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:
1) The evolution of tree species in a syngameon, through both theoretical and empirical study.
2) The application and invention of advanced and effective technologies for tree science, particularly for on-demand sample and observation collection.
3) 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.
4) 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.