Exploring the port city of Stavanger, Norway (April 2017)
Hi there, I'm Alaina :)
Currently, I am pursuing a master's degree at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany. My master's thesis project explores the role of viruses in the symbiosis between sulfur oxidizing bacteria and deep sea mussels. I aim to apply microbial ecology to marine conservation/ecosystem management as a career, and I am specifically interested in understanding the role of microbes in the adaptation of marine organisms to changing environmental conditions (ie ocean acidification, elevated sea surface temperatures, eutrophication, etc).
Born and raised in Reading, PA I stayed relatively close to home for my undergraduate studies, attending Penn State at University Park, PA. WE ARE! :) While at Penn State, I pursued research projects that focused on coral microbiology and ecology in Iliana Baums's and Monica Medina's labs. My fascination with the secret powers of microbes in the ocean then led me to pursue a master's degree in marine microbiology, which brought me to the institute in Bremen. Prost!
In addition to marine microbial ecology, I am very passionate about science communication, and I aspire to include science journalism in my career. In my free time, I enjoy scuba diving (the header picture was taken while diving in a cenoté in Mexico), traveling, running, hiking, knitting, editing videos, and playing guitar. I'm also a huge music fan (I lovvve Led Zeppelin and the Arctic Monkeys).