Rebecca Eagle-Malone


Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

My Research Interests:

Ecology Research

Environmental Education

Conservation Research and Education


Rebecca is an informal science educator and plant scientist. She enjoys working with people and connecting them with Nature. As a Biomimicry Fellow educator, she gets to see people inspired by Nature quite frequently. Rebecca believes that as people realize the 'value' of Nature, both intrinsic and instrumental, they will strive to become better environmental stewards and care for the planet and all its wonder.

PhD Projects

Phytoremediation of Lead-Contaminated Soils
May 2016 - Current

Phytoremediation is a process which uses plants to remove contaminants from soil and water. I am investigating the abilities of plants to decontaminate urban soils from lead contamination, particularly native, non-invasive species (Cichorium intybus, Elymus canadensis, Sorghastrum nutans, Solidago ohioensis).

Biomimicry Interpretation in Informal Science
September 2017

In September 2017, I was the invited keynote speaker for the annual docent conference at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. I developed a paper based on this 60-minute presentation.

Ethics in Biomimicry in Education
2019 - Current

This project seeks to understand the relationship between participants engaged in biomimicry learning and impacts in pro-environmental behaviors and attitudes.

Understanding Higher-Level Participants at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

At Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, we hope to better understand the diverse audience that we serve. While various studies exist, seeking to define basic visitor needs, we have little knowledge to guide zoo educational programming and activities for repeat, interactive participants. In particular, this research sets out to define teen participants in our Zoo Crew club, our young adult (20s-30s) group known as Young Professionals, and our students in the Advanced Inquiry Program (Master's degree).

Select Papers and Presentations

Advance Inquiry Program: Miami University and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

This program is part of a collaboration with Miami University of Ohio, Project Dragonfly, and AZA-accredited zoo affiliates, which provides unique learning experiences to foster a sense of community and environmental stewardship in students seeking a Master's degree in Biology or Teaching Biological Sciences. Specifically, I facilitate and co-facilitate the following learning experiences: Biomimicry/Ecophysiology; Foundations of Inquiry; Master Plan in Action; Practical Applications; Project Design and Assessment; Environmental Stewardship; and various Book Discussion topics.

Biomimicry and Environmental Science
Bath Nature Preserve Field Station, Bath Township, Ohio

In 2015, when I started my doctoral work at The University of Akron, I began helping our field station manager facilitate field trips with local public school students (Akron Public Schools), grades 2-12. Some of the topics introduced to the students include: muskrat den architecture, wetlands and aquatic ecology, art, observation, and design, and biomimicry overview. I thoroughly enjoy these experiences with children previously limited in Nature interactions, the laughter and smiles I see on their faces make me smile, inside and out!

Great Lakes Biomimicry Presenter
Northeast Ohio

I have presented at various locations for Great Lakes Biomimicry including as a presenter for Great Lakes Biomimicry's classes, marketing events, and board meetings.

Biomimicry: Environmental Stewardship, Conservation, and the Arts
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

In 2017, I began working with a non-profit organization, Art House, which brings unique art education opportunities to local, inner-city public school students. Each school year, I work with Art House personnel and school groups from Cleveland Metropolitan School District (grades 2-12) on grounds at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Past themes include: Environmental Stewardship and Conservation, resulting in beautiful tiled mosaics desgined by 2nd and 5th grade students; Biomimicry and Conservation, resulting in unrivaled creative, innovative designs developed by 12th grade students; and Biomimicry and Conservation, resulting in an educational, nature-inspired Paper Art prototypes and animation.

International Women in Science Day
Cleveland, Ohio

I contribute to various engagements which seek to inspire females to STEM careers. To date, I have attended WIS Days at Cleveland Museum of Natural History and North Chagrin Reservation. I also speak with female high school students at Akron Public Schools, as well as facilitate various Career Days throughout Canton, Akron, and Cleveland, as requested.

The Power of Plants! Plant Biomimicry
Carroll County Garden Club, Carrollton, Ohio

Featured keynote speaker at the spring quarterly meeting for Carroll County (Ohio) Garden Club. This ~45 minute presentation demonstrated to an audience who already loves plants, even more wonderful features plants embody for innovative inspiration. Using a variety of plants species from all over the world, I lead an interactive session to spur the audience in creative thinking about fascinating plants: String of Pearls, Purple Passion Plant, Venus Flytrap, Pitcher Plant, Barrel Cactus, and more.

Think'N Drink with the Extinct
Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland, Ohio

In 2017, Cleveland Museum of Natural History held an informal guest experience (Think'N Drink with the Extinct) themed Biomimicry. I facilitated a table on Plant Biomimicry, engaging guests 21 and over in the creative genius of Nature.

Biomimicry for Bioinnovation
Austen Bioinnovation Institute, Akron, Ohio

I co-facilitated this learning experience in 2017. To a group of students attended a STEM-related summer camp, we led them in Biomimicry learning exercises. ~1.5 hours.

TEDX BreakOut Sessions Table Presenter: Plant Biomimicry
Akron Museum of Art

As part of a TEDX Salon held at The University of Akron, on the topic of Biomimicry, I facilitated one of the BreakOut Session tables: Plant Biomimicry. Using various plant species, I engaged guests in 20-minute interactions, sparking both curiosity and creativity.

Biomimicry in Your Backyard
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

As a first-year Biomimicry Fellow at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, I was asked to present the evening keynote for the first annual Biomimicry Summit (currently called Biocene) through NASA Glenn and Great Lakes Biomimicry. After a day of listening to awe-inspiring presentations by a diverse group of experts, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Great Lakes Biomimicry, NASA Glenn and Ohio Aerospace Institute welcomed guests to experience natural models up-close! Ambassador Animals such as 3-Banded Armadillo, Eastern Box Turtle, and Children's Python accompanied me as I encouraged attendees to interact with us.