Christopher Neill Ph.D.

  • Senior Scientist
Chris Neill

Dr. Christopher Neill studies ecosystems around the globe, always with a local focus. He is interested broadly in how changes in land use affect ecosystem function, and in our ability to restore impaired systems. In the Amazon, he uses a range of experimental techniques to investigate how deforestation and intensifying agriculture alter the flow of water and materials from land into – and then within – channels, streams, and rivers. In Massachusetts, he studies how the choices we make along our coasts and in our own backyards affect biodiversity. And he works with local conservation organizations to design improved methods of ecosystem protection and restoration.

Above: Dr. Neill collecting water samples. Photo courtesy of Jesse Costa.

Dr. Neill’s work is intensely collaborative and engages a diverse array of partners. He works with the Buzzards Bay Coalition on monitoring the impacts of nutrient pollution in coastal waters, and Native Plant Trust on backyard biodiversity. His work on the impacts of restoring cranberry bogs to natural habitat involves state and federal agencies, the Town of Falmouth, and Coonamessett River Trust. And he is part of a coastal grasslands restoration initiative involving The Nature Conservancy, The Trustees of Reservations, Cape Cod National Seashore, the Nantucket Conservation Foundation and the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program,
as well as private landowners. 

Dr. Neill is dedicated to giving ecology a voice in public discourse. He is a sought-after speaker, is frequently quoted by the media, and writes a monthly column for the Falmouth Enterprise (a habit he first developed writing columns for the Cornell Daily Sun as an undergraduate). His writing often features birds, which are both a personal passion and a professional subject of study.