Chris Cornelisen

Chris Cornelisen

Chief Science Capability Officer

Role at Cawthron

Chris leads Cawthron Institute’s cross-cutting areas of science capability, including Cawthron’s commercial and research laboratories, technologies for enabling the blue economy, and data science. Chris has over 20 years of research experience in physical biology, coastal processes, and land-sea interactions.

Chris is also a member of the Challenge Leadership Team for the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge and leads the Precision Farming Technologies for Aquaculture Spearhead for the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge.

Technical skills, experience and interests

  • Nutrient dynamics and water quality in coastal ecosystems
  • Development of ocean data technologies
  • Building high-performing science and tech innovation teams
  • Fostering industry-science relationships


  • Post-doctoral Fellow. Otago University, 2003-2005
  • PhD Marine Biology, University of South Florida, 2003
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Management Fellow; 1996-1998
  • MSc Oceanography / Coastal Zone Management, Florida Institute of Technology, 1996
  • BA Biology, Business minor, Drake University, 1991

    Chris Cornelisen