Neil Cobb


Associate Research Professor
Phone: 928-523-5528
Office: PET330
More info: Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research; Colorado Plateau Museum of Arthropod Biodiversity 

Research/teaching interests

  • arthropod biodiversity
  • ecological gradients
  • climate and land-use change

Academic highlights

  • PhD: Northern Arizona University, Biology, 1993
  • MS: Northern Arizona University, Biology, 1989
  • BS: Oregon State University, Entomology, 1981

My current research interests include:

  1. ecological patterns in arthropod biodiversity and the processes that mediate biodiversity
  2. population and community responses to ecological gradients
  3. climate change impacts on species distributions

Although my research is not limited to specific taxa I primarily work on arthropods and vascular plants.

As curator of the Colorado Plateau Museum of Arthropod Biodiversity  I am interested in documenting arthropod biodiversity across environmental gradients.

The Museum specializes in developing regional arthropod biodiversity databases for the Colorado Plateau that can be incorporated into species distribution-climate change models.

My teaching interests cover the fields of entomology and ecology. I currently teach Entomology and several graduate courses in ecology.

In addition to my research faculty appointment in the Department of Biological Sciences, I serve as the Director of the Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research.

The Merriam-Powell Center promotes environmental research, education, and outreach, which provides me with unlimited opportunities to interact with faculty and students from multiple departments from computer science to geography.

Submitted/in prep

Cobb, N.S., B.E. Ralston, S.L. Brantley, J.E. Higgins, R.J. Delph, and K. Whitely. Ground-dwelling arthropods as indicators of change in riparian habitat following regulation along the Colorado River in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona. (In Submission to River Research and Applications).

Delph R.J., M.J. Clifford, P.L. Ford, and N.S. Cobb. The Impact of Pinyon Pine Mortality on Ground-Dwelling Arthropod Communities. (In Submission to Ecological Indicators).

Guardiola-Claramonte M., P.A. Troch, D.D. Breshears, T.E. Huxman, M.B. Switanek, M. Durcik, and N.S. Cobb. Stream flow in semi-arid basins unexpectedly decreases after drought-induced tree die-off. In Submission to Hydroecology.

Ironside, K.E., N.S. Cobb, and K.L. Cole. Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Races of Ponderosa Pine: Recognizing Within-Species Variation. (In Submission to Journal of Biogeography).

Ikeda, D.H., K. E. Ironside, and N.S. Cobb. Predicting Current and Future Potential Habitat of a Threatened Foundation Species. (In Submission to Diversity and Distributions).

Lindsay, D.L., P. Bailey, R.F. Lance, M.J. Clifford, R. Delph, and N.S. Cobb. Effects of a nonnative, invasive lovegrass on Agave palmeri distribution, abundance, and insect pollinator communities. In Submission to Biodiversity and Conservation.

Royer, P.D., D.D. Breshears., C.B. Zou, N.S. Cobb, and S.A. Kurc. Density-dependent effects of evergreen woody plants in rangelands: Ecohydrological implications for soil microclimate and potential soil evaporation. (In submission to Rangeland Ecology and Management)

Higgins, J.E, N.S. Cobb, S. Sommer, R.J. Delph, and S.L. Brantley. Ground dwelling arthropod responses to successional endpoints from burned to old growth pinyon-juniper woodland. (In Prep for Ecological Indicators).

Krause, C.M. N.S. Cobb and D.D. Pennington. Range shifts and extinction risk under future scenarios of climate change: Dispersal ability matters for Colorado Plateau endemic plants. (In Prep for Diversity and Distributions).

In press/published (2010-2011)

Clifford, M.M., N.S. Cobb, and M. Buenemann. 2011. Long-Term Tree Cover Dynamics in a Pinyon-Juniper Woodland: Climate-Change-Type Drought Resets Successional Clock. (In final revision with Ecosystems).

Royer, P.D., N.S. Cobb, M.M. Clifford, C. Huang, , D.D. Breshears, J.C. Villegas, and H.D. Adams. 2011. Rapid regional-scale die-off of woody plants and consequent effects on environment: extreme event alteration of overstory attenuation of solar radiation. In Press, J. of Ecology.

Royer, P.D., D.D. Breshears., C,B. Zou, N.S. Cobb, and S.A. Kurc. 2010. Ecohydrological energy inputs in semiarid coniferous gradients: Responses to management- and drought-induced tree reductions. Forest Ecology and Management, 260, 1646–1655.

Wu, Z., Z. Hongjun, C. Krause, and N.S. Cobb. 2010. Climate change and human activities: a case study in Xinjiang, China. Climatic Change, 99, 457-472.

Garfin, G.M., J.K. Eischeid, M. Lenart, K.L. Cole, K. Ironside, and N.S. Cobb. 2010. Downscaling climate projections to model ecological change on topographically diverse landscapes of the arid Southwestern United States. In: The Colorado Plateau IV: Shaping Conservation Through Science and Management (van Riper, C., III, B. F. Wakeling, and T. D. Sisk, Eds). University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ. 368 pp.

Allen C.D, A.K. Macalady, H. Chenchouni, D. Bachelet, N. McDowell, M. Vennetier, T. Kitzberger, A. Rigling, D.D Breshears, E.H. Hogg, P. Gonzalez, R. Fensham, Z. Zhang, J. Castro, N. Demidova; J.-Hwan Lim, G. Allard; S.W Running, A. Semerci, and N. Cobb. 2010 A Global Overview of Drought and Heat-Induced Tree Mortality Reveals Emerging Climate Change Risks for Forests. Forest Ecology and Management 259, 660–684.