Dr. Chris Martin

Director of Physical Sciences

Chris Martin, Ph.D., is the director of physical sciences at the foundation and co-lead the foundation’s Science Program. He also serves as associate vice president of operations. His interests span the continuum from physics to public policy. At The Kavli Foundation he has helped launch multiple national efforts including the US BRAIN Initiative, the Microbiome Initiative and Quantum Initiatives; worked to enhance international coordination in astrophysics; and currently oversees The Kavli Foundation’s research institutes at leading universities around the world.

Prior to joining the foundation in 2013, Dr. Martin was a professor of physics and astronomy at Oberlin College (2004-2013) where he studied the Milky Way Galaxy using the Herschel Space Observatory, long duration balloon missions and telescopes around the world. During his tenure at Oberlin, he spent a year as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Fellow with the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and was involved in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, space policy, nanotechnology and the federal funding of science research.

Dr. Martin completed his Ph.D. in theoretical physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1999, and then became the Station Science Leader at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, spending two years wintering over at the bottom of the Earth during his postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.