A childhood fascination with animals and their habitats led Alexa to an early start in science education. Joining the Boston Museum of Science as a volunteer throughout high school and college, Alexa honed her skills as an engaging science educator for all ages. Valedictorian of her high school and a National Merit Scholarship finalist, Alexa attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, choosing a double degree path in biology and French. Her interests in biology quickly developed toward plant biology and ecology, leading to undergraduate research on plant-insect interactions. Her studies in worldwide Francophone culture provided a unique lens on world history and literature, complemented by a course series titled Citizen Scholars, which blended service learning, reading, and practicum in social justice and political advocacy. Alexa wrote her senior thesis on food insecurity in Massachusetts, before graduating summa cum laude and pursuing her biology research to the graduate level. As a fifth-year master's student in the UMass Progam in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Alexa applied methods in analytical chemistry and multivariate statistics to studies of plant defenses against insect herbivory. Her thesis research has been published in the Journal of Chemical Ecology.
Following her master's degree, Alexa has pursued both environmental education and plant biology research, gaining experience in the biotech industry and the non-profit sector. She is currently working with Mass Audubon to lead field trips exploring tidepools and salt marshes. She began tutoring as a teaching assistant in graduate school, and has continued the experience as a volunteer with Tutoring Plus, a non-profit program serving the Cambridge public schools. Alexa enjoys working with students of all ages, bringing the same engaging style and joyful discovery process to coursework as she might bring to a field trip. She approaches tutoring as a mentoring relationship, with an eye to growing her students' confidence and finding their direction in the world, while building academic skills and deepening their knowledge.
Outside work, Alexa enjoys hosting board games night for friends and family, writing and hearing poetry, and exploring the outdoors.