Robert J. Robbins is a biologist, an educator, a science administrator, a publisher, an information technologist, and an IT leader and manager who specializes in advancing biomedical knowledge and supporting education through the application of information technology. More About: RJR | OUR TEAM | OUR SERVICES | THIS WEBSITE
This page offers links to a variety of galleries of graphic-arts projects, developed by Robbins, on different themes and topics.
An individual gallery may document the steps involved in the execution of a particular project or it may provide examples of the output from a series of similar projects or it may just deal in a free-form manner with some aspect of graphic-arts work.
By 2009, my hobby of creating parody magazine covers had become well known at work. As a result, I was recruited to provide my services as a door prize to be awarded during an all-management retreat of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Karen Hansen, the Director of the Institutional Review Office, won the prize. I told Karen that I would design the cover, without telling her its contents, and present it to her, in the form of a large poster, when it was done. All she had to do was help me obtain a starting photograph. She opted to involve her entire staff, and so we started by arranging to have a group photo taken by Phil Meadows. Then I got to work. Lots of people helped come up with ideas for the table of contents. When delivered, the poster was a hit and was immediately hung on the IRO office wall. done in Photoshop
In 2007, I received an important request from my boss, the Chief Operating Officer. The COO explained that the VP for HR, Han Nachtrieb, was on vacation in Japan, and that it was imperative that something be done to celebrate his return. I opted to create a poster-sized print of him in Japanese regalia. Starting with an image found on-line, I stripped out some faces and other material, added Han's head and a helmet to the top, replaced a face at the lower left with that of Lee Hartwell (our center President and Director), and replaced the text on the vertical sign. done in Photoshop
RJR Experience and Expertise
Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.
Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.
Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.
Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.
While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.
Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.
Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.
Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.
RJR Picks from Around the Web (updated 11 MAY 2018 )
Science Policy & Funding
Big Data & Informatics