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BA, Anthropology, Harvard University
PhD, Botany, Duke University, Botany
Dr. Chuck Cannon, director of the Center for Tree Science, brings a broad perspective on forests and all of the things that live in them. While his work has encompassed a wide range of topics, his focus has always been on the evolution and conservation of tree diversity. With his position at the Morton Arboretum and his previous experience as a Professor of Ecological Evolution at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, he has become increasingly interested in the biology and behavior of individual trees and the unique access that the living collections provide to researchers. Currently, his work is centered on four main topics:
- The evolution of tree species in a syngameon, through both theoretical and empirical study.
- The application and invention of advanced and effective technologies for tree science, particularly for on-demand sample and observation collection.
- The development and implementation of a “tree observatory” platform for the simultaneous collection of many different types of data on tree behavior, growth, and status.
- The promotion and development of grafting as a conservation and scientific tool.
His work has taken him to over a dozen countries and involved a wide range of scientific endeavors, from new species discovery to creating forest management policy. He leads the tree scientists at the Arboretum and connects and motivates a large network of global collaborators in the shaping and expansion of our knowledge of trees and forests around the world.
Dr. Cannon is published over 80 scientific articles and professional reports in many leading journals, including Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy. He has received fellowships and consultancies from a wide range of institutions, including Harvard University, The Mellon Foundation, University of Malaysia - Sarawak, the Boren Foundation, the National University of Malaysia, The Nature Conservancy, The Smithsonian Institute, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2007-2011, he was recruited as a full Professor in the Chinese Academy of Sciences to create and lead a new research group in Ecological Evolution at the Xishaungbanna Tropical Botanic Garden in Yunnan, China. Funding agencies for his work include the National Science Foundation, National Geographic, the Yunnan Provincial Government (China), the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Natural Science Foundation of Science (China), and Conservation, Food, and Health, Inc. He has been involved in the teaching and training of forest scientists since 1989, including the creation of the annual course “Advanced Fieldcourse in Ecology and Evolution” at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, China in 2009.