About Me

Headshot of Christopher K Black, taken April 4th 2014

I’m a plant biologist, programmer, data janitor, and all-around nerd. I spend my time studying how roots interact with their environment, developing computational models of biological systems, cleaning and analyzing datasets, and writing code that helps people do any of the above.

I currently work as a postdoctoral scholar with the Penn State Roots Lab, where I use the structural-functional root growth model OpenSimRoot to understand how root architecture responds to deep and hard soils. My previous jobs include graduate researcher, R package developer, teaching assistant, tree trimmer, web developer, historical carpentry demonstrator, and windmill repairer.

This varied past has made me very good at designing and testing experiments, writing and debugging code, synthesising and explaining information, maintaining and operating mechanical and electrical equipment, and digging and filling holes. If you need help with a project that involves any of these, get in touch: You can find my contact info and learn more about my research from my CV, see my code on GitHub, and talk with me on Twitter.

My pronouns are he/him. I like bicycles, cats, mass transit, museums, trees, and cooking new foods. I live in the Netherlands, work in Pennsylvania, get mail in Illinois, and have expat pride about Oregon and Wisconsin.