Dr. Christopher J. Austin is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the 'Mistakes in Living Systems: A New Conceptual Framework for the Study of Purpose in Biology' project at Reading University (funded by the John Templeton Foundation), itself a part of the larger research project 'Agency, Directionality, and Function: Foundations for a Science of Purpose'.

He has held positions at the University of Oxford as a Research Fellow in Metaphysics in the Power Structuralism in Ancient Philosophy project (funded by the European Research Council) and in The Metaphysics of Entanglement project (funded by the Templeton Foundation) at Corpus Christi College in tandem with a grant from The Analysis Trust, at Durham University in the Mereology of Potentiality project (funded by the Leverhulme Trust), at Oxford Brookes University as an Associate Lecturer in Philosophy, and at The University of Nottingham as a Teaching Associate in Philosophy. He holds a BA (honours) in Philosophy from Indiana University, an MA (BPhil) in Philosophy from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Nottingham.

Dr. Austin’s research specialisation is in Metaphysics and Philosophy of Science, with a particular focus on ontology, modality, and causation in the context of evolutionary developmental biology. He has written on a diverse range of topics including natural kind theory, process ontology, mechanistic explanation, information theory, structuralism, dispositional causation, persistence and identity, truthmaking theory, biological essentialism, and dynamical systems theory. He is the author of Essence In the Age of Evolution: A New Theory of Natural Kinds (Routledge), as well as a number of chapters in edited volumes including Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Modern Science (Routledge) and Evolutionary Developmental Biology: A Reference Guide (Springer). His work has been published in a wide range of philosophical journals including Synthese, Analysis, The European Journal for Philosophy of Science, Biology and Philosophy, Ratio, and Metascience.

He has given scholarly presentations at conferences and workshops at universities and academic societies all over the world – at Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Rutgers, Paris, Madrid, Pittsburgh, Geneva, Glasgow, Cologne, Aberdeen, Rostock, and more – and taught on a variety of philosophical topics including ancient Greek philosophy, epistemology, philosophy of mind, ethics, metaphysics, and philosophy of science.

Aside from his academic interests, he is an avid chess player, a technological tinkerer in distributed, decentralised and cryptographic systems, and a coffee connoisseur. He has a passion for both civic and ecological community projects and is a volunteer member of a number of local organisations in London: he is actively involved in everything from the upkeep and improvement of railway stations to urban growth initiatives in orchard and apiary preservation and expansion.