Areas of expertise: Marine science, wildlife biology, forest ecology and management, conservation policy
Chris oversees Defenders’ Conservation Science and Economics division, which provides research and analysis to guide and support Defenders’ science-based policy and advocacy agenda. Activities include original applied research, policy formulation, and project implementation and evaluation. Research priorities include wildlife viability and adaptation to climate change; biodiversity conservation; and natural resource economics, including conservation incentives.
Before joining Defenders in 2004, Chris was Director of The Nature Conservancy’s David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program. Prior to that, he spent several years as Forest Ecologist in the Ecology and Economics Research Department of The Wilderness Society. During that time, he served on the science review panel for the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, monitoring the recovery of marine resources in south-coastal Alaska. Chris has also served on the faculty of the School of Forest Resources at The Pennsylvania State University; as a research biologist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and LGL Alaska Research Associates, Inc.; and as a Pew Marine Policy Fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Chris received his Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry from Southern University. He did his graduate work at the University of Georgia’s Department of Zoology, Institute of Ecology, and at Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, earning his doctorate in 1986. He has published extensively, with work featured in Conservation Biology, Natural History, Ecological Economics, Limnology and Oceanography, Marine Policy, Natural Areas Journal, and many others.