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Preparing passionate leaders driving change in sustainability and stewardship of the environment.

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Dr. Richard Cobb

Dr. Richard Cobb

Phone: 756-6333
Office: 10-238

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Areas of Focus

Forest Pathology · Forest Entomology · Ecosystem Ecology · Epidemiology

About Dr. Cobb

Dr. Cobb competed a PhD in Ecology from UC Davis in 2010 with research focus on sudden oak death, a damaging disease of California coastal forests. His research interests focus on understanding the underlying drivers, ecological impacts, and potential responses to insect and disease outbreak. Past and current projects aim to improve prediction of when, where, and why outbreaks occur as well as forest-level experimentation to change the course of outbreaks and reduce their economic and ecological costs. His teaching interests combine an interest in ecological science with the strong personal desire to improve forest management at regional and national levels. At Cal Poly, he teaches forest health (insects and pathogens), dendrology, ecology, as well as supporting many aspects of education in forest management. Dr Cobb encourages inquiries into undergraduate and graduate research projects particularly related to forest management and forest conservation issues in California Native American communities.

Student comments about Dr. Cobb


Dr. Cobb is a fantastic teacher! He presents information in a cool way and allows for effective learning in a low-stress class. Great guy overall as well.

Dr. Cobb is both passionate and knowledgeable on the subject. Really willing to go the extra mile for his students in a multitude of ways. Very approachable and overall good professor.

Amazing professor, I love his passion for the topic.

Dr. Cobb has a great attitude and enthusiasm for the subject matter. He was flexible and responsive to student needs and allotted time based on where the class needed improvement.

Dr. Cobb is extremely knowledgeable about the subject, is a very easy and fun person to interact with, is very honest about grading, and he exemplifies 'Learn By Doing'.


Selected Publications

Cobb, R.C., Haas, S.E., Kruskamp, N., Dillon, W.W., Swiecki, T.J., Rizzo, D.M., Frankel, S.J., Meentemeyer, R.K., 2020. The Magnitude of Regional-Scale Tree Mortality Caused by the Invasive Pathogen Phytophthora ramorum. Earths Future 8, e2020EF001500.

Simler-Williamson, A. B., D. M. Rizzo, and R. C. Cobb. 2019. Interacting effects of global change on forest pest and pathogen dynamics. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 50: 381-403

Cobb, R., Ross, N., Hayden, K.J., Eyre, C.A., Dodd, R.S., Frankel, S., Garbelotto, M., Rizzo, D.M., 2019. Promise and pitfalls of endemic resistance for cultural resources threatened by Phytophthora ramorum. Phytopathology 109, 760–769.

Hartmann, H; Anderegg, B. R. L.; Moura, C F.; Ruehr, N. K.; Salmon, Y, Allen, C; Arndt, S.; Breshears, D.D.; Davi, H.; Galbraith, D; Ruthrof, K.X.;Wunder, J; Adams, H; Bloemen, J.; Cailleret, M ; Cobb, R. C.; Gessler, A.; Grams,T; Jansen, S; Lloret, F; O’Brien, M. 2018. Research frontiers for improving our understanding of drought-induced tree and forest mortality. New Phytologist, 218:15-28.

Cobb, R.C., K.X. Ruthrof, D. D. Breshears, F. Llorett, T. Aakala, H. D. Adams, C. D. Allen, W. Anderegg, B. Ewers, L. Galiano, J. M. Grünzweig, H. Hartmann, C. Huang, T. Klein, N. Kunent, Kitzberger, T., S. Landhausser, S. Levick, Y. Preisler, M.-L. Suarez, Trotsiuk, M. Zeppel. 2017. Ecosystem Dynamics and Management After Forest Die-off: A Global Synthesis with Conceptual State-and-Transition Models. Ecosphere, 8(12):1-17. doi: 10.1002/ecs2.2034

Cunniffe, N.J., Cobb, R.C., Meentemeyer, R.K., Rizzo, D.M., Gilligan, C.A. 2016. Modelling when, where and how to manage a forest epidemic: sudden oak death in California. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences doi: 10.1073/pnas.1602153113

Cobb R.C., Meentemeyer, R.K, Rizzo D.M. 2016. Interactive impacts of fire and disease on soil chemistry and carbon. Oecologia 182:265-276 doi:10.1007/s00442-016-3649-7

Pearse, I.S., Cobb, R.C., Karban, R. 2014. The phenologysubstrate-match hypothesis explains decomposition rates of evergreen and deciduous oak leaves. Journal of Ecology 102:28-35

Cobb R.C., Filipe J.A.N., Meentemeyer R.K., Gilligan C.A., Rizzo D.M. 2012. Ecosystem transformation by emerging infectious forest disease: loss of large tanoak from California forests. Journal of Ecology 100:712-722

Filipe J.A.N., Cobb R.C., Meentemeyer R.K., Lee C.A., Valachovic Y.S., Cook A.R., Rizzo D.M., Gilligan C.A. 2012. Landscape epidemiology and control of pathogens with cryptic and long-distance dispersal: Sudden oak death in northern California forests. PLoS Computational Biology 8(1): e1002328. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002328

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