Christopher Marshall’s research focuses on the functional, ecological and evolutionary aspects of how vertebrates detect, acquire, ingest and digest food.
He is head of The Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research at Texas A&M at Galveston. The center addresses the data gaps and research needs to conserve sea turtles in Texas, the western Gulf and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. The Center seeks to organize sea turtle biologists in the region and speak with one voice to attract attention, and funding, for sea turtle research activities and conservation priorities that will protect sea turtle populations and their vital habitats from the beaches to the ocean.
It is a partnership of Texas A&M University, the National Park Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The center serves as a platform that attracts scientists from academia, industry, state and federal agencies, as well as internationally, who will contribute to finding solutions to the threats that sea turtles face today.
Marshall’s program is integrative and comparative in nature. This work falls within the conceptual framework of ecological morphology & physiology and is conducted at the functional organismal level (morphology and physiology), behavioral, and ecological levels. The central concept of this field is that morphology and physiology influences an organism's ecology through constraints of behavioral performance, which is the capacity of an animal to exploit its natural resources, and explore its environment.
Although investigations of morphology, physiology, and behavior stand on their own, ultimately the integration of these studies can explain how organisms interact with their environment, the evolution of functional complexes, and the pressure selections involved in driving adaptations.
He is a professor in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M in College Station and a professor of marine biology at Texas A&M at Galveston.
Marshall earned a PhD in functional morphology from the University of Florida.