Orin Robinson

Research Associate

I analyze eBird and other data to study the distribution and demographics of species of conservation concern. In addition to studying bird population dynamics, I have worked on reptiles, amphibians, fish, and mammals.

My current research focuses on the Tricolored Blackbird, a species restricted almost entirely to California, with a small percentage (~1–5%) breeding in Nevada, Washington, and Oregon. Their populations have declined precipitously over the last 80 years. My goal is to understand their habitat associations, movement, and demographic rates throughout the annual cycle. While these are common topics in many bird studies, the nature of the available data and lack of knowledge about many aspects of the Tricolored Blackbird’s annual cycle have made even this basic information difficult to characterize. I’m using field data and citizen-science data to understand the seasonal distributions of Tricolored Blackbirds and their demography.


Ph.D., Ecology and Evolution, Rutgers University
M.S., Marine Sciences, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, University of South Alabama

Recent Publications

Binley, A., J. Hanson, O. Robinson, G. Golet, and J. Bennett (2024). Quantifying the value of community science data for conservation decision-making. [Online.] Available at
Robertson, E. P., F. A. La Sorte, J. D. Mays, P. J. Taillie, O. J. Robinson, R. J. Ansley, T. J. O'Connell, C. A. Davis, and S. R. Loss (2024). Decoupling of bird migration from the changing phenology of spring green-up. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 121:e2308433121.
Martin, P. R., O. J. Robinson, and F. Bonier (2024). Rare edges and abundant cores: range-wide variation in abundance in North American birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 291:20231760.
Stillman, A. N., P. E. Howell, G. S. Zimmerman, E. R. Bjerre, B. A. Millsap, O. J. Robinson, D. Fink, E. F. Stuber, and V. Ruiz‐Gutierrez (2023). Leveraging the strengths of citizen science and structured surveys to achieve scalable inference on population size. Journal of Applied Ecology 60:2389–2399.
Fink, D., A. Johnston, M. Strimas‐Mackey, T. Auer, W. M. Hochachka, S. Ligocki, L. Oldham Jaromczyk, O. Robinson, C. Wood, S. Kelling, and A. D. Rodewald (2023). A Double machine learning trend model for citizen science data. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 14:2435–2448.
Harris, S. M., O. J. Robinson, Y. Hingrat, E. Le Nuz, and V. Ruiz-Gutierrez (2023). Understanding the demography of a reinforced population: Long-term survival of captive-bred and wild-born houbara bustards in Morocco. Biological Conservation 284:110185.
Allen, M. C., J. L. Lockwood, and O. J. Robinson (2023). Integrating habitat models for threatened species with landownership information to inform coastal resiliency and conservation planning. Environmental Conservation 50:31–39.
Robinson, O. J., J. B. Socolar, E. F. Stuber, T. Auer, A. J. Berryman, P. H. Boersch-Supan, D. J. Brightsmith, A. H. Burbidge, S. H. M. Butchart, C. L. Davis, A. M. Dokter, et al. (2022). Extreme uncertainty and unquantifiable bias do not inform population sizes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119:e2113862119.
Stuber, E. F., O. J. Robinson, E. R. Bjerre, M. C. Otto, B. A. Millsap, G. S. Zimmerman, M. G. Brasher, K. M. Ringelman, A. M. V. Fournier, A. Yetter, J. E. Isola, and V. Ruiz-Gutierrez (2022). The potential of semi-structured citizen science data as a supplement for conservation decision-making: Validating the performance of eBird against targeted avian monitoring efforts. Biological Conservation 270:109556.
Masto, N. M., O. J. Robinson, M. G. Brasher, A. C. Keever, A. G. Blake‐Bradshaw, C. J. Highway, J. C. Feddersen, H. M. Hagy, D. C. Osborne, D. Combs, and B. S. Cohen (2022). Citizen science reveals waterfowl responses to extreme winter weather. Global Change Biology 28:5469–5479.
Howell, P. E., P. K. Devers, O. J. Robinson, J. R. Sauer, and J. A. Royle (2022). Leveraging community-science data for population assessments during a pandemic. Ecological Applications 32:e2529.
Ortega-Álvarez, R., V. Ruiz-Gutiérrez, O. J. Robinson, E. Berrones Benítez, I. Medina Mena, and J. J. Zúñiga-Vega (2021). Beyond incidence data: Assessing bird habitat use in indigenous working landscapes through the analysis of behavioral variation among land uses. Landscape and Urban Planning 211:104100.
