After being awarded his Bachelor of Science from the University of Birmingham (1961) and his Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa (1964), he received an academic appointment at the University of Waterloo in 1965. He served as Chair of Earth Sciences at Waterloo from 1975 to 1981. In a similar position at Memorial University (1981-87), he established the Centre of Earth Resources Research. From 1987-1989, as Director General, Sedimentary and Marine Branch, Geological Survey of Canada, he was responsible for the offshore Frontier Geoscience Program. At the University of Victoria, Chris was Director of both the Centre of Earth and Ocean Research (1989-2000) and the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences (1991-2002), then becoming the NEPTUNE Canada Project Director in 2002.
Chris has served as a member of the Science Council of British Columbia and its Ocean Sector Committee, and a member of the Ocean Drilling Program committees. He has been President of the Pacific Marine Technology Centre Society, Vice President of the Canadian Ocean Frontiers Research Initiative, and a Board member of the Institute for Pacific Ocean Science and Technology. Other organizations in which Chris has served as president are the Geological Association of Canada, the Canadian Geoscience Council, and the Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada. He was Group Chair of both Earth Sciences and Interdisciplinary committees for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and is a member of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. He served three terms as Chair of the Council of Chairs of Canadian Earth Science Departments.
His research focuses on understanding Early Paleozoic oceans, climate and life using the principal tools of conodont micropaleontology, stratigraphy, and geochemistry, with over 130 refereed publications. He has received the J. Willis Ambrose, Elkanah Billings, and Past Presidents medals of the Geological Association of Canada (GAC), the Bancroft Award (RSC), and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. Chris is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), the National Academy of Sciences, Cordoba, Argentina and was appointed to the Order of Canada.
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