Alexandra is an aspiring marine biologist with a particular love of sharks. Despite growing up in Colorado, she has been fascinated with the mystery and beauty of life in the ocean since she was a child. Alexandra has developed a passion for protecting marine life and strives to educate her landlocked community about the land-to-sea connection and about reducing single-use plastic consumption. “In our busy lives, we only consider what is right in front of us and we easily forget to think about what is out of sight: the ocean. Learning about our impact on the sea is critical to being able to protect it,” she says.
Alexandra graduated from Kent Denver School in spring of 2020 with a certificate from the Experimental Research Institute. During her time there, she did independent research on the bleaching of Euphyllia divisa (Frogspawn Coral), completed several independent study courses focused on marine science, and launched the No2Plastic School Challenge. She also started a Teens4Oceans chapter at her middle school and then founded REEFS (Research Experience and Education for Students) at the Kent upper school to inspire a passion in students for studying and protecting the sea.
In addition to her work at school, she worked to support marine conservation through policy, education, and outreach with the Inland Ocean Coalition (IOC). Alexandra was researching microplastic pollution in the South Platte River as part of an IOC project to better understand how people are affecting the ocean. She was also studying the effects of microplastic pollution on Salmo trutta (Brown trout).
In the spring of 2018, Alexandra volunteered with the Maldives Whale Shark Research Program and was then selected to be part of their research team on their most recent open water expedition in the fall of 2019. She and the rest of the team studied the movement of whale sharks during the switch from monsoon season to dry season by identifying the individual sharks that were spotted and by conducting plankton tows.
Currently, Alexandra is working as an intern at the Bimini Biological Field Station, also known as the Shark Lab. She has been assisting with longlining, gillnetting, gear repair, bait fishing, data collection, tissue sampling, and general research station upkeep. In January, she will begin pursuing a Bachelor of Science with an emphasis in Organismal Biology and Ecology at Colorado College.
By changing our habits we are taking responsibility for human health and the health of our planet.