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Robert Anderson

Faculty and Staff Profiles

Robert Anderson

Associate Professor

MR817 (office) | MR810 (lab)
Marshak Science Building
Phone Number: 
212-650-8504 (office)
Secondary Phone: 
212-650-8424 (lab)
Personal Website: 
View my website >>

Dr. Anderson conducts biogeographic studies at the interface between ecology and evolution. His current research program centers on developing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) methods of modeling species’ geographic ranges using occurrence records and environmental data. His taxonomic specialty is Neotropical mammals.


Postdoctoral Fellow in Mammalogy, AMNH, 2003
Ph.D. (honors) in Biology (Sytematics and Ecology), Univ. of Kansas, 2001
B.A. (cum laude) in Biology, Kansas State University, 1994

Courses Taught

Biology V/79012, Seminar in Zoogeography

Biology 45800, Biogeography

Biology 45000, Symbiosis

Biology 22800, Ecology and Evolution

Research Interests

I conduct biogeographic studies at the interface between ecology and evolution. My current research program focuses on developing GIS-based methods of modeling species geographic ranges using occurrence records from natural history museums and environmental data. In addition to these techniques of general application to biogeography and conservation, Neotropical mammals represent my taxonomic and geographic specialty. I received a Ph.D. at the University of Kansas under the supervision of Dr. Robert M. Timm and subsequently conducted postdoctoral research at the American Museum of Natural History, sponsored by Dr. Robert S. Voss.


Gutiérrez, E. E., R. A. Boria, and R. P. Anderson. (in press) Can biotic interactions cause allopatry? Niche models, competition, and distributions of South American mouse opossums. Ecography.

Soley-Guardia, M., A. Radosavljevic, J. L. Rivera, and R. P. Anderson. (in press) The effect of spatially marginal localities in modelling species niches and distributions. Journal of Biogeography.

Boria, R. A., L. E. Olson, S. M. Goodman, and R. P. Anderson. 2014. Spatial filtering to reduce sampling bias can improve the performance of ecological niche models. Ecological Modelling. 275:73-77.

Radosavljevic, A. and R. P. Anderson. 2014. Making better Maxent models of species distributions: complexity, overfitting, and evaluation. Journal of Biogeography. 41: 629-643.

Varela, S., R. P. Anderson, R. García-Valdés, and F.Fernández-González. (in press)Environmental filtersreduce the effects of sampling bias and improvepredictions of ecological niche models. Ecography.

Anderson, R. P. 2013. A framework for using niche modelsto estimate impacts of climate changeon speciesdistributions. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.1297:8‹28.

Shcheglovitova, M. and R. P. Anderson. 2013. Estimating optimal complexity for ecological niche models: a jackknife approach for species with small sample sizes. Ecological Modelling. 269:9-17.

Anderson, R. P., E. E. Gutiérrez, J. Ochoa-G., F. J.García, and M. Aguilera. 2012. Faunalnestedness andspecies‹area relationship for small non-volant mammals in,sky islandsŠ ofnorthern Venezuela. Studies onNeotropical Fauna and Environment. 47:157‹170.

Anderson, R. P. 2012. Harnessing the world‰s biodiversitydata: promise and peril in ecological niche modeling ofspecies distributions. Annals of the New York Academy ofSciences, 1260:66‹80 

Peterson, A.T., J. Soberón, R. G. Pearson, R. P. Anderson,E. Martínez-Meyer, M. Nakamura, and M. B. Araújo. 2011.Ecological niches and geographic distributions. Monographsin PopulationBiology, 49. Princeton University Press,Princeton, NJ.

Anderson, R. P. and I. Gonzalez, Jr. 2011. Species-specific tuning increases robustness to sampling bias in models of species distributions: an implementation with Maxent. Ecological Modelling, 222:2796-2811.

Anderson, R. P. and A. Raza. 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. 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 newly 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. pdf

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.

Phillips, S. J., R. P. Anderson, and R. E. Schapire. 2006. Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions. Ecological Modelling, 190:231-259.

Anderson, R. P. and Martínez-Meyer. 2004. Modeling species’ geographic distributions for conservation assessments: an implementation with the spiny pocket mice (Heteromys) of Ecuador. Biological Conservation, 116:167-179.

Gómez-Laverde, M., R. P. Anderson, and L. F. García. 2004. Integrated systematic reevaluation of the Amazonian genus Scolomys (Rodentia: Sigmodontinae). Mammalian Biology, 69:119-139. 

Anderson, R. P. 2003. Real vs. artefactual absences in species distributions: tests for Oryzomys albigularis (Rodentia: Muridae) in Venezuela. Journal of Biogeography, 30:591-605. 

Anderson, R. P. 2003. Taxonomy, distribution, and natural history of the genus Heteromys (Rodentia: Heteromyidae) in western Venezuela, with the description of a dwarf species from the Península de Paraguaná. American Museum Novitates, 3396:1-43. 

Anderson, R. P., D. Lew, and A. T. Peterson. 2003. Evaluating predictive models of species' distributions: criteria for selecting optimal models. Ecological Modelling, 162:211-232. 

Anderson, R. P., M. Gómez-Laverde, and A. T. Peterson. 2002. Geographical distributions of spiny pocket mice in South America: insights from predictive models. Global Ecology & Biogeography, 11:131-141.

Anderson, R. P. and C. O. Handley, Jr. 2002. Dwarfism in insular sloths: biogeography, selection, and evolutionary rate. Evolution, 56:1045-1058. 

Anderson, R. P. and P. Jarrín-V. 2002. A new species of spiny pocket mouse (Heteromyidae: Heteromys) endemic to western Ecuador. American Museum Novitates, 3382:1-26. 

Anderson, R. P., A. T. Peterson, and M. Gómez-Laverde. 2002. Using niche-based GIS modeling to test geographic predictions of competitive exclusion and competitive release in South American pocket mice. Oikos, 98:3-16.

Anderson, R. P. and C. O. Handley, Jr. 2001. A new species of three-toed sloth (Mammalia: Xenarthra) from Panamá, with a review of the genus Bradypus. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 114:1-33.

Anderson, R. P. 1999 [2000]. Preliminary review of the systematics and biogeography of the spiny pocket mice (Heteromys) of Colombia. Revista de la Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, 23 (Suplemento especial):613-630.

Anderson, R. P. and P. J. Soriano. 1999. The occurrence and biogeographic significance of the southern spiny pocket mouse Heteromys australis in Venezuela. Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, 64:121-125.

Lim, B. K., M. D. Engstrom, R. M. Timm, R. P. Anderson, and L. C. Watson. 1999. First records of 10 bat species in Guyana and comments on diversity of bats in Iwokrama Forest. Acta Chiropterologica, 1:179-190.

Cadena, A., R. P. Anderson, and P. Rivas-Pava. 1998. Colombian mammals from the Chocoan slopes of Nariño. Occasional Papers of the Museum, Texas Tech University, 180:1-15.

Anderson, R. P. 1994. Faunal Analysis of Feature 4, 14JW1. In: B. Logan and W. E. Banks (editors), White Rock revised: archaeological investigation of the White Rock and Warne sites, Lovewell Reservoir, Jewell County, Kansas. University of Kansas Museum of Anthropology Project Report Series, 85: 55-64.

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