Dr. Robyn Wilson

Robyn Wilson
Associate Professor of Risk Analysis and Decision Science
316D Kottman Hall


Curriculum Vita




My research focuses on the individual decision making process under risk and uncertainty.  Specifically, I study the interplay between experiential and analytic information processing and the influence this has on risk perception and ultimately judgment or choice behavior.  I am also interested in the development of communication efforts and decision support tools that assist individuals in making more informed choices that reflect the fundamental values and objectives of the individual or institution.  I pursue these interests across multiple land and resource management contexts (e.g., forests, wildlife, water), multiple hazards (e.g., fire, agricultural runoff, carnivores), and types of decision makers (e.g., laypeople and experts).  My specific lines of research are detailed below.

Resources Managers and Policy Makers 
This line of research focuses on individuals who manage resources or make decisions on behalf of a larger constituency (e.g., forest/fire managers, wildlife managers, public health directors) or manage a particular resource privately but with large potential implications for society (e.g., farmers).

  • Managing fuels and wildfire events in forest ecosystems
  • Herbicide resistance and weed management in conventional and organic agriculture
  • Managing nutrient loss and water quality in the agroecosystem
  • Climate change and adaptation programming in the public health system

General Public 
This line of research focuses on laypeople and the decisions that pose both harm to the natural environment and to individual health, safety and economic well-being.

  • Stream stewardship and water quality in an urbanizing watershed
  • Risk attitudes and evacuation decisions during a wildfire event
  • Public acceptance for wildlife and support for carnivore conservation
  • Public support for fuels management in the wildland-urban interface
  • Public support for individual and collective climate action


The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Board on Environmental Change and Society - http://sites.nationalacademies.org/dbasse/becs/index.htm
Discovery Themes Sustainable and Resilient Economy - http://go.osu.edu/sustainable-economy
The Environmental and Social Sustainability Lab - http://ess.osu.edu
The Decision Sciences Collaborative Initiative - https://decisionsciences.osu.edu/
The Society for Risk Analysis Risk Communication Specialty Group - http://www.sra.org/rcsg/


People, Climate Change and Lake Erie - http://ohioseagrant.osu.edu/maumeebay/
Mental Models, Stream Health and Stewardship Decisions - http://ohiowatersheds.osu.edu/usda/
Lake States Fire Science Consortium - http://lakestatesfiresci.net
Organic Weed Manager - https://organicweedmanager.com/
4R Certification Program - https://4rcertified.org/research/


Hot and Cold on the Paris Accord and Helping Young Farmers Succeed | Ohio AgNet Podcast Episode 13
Framing Climate Change Risk | The National Academies
Farmer Decision Making around Nutrient Loss and Water Quality | Conservation Matters, Soil and Water Conservation Society    
Using Models of Farmer Behavior to Inform Water Quality Policy in the Great Lakes | Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center