Jansa. 2007. Genetic comparisons between Heteromys desmarestianus and the recently described H. nubicolens (Rodentia: Heteromyidae) in northwestern Costa Rica. Mammalian Biology, 72:54–61.
Anderson, R. P., A. T. Peterson, and S. L. Egbert. 2006. Vegetation-index models predict areas vulnerable to purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) invasion in Kansas. Southwestern Naturalist, 51:471–480.
Anderson, R. P. and R. M. Timm. 2006. A new montane species of spiny pocket mouse (Rodentia: Heteromyidae: Heteromys) from northwestern Costa Rica. American Museum Novitates, 3509:1–38.
Anderson, R. P., M. Weksler, and D. S. Rogers. 2006. Phylogenetic analyses of spiny pocket mice (Heteromyidae: Heteromyinae) based on allozymic and morphological data. Journal of Mammalogy, 87:1218–1233.
Elith, J., C. H. Graham, R. P. Anderson, M. Dudík, S. Ferrier, A. Guisan, R. J. Hijmans, F. Huettmann, J. R. Leathwick, A. Lehmann, J. Li, L. G. Lohmann, B. A. Loiselle, G. Manion, C. Moritz, M. Nakamura, Y. Nakazawa, J. M. Overton, A. T. Peterson, S. J. Phillips, K. Richardson, R. Scachetti-Pereira, R. E. Schapire, J. Soberón, S. Williams, M. S. Wisz, and N. E. Zimmerman. 2006. Novel methods improve prediction of species’ distributions from occurrence data. Ecography, 29:129–151.
     [This work was featured in the "Research Highlights" section of Nature, 18 May 2006: 259.]
Phillips, S. J., R. P. Anderson, and R. E. Schapire. 2006. Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions. Ecological Modelling, 190:231–259.
(see webpage for full list of publications)
Other recent publications:
Phillips, S., R. Anderson, and R. Schapire. 2009. Author commentary: Climate change and species distributions (Interview regarding our paper, Phillips et al., 2006). Thomson Reuters
Gutiérrez, E. E. (Ph.D. student, CUNY), R. P. Anderson, J. Ochoa-G., and P. Lacabana. 2008 Ratón mochilero de Paraguaná, Heteromys oasicus [species account]. P. 89 In: J. P. Rodríguez and F. Rojas-Suárez (editors), Libro rojo de la fauna venezolana, 3rd edition. Provita and Shell-Venezuela, Caracas. (contribution invited by the editors)
Current lab personnel:

Ph.D. students: Eliecer E. Gutierrez, Mariano Soley-G.

Master's students: none currently

Undergraduate students: Robert A. Boria

Other researchers in residence: Eva Kneip





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