Brooke Byerley Best

Profile

  • Time Zone
    Central

  • Organization
    Botanical Research Institute of Texas

  • Role
    Scientist Mentor: I will mentor teams of students online

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    Plant biodiversity (floristics, especially of Texas) and the ecology of green roofs

  • Profile Question 1
    When and why did you decide to go into a science career?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    Both of my parents were science teachers, so that likely had something to do with my love of science from a very early age (although both of my siblings chose to study business, so the correlation is not statistically significant!). When I was in middle school, I actually wanted to be a biologist and work on fruit fly genetics, but then a teacher showed me how cool plants are! Plants have evolved really clever strategies to counter the fact that they're rooted in the ground and can't run AWAY from herbivores or run TO each other to reproduce!

  • Profile Question 2
    What is the coolest thing you have discovered or learned about plants?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    I like to study why flowers are the way they are and look the way they do. The different flowers we see today are the products of millions of years of selective pressure. The first flowers were fairly simple (like one a toddler would draw), but through time many wonderfully complex flower forms have evolved. Just consider the crazy shapes of some orchids or Dutchman's pipe or a passionflower... It's really amazing when you stop to think about it!

  • Profile Question 3
    Can you share a funny/interesting lab or field story?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    When I'm out in the field collecting plants and surveying the biodiversity of an area, there usually aren't any bathrooms around. Emptying one's bladder in a prairie or forest is not a big deal, but you have to be careful to avoid ant piles, poison ivy, cactus, etc. One time I was so busy trying to avoid cactus that I failed to notice the stinging nettle I'd just squatted on! I won't forget THAT trip anytime soon!

  • Availability
    I am NOT available, please temporarily remove me from the available mentor list

  • In addition to English, I am comfortable communicating with students in the following languages:
    None of the Above

  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?
    2

Skills & Endorsements

  • No skills have been endorsed yet.