Ecologist Justin Becknell studies forest ecosystems and the role that tropical forests play in the global carbon cycle, work that is fundamental to addressing the climate crisis. He has also launched a new forest-monitoring project based in Maine, working with students to set up research sites for them and future generations of Colby students to study and analyze.
Becknell often works with members of a leading international research team and has played a key role in an array of influential publications, both in highly ranked field journals and in publications such as Science, Nature, and PNAS. He recently received a National Science Foundation Long Term Research in Environmental Biology Grant to continue his research. Becknell has served as associate chair of the Environmental Studies Department, and he has chaired the College’s Woodland Committee, which he co-created to ensure productive use of and care for Colby’s extensive woodlands.
Becknell came to Colby in 2017 after completing his Ph.D. in ecology, evolution, and behavior at the University of Minnesota, where he also earned his B.A. in environmental science.