People

Graduate and Undergraduate students work on a wide variety of projects ranging from modeling population growth of understory species to quantifying the variation in, and importance of, seed embryo size.

Rachel M. Mitchell

Assistant Professor

  • B.S. University of Arizona – 2006
  • PhD University of Washington – 2013
  • NSF Postdoctoral Fellow – Duke University – 2014-2017
  • CV

Email me: rachel.mitchell (at) nau.edu

Graduate Students

Heidi Goodrich

Masters Student

Heidi was raised in the Bay Area of California, and received her BS in Environmental Science from the University of New Mexico in 2017. After graduation, she worked in ecological restoration of forests and river systems in the Pacific Northwest, as well as ecological assessment and monitoring across Northern California and Nevada. Her desire to inform land management decisions led her to pursue a MS at NAU. Heidi’s research¬†interests are on wildfire disturbance regimes, their effects on plant communities, and response to increased drought stress with climate change..

Zoe Klein

Masters Student

Zoe received her BS in Environmental Sciences with a minor in Forestry from UC Berkeley in 2018. After graduation, she worked for the Sierra Inventory and Monitoring Network ad Sequoia and Kings National Parks as a field technician. Wanting to have more direct influence in management decisions, Zoe decided to pursue a MS at NAU. Zoe is interested in the effects of climate change on dryland restoration practices. She is interested in how to “prestore” public lands for future climate conditions. Her current research examines how maternal environmental conditions impact drought resistance in a native annual forb.

Ethan Taber

PhD Student
NSF Graduate Research Fellow
NAU Presidential Fellow

Ethan grew up in rural Oklahoma, but moved west and earned a BA in Environment and Sustainability at Western Colorado University. After a few years working in the northern Rockies, the desire to further his education led him to NAU. Ethan’s main research interests involve plant community responses to the effects of a changing climate, specifically involving wildland fire and reduced snowpack.

Undergraduate Students

Jaelyn Rambo – NAU SES Class of 2022
Abby Harman – NAU SES Class of 2022

Lab Alumni


  • Ashlee Wolf (2018-2020)- Plant Conservation and Restoration Specials, BLM
  • Tyler Annetts (2018-2020) – Ecological Site Specialist, NRCS
  • Ella Samuel (2019 – 2021) – Research Ecologist, USGS
  • Mallory Decker (2020-2021) – Interns2Scholars intern
  • Paige Thompson (2019-2021) – Interns2Scholars; HURA fellow; NASA Space Grant

Want to work with us?

I am always interested in highly motivated students! Please email me a brief introduction, a statement of research interests and experiences, and an unofficial transcript! My goal is to help you reach your career goals, so students interested in careers inside and outside of academia are encouraged to apply!


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