Rebecca J. Best
Assistant Professor
Office: Physical Sciences 120/119
Google Scholar Profile

I am an aquatic community and evolutionary ecologist interested in the processes that determine the number and type of species we find coexisting in a particular community, and control the way those communities function. At Northern Arizona University, I am working on the effects of changing temperature and precipitation on aquatic connectivity, species distributions, and genetic diversity across arid landscapes.

Graduate students

JoannJoann Jeplawy
Masters Student
Environmental Science and Policy

In collaboration with the Cottonwood Ecology Group, I am studying the impacts of leaf plasticity on aquatic community composition in cottonwood leaf litter from three common gardens in Arizona and Utah. I am interested in investigating the effects of geographic variation on arthropod colonizers and decomposition. Since graduating from Central Michigan University with a B.S. in Natural resources Biology, I have spent time traveling and working internationally.

Undergraduate students

Morgan Andrews

I am currently pursuing my undergrad in Environmental Science with an emphasis in biology. Additionally, I am studying chemistry and wildlife management. I am interested in merging these areas and undertaking research that relates to ecological sustainability and how complex natural systems collaborate. My concentrations are geared towards working with terrestrial and aquatic species to identify how imperative their relationships are in an ecology standpoint. Allowing for a deeper understanding of how these interactions work together to ultimately help mitigate the impacts of a changing climate.

Kaitlen Bieber

I am in my third year as an undergraduate studying Environmental & Sustainability Studies as well as Spanish. To solidify my Spanish skills, I am planning to study abroad at UNAM (Universidad National Autonomous de Mexico) in Mexico City in the Academic year of 2018-2019. I have a passion for traveling and the outdoors, so choosing my field of study came naturally as I wish to preserve the places I love. I am interested in pursuing ecology (possibly freshwater) for my Master’s degree because understanding ecosystems at all levels is key to conservation and restoration.

Lauren Mason-Sarantopulos

Growing up in Wyoming, I was always fascinated by the ecology of streams and rivers. Now as an undergraduate in Environmental Science, I’m particularly interested in aquatic invertebrates, and how their interactions are influenced by both the biotic and abiotic factors found in Arizona’s freshwater ecosystems. I am also passionate about wildlife conservation and environmental activism.

Joe Sweet
NASA Space Grant Intern

I am an environmental science student in biology interested in studying and utilizing modern techniques to monitor, maintain and improve natural resource management. I am particularly focused on the conservation of water, soil and ecological resources and how they tie in with agriculture which is the largest land use on the planet.