Christopher Neill

Christopher Neill

Ecosystem Ecology
Council Member 2012 - 2017
Woods Hole Research Center


Dr. Neill is an ecosystem ecologist who studies how changes to land use alter the structure and functioning of ecosystems.

In the Amazon, he investigates how deforestation changes the way water and materials move from land to water and within the channels and streams and rivers and how the intensification of soybean and corn cropping alters runoff to streams and greenhouse gas emissions. Dr. Neill uses gauged catchments, natural abundance of stable isotopes and long-term vegetation plots to understand tropical ecosystem responses. In Massachusetts, where increases in residential development threaten estuaries and terrestrial ecosystems that contain high and unique biological diversity, Dr. Neill works with local conservation organizations to design improved methods of ecosystem conservation and restoration.

Dr. Neill previously spent four years as Director of the Ecosystems Center at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA, where was a scientist from 1996 to 2016, and where he retains an appointment as Fellow. He also directed the Brown-MBL Partnership for six years. Dr. Neill was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of São Paulo in Piracicaba, Brazil, in 2007 and a Bullard Fellow at Harvard University in 2010. He holds a B.S. from Cornell University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.