Dr James Robinson

Lancaster University

Email: james.robinson@lancaster.ac.uk

James is a Research Fellow at Lancaster Environment Centre where he works on coral reef fisheries and climate change.
James was first introduced to data-driven research at the University of St Andrews, where he analysed seabird population time-series for an MRes. In 2012, he moved to BC Canada for a PhD in coral reef macroecology. Using NOAA’s monitoring data from the Pacific Ocean, his PhD research identified how abiotic and human drivers interact to shape coral reef fish and benthic community structure. In 2017, James returned to the UK to start a post-doc position with the REEFS group, now focusing on coral bleaching and small-scale fisheries in Seychelles.

Research Interests

James uses long-term monitoring data to understand how marine ecosystems respond to changes in environmental conditions and anthropogenic pressures, such as fishing. His research uses statistical models or simulations to translate messy observations into ecological patterns. Happy working with any ocean, James combines different data sources to understand how humans cause ecosystems to change, and to inform policymakers how natural resources should be managed.

James’ current work aims to understand how coral bleaching events impact reef fisheries. In collaboration with fisheries scientists based in Seychelles, this project combines underwater census data with fisheries catch surveys and nutritional information on seafood.

Other Profiles

Selected Publications

  • Robinson JPW, McDevitt-Irwin JM, Dajka JC, Hadj-Hammou J, Howlett S, Graba-Landry A, Hoey, AS, Nash K, Wilson SK, Graham NAJ. (2019) Habitat and fishing control grazing potential on coral reefs. Functional Ecology
  • Robinson JPW, Wilson SK, Jennings S, Graham NAJ (2019) Thermal stress induces persistently altered coral reef fish assemblages. Global Change Biology 25: 2739–2750
  • Robinson JPW, Wilson SK, Graham NAJ (2019) Abiotic and biotic controls on coral recovery 16 years after mass bleaching. Coral Reefs 38: 1255-1265
  • Wilson SK, Robinson JPW, Chong-Seng K, Robinson J, Graham NAJ (2019) Boom and bust of keystone structure on coral reefs. Coral Reefs 38: 625-635
  • Robinson JPW, Wilson S, Robinson J, Gerry C, Govinden R, Lucas J, Assan C, Jennings S, Graham NAJ (2019) Productive instability of coral reef fisheries after climate-driven regime shifts. Nature Ecology & Evolution 3: 183-190
  • Tai T, Robinson JPW (2018) Enhancing Climate Change Research With Open Science. Frontiers in Environmental Science 6: 1-5
  • Robinson JPW, Williams ID, MacPherson J, Yeager L, Clark J, Oliver T, Baum JK (2018) Environmental conditions and herbivore biomass determine coral reef benthic community composition: implications for quantitative baselines. Coral Reefs 37: 1157-1168
  • Robinson JPW, Williams ID, Edwards AM, MacPherson J, Yeager L, Vigliola L, Brainard RE, Baum JK (2017) Fishing degrades size structure of coral reef fish communities. Global Change Biology 23: 1009-1022
  • Edwards AM, Robinson JPW, Plank MJ, Baum, JK, Blanchard JL (2017) Testing and recommending methods for fitting size spectra to data. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 8: 57–67
  • Robinson JPW, Baum JK (2016) Trophic roles determine coral reef fish community size structure. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 73: 496-505