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Brian E Robinson is a human geographer working at the intersection of environmental and development issues, and generally looks at how human well-being is impacted by use of ecosystems and natural resources. He received a BSc in Earth and Atmospheric Science from Georgia Tech, a MSc in Environmental Engineering and International Development from MIT, and an interdisciplinary degree in Environment and Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

His early research training was in environmental science and engineering. His PhD was an interdisciplinary degree that focused on quantitative analysis of policy and governance, which lead him deeper into social-ecological dynamics, economic theory and econometrics.

He was a Global Environmental Leadership Fellow at the University of Minnesota from 2011-2013 and has been on faculty at McGill University since 2013, where he is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography.


  • Understanding human use and dependency on ecosystem services
  • Environmental determinants of well-being and inequality
  • Role of property rights in mediating human-environment interactions
  • Trade-offs in conservation and development
  • 'Rigorous' quantitative methods and spatial analysis

Brian's active projects include developing demand-side ecosystem services models, examining urban environmental conditions of the extreme poor in six global cities, and leading an impact evaluation of the largest household energy intervention in Beijing China.