Chris Reddy is a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and studies marine pollution, petroleum geochemistry, and develops natural products for the cosmetics industry.
Reddy became interested in plastics in 2008 when he collaborated with Dr. Kara Lavender Law at Sea Education Association to study the distribution and chemical composition of plastic in the North Atlantic Ocean. Their work led to foundational papers in ocean plastics research published in Scienceand the Marine Pollution Bulletin.
When the Deepwater Horizon disaster occurred in 2010, Reddy pivoted to focus much of his research on this iconic spill. He spent nearly a decade tracing nature’s response to the thousands of chemical compounds released with the spill to determine what biodegraded or evaporated, and what is still present in the Gulf of Mexico.
Presently, Reddy has shifted his focus back to understanding ocean plastics. To make meaningful progress in this field, Reddy believes the scientific community must establish a common language and framework for studying plastics. To this end, he has several ongoing projects with Dr. Collin Ward and Anna Smith, who is co-advised by Reddy and Ward.
Reddy has extensive experience communicating science to the media, policy makers, and the public. He has written nearly twenty opinion pieces, testified before Congress and Senate five times, and given hundreds of interviews. In 2014 he was honored with the prestigious and international C.C. Patterson Awardfor leading an innovative breakthrough of fundamental significance in environmental geochemistry, particularly in service to society. More recently, he was honored as a 2018 Fellow in the American Geophysical Union and bestowed with their Ambassador Award.
Reddy received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Rhode Island College and his Ph.D. in chemical oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. He received an executive education certificate in management and leadership from MIT and completed the Leadership for the 21st Century program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.