Robin Kodner, PhD


PhD, Harvard University   2007 

BS, University of Wisconsin – Madison   2000

Robin Kodner is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science in the College of the Environment at Western Washington University and has been at WWU since 2012.  Robin started her research career studying algal evolution over geologic time in Andy Knoll’s lab at Harvard and has since moved on to study how modern algal communities respond to climate change, first in Ginger Armbrust’s lab at the University of Washington and then via her own lab’s research program. Her passion for playing in both the mountains and ocean has driven Robin to focus her research on field-based studies. She uses environmental-based genomic methods that integrate methods to study community structure, evolution, and phylogeography.  Currently, her lab primarily works on the snow microbiome from the Pacific Northwest to understand how these communities evolve in response to environmental change over seasons and years.  We also study microbial communities in Bellingham Bay and their response to changing ocean conditions. Robin has also been an outdoor educator in the mountains and on sailboats and enjoys using these environments as platforms for teaching basic sciences. She also founded and runs the Living Snow Project, a community-supported research program that engages the outdoor recreation community in local science related to biodiversity and climate change.

In addition to her biology research, Robin has been working to help create equitable and inclusive spaces in Science.  She and her colleagues Regina Barber DeGraaff and Lina Dahlberg co-created and co-facilitated the ISMs (Inclusion and Social Mindfulness in STEM) workshops.  They are now dipping their toes into social science research to learn about the impacts of faculty development on individual and institutional change.  She also serves as the IDEA (Inclusion, diversity, equity, and access) committee chair for the Phycological Society of America. She also served as Principle Investigator for the NSF BIO LEAPS program for the Consortium of Aquatic Sciences Societies, bringing DEI leaders from each of the 9 CASS societies together to envision broad-scale cultural change in our societies.



2 thoughts on “People

  1. Dan Mosby September 16, 2014 / 4:08 pm

    Dear Robin,
    It was so nice to meet you and “red and white” dogs on the trail at Glacier peak. We appreciate you taking the time to answer some of our questions about star fish wasting and bio lumenessence We are very interested in your research and will look forward to reading more on your website. Sincerely, Kathy and Dan

    • Robin Kodner September 17, 2014 / 5:27 am

      Dan and Kathy
      Thanks so much for getting in touch. I’ll be posting pictures from all my summer research soon! Glad we all had such a great trip to a beautiful place.


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