Rob McDonald

 Robert McDonald is a vanguard scientist with The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Strategies Division. Robert works to evaluate the drivers, trends and conservation implications of emerging or understudied threats to biodiversity. Prior to joining the Conservancy, he was a Smith Conservation Biology Fellow at Harvard University, studying the impact global urban growth will have on biodiversity and conservation.

Rob's Posts

After the End of Nature: An Essay

June 18th, 2012

We live in the Anthropocene -- the Age of Man on our planet, say most scientists. But Conservancy scientist Rob McDonald asks: Do we actually have the scientific knowledge to manage Spaceship Earth... or replace its natural systems? More

The Green Conundrum: Can Small Actions Add Up to Collective Change?

December 5th, 2011

Does it matter if you recycle if other people don't? Or if the United States refuses to build an oil pipeline that other nations might? Conservancy scientist Rob McDonald says yes — and tells you why. More

Jevons Paradox: When Doing More with Less Isn’t Enough

September 1st, 2011

Energy efficiency leads to lower energy prices—but will that mean more energy consumption? One in-vogue theory says yes, but Conservancy scientist Rob McDonald says it’s not so hot. More

Conservation’s Silence Regarding Human Rights and Freedom

February 28th, 2011

Why does conservation ignore human rights advocacy? Conservancy scientist Rob McDonald says that silence only hurts conservation. More

Why Do Protected Areas Keep Growing (in Some Countries)?

November 8th, 2010

And why do some countries protect so much land, while others protect so little? A new study by Conservancy scientists Rob McDonald and Tim Boucher has some answers. More

Feeding Humanity While Protecting Nature

April 28th, 2010

Why is Conservancy scientist Rob McDonald excited to be working with agribusiness companies? Because how agriculture evolves over the next decades will determine the fate of much of the Earth's remaining habitat. More

Washington as Symbol, Washington as City

April 9th, 2010

A proposed dedicated bus land for Washington, DC's infamous K Street is shot down -- another example of the real city living in the shadow of its symbolism, says Rob McDonald. More

Ecosystem Services: Enclosing Nature’s Commons?

March 1st, 2010

"Ecosystem services" is an exciting new buzz term in conservation -- valuing nature for what it gives us. But when for-profit groups start privatizing nature, what happens to the poor? More

The Great Urbanization and What it Means for Nature: Part 3

February 1st, 2010

Urbanization has domesticated the planet's nature -- so how do you do conservation in an world dominated by cities? The Conservancy's Rob McDonald has some thoughts. More

The Great Urbanization and What it Means for Nature: Part 2

January 14th, 2010

We're an urban species for the first time in history. How is our language about nature shifting as a result...and how are we going to talk to urbanites about conservation? More

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