Dr. Ian Robinson, Vice President, Animal Welfare and Conservation

Dr. Ian Robinson

Vice President, Animal Welfare and Conservation


Under the broad direction of the CEO, Ian has strategic and operational responsibility for IFAW’s programmatic campaigns and international operations.  The VP provides strategic guidance and direction to ensure the effective implementation of IFAW’s priority campaigns and programs across the organization.

Previously, he led IFAW’s Emergency Relief (ER) team, rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing wildlife, caring for domestic animals affected by natural and manmade disasters and supporting sanctuaries which provide care for non-releasable wildlife. By working synergistically with other programmes, Ian’s ER team helps IFAW to address multiple conservation concerns, saving individuals, populations and habitat in the process.

Working with the Wildlife Trade team, Ian helped develop rehabilitation and release projects that return healthy wildlife rescued from the trade back to their natural environment in Trinidad, China and Russia. Other cooperative projects include collaboration with the Wildlife Trust of India, an IFAW partner, to repopulate Manas National Park with rehabilitated wildlife, returning species which had been extirpated by poaching.

Ian pioneered the use of post release monitoring to guide further improvements to the process and gauge the success of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation projects.

In addition to numerous presentations on wildlife medicine at scientific conferences, Ian has spoken to the American Veterinary Medical Association on disaster response and addressed the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) on the inherent cruelty of the Canada seal hunt.


  • Director, Wildlife Rescue Rehabilitation and Sanctuary Programme, IFAW International
  • Hospital Director/Chief Veterinarian, Norfolk Wildlife Hospital, RSCPA, UK
  • Veterinary Advisor, Mediterranean Monk Seal Project, CBD-Habitat, Spain and Africa
  • Facilitator, Management of Species and Habitat Specialist Group, IUCN Mediterranean Monk Seals in the Eastern Atlantic Workshop, Spain,
  • Member, Board of Directors, Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, USA
  • Member, Board of Advisors, Pegasus Foundation, USA
  • Member, Steering Committee, British Wildlife Rehabilitation Council
  • Member, British Veterinary Zoological Society Council
  • Veterinary Advisor, Marine Animal Rescue Coalition, UK
  • Veterinary Advisor, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, UK
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Panel, World Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals


Veterinary Degree, Bristol University, UK

Post Graduate Certification, Sheep Health and Production, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, UK

Post Graduate Certification, Zoological Medicine, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, UK

Diploma of Fellowship, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, UK


Books, Book chapters:

  • Barnett, J. and Robinson, I. (2003) Marine Mammals.  In: BSAVA Manual of Wildlife Casualties, eds Mullineaux, E., et al pp 49-65. BSAVA, Gloucester.
  • Bexton, S. and Robinson, I. (2003) Hedgehogs. In: BSAVA Manual of Wildlife Casualties eds Mullineaux, E., et al pp 49-65. BSAVA, Gloucester.
  • Robinson, I. (2002) Hedgehogs. In: Hand Rearing Wild and Domestic Mammals ed Gage, L.J., pp 75-80 Iowa State Press, Ames, Iowa
  • Robinson, I. (2000) Seabirds. In: Avian Medicine eds Tully, T.N., et al pp 339-363. Butterworth Heinman, Oxford
  • Robinson, I. (1996) Waterfowl, feathers and skin. In: Manual of Raptor,s Pigeons and Waterfowl, eds Benyon, P., et al pp 305-310 BSAVA, Gloucester.

Journal Articles:

  • Baker, J.R., Hall, A., Hiby, L., Munro, R., Robinson, I., Ross, H.M., and Watkins, J.F. (1995) Isolation of salmonellae from seals from UK waters. Veterinary Record 136 471-472.
  • Greth, A., Rester, C., Gerlach, H., Rietkerk, F. and Robinson, I. (1995) Pathological effects of oil on seabirds during the Arabian Gulf oil spill. Wildlife and oil spills, response research and contingency planning. (Frink, ed.) Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research Inc, 110 Possum Hollow Road, Newark, Delaware, 19711, USA.
  • Hughes, D.E., Carter, S.D., Robinson, I., Clarke, D.D., and Clarke, C.J.,  (1992) Anti-canine distemper virus antibodies in common and grey seals. Veterinary Record 130 449-450.
  • Hernandez, H., Robinson, I., Aguilar, A., Gonzalez, L. M., Lopez-Jurado, L.F., Reyero, M.I., Cacho,E., Franco, J., Lopez-Rodas, V., and Costas, E.,  (1988) Did algal toxins cause monk seal mortality? Nature, 393 28-29.
  • Jepson, P. and Robinson, I.  (1995) A rare congenital heart defect in a harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) calf from Cardigan Bay, Wales.  Conference of the European Cetacean Society (poster presentation).
  • King D.P., Robinson, I., Hay, A.W.M. and Evans, S.W. (1993) Identification and partial characterisation of common seal (Phoca vitulina) and grey seal (Halychoerus grypus) interleukin-6-like activities  Developmental and Comparative Immunology, 17 449-458.
  • King D.P., Robinson, I., Hay, A.W.M. and Evans, S.W. (1993) The use of monoclonal antibodies specific for seal immunoglobulins in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to detect canine distemper virus-specific immunoglobulin in seal plasma samples. Journal of Immunological Methods, 160 163-171.
  • Robinson, I., (1995) The rehabilitation of seals at the RSPCA Norfolk Wildlife Hospital. Journal of the British Veterinary Zoological Society 1 13-17.
  • Robinson, I. and Routh, A. 1999 Veterinary care of the hedgehog in practice. Journal of Veterinary Post Graduate Clinical Study 21 (3) 128-137
  • Wood, A.M., Munro, R. and Robinson, I. (1993). Oiled birds from Shetland, January 1993. Veterinary Record

In the video above, Dr. Robinson speaks with  m/Oppenheim Associates' "Insight" program. He discusses IFAW's work saving individual animals, animal populations, and habitats through rescue missions, campaigns to prevent animal cruelty, and advocating for the protection of wildlife and habitats all over the world.

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