Christopher (Chris) Willott


Roles and responsibilities

  • Astronomical research
  • Hubble Space Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope archive scientist
  • Professional astronomer support

Current research and/or projects

  • Investigating the formation of galaxies and supermassive black holes in the early Universe.
  • Developing observational strategies for the James Webb Space Telescope; a partnership of NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency

Research and/or project statements

  • As Canadian JWST Project Scientist, enable Canadian scientists to maximize the Government of Canada's investment in this mission.
  • As Principal Investigator of The CAaAnadian NIRISS Unbiased Cluster Survey (CANUCS), use JWST to study galaxies in the early universe.
  • As James Webb Space Telescope archive scientist, enable online access to telescope data and data processing environments.
  • As a researcher, study the growth of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies over cosmic time.


  • Ph.D. (Astrophysics), University of Oxford, UK, 1998
  • B.Sc. (Physics with Astrophysics), University of Birmingham, UK, 1994

Professional activities/interests

  • Member of the James Webb Space Telescope Science Working Group
  • Chair of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Scientific Advisory Council
  • Member of the Joint Committee on Space Astronomy


  • Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA)


  • Canadian Space Agency Fellow (2007 – 2008)
  • Plaskett Fellowship, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, NRC (2002-2006)

Key publications

  • Willott, Chris J., Bergeron, Jacqueline, and Omont, Alain, A Wide Dispersion in Star Formation Rate and Dynamical Mass of 10^8 Solar Mass Black Hole Host Galaxies at Redshift 6, The Astrophysical Journal, 850, 108 (2017)
  • Willott, Chris. J., Albert, L., Arzoumanian, D., et al., Eddington-limited Accretion and the Black Hole Mass Function at Redshift 6, The Astronomical Journal, 140, 546 (2010)
  • Willott, Chris. J., Delorme, P., Reyle, C., et al., The Canada-France High-z Quasar Survey: Nine New Quasars and the Luminosity Function at Redshift 6, The Astronomical Journal, 139, 906 (2010)
  • Willott, Chris J., McLure, Ross J., and Jarvis, Matt J., A 3x10^9 Solar Mass Black Hole in the Quasar SDSS J1148+5251 at z=6.41, The Astrophysical Journal, 587, L15 (2003)
  • Willott, Chris J., Rawlings, Steve, Blundell, Katherine M., and Lacy, Mark, The emission line-radio correlation for radio sources using the 7C Redshift Survey, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 309, 1017 (1999)

Christopher (Chris) Willott

Principal Research Officer
Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics
5071 West Saanich Road
Victoria, British Columbia V9E 2E7
Preferred language: English
Telephone: 250-363-8368


Space sciences, Astronomy, Observational astronomy