Research Professor and Director, Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research
More info: Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental
Research; Colorado Plateau
Museum of Arthropod Biodiversity
- arthropod biodiversity
- ecological gradients
- climate and land-use change
- PhD: Northern Arizona University,
- MS: Northern Arizona University, Biology,
- BS: Oregon State University, Entomology,
My current research interests include:
- ecological patterns in arthropod
biodiversity and the processes that mediate biodiversity
- population and community responses to
- climate change impacts on species
Although my research is not limited to
specific taxa I primarily work on arthropods and vascular plants.
Through Colorado Plateau Center for Biodiversity, I am interested in
documenting arthropod biodiversity across environmental gradients.
The Biodiversity Center 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.
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 Press (2000-20015)
D.D., J.P. Field, D.J. Law J.C. Villegas, C.D. Allen, N.S. Cobb and J.B.
Bradford. 2015. Rapid Broad-scale
Ecosystem Changes and Their Consequences for Biodiversity. Climate Change and
Biodiversity, 2nd Ed.; T. E. Lovejoy & L. Hannah, Eds.;
Yale Univ. Press. (Accepted with revisions).
Redmond, M.D., N.S. Cobb, M.J. Clifford, and N.N. Barger 2015. Woodland recovery following drought-induced
tree mortality across an environmental stress gradient. Global Change Biology doi:
Krause, C.M. N.S. Cobb and D.D. Pennington. 2015. Range shifts and extinction risk
under future scenarios of climate change: Dispersal ability matters for
Colorado Plateau endemic plants. Natural Areas Journal. 35(3):428-438 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3375/043.035.0306
Redmond, M.D., E.S. Golden, N.S. Cobb, and N.N.
Barger. 2014. Vegetation Management across
Colorado Plateau BLM Lands: 1950–2003. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 67(6):636-640.
Smith, D.S., J. Burton, J.S. Higgins, and N.S. Cobb. 2014 Bee diversity and abundance along
an elevational gradient in northern Arizona.
(Provisionally accepted, The Colorado Plateau V: (van Riper, C., III, B.
and T. D. Sisk, Eds). University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ).
Blaker E.A., J.P.
Strange, R. James, and N.S. Cobb. 2014.
PCR reveals high prevalence of non-sporulating Nosema bombi (Microsporidia) infections in bumble bees (Bombus) in northern Arizona. (In
Press, Journal of Invertebrate Pathology).
Delph R.J., M.J. Clifford, P.L. Ford, and N.S. Cobb. 2014. The Impact of Pinyon Pine
Mortality on Ground-Dwelling Arthropod Communities. 74(2):162-184. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3398/064.074.0203
Higgins, J.E, N.S. Cobb, S. Sommer, R.J. Delph, and
S.L. Brantley. 2014. Ground dwelling
arthropod responses to successional endpoints from burned to old growth
pinyon-juniper woodland. Ecosphere 5:1-29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES13-00270.1.
Redmond, M., N.S. Cobb, M.E. Miller, and N.N.
Barger. 2013 Long-term effects of range improvement treatments on
vegetation structure in piñon -juniper woodlands of southern Utah. Forest
Ecology and Management 305, 120–128.
Clifford, M.J., Royer, P.D., D.D. Breshears., and N.S.
Cobb. 2013 Precipitation thresholds and drought-induced tree die-off:
insights from patterns of Pinus edulis mortality along a latitudinal
environmental stress gradient. New Phytologist. doi: 10.1111/nph.12362.
Erica Fleishman, Jayne Belnap, Neil Cobb, Carolyn Enquist, Karl Ford,
Glen MacDonald, Mike Pellant, Tania Schoennagel, Lara Schmit, Mark Schwartz,
Suzanne van Drunick, Anthony Westerling, Alisa Keyser, and Ryan Lucas.,
2012. Natural Ecosystems. Chapter 8, in: Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United
States: a Technical Report Prepared for the U.S. National Climate Assessment. A report by the Southwest Climate Alliance [Gregg
Garfin, Angela Jardine, Robert Merideth, Mary Black, and Jonathan Overpeck
(eds.)]. Tucson, AZ: Southwest Climate Alliance.
Royer, P.D., D.D. Breshears., C.B. Zou, N.S.
Cobb, and S.A. Kurc. 2012. Density-dependent effects of
evergreen woody plants in rangelands: Ecohydrological implications for soil
microclimate and potential soil evaporation.
Rangeland Ecology and Management, 65(1):11-20. 2012 DOI: 10.2111/REM-D-11-00007.1)
Guardiola-Claramonte M., P.A. Troch, D.D.
Breshears, T.E. Huxman, M.B. Switanek, M. Durcik, and N.S. Cobb. 2011.
Stream flow in semi-arid basins unexpectedly decreases after drought-induced
tree die-off. Journal of Hydrology, 406:
Lindsay, D.L., P. Bailey, R.F. Lance, M.J.
