Brooke Byerley Best, Ph.D.

Editor, Botanist, Living Roof Coordinator, Research-Education Liaison

Ph.D. in Botany, Colorado State University
B.S. in Biology, Southwestern University

I wear many hats at BRIT, but first and foremost I'm an editor and a botanist. I work primarily with the Press, editing and producing the Botanical Miscellany book series and Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texasa plant science and taxonomy journal. Our small Press editorial team excels in science content editing, especially within the plant taxonomy field. We help produce a lot of regional floras (floras of Virginia, Colorado, Montana, Oregon, North Central Texas) as well as field guides and monographs, including bilingual works. Many BRIT Press books end up being used as textbooks for college courses.

I also serve as one of several botanists at BRIT who provide botanical services and expertise to the public and other departments at BRIT. We do adult education programs, training for community groups (Master Naturalists), field trips, tours, plant IDs, consultations, and vegetation surveys. I also often partner with BRIT's education department and act as research liaison for their programs where I mostly work at the interface of research and education programs (citizen science, adult/public programs, student programs, field experiences, real data collection, interaction with a scientist, career days, etc.) and specialize in experimental design.

When time allows, I also do research! I'm currently interested in studying the ecology of green roofs and green roofs as functional ecosystems, as well as Texas floristics, particularly edaphic rather than geographic communities. In terms of mentoring potential students, I have specialized research experience in floral morphology & evolution, pollination biology, plant hybridization/reproduction/breeding systems, invasives/competitive theory (e.g., ant-plant interactions), and pollinator systems and behavior. I also welcome opportunities to engage in projects that center around natural history collections. In all my interactions with students, I strive to kindle or keep warm the fires of natural curiosity while promoting critical thinking, training in best practices and techniques, and increasing overall science literacy.

Brooke earned a PhD in Botany from Colorado State University, where she studied floral morphology and evolution in the genus Phlox (Polemoniaceae) and the impacts of native and invasive ant-plant interactions. She joined BRIT in 2007, originally working as a volunteer in the herbarium. In her free time, she enjoys collecting plants from the Rolling Plains region near Scurry County, Texas, birding, and soccer. Follow her on Twitter @BotanyBrooke (all tweets her own and should not be assumed as representative of the views of BRIT).

Curriculum Vitae

ORCID: 0000-0001-9405-2183

A Goodland limestone prairie near Cresson, Texas. Shallow soils and drought-adapted native plants make this type of prairie an ideal model for green roofs in North Central Texas.