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As the Executive Vice President for Conservation and Science at the Wildlife Conservation Society, John Robinson oversees WCS conservation programs in the Americas, Africa and Asia. Focusing on primate behavior and ecology, he received his doctorate in zoology from the University of North Carolina in 1977. His postdoctoral studies were with the Smithsonian Institution. In 1980, he joined the faculty of the University of Florida, and established the Program for Studies in Tropical Conservation, a graduate program providing training to students from tropical countries. He joined the Wildlife Conservation Society in 1990. He is a Past President of the Society for Conservation Biology, served as Chairman of the Board of The Christensen Fund and of Foundations of Success. Recently, he was elected Councilor for North America and Vice President with the IUCN. In 2003, Dr. Robinson was inducted into the Royal Order of the Golden Ark by King Bernhard of the Netherlands, in recognition of lifetime achievement and service to conservation.

John Robinson has written extensively on the impact of subsistence and commercial hunting in tropical forests, and has a long interest in the sustainable use of natural resources. He is interested in the relationship between conservation research and practice, and the application of conservation theory to conservation policy and implementation. He has over 180 publications, including "Neotropical Wildlife Use and Conservation" (1991), co-edited with Kent Redford, “Hunting for sustainability in tropical forests" (2000), co-edited by Elizabeth Bennett, “The Cutting Edge. Conserving wildlife in tropical forests” (2001), co-edited with Robert Fimbel and Alejandro Grajal, and “Conservation of exploited species” (2001), co-edited with John Reynolds, Georgina Mace and Kent Redford.