Clifford, R. Delph, and N.S. Cobb. 2011. Effects of a nonnative, invasive
lovegrass on Agave palmeri distribution, abundance, and insect pollinator
communities. Biodiversity &
Conservation, 20:3251–3266. DOI 10.1007/s10531-011-0133-x
Clifford, M.J., N.S. Cobb, and M. Buenemann. 2011. Long-Term Tree Cover Dynamics in a
Pinyon-Juniper Woodland: Climate-Change-Type Drought Resets Successional
Clock. Ecosystems, 14, 949-962. DOI:
Royer, P.D., N.S. Cobb, M.J. 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. Journal of Ecology,
99, 714-723 DOI:
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,
Change, 99, 457-472.
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
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. DOI:
Floyd, L.M., M. Clifford, N.S. Cobb, D.
Hanna, R. Delph, P. Ford, and D. Turner. 2009. Relationship of stand characteristics
to drought-induced mortality in three southwestern pinyon–juniper woodlands. Ecological Applications, 119,
N., W.T. Pockman, C. Allen, D.D. Breshears, Neil Cobb, Thomas Kolb, J. Plaut, J.
Sperry, A. West, D. Williams and E.A. Yepez.
2008. Mechanisms of plant
survival and mortality during drought: why do some plants survive while others
succumb to drought? New Pytologist, 178:
Rocca, R. Delph,; P.L. Ford,N.S.
Cobb . 2008. Drought and Bark Beetle
Outbreak in Southwestern Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands. In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Shaw, John D.; Ford, Paulette L., compilers. 2008.
Ecology, management, and restoration of piñon-juniper and ponderosa
pine ecosystems: combined proceedings of the 2005 St.
George, Utah and 2006 Albuquerque, New
Mexico workshops. Proceedings RMRS-P-51. Fort
Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain
Trotter, R.T, N.S. Cobb, and T.G. Whitham. 2008. Arthropod community diversity and trophic
structure: A comparison between extremes of host drought-stress. Ecological Entomology, 33: 1-11.
Turner, C.E., W. H. Romme, J. Chew, M.E.
Miller, G. Leavesley, L. Floyd-Hanna, G. San Miguel, N.S. Cobb, R. Zirbes, R.
Viger, and K. E. Ironside. 2007. The
FRAME Project—A Collaborative
Modeling Approach to Natural Resource Management at Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado.
Proceedings of the Ninth Biennial Conference of Research on the Colorado
Plateau, Arizona Press, Tuscon, AZ.
Wynne J.J., C.A.
Cobb, J.R. Rihs. 2007.. Cave
Dwelling Invertebrates of the Grand Canyon
National Park, Arizona.
(In Press), Proceedings of the 8th
Biennial Conference of Research on the Colorado Plateau, University of Arizona Press.
Classen A. T., J. Demarco, S. C. Hart, T. G.
Whitham, N. S. Cobb, and G W. Koch. 2006.
Impacts of herbivorous insects on decomposer communities during the early
stages of primary succession in a semi-arid woodland. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 39:972-982.
N.S.2005. Review: Issues in Sampling
Techniques, Design, and Theory in Studying Forest
Insects. Ecology, 86: 3133-3134.
Breshears, D.D., N.S. Cobb, P.M. Rich, K.P.
Price, C.D. Allen, R.G. Balice, W.H. Romme, J.H. Kastens, M.L. Floyd, J.
Belnap, J.J. Anderson, O.B. Myers, and
C.W. Meyer. 2005. Regional vegetation die-off in response to global-change
type drought. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102(42):15144-1548.
Classen A. T., J. Demarco, S. C. Hart, T. G.
Whitham, N. S. Cobb, and G W. Koch. 2005 Insect infestations linked to
shifts in microclimate: important climate change Implications. Soil Science Society of America
Schuster, T.D. N.S. Cobb, T.G. Whitham, and
S.C. Hart. 2005. Long-term pinyon
litterfall dynamics in response to soil stress and herbivory. Ecosystems 8(1)
Anderson, J.J. and N.S. Cobb. 2004. Tree cover discrimination in panchromatic
aerial imagery of pinyon-juniper woodland.
Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 70(9): 1063-1068).
Chapman S., N.S. Cobb, Hart S.C., Whitham
T.G., Koch G.W. 2003. Insect herbivory
increases litter quality and decomposition rates: an extension of the
acceleration hypothesis. Ecology: 84:
Trotter, T.R., N.S. Cobb, and T.G
Whitham. 2002. Herbivory, plant resistance, and climate in
the tree ring record: Interactions
distort climatic reconstructions.
Proceeding of the National Academy of Science, 99:10197-10202.
Cobb, N. S., R.T. Trotter, and T.G.
Whitham. 2001. Herbivore Induced Sex
Change in Pinyon Pine. Oecologia,
Ogle, K., T.G. Whitham and N.S.
Cobb. 2000. Tree-ring variation in pinyon pine predicts
likelihood of death following record drought.
Marques, E.S., P.W. Price, and N.S. Cobb. 2000. Resource abundance and insect herbivore
diversity on woody fabaceous desert plants.
Environmental Entomology, 29:696-703.