Rizzo Lab
University of California
Rizzo Lab

Richard Cobb

Contact: rccobb@ucdavis.edu
                Phone: (530) 754-9894
                Fax: (530) 752-5674

Richard's personal site

Richard Cobb
Research Statement:

I am an ecologist working to improve the use of natural resources provided by forests. I am especially interested in factors that control ecosystem level processes such as the relationship between forest community structure and the cycling of nutrients and carbon. My work seeks to improve our understanding of how processes are impacted by disease and insect outbreak. I feel ecologist need a better understanding of community and structural changes and the ability to link these insights to ecosystem function during and following outbreak. This mechanistic understanding of how forest ecosystems change is the foundation of management actions designed to ameliorate the negative consequences of outbreak. My dissertation research includes a major focus on changes in N cycling, litter fall, and litter decomposition in forests impacted by Sudden Oak Death <read more>.

Richard’s ecosystem level work on Phytophthora ramorum has three components:

  1. Understanding pathogen or insect spread.
  2. Quantification of community and ecosystem changes resulting from outbreak.
  3. Field and modeling studies to understand the efficacy of management actions to reduce disease.


Papers in press:

Cobb R.C., Eviner V.T., Rizzo D.M. 2013. Pathogen mediated community composition drives sudden oak death changes to litterfall and soil N cycling. New Phytologist In press

Cobb R.C., Rizzo D.M., Hayden K.J., Garbelotto M., Filipe J.A.N., Gilligan C.A., Dillon W., Meentemeyer R.K., Valachovic Y.S., Goheen E., Swiecki T.J., Hansen E.M., Frankel S.J. 2013. Biodiversity conservation in the face of dramatic tree declines: an integrated conservation strategy for tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus) threatened by sudden oak death. Madroño In press

Dillon W., Vogler, J., Meentemeyer R.K., Cobb R.C., Metz M.R., Rizzo, DM. 2013. Range-wide risks to a foundation tree species from disturbance interactions. Madroño In press


Cobb RC, Chan MN, Meentemeyer RK, Rizzo DM. 2012. Common factors drive disease and coarse woody debris dynamics in forests impacted by sudden oak death.  Ecosystems 15: 242-255Request PDF from author

Cobb RC, Filipe JAN, Meentemeyer RK, Gilligan CA, Rizzo DM. 2012. Ecosystem transformation by emerging infectious disease: loss of large tanoak from California forests. Journal of Ecology 100: 712-722. Request PDF from author

Lamsal S, Cobb RC, Meng Q, Rizzo DM, Meentemeyer RK. 2011. Spatial estimation of the density and carbon content of host populations for Phytophthora ramorum in California and Oregon. Forest Ecology and Management 262: 989-998. Request PDF from author

Cobb RC, Meentemeyer RK, Rizzo DM. 2010. Apparent competition in canopy trees determined by transmission rather than susceptibility. Ecology 91:327-333. Request PDF from author

Cobb RC. 2010. Species shift drives decomposition rates following invasion by hemlock woolly adelgid. Oikos 119: 1291-1298. Request PDF from author

Orwig, D.A., Cobb, R.C., D’Amato, A., Kizlinski, M.L., and Foster, D.A. 2008. Ecosystem response to forest infestation by Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 38: 834-843. Request PDF from author

Cobb, R.C., Orwig, D.A., and Currie, S.C. 2006. Decomposition of green foliage in eastern hemlock forests of southern new england impacted by hemlock woolly Adelgid infestations. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36:1331-1341.   Request PDF from author

Lynch, S.C., Cobb, R.C., and Rizzo, D.M. 2008. Vegetation Distribution, Dynamics and Impacts by Phytophthora ramorum in Redwood-tanoak Forests in California. In: Proceedings of the International Forestry Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO) Phytophthora working group: Phytophthoras in natural ecosystems. USDA Gen Tec. Report. PSW-GTR-221 pp 296-302.

Cobb, R.C., S.C. Lynch, R.K. Meentemeyer, and D.M. Rizzo. 2008. Five years of monitoring infection and mortality in redwood tanoak forests. In Proceedings of the third Sudden Oak Death Science Symposium, March 5-9, 2007, Santa Rosa, California. USDA Gen. Tec. Rept. Accepted, pp 275-277. 

Cobb, R.C., and Orwig, D.A. 2002. Impacts of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid infestation on decomposition: An overview. In: Symposium on the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in Eastern North America. Reardon, R.C., Onken, B.P., and Lashomb, L. (eds). New Jersey Ag. Exp. Sta., New Brunswick, NJ. pp 317-323.


Degree Institution Year Specialization
B.S. Northern Arizona University 1996 Environmental Science
M.S. Universiry of Maine 2000 Forestry
Ph.D. University of California, Davis 2010 Ecology

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