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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
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Fulbright Scholar to Colombia (1994–1995)

Recent grants/funding:

  • National Science Foundation, award # DBI-1661510
“ABI Innovation: Wallace: a flexible platform for reproducible modeling of species niches and distributions built for community expansion”
Advances in Biological Informatics Program, Division of Biological Infrastructure
$593,352 total budget (including subawards to Co-PI Cory Merow, Yale University; and
Co-PI Matthew E. Aiello-Lammens, Pace University)
1 August 2017–31 July 2020
  • National Science Foundation, award # DBI-1650241
“EAGER: Making code-based analyses widely accessible for modeling species niches
and distributions”
Advances in Biological Informatics Program, Division of Biological Infrastructure
15 August 2016–31 July 2017
  • PSC-CUNY (Professional Staff Congress of the City University of New York) grant # 69647-0047
“The effects of climate change on cloud-forest mammals in Mexico”
$6000; 1 July 2016–31 December 2017


Recent book chapter:

  • Anderson, R. P. 2015. Family Heteromyidae. Pp. 51-58 in: Mammals of South America, Volume 2: Rodents. J. L. Patton, U. F. J. Pardiñas, and G. D’Elía (editors). University of Chicago Press.

Recent peer-reviewed journal publications:

  • Galante, P. J., B. Alade, R. Muscarella, S. A. Jansa, S. M. Goodman, and R. P. Anderson. Online early. The challenge of modeling niches and distributions for data-poor species: a comprehensive approach to model complexity. Ecography.
  • Anderson, R. P. 2017. When and how should biotic interactions be considered in models of species niches and distributions? Journal of Biogeography. 44:8-17.
  • Boria, R. A., L. E. Olson, S. M. Goodman, and R. P. Anderson. 2017. A single-algorithm ensemble approach to estimating suitability and uncertainty: cross-time projections for four Malagasy tenrecs. Diversity and Distributions. 23:196-208.
  • Phillips, S. J., R. P. Anderson, M. Dudík, R. E. Schapire, M. E. Blair. 2017.Opening the black box: an open–source release of Maxent. Ecography. 40:887-893.
  • Cook J. A., S. E. Greiman, S. J. Agosta, R. P. Anderson, B. S. Arbogast, R. J. Baker, W. Boeger, R. D. Bradley, D. R. Brooks, R. Cole, J. R. Demboski, A. P. Dobson, J. L. Dunnum, R. P. Eckerlin, J. Esselstyn, K. E. Galbreath, J. Hawdon, H. E. Hoekstra, S. J. Kutz, J. E. Light, L. E. Olson, B. D. Patterson, J. L. Patton, A. J. Phillips, E. Rickart, D. S. Rogers, M. E. Siddall, V. V. Tkach, E. P. Hoberg. 2016. Transformational principles for NEON sampling of mammalian parasites and pathogens: a response to Springer and colleagues. BioScience. 66: 917-919.
  • Soley-Guardia, M., E. E. Gutiérrez, D. M. Thomas, J. Ochoa-G., M. Aguilera, and R. P. Anderson. 2016. Are we overestimating the niche? Removing marginal localities helps ecological niche models detect environmental barriers. Ecology and Evolution. 6:1267-1279.
  • Aiello-Lammens, M. E., R. A. Boria, A. Radosavljevic, B. Vilela, and R. P. Anderson. 2015. spThin: an R package for spatial thinning of species occurrence records for use in ecological niche models. Ecography. 38:541-545.
  • Gutiérrez, E. E., R. P. Anderson, R. S. Voss, J. Ochoa-G., M. Aguilera, and S. A. Jansa. 2014. Phylogeography of the mouse opossum Marmosa robinsoni: with insights into the biogeographic history of dry habitats in northern South America. Journal of Mammalogy. 95:1175-1188.
  • Muscarella, R., P. J. Galante, M. Soley-Guardia, R. A. Boria, J. M. Kass, M. Uriarte, and R. P. Anderson. 2014. ENMeval: An R package for conducting spatially independent evaluations and estimating optimal model complexity for MAXENT ecological niche models. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 5:1198-1205.
  • Waltari, E., R. Schroeder, K. Mcdonald, R. P. Anderson, and A. Carnaval. 2014. Bioclimatic variables derived from remote sensing: Assessment and application for species distribution modelling. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 1033-1042.

Other recent publications:

  • Anderson, R. P. 2015. El modelado de nichos y distribuciones: no es simplemente “clic, clic, clic.” [With English and French translations: Modeling niches and distributions: it’s not just “click, click, click” and La modélisation de niche et de distributions: ce n’est pas juste “clic, clic, clic”]. Biogeografía. 8:4-27. [invited by the editors; not peer-reviewed]
  • Anderson, R. P. 2014. [Review of:] Ponsà Fontanals, M. 2011. Osvaldo Reig: la vida itinerante de un biólogo evolucionista. Journal of Mammalogy. 95:187–188. [not peer-reviewed]

Current lab personnel:

  • Ph.D. students: Jamie M. Kass, Gonzalo Pinilla-Buitrago
  • Master’s students: none currently
  • Undergraduate students: Sarah I. Meenan