Robinson, O. J., V. Ruiz‐Gutierrez, R. J. Meese, E. E. Graves, M. Holyoak, C. R. Wilson, A. C. Wyckoff, B. D. Merriell, C. Snyder, and E. G. Cooch (2021). Multi‐scale demographic analysis reveals range contraction via pseudo‐source and sink population structure. Ecosphere 12:e03521.
Johnston, A., W. M. Hochachka, M. E. Strimas-Mackey, V. Ruiz Gutierrez, O. J. Robinson, E. T. Miller, T. Auer, S. T. Kelling, and D. Fink (2021). Analytical guidelines to increase the value of community science data: An example using eBird data to estimate species distributions. Diversity and Distributions 27:1265–1277.
Ruiz-Gutierrez, V., E. R. Bjerre, M. C. Otto, G. S. Zimmerman, B. A. Millsap, D. Fink, E. F. Stuber, M. Strimas, and O. J. Robinson (2021). A pathway for citizen science data to inform policy: A case study using eBird data for defining low‐risk collision areas for wind energy development. Journal of Applied Ecology 58:1104–1111.
Robinson, O. J., V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, M. D. Reynolds, G. H. Golet, M. E. Strimas-Mackey, and D. Fink (2020). Integrating citizen science data with expert surveys increases accuracy and spatial extent of species distribution models. Diversity and Distributions 26:976–986.
McNeil, D. J., A. D. Rodewald, O. J. Robinson, C. J. Fiss, K. V. Rosenberg, V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, K. R. Aldinger, A. A. Dhondt, S. Petzinger, and J. L. Larkin (2020). Regional abundance and local breeding productivity explain occupancy of restored habitats in a migratory songbird. Biological Conservation 245:108463.
McNeil, D. J., A. D. Rodewald, V. Ruiz‐Gutierrez, K. E. Johnson, M. Strimas‐Mackey, S. Petzinger, O. J. Robinson, G. E. Soto, A. A. Dhondt, and J. L. Larkin (2020). Multi‐scale drivers of restoration outcomes for an imperiled songbird. Restoration Ecology 28:880–891.
Robinson, O. J., V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, D. Fink, R. J. Meese, M. Holyoak, and E. G. Cooch (2019). [In press] Using citizen science data in integrated population models to inform conservation decision-making. Biological Conservation.
Robinson Orin J., Ruiz‐Gutierrez Viviana, Fink Daniel, and Heikkinen Risto (2018). Correcting for bias in distribution modelling for rare species using citizen science data. Diversity and Distributions 24:460–472.
Price Tack, J. L., C. P. McGowan, S. S. Ditchkoff, W. C. Morse, and O. J. Robinson (2018). Managing the vanishing North American hunter: A novel framework to address declines in hunters and hunter-generated conservation funds. Human Dimensions of Wildlife:1–18.
Dokter, A. M., A. Farnsworth, D. Fink, V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, W. M. Hochachka, F. A. La Sorte, O. J. Robinson, K. V. Rosenberg, and S. Kelling (2018). Seasonal abundance and survival of North America's migratory avifauna determined by weather radar. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2:1603–1609.
Avery, J. D., K. Aagaard, J. C. Burkhalter, and O. J. Robinson (2017). Seabird longline bycatch reduction devices increase target catch while reducing bycatch: A meta-analysis. Journal for Nature Conservation 38:37–45.
Robinson, O. J., C. P. McGowan, and P. K. Devers (2017). Disentangling density-dependent dynamics using full annual cycle models and Bayesian model weight updating. Journal of Applied Ecology 54:670–678.
Steen, D. A., and O. J. Robinson (2017). Estimating freshwater turtle mortality rates and population declines following hook ingestion. Conservation Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12926
Robinson, O. J., O. P. Jensen, M. M. Provost, S. Huang, N. H. Fefferman, A. Kebir, and J. L. Lockwood (2016). Evaluating the impacts of fishing on sex-changing fish: A game-theoretic approach. ICES Journal of Marine Science: Journal du Conseil:fsw222.
Donlan, C. J., D. Eusse‐González, G. M. Luque, M. E. Reiter, V. Ruiz‐Gutierrez, M. C. Allen, R. Johnston‐González, O. J. Robinson, G. Fernández, E. Palacios, and J. Valenzuela (no date). [In press] An impact evaluation of conservation investments targeting long‐distance migratory species. Conservation Biology.
Orin Robinson
Center Avian Population Studies
Projects Conservation Science
Email ojr7@cornell.edu

Join Our Email List

The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. Sign up for email and don’t miss a thing!

Golden-cheeked Warbler by Bryan Calk/Macaulay Library