CEB Committe on Evolutionary Biology

Spotlight : Chris Schell (alumnus)

Chris Schell (alumnus)

Chris Schell holding a coyote pup at the National Wildlife Research Center's Predator Facility.

Chris Schell graduated from CEB in 2015. Please see his entry on the CEB Alumni Page to see what he is currently doing! 

Chris Schell’s interests lie in the various dynamics that exist between parents and offspring.  More specifically, he is fascinated by the impacts that non-genetic factors of parental care can have on offspring development.  Using coyotes as his study system, Chris’ research focuses on the potential impact of parental hormones and behavior on the development of offspring traits.  This work has relevancy for both research and management officials, particularly because coyote parents are likely to prime offspring traits for survival in human-dominated landscapes.  Since 2010, he has closely studied this species at the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) Predator Research Facility in Millville, UT.  He has yet to look back, and hopes to utilize future results to help reduce human-wildlife conflict in multiple metropolitan areas.

Chris is not simply passionate about everything Canidae, but thoroughly enjoys teaching as well.  His desire to teach and give back to the black community has led him to use his dissertation work as an energetic platform to engage younger students for several programs in the Chicago, IL.  Specifically, he has been involved with Project Exploration’s All Girls Expedition and Junior Paleontologists, two influential programs dedicated to involving under-represented middle and high school students in science.  Additionally, he has partnered with the Bronzeville Historical Society and Beethoven Elementary to generate a new initiative titled Nature Fridays.  Nature Fridays is a series of workshops focused on wildlife science and its importance in the south-side neighborhoods of Chicago.  In sum, he is dedicated to a dual purpose career: both academically rewarding and community focused.

Amidst his career goals, Chris is incredibly gratified to unwind with his wife Danielle Schell, and his adorable cat-dog tandem in Dexter and Deja.  Likewise, in the future he hopes to share his love of wildlife with his children.