Chris Cosma, Ph.D.


Contact Information

Chris outside at sunset wearing a brown button-down shirt with green and brown grass visible behind him.

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Chris Cosma is a community ecologist and pollination biologist specializing in developing data-driven conservation strategies. An adventurous and rather nomadic childhood spent in Colorado, Michigan, New Jersey, and California gave Chris early insight into the diversity of people, ecosystems, and environmental problems in the US. Between surf sessions, Chris earned his BS in Ecology at UC Santa Barbara, and then completed his PhD in Ecology at UC Riverside. There, his research focused on the impacts of climate change on plant-pollinator interactions, and how to apply ecological data and tools to guide effective insect conservation actions. Although he focused on moths in this research, Chris loves all insects and is determined to help protect them and their ecosystem services. In addition to pollination and climate change ecology, Chris has expertise in spatial ecology, ecological network science, molecular ecology, plant ecophysiology, insect biology and identification, and environmental policymaking. 

During his doctoral research, Chris bridged the gap between science and conservation action by developing an innovative web application for butterfly and moth conservation in California. The app, which applies ecological network analysis to guide plant selections, is being used by thousands of people to expand and connect insect habitat across California. After garnering media attention and interest from multiple agencies, Chris formed an interdisciplinary working group through the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis to build upon the tool. Chris has been invited to speak to groups all around the country about this work, and in his role at CBI, he brings with him resources and expertise from his various collaborations. Chris currently lives in Spokane, Washington, and when he is not devising strategies to protect our insect overlords, he enjoys backyard permaculture and outdoor adventures with his partner and dog.