Robert Robichaux

University Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Robert Robichaux

Office Location: 114 BSW

Research and Conservation Interests:

My scientific work seeks to reverse extinction’s tide in Hawaii through on-the-ground conservation action. The endemic Hawaiian silversword (Asteraceae) and lobeliad (Campanulaceae) lineages are two of the world’s premier examples of plant adaptive radiation. Though the silversword and lobeliad lineages are marvels of evolutionary diversification, they and the Hawaiian flora more broadly are confronted by a suite of threats, especially from alien species. For the past thirty years, I have collaborated with colleagues in Hawaii to implement large-scale reintroduction efforts for endangered silverswords and lobeliads. We have coupled our reintroduction efforts to landscape restoration efforts, particularly within an expansive area of Federal, State, and private lands on Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes on the Island of Hawaii. The ultimate objective of our sustained approach is to restore the possibility of adaptive radiation of the silversword and lobeliad lineages going forward, especially on the youngest and most geologically active, and thus perhaps most evolutionarily dynamic, part of the Hawaiian archipelago.