Robin grew up exploring the hills and forests of southern Indiana where she fell in love with oak trees, wildlife and insects. For as long as she can remember,
some of her favorite things have been the songs of spring peepers, the taste of wild blackberries, the colors of autumn leaves, and the stillness of the forest
in the snow. She had the good fortune of being raised by two secondary educators who encouraged her curiosity and love of nature.
Robin attended graduate school at the University of Arkansas (M.S. in forest entomology) and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (Ph.D. in applied ecology) where she studied Ozark forests, their insects, and the ways in which prescribed burning shapes these communities. She spent six years as an assistant professor of fire ecology in the Texas Tech University Department of Natural Resources Management.
A deep love of the Ozarks and its forests motivated Robin to apply for her current position as an associate professor of biological sciences at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (MS&T), where she is the founding director of the Ozark Research Field Station, located on Mill Creek at the Bohigian Conservation Area of the Missouri Department of Conservation. She moved to Rolla in 2018. In her role as a faculty member at MS&T, Robin researches topics in forest insect ecology, fire management, and rural ecology. Her students are currently working in the watershed on projects examining non-lethal raccoon deterrents, leaf litter arthropod spatial ecology, and a species list for the Ozark Research Field Station.
At the field station, she identified three primary goals: to increase research in the watershed by creating long-term environmental monitoring programs and recruiting researchers to the site; to facilitate students’ love for their local environment through a diverse offering of field courses; and to engage the local community through public events, activities, and place-based courses that highlight Mill Creek’s natural resources and ecology.
Robin is married to Seth Pearson, and they have one child, Evelyn. She spends her free time reading, hiking and gardening.