Austin R. Cruz

University Fellows Cohort Member, 2020-2021
Portrait of Austin R. Cruz
he, him, his

Austin is a doctoral student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He grew up in Southern California, where he earned undergraduate degrees from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from Stanford University. Interested in the effects of climate change on species interactions, he researches how plant-animal communities are formed and shaped over ecological and evolutionary time and space. He developed his focus on ecology and evolutionary biology while working as a social sciences researcher at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Department of Anthropology on an interdisciplinary, community-based conservation and development project in rural, southern Costa Rica. In addition to his academic pursuits, Austin serves as a science instructor for the University of Arizona Sky School, an inquiry-based and place-based program that connects elementary and middle school students to science through the unique sky island environment of the Catalina Mountains. He is also a longtime musician with 20+ years playing guitar.