Chris joined FIU in 2015 and currently serves as director of the International Center for Tropical Botany and FIU Tropics, an emergent preeminent program. He coordinates research, education and outreach activities between the university, local partners in tropical biology and conservation, and local schools. He also leads efforts to coordinate the use of living collections from local botanic gardens in academic research, and the transfer of research results for education and outreach programs.
His research focuses on tropical forest community ecology and conservation. Specifically, he works to understand the factors controlling plant species distributions, and the impacts of global change on forest structure and biodiversity. Chris works mostly in sites across the Amazon and
Committed to improving botanical knowledge, Chris is involved in outreach efforts that assist local peoples in southwestern Amazon with tree identification and forest inventory. In 2016, he joined the team teaching the Kampong’s Tropical Botany Course, which has graduated botanists from all over the world. Chris enjoys student training. Since 1998, he has led field projects in tropical forest ecology for the ENGREF French graduate school. He has participated in training programs for local conservation workers and forestry technicians at the University of the French West Indies (UA and UG). At FIU, he mentors graduate and undergraduate students interested in tropical plant conservation.
As a Coconut Grove resident, he leads FIU's partnerships with local organizations interested in environmental sustainability.