Postdoctoral Research Associate (former)
Doctoral Student (former)
Postdoctoral Research Associate
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Minnesota, Saint Paul
My research bridges multiple disciplines to answer complex ecological questions; I combine evolutionary and population genetics, wildlife ecology, landscape ecology, spatial analysis, and epidemiological modeling to study population health and conservation in a dynamic environment. I’m particularly interested in applying genetic techniques to study epidemiological processes (such as contact and transmission dynamics, spatial spread of disease, disease impacts on wildlife populations, and agent/host evolution). Questions addressed during my time with the Samuel lab included:
- How does variation in prion protein genetics impact susceptibility to CWD and potential host selection in response to disease pressure;
- How does the environment shape deer dispersal and potential for infectious contact;
- What environmental factors shape the patterns of CWD spread across two outbreak areas of the Midwest;
- Using genetics to investigate new outbreaks – identifying animals origin, and predicting time since infection based on genotypes.
B.S. 2000 Wildlife Biology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
M.S. 2007 Environmental Science, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
Advisor: Dr. Lisette Waits
Thesis: Landscape Genetics of Black Bears (Ursus americanus) on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska: Phylogenetic, Population Genetic and Spatial Analyses.
PhD 2012 Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Advisor: Dr. Michael Samuel
Dissertation: Landscape Genetics and Epidemiology of Chronic Wasting Disease in Midwestern White-Tailed Deer.
When I’m not chained to the computer of the lab bench I like to get outdoors and enjoy the real ecological world behind my research motivations! I enjoy hiking, camping, paddling and biking. Since indoctrinated by the Midwest farm culture I’ve become interested in sustainable food politics and seasonal cooking. I’m very concerned with public information and communication and have been active in community radio and the blogosphere. And in free time I make pottery and hang out with my coonhound.
Robinson, SJ, MD Samuel, D Lopez, P Shelton (2012) The walk is never random: landscape genetics detect subtle effects of landscape barriers to white-tailed deer gene flow. Molecular Ecology (online early) 00-00.
Peery, MZ, R Kirby, BN Reid, R Stoelting, E Doucet-Beer, SJ Robinson, C Vasquez-Carrillo, J Pauli, PJ Palsboll (2012) Application of genetic bottleneck tests in species conservation. An invited review in Molecular Ecology (21) 3403–3418.
Robinson, SJ, RD Walrath, TR VanDeelen, KC Ver Cauteren (in press in The Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2012) Genetic Measures Confirm Familial Relationships and Strengthen Study Design. (link to come)
Robinson, SJ, MD Samuel, KI O’Rourke, CJ Johnson, (2012) The role of PRNP genetics in chronic wasting disease of wild cervids. A commissioned review in PRION (6) e1-e10.
Robinson, SJ, MD Samuel, CJ Johnson, J Aitken, M Adams (2012) Emerging prion disease drives host selection in a wildlife population. Ecological Applications (22) 1050–1059.
Rogers, KG, SJ Robinson, MD Samuel, DA Grear (2011) Diversity and distribution of white-tailed deer mtDNA lineages relative to CWD outbreak areas in southern Wisconsin, USA. The Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health (74) 1521-1535. (NOTE – this is the output of my mentored undergraduate researcher – Go Kip!)
Robinson SJ, LP Waits, ID Martin (2009) Estimating abundance of American black bears using DNA- based capture–mark–recapture models. Ursus (20), 1-11.
Robinson SJ, LP Waits, ID Martin (2007a) Evaluating population structure of black bears on the Kenai Peninsula using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA analyses. Journal of Mammalogy (88), 1288-1299.
Robinson SJ, LP Waits, ID Martin (2007b) Evaluation of Genetic Structure Among Black Bear (Ursus americanus) in Kenai Fjords National Park (Southwest Alaska Network) and the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, pp. 65. National Park Service, Anchorage, AK.
Robinson SJ (2007) Landscape Genetics of Black Bears (Ursus americanus) on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska: Phylogenetic, Population Genetic and Spatial Analyses. Master’s Thesis, U of Idaho, Moscow, ID.
Storfer A, MA Murphy, JS Evans, CS Goldberg, SJ Robinson, SF Spear, RJ Dezzani, E Delmelle, L Vierling, LP Waits (2007) Putting the “landscape” in landscape genetics. Heredity (98), 128-142.
