Professor Thomas is a zoologist specializing in spatial ecology. He read Zoology at the University of British Columbia and the University of Wales and was awarded a PhD in Zoology from Glasgow University on the spatial ecology of ravens in the west highlands of Scotland, combining field seasons in the mountains with analysis using satellite remote sensing and GIS.
After his doctoral studies, he joined the faculty at Durham University in the Department of Biosciences, where his interests in spatial ecology expanded to a wide range of taxa and habitats, including projects in Middle East deserts, African tropics, and the Scandinavian arctic, as well as the wilder corners of the UK. He moved to Aberystwyth University in 2007 to take up the CIRRE Chair in Ecological Modeling and was also made Professor of Zoology in 2013. Chris became University Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research in 2013 and for a second term in 2018 as PVC for Research, Knowledge Exchange and Innovation. In October 2019 he moved to the University of Lincoln UK to take up a research professorship as the Global Professor in Water and Planetary Health. Chris is also a Visiting Professor in Wildlife Biology at the University of Namibia.
Chris has held a Wolfson Institute Fellowship in Health and Environment, was Invited Expert Reviewer for Human Health component of The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment, and served as a Chair of the UK Natural Environment Research Council peer review college 2013-17.