Christopher Schell

Assistant Professor
Evolutionary Biology
University of Chicago
Scholarly Interests

Chris Schell is an urban ecologist whose research integrates evolutionary theory with ecological
application to disentangle the processes accentuating human-carnivore conflict. Specifically, Chris’
interests lie in understanding the endocrine mechanisms that underpin carnivore behavior, as well
as explicitly examining the anthropogenic drivers (i.e. human densities, roadways, pollution,
interactions) that select for bold, habituated, and less fearful individuals in metropolitan areas.
His research is uniquely tied to the community: urban ecology is inherently a synergy of
anthropogenic forces and natural processes. Hence, he often works closely with underrepresented
communities, wildlife managers, cultural institutions, and philanthropic organizations to help foster
mutually enriching relationships among people and wildlife. Thus, he looks forward to creating a
broad-reaching and inclusive research program that engages students at UWT, Tacoma Public
Schools, Point Defiance Zoo, Metro Parks Tacoma, and the greater Pierce County to emphasize that
nature is no further than our own backyards.