Chris Catano

Graduate Student


“I’m interested in understanding the consequences of biodiversity loss – how this affects the functioning of ecosystems and the services they provide to people. If you are thinking about the functions of an ecosystem, for example to sequester carbon or to clean water, yes, you want it to work in the short term. But the main thing is to ensure these functions are reliable, especially if people’s health, livelihoods, or economies depend on it. To do that, we need to have a long term perspective.”

What is something you wish the public knew about research?

“A lot of people don’t really know what the scientific process is like, what the people who do it are like, and how diverse we and our interests are. We are not a homogenous group conspiring towards a particular agenda. We’re a diverse group of people that think and care deeply about our research. I wish the public knew how critical we are of our own research and that of our colleagues. This is what makes science work. It's what ensures we make the discoveries and produce the knowledge that helps people understand our world and our connections to it."

Chris is a member of Jonathan Myers' Forest Biodiversity team and a PhD candidate in the Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology graduate program at Washington University. Learn more about his biodiversity research here.