Christopher Joyce Christopher Joyce is a correspondent on the science desk at NPR. His stories can be heard on all of NPR's news programs, including NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.
Christopher Joyce 2010
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Christopher Joyce

Doby Photography /NPR
Christopher Joyce 2010
Doby Photography /NPR

Christopher Joyce

Correspondent, Science Desk

Christopher Joyce is a correspondent on the science desk at NPR. His stories can be heard on all of NPR's news programs, including NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

Joyce seeks out stories in some of the world's most inaccessible places. He has reported from remote villages in the Amazon and Central American rainforests, Tibetan outposts in the mountains of western China, and the bottom of an abandoned copper mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Over the course of his career, Joyce has written stories about volcanoes, hurricanes, human evolution, tagging giant blue-fin tuna, climate change, wars in Kosovo and Iraq, and the artificial insemination of an African elephant.

For several years, Joyce was an editor and correspondent for NPR's Radio Expeditions, a documentary program on natural history and disappearing cultures produced in collaboration with the National Geographic Society that was heard frequently on Morning Edition.

Joyce came to NPR in 1993 as a part-time editor while finishing a book about tropical rainforests and, as he says, "I just fell in love with radio." For two years, Joyce worked on NPR's national desk and was responsible for NPR's Western coverage. But his interest in science and technology soon launched him into parallel work on NPR's science desk.

In addition, Joyce has written two non-fiction books on scientific topics for the popular market: Witnesses from the Grave: The Stories Bones Tell (with co-author Eric Stover); and Earthly Goods: Medicine-Hunting in the Rainforest.

Before coming to NPR, Joyce worked for ten years as the U.S. correspondent and editor for the British weekly magazine New Scientist.

Joyce's stories on forensic investigations into the massacres in Kosovo and Bosnia were part of NPR's war coverage that won a 1999 Overseas Press Club award. He was part of the Radio Expeditions reporting and editing team that won the 2001 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University journalism award and the 2001 Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Joyce won the 2001 American Association for the Advancement of Science excellence in journalism award as well as the 2016 Communication Award from the National Academies of Sciences.

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Story Archive

Trash sent for recycling moves along a conveyor belt to be sorted at Waste Management's material recovery facility in Elkridge, Md. In 2018, China announced it would no longer buy most plastic waste from places like the United States. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Recycling Industry Is Struggling To Figure Out A Future Without China

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A discarded plastic bottle lies on the beach at Sandy Hook, N.J. Packaging is the largest source of the plastic waste that now blankets our planet. Wayne Parry/AP hide caption

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Wayne Parry/AP

Plastics Or People? At Least 1 Of Them Has To Change To Clean Up Our Mess

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By one estimate, emissions from producing and incinerating plastics could amount to 56 gigatons of carbon — almost 50 times the annual emissions of all of the coal power plants in the U.S. — between now and 2050. Koji Sasahara/AP hide caption

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Koji Sasahara/AP

Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story

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Anne Schauer-Gimenez (from left) Allison Pieja and Molly Morse of Mango Materials stand next to the biopolymer fermenter at a sewage treatment plant next to San Francisco Bay. The fermenter feeds bacteria the methane they need to produce a biological form of plastic. Chris Joyce/NPR hide caption

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Chris Joyce/NPR

Replacing Plastic: Can Bacteria Help Us Break The Habit?

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The deep ocean is filled with sea creatures like giant larvaceans. They're actually the size of tadpoles, but they're surrounded by a yard-wide bubble of mucus that collects food — and plastic. Courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute hide caption

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Courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Microplastics Have Invaded The Deep Ocean — And The Food Chain

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An artist's rendering of the mass extinction of life that occurred toward the end of the Permian Period, about 250 million years ago. Lynette Cook/Science Source hide caption

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Lynette Cook/Science Source

The 'Great Dying' Nearly Erased Life On Earth. Scientists See Similarities To Today

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Debris blankets the north side of one of the Cocos Keeling Islands in the Indian Ocean. Researchers found a huge amount of plastic both onshore and buried in the sand. Courtesy of Silke Stuckenbrock hide caption

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Courtesy of Silke Stuckenbrock

Remote Island Chain Has Few People — But Hundreds Of Millions Of Pieces Of Plastic

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The Xiahe mandible was originally found in 1980 in Baishiya Karst Cave. Researchers say the bone is 160,000 years old and came from a Denisovan. Dongju Zhang/Lanzhou University hide caption

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Dongju Zhang/Lanzhou University

Denisovans, A Mysterious Kind Of Ancient Humans, Are Traced To Tibet

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A team of researchers found a surprisingly large amount of microplastic in the air in the Pyrenees mountains in southern France. VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images hide caption

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VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images

Microplastic Found Even In The Air In France's Pyrenees Mountains

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The pronounced curve of this toe bone — the proximal phalanx — from a specimen of Homo luzonensis, an early human found in a Philippine cave, looks more like it came from tree-climbing Australopithecus than from a modern human, scientists say. Callao Cave Archaeology Project hide caption

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Callao Cave Archaeology Project

Ancient Bones And Teeth Found In A Philippine Cave May Rewrite Human History

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The sea squirt Ascidia sydneiensis, a tubelike animal that squirts water out of its body when alarmed, is one of 48 additional nonnative marine species in the Galapagos Islands documented in a newly published study. Previously, researchers knew of only five. Courtesy of Jim Carlton hide caption

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Courtesy of Jim Carlton

Dozens Of Nonnative Marine Species Have Invaded The Galapagos Islands

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The U.S. used to ship about 7 million tons of plastic trash to China a year, where much of it was recycled into raw materials. Then came the Chinese crackdown of 2018. Olivia Sun/NPR hide caption

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Olivia Sun/NPR

Where Will Your Plastic Trash Go Now That China Doesn't Want It?

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A rare photo of "type D" killer whales off South Georgia island, located between South America and Antarctica, shows the whales' blunt heads and tiny white eye patches. Courtesy of J.P. Sylvestre hide caption

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Courtesy of J.P. Sylvestre

Mysterious Type Of Killer Whale, Sought After For Years, Found In Southern Ocean

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Around the globe, people are searching for ways to reduce plastic waste. Above: Dampalit, a fishing community in Manila Bay, can't keep up with a constant influx of trash. Jes Aznar for NPR hide caption

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Jes Aznar for NPR