Professor Kristofer M. Helgen was appointed Chief Scientist and Director of the Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI) in June 2020. He is responsible for the AMRI team of more than 100 staff, including research scientists, collection scientists, collection officers and more than 130 associates, fellows and students, who research and explore the natural world.
Kris studies the biology of mammals. He has focused his research primarily on fieldwork with living animals and on museum collections to document the richness of life and understand global change,. Originally from Minnesota, Kris gained his undergraduate degree in Biology at Harvard University and his PhD in Zoology at the University of Adelaide. From 2008 to 2017 he served as Curator-in-Charge of Mammals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. and from 2017 to 2020 he was Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Adelaide.
Kris holds additional academic appointments at the University of New South Wales, the University of Sydney, the Natural History Museum (London), the Bishop Museum (Hawaii), and the South Australian Museum (Adelaide). He is a board member of Zoos South Australia and Conservation International (Australia).. He has been recognised as a Fulbright Fellow, a National Geographic Society Explorer, and a CNN Inspirations Researcher.