Christopher Kilner

Unlocking a Sustainable Future

I am a humanitarian scientist working on novel approaches to informing a more sustainable planet. With broad interdisciplinary education in the sciences and humanities, I have a working knowledge of: biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, the environmental sciences, conservation biology, ecology, political science, and philosophy.

As a PhD student at Duke University, I am interested in applying remote sensing and Bayesian modeling to community ecology dynamics. Specifically, I intend on studying the effects of climate change on forest mast systems and the subsequent impact on food webs and guilds in the Northeast Deciduous forests of North America.

As a Masters student in Trinity College Dublin's Biodiversity and Conservation Biology program, I worked on many projects, and studied conservation management of disparate ecological systems.

I published a thesis on Azorean biogeography, specifically studying models of biodiversity, and remote sensing applications to island biogeography.

At the National Institutes of Health and Janelia Research Farm, I studied lipid trafficking and mitochondrial metabolism in stressed fibroblast and cancer cell environments, with a goal of understanding the pathways of resource allocation and movement in cellular micro-environments. At The University of Scranton, I investigated gene families associated with reproduction through novel application of the CRISPR/Cas-9 system.

As a humanitarian, I leverage my multi-disciplinary and diplomatic background to develop sustainable educational and employment models for Native American communities through the non-profit Woape Foundation Corporation.

Scientific Philosophy


My grandfather and grandmother were both researchers in the life sciences, working on the interplay of biochemistry and human health. Exploring in the first golden age of biochemistry, their imparting lesson to me was this: to approach science not as a sub-discipline, but as a renaissance art. Often the greatest breakthroughs occur when disparate fields of science apply lessons and techniques from other fields to their own grand challenges.

This approach to science as an art is reminiscent of the Greek word Aletheia (ἀλήθεια), essentially the revelation of truth through the human endeavor. With a philosophical background and inter-disciplinary scientific approach, I strive to turn science into art as my grandparents did: to uncover the beauty and truth of the natural world and its lessons for the sustainability of human civilization. Such an approach, common in the renaissance, is called upon again in the anthropocene.

Fields of Inquiry

Science across fields and disciplines, unlocking a sustainable future.

From my work at the National Institutes of Health to North American forests!


Visualizing Intercellular and Intracellular Fatty Acid Trafficking.
Kilner, C., Cohen, S., Lippincott-Schwartz, J.
Design and Preparation of CRISPR Constructs Targeting Arabidopsis thaliana Receptor Like Kinase (RLK) and Slocus Cysteine Rich Like (SCRL) Genes.
Kilner, C., Long, S., Biondo, A., Conway, C., DiLeo, A., Frederick, N., McAndrew, N., McGraw, D., Musto, C., Ng, G., O’Neill, G., Sacks, C., Sarno, E., Sulzinski, M., Villa, A., Westawski, J., Nasrallah, J., Nasrallah, M., Dwyer, K.
Reporter Gene Analysis Of Five Members of the SD-RLK and SCRL Gene Families Found in Arabidopsis thaliana.
DeBoer, R., Biondo, A., Long, S., Kilner, C., Roman, P., Walsh, L., Fenstermaker, T., Zuilkoski, K., Patel, D., Nasrallah, J., Nasrallah, M., Dwyer, K.
Predicting Biodiversity with Generalized Joint Attribute Models
Amanda Schwantes, Jennifer Swenson, James Clark, John Fay, Christopher Hellmayr, Christopher Kilner, Chase Nuñez, and Bradley Tomasek

Contact Information

Whether you are interested in my research, want to collaborate, or you would like to know more about my civic work for The Woape Foundation, feel free to reach out.
Get in Touch

Latest News

Check out the latest scientific news, updates on The Woape Foundation, and my literature of the week pick. For all news, visit the news page.
The Power of Naivety

The importance of recognizing biases in science and bridging the divide between ecosystem and evolutionary ecology through naivety and fresh perspectives.

Presidential Scholar Becomes First University Of Scranton Student To Earn Prestigious Mitchell Scholarship

Christopher Kilner wins most prestigious post-graduate fellowship.

University Student Among Nation's Science Elite

Christopher L. Kilner, a triple major at The University of Scranton, is among just 260 students in the nation earning the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, which is one of the most coveted honors in science, mathematics and engineering that an undergraduate can achieve.

Giving Back a Piece of Me

In 2011, at the age of 17, I was given a gift I can never return; the people of the Pine Ridge Indian reservation gave me a piece of me. This is the story of the Woape Foundation.

Woape Foundation Launches S.T.E.M. Partnership

It is with great honor and humility that The Woape Foundation announces a partnership to combat poverty on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

New Greenhouse Allows for Experiential Learning at Red Cloud

First greenhouse built through Woape Foundation partnership, with high yields and returns for both crops and students!

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