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Chris Baker

PhD student

Cell +1 (617) 955 2400

Chris Baker

Research Interests

I am an evolutionary biologist, with a particular interest in species interactions. My research is based on two main systems: the Acacia drepanolobium ant-plant system in East Africa, and Xanthoparmelia foliose lichens in North America. Both of these study systems are complex symbioses involving multiple species. Research continues to disentangle interactions among the well-known participants as well as among previously overlooked players.


Bittleston LS, CCM Baker, LB Strominger, A Pringle and NE Pierce. Metabarcoding as a tool for investigating arthropod diversity in Nepenthes pitcher plants. Austral Ecology. Accepted.

Baker CCM, SRX Dall and DJ Rankin (2012). Kin selection and the evolution of social information use in animal conflict. PLoS ONE 7(2): e31664. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031664

Mushegian AA, CN Peterson, CCM Baker and A Pringle (2011). Bacterial Diversity across Individual Lichens. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 77(12): 4249-4252. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02850-10

Previous Employment and Education

I worked at the Reserve Bank of Australia for around six and a half years prior to joining Harvard’s PhD program in September 2008. I began in the Bank’s Payments Policy Department, where I undertook research and policy work in relation to retail payment instruments. After moving to Financial Stability Department, I spent around two years working on financial market indicators, composite financial stability indices and the Basel II bank regulatory capital requirements. I then returned to Payments Policy Department, where I worked on the Bank’s review of its payments system reforms.

Before working at the Reserve Bank, I completed undergraduate degrees in biology and economics at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. My biology degree focused mainly on genetics, evolutionary biology, ecology and statistics. My economics degree focused on microeconomics, including game theory, uncertainty and information and industrial organisation.

Design by Chris Baker  |  Banner image © Stu Rosner Photography
Last modified 16 March 2015