Austin Cruz

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Austin Cruz headshot

Austin R. Cruz is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. His research in the Bronstein Lab investigates how global warming affects species interactions and specifically mutualisms, mutually beneficial interspecific interactions. He draws upon a wide range of tools to help uncover and predict how mutualisms across diverse ecological systems and scales might persist in the face of anthropogenic warming. Before entering doctoral studies at the University of Arizona, he obtained a master’s degree from Stanford University, where he later worked as a social sciences researcher in the Department of Anthropology and The Woods Institute for the Environment. In this role, he worked in an interdisciplinary team on conservation and development challenges in southern Costa Rica where he co-developed a community-based environmental leadership and education program for rural, underserved youth. This collaborative work resulted in publications in Environmental Education Research. Additionally in his role at the Woods Institute, he helped establish baseline ecological monitoring research for a novel agroforestry project in the region, which examined how local farmers can sustain social, economic, and ecological needs with innovative farming practices. From 2018-2020, Austin served as Managing Editor for The Journal of Environmental Education, the oldest international journal of its kind and a premier journal in the field. Outside of research, Austin is a science instructor in the UA Sky School Program, where he teaches inquiry- and place-based science practices and concepts to local K-12 students both in school settings and in desert environments around town.


Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation

College of Engineering 

College of Science Galileo Circle

Graduate College

Arizona Institute for Resilience

Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment & Social Justice

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences