Zoologist and Curator of Mollusks

Zoologist Dr. Christopher Meyer in a diving suit under water near some coral. He is holding a flat stanley drawing.
Dr. Christopher Meyer takes his nephew's friend, Flat Stanley, for a dive in Moorea. Photo by Jonathan Geller, Moorea Biocode Project.

As a kid, Dr. Christopher Meyer filled his closet with shoeboxes of baseball cards, sand from various beaches, anything that indulged his “hyper-active collector gene.” Now, as a Smithsonian scientist in the Invertebrate Zoology Department and the Director of the Moorea Biocode Project, Chris has turned his hobby into a full-time job collecting and studying marine life in spectacular places like Moorea. Chris’s work is helping to document marine biodiversity, figure out how ecosystems function, and predict how they will respond to change. These are big issues to tackle, because in most of the ocean, the more you look, the more life forms you find. “I see it as a kind of huge scavenger hunt,” Chris says. “It’s very rewarding to pursue questions you are curious about.” Meyer earned his bachelor's degree from Colgate University, and both his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.