Christopher J. Barrett

Professor of Chemistry, McGill U.,
& McGill School of Environment.
Co-Director, McGill Institute for Advanced Materials
Convener of Graduate Materials Program

Adjunct Visiting Professor (Tokyo Tech, 2017)
Eco Leadership Visiting Professor (U.C. Berkeley, 2016)
Fulbright Visiting Research Chair (UCLA, 2014)
McGill's Faculty of Science 'Leo Yaffe' Teaching Award (2009)
JSPS Visiting Professor (Tokyo Tech, 2006—2007)
FRQNT Quebec Strategic Professor (McGill, 2000—2005)
NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1998—1999)
Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology (1997—1998)
Ph.D., M.Sc., B.Sc. (Queen's University, 1997, 1994, 1992)

Christopher Barrett’s hometown is the fishing Port of Dover, on Lake Erie’s north shore. From there he was schooled, indoors and out, on the banks of the Otonabee River in Ontario’s Kawarthas, the Yorkshire Moors, and the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. Christopher studied at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada for a B.Sc. in Chemistry and Physics in 1992, and a M.Sc. in Chemistry in 1994, field-working for Environment Canada each summer. He then spent a year in Engineering Physics at Canada’s Royal Military College, and the Canadian Space Agency, before returning to Queen's in 1995 to complete a Ph.D. on light-responsive azo dye polymers for fast optical devices. Barrett joined the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology in 1997, and the Center for Materials Science and Engineering at MIT for 2 years postdoctoral study '98–'99, working on the water-based self-assembly of biopolymer layers and multi-layers to bio-camouflage surfaces for improved implants and bio-interfaces.

Barrett joined the McGill Chemistry Faculty in 2000 to establish Polymer Materials and Laser Optics labs, and develop collaborations with McGill's Institute for Sustainable Engineering Design, School of Environment, Institute for Advanced Materials, and the Montreal Neurological Institute. He and his Group of ~30 Graduate Students and ~20 Postdocs/Visiting Scientists have written 8 book chapters and 150 research papers on Self-Assembly, Bio-Optical Devices, Light-Harvesting Polymers, and Bio-Sourced Plastics Alternatives. He has delivered 150 Invited Lectures on this research, and more than 50 Public Outreach Talks on Green Materials, Sustainable Energy, Bio-Inspired Design, and Bio-Interface-Engineering. Prof. Barrett has lectured to more than 10,000 McGill students in his classrooms, and has received awards for his research, his writing, and his teaching; his piano performance, design, and home-fermentation experiments. He supports b21, Sustainability McGill and other local Green Living Initiatives, UNESCO, and the Trans Canada Trail. After school, Christopher enjoys home wine- and beer-making, snowshoeing, canoeing and kayaking, and Montreal's great Jazz Clubs and Irish/ Québécoise Folk Music. He lives on-the-grid in Plateau Montréal a short walk or BIXI from McGill, and off-the-grid during camping season on the Rivière Rouge, an hour north into Quebéc’s Laurentian Mountains, in Canada’s great Boréal Forest.