Jake Robinson

Research Associate

College of Science and Engineering

place Bedford Park (104B)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Dr Jake Robinson is a microbial ecologist with an interdisciplinary skillset. His research focuses on the nexus between biodiversity and human health, and on developing innovative strategies to conserve and restore ecosystems. Jake is a researcher in Restoration Genomics in A/ Prof Martin Breed's lab in the College of Science and Engineering. He has pioneered studies in aerobiology and soil ecoacoustics with the aim of improving ecosystem health.

Jake is an Editor for the journal Restoration Ecology.

Invisible Friends is his first book. It's all about how microbes shape our lives and the world around us (but in beneficial ways!). For more information visit: www.jakemrobinson.com

His second book, TREEWILDING: Our Past, Present and Future Relationship with Forests, will be published in March 2024.

Jake recently founded the Aerobiome Innovation and Research Hub (The AIR Hub) - an initiative aiming to research and safeguard the beneficial biological components of air for both human and ecosystem health: www.aerobiome.org

He is a member of the UNFCCC Resilience Frontiers think tank. This project identifies and supports innovative 'Bright Light' ideas that promote climate change resilience.


Currently undertaking an MSc in Applied Neuroscience (expected Distinction): King's College London

PhD in Microbial Ecology and Nature-based Interventions: The University of Sheffield

MA in Social Research (Distinction) (The Environment-Microbiome-Health Axis): The University of Sheffield

PG.Cert in Ecosystem Health (Distinction): The University of Edinburgh

B.Sc (Hons) in Ecology and Conservation (1st Class with Honours): Nottingham Trent University

Honours, awards and grants


  College of Science and Engineering Emerging Research Leader Award – Nominated


  New York Festivals TV and Film Award for the Restoring the Urban Microbiome documentary


  Leading member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Resilience Frontiers team


  Coordinating Editor for the Restoration Ecology journal–the flagship journal for this discipline


  Elected as Early Career Research Fellow on inVIVO Planetary Health’s Board of Directors


  Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Overseas Institution Award


  Prestigious ESRC Scholarship for a PhD in Microbial Ecology and Nature-based Interventions


  ESRC White Rose Scholarship for Masters in Social Research, University of Sheffield


  Distinction and the highest grades on the M.Sc.(Ecosystem Health), University of Edinburgh


  Prestigious Rufford Cup for Top Undergraduate Student: B.Sc (1stClass Honours) Ecology. 

Key responsibilities

Jake is a microbial ecologist with twelve years of experience working in terrestrial and marine ecology and a unique interdisciplinary skillset. He uses ‘omics approaches (e.g., microbiomics and metagenomics), innovative monitoring technologies (e.g., remote sensing and ecoacoustics), and social research to study the complex interactions between biological kingdoms. His passions lie in studying the ‘unseen’ and ‘unheard’ and applying systems thinking to advance ecosystem restoration, biodiversity conservation and urban bio-design for planetary health.

Teaching interests

At Flinders University, Jake teaches on the BIOL1001 Plant Ecology topic and the forthcoming BIOL3701 Restoration Ecology topic.

He has previously taught the following subjects to undergraduate and postgraduate students at various institutions (e.g., University of Sheffield, UCL, NMBU):

- Microbial Ecology

- Ecology

- GIS and remote sensing

- Landscape Architecture

- Biology and Design

- Restoration Ecology

Topic lecturer
BIOL1001 Plant Ecology
Supervisory interests
Applied ecology
Biodiversity and conservation
Biological sciences
Cognitive neuroscience
Ecology, behaviour and evolution
Environmental microbiology
Food Webs
Habitat restoration optimisation
Microbial communities
Microbial diversity
Microbial ecology
Molecular evolution
Network analysis
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Microbial Ecology (3)
Expert for media contact
Biodiversity Conservation
Microbial Ecology
Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis
Restoration Ecology
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expert
Media expertise
  • Biodiversity
  • Ecology
  • Microbiology
  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Ecoacoustics
  • Microbial Ecology
  • Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis
  • Restoration Ecology
The Conversation