Jojola SM, SJ Robinson, KC VerCauteren (2007) Oral rabies vaccine (ORV) bait uptake by captive striped skunks. Journal of Wildlife Diseases (43), 97-106.
Primus TM, SM Jojola, SJ Robinson, JJ Johnston (2007) Determination of sulfadimethoxine residues in skunk serum by HPLC. Journal of Liquid Chromatography & Related Tech. (30), 2095-2102.
Robinson SJ, SM Jojola, KC VerCauteren (2004) The role of bait manipulation in the delivery of oral rabies vaccine to skunks. Proceedings of the 21st Vertebr Pest Conference (R.M. Timm and W.P. Gorenzel, Eds.) Published at Univ. of Calif., Davis, 194-197.
Jojola SM, SJ Robinson, KC VerCauteren (2004) Oral rabies vaccine (ORV) bait uptake by striped skunks: preliminary results. Proceedings of the 21st Vertebr Pest Conference (R.M. Timm and W.P. Gorenzel, Eds.) Published at Univ. of Calif., Davis, 190-193.
Dispersal across an infected landscape: modeling CWD spread in WI and IL. Robinson, SJ, MD Samuel, D Lopez, P Shelton. Nov 2011. The Wildlife Society, National Conference, Kona, HI.
The power of good genes: disease-driven selection in Wisconsin’s CWD zone. Robinson, SJ, MD Samuel, C Johnson, J Aitken, M Adams.
Aug 2011. Wildlife Disease Association, featured speaker. Quebec City, QC, CAN.
May 2011. PRION 2011, international conference, Montreal QC, CAN.
October 2010. The Wildlife Society, National Conference, Snowbird, UT.
Spatial Genetic Analyses Reveal Correlation Between Deer Dispersal and CWD Spread in WI. Robinson, SJ, MD Samuel, J Blanchong, KT Scribner, J Langengerg, D Grear.
December 2009. The Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference, Springfield, IL.
August 2009. The Wildlife Disease Association, Annual Conference, Blaine, WA.
Landscape Genetic Applications to CWD Epidemiology. Robinson, SJ, MD Samuel, J Blanchong, KT Scribner, P Shelton, J Langengerg, D
Grear. November 2008. The Wildlife Society, National Conference, Miami, FL.
Spatial Analysis of Black Bear Gene Flow on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Robinson, SJ, LP Waits, RJ Dezzani, ID Martin. Invited presentation Symposium: Applications of Landscape Genetics to Wildlife Management, September 2006. The Wildlife Society, National Conference, Anchorage, AK.
Interdisciplinary Research in Landscape Genetics & Applications for Natural Resource
Conservation. Balkenhol, N, LP Waits, SJ Robinson, CS Goldberg, R J Dezzani, L Vierling. March 2006. ID Academy of Sciences, Annual Meeting and Symposium, Moscow, ID.
Spatial Analysis of Black Bear Gene Flow on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Robinson, SJ., LP Waits, RJ Dezzani, ID Martin.
February 2006. The Wildlife Society, Idaho Chapter, Boise, ID.
Landscape Genetics of Black Bears on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska: Defining the Questions and Questioning the Answers. Robinson, SJ., LP Waits, ID Martin.
October 2005. Conservation Genetics Conference, Monterey, CA.
Population Genetics of Black Bears on the Kenai Peninsula. Robinson, SJ., LP Waits, ID Martin. May 2005. Behavioral and Evolutionary Ecology Research Symposium, Moscow, ID.
Population Genetics of Black Bears on the Kenai Peninsula: Preliminary Results. Robinson, SJ., LP Waits, ID Martin. March 2005. Southwest Alaska Network Investigators’ Symposium, Anchorage, AK.
The Handling by Skunks of Baits Intended for Use in Large-Scale Oral Rabies Vaccination. Robinson, SJ., SM Jojola, KC VerCauteren.
March 2004. Vertebrate Pest Conference, Visalia, CA.
April 2004. CSU Infectious Diseases Colloquium, Fort Collins, CO.
Oral Rabies Vaccine (ORV) Bait Uptake by Striped Skunks: Preliminary Results. Jojola, SM., SJ Robinson, KC VerCauteren. March 2004. Vertebrate Pest Conference, Visalia, CA.