That year, Chris traveled to the Marshall Islands as part of the UGA-led Symbios Expedition to study coral reefs. Under the waves, he observed the most biodiverse ecosystem he’d ever seen. On the atoll, Chris experienced an equally impressive display of diversity — his 24 fellow researchers came from a variety of backgrounds, institutions, and academic disciplines. It was an inspiring melding of the minds that led to more than groundbreaking discoveries about coral reefs’ vitality. Chris formed lifelong professional partnerships that led to decades of fruitful collaborations.
“My life has been on the downswing ever since,” Chris jokes. “Honestly, I am forever grateful that I was on that cruise. UGA helped me become what I am today.”