Our People

Robert McDonald

Lead Scientist, Nature-Based Solutions

Arlington, Virginia

Headshot of Robert McDonald.

Rob McDonald 2013 NatureNet Science Fellow Robert McDonald. © Mark Godfrey


Conservation for Cities, Urban Sustainability, Water Use


Misty Edgecomb
ph. +1 617-532-8317


Dr. Robert McDonald is Lead Scientist for the Nature-Based Solutions at The Nature Conservancy. He researches the impact and dependencies of cities on the natural world, and helps direct the science behind much of the Conservancy’s urban conservation work. He holds a PhD in Ecology from Duke University and has published more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, and a recent book, entitled Conservation for Cities (Island Press) which documents the role green infrastructure can play in the well-being of urban residents.

Prior to joining the Conservancy, Rob was a Smith Conservation Biology Fellow at Harvard University, studying the impact global urban growth will have on biodiversity and conservation. He also taught landscape ecology at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, helping architects and planners incorporate ecological principles into their projects. He holds a B.S. degree in biology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

+ Read full biography - Collapse biography