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Alexandra, PhD Student

One of my favorite quotes comes from renowned biologist E.O. Wilson: “We are not afraid of predators, we’re transfixed by them, because fascination creates preparedness, and preparedness, survival.” Like many children, I felt that fascination at a young age. Unlike most others, I haven’t been able to relinquish it since.

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, I graduated Cum Laude from Williams College (MA) with a biology and English degree. I am now a PhD student in Animal Behavior at the University of California – Davis, where I am a member of the Biotelemetry Laboratory. In this past year I’ve had first-hand experience with many large carnivorous shark species, including white sharks, tiger sharks, hammerhead sharks, and sandtiger sharks, through internships with Oceans Research in South Africa and the Bimini Shark Lab in the Bahamas.

My current focus is the planktivorous basking shark. My research will use this species as a model for determining trophic interactions and ecosystem health. The results will have a significant conservation impact that will inform the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs), and I want to use my interdisciplinary background to bridge the gap between scientists and policy-makers in the broader community.

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