Michael P. Robinson

Lecturer 161B Cox Science Center, Dept. of Biology
1301 Memorial Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33124

Fax (305)284-3039

Laboratory Website

Education and Professional Experience

  • B.S., Honors - 1994 - Marine Science/Biology - University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
  • M.S., Zoology - 1999 - Department of Biology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL Thesis Title: Patterns of growth and the effects of scale on the feeding kinematics of the nurse shark, Ginglymostoma cirratum. Major Advisor: Dr. Philip J. Motta
  • Ph.D., Biology - 2005 - Department of Biology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL Dissertation Title: Role of the isopod Anilocra partiti in the health, behavior and mating success of the bicolor damselfish, Stegastes partitus. Major Advisor: Dr. Steven M. Green
  • 2005-2006 Teacher, Science Department, Gulliver Preparatory Academy, Pinecrest FL

Grants and Awards

  • 2005 West Marine Charitable Fund - $2000
  • 2004 William W. Behrens, Jr./Florida Institute of Oceanography Award - Best student paper in the marine sciences - $750
  • 2003 Am. Soc. Ichthyologists & Herpetologists Stoye Award - Best student oral paper, Ecology & Ethology - $250
  • 2002 PADI Foundation Grant - Effect of the parasite Anilocra partiti on mate choice and mating success in bicolor damselfish, Stegastes partitus. - $5473
  • 2000 Lerner-Gray Fund for Marine Research, American Museum of Natural History - Morphometrics of the sperm of labrid reef fishes related to the intensity of sperm competition. - $1000
  • 1999 University of Miami Graduate School GAFAC Fund - $400
  • 1996 Mote Marine Laboratory & University of South Florida Graduate Fellowship in Elasmobranch Biology - $3250
  • 1995 University Graduate Fellowship, College of Arts & Sciences (USF) - $7000
  • 1990 National Merit Scholarship - $4000

Teaching Interests

I have two main goals as an educator. I want to teach the facts of biology, but more importantly I strive to instill in my students the intellectual curiosity and reasoning skills necessary to become a good biologist. Many students are preoccupied with the idea of earning a good grade and all they want is the information requisite to achieve that goal. I prefer not to relate just the answer to them. I provide them with pertinent facts, and then by asking questions of the students, I encourage them to deduce the answer themselves. This requires more direct interaction with students than is provided by a simple lecture, so I suffuse my lectures with questions sometimes directed to anyone and sometimes directed at specific students. Through these intellectual exercises I hope to give students confidence in their ability to reason; an ability which will benefit them both in and out of science. I also try to provide interesting anecdotes and facts about biology, its history and the scientists who have made the history. This makes biology more exciting and helps the students enjoy learning more than just the minimum information. Finally, I encourage interdisciplinary thinking by introducing important concepts within the framework of the discussion. For example, I discuss the Bernoulli principle and ask students to apply it to sponge morphology or sand dollar feeding strategies. I might also introduce the concept of phylogenetic inertia to explain why one pair of legs of the decapod Alaskan king crab is diminutive. Following this pattern I hope not only to provide students with the intellectual abilities to be successful but to instill in them the desire to push themselves in and out of the classroom.


  • Maciá, S. & MPR (2005) Effects of habitat heterogeneity in seagrass beds on grazing patterns of parrotfishes. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 303: 113-121.
  • Maciá, S., MPR, P. Craze, R. Dalton, & J.D. Thomas (2004) New observations on airborne jet propulsion (flight) in squid, with a review of previous reports. J. Moll. Stud. 70: 297-299.
  • MPR & J.S. Prince (2003) Morphology of the sperm of two wrasses, Thalassoma bifasciatum and Lachnolaimus maximus (Labridae, Perciformes). Bull. Mar. Sci. 72(1): 247-252.
  • MPR & P.J. Motta (2002) Patterns of growth and the effects of scale on the feeding kinematics of the nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum). J. Zool., Lond. 256: 449-462.
Dept. of Biology, Cox Science Ctr.
1301 Memorial Dr., University of Miami
Coral Gables, Florida 33124-0421
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University of Miami homepage
telephone. 305-284-3973
fax. 305-284-3039
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