As Director of the Center for Tree Science, Chuck Cannon brings a wealth of knowledge and a broad perspective on forest evolution, wildlife, and conservation to the Arboretum.
Throughout his career, Chuck has become increasingly interested in the biology and behavior of individual trees and unique access that the living collections provide to researchers. Currently, his work is centered on four main topics:
- The evolution of tree species through natural selection and hybridization, using 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 strategic design and administration of a Biology Integration Institute.
Chuck’s work has taken him to more than a dozen countries and involved a wide range of scientific endeavors, from new species discovery to creating forest management policy. He not only leads a group of accomplished tree scientists at the Arboretum—he also connects and motivates a large network of global collaborators in the shaping and expansion of our knowledge of trees and forests around the world.
Creating opportunities for the training, mentoring, and professional development of students and scientists at all stages of their careers is also a major priority. Chuck directs the Integrated Mentorship Program in Tree Science, which offers a wide range of proposal-based research fellowships and internship activities.