Robert Cowie

Researcher, Center for Conservation Research and Training

The Origins and Determinants of Biological Diversity in the Islands of the Pacific




Gil 408


(808) 956-4909


(808) 956-2647

Research Interests

Research in my lab is aimed primarily at understanding the origins and determinants of biological diversity in the islands of the Pacific. Hawaii is the perfect place to base this work. This research has been supported by NSF and other granting agencies and has generated numerous publications, many in top-ranked journals (e.g., Evolution, American Naturalist, Molecular Ecology). Non-marine snails (land and freshwater) are the main focus of the various projects going on in the lab. They offer many advantages for biodiversity research.

Projects in the lab fall in two general areas, focusing on 1) origins and determinants of native biodiversity and 2) biology of invasive species and their impacts on native biodiversity, as follows.

Selected Publications

Cowie, R.H., Dillon, R.T., Jr., Robinson, D.G. & Smith, J.W. 2009. Alien non-marine snails and slugs of priority quarantine importance in the United States: a reliminary risk assessment. American Malacological Bulletin 27: 113-132.

Hayes, K.A., Cowie, R.H., Jørgensen, A., Schultheiß, R., Albrecht, C. & Thiengo, S.C. 2009. Molluscan models in evolutionary biology: apple snails (Gastropoda: Ampullariidae) as a system for addressing fundamental questions. American Malacological Bulletin 27: 47-58.

Cowie, R.H., Hayes, K.A., Tran, C.T. & Meyer, W.M., III. 2008. The horticultural industry as a vector of alien snails and slugs: widespread invasions in Hawaii. International Journal of Pest Management 54: 267-276.