Current Spotlight

Teressa Alexander
Teressa Alexander
Graduate Student
Department of Life Sciences under the Faculty of Science and Technology
The University of the West Indies, Trinidad

 

Recent Spotlights

Chelsea Pretz
Chelsea Pretz
Graduate Student
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EBIO)
University of Colorado, Boulder

 

Nina House
Nina House
Graduate Student
Department of Botany, California Botanic Garden (Claremont Graduate University)


Liming Cai
Liming Cai
Postdoctoral researcher
Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, UC Riverside

 

Natalia Contreras Ortiz
Natalia Contreras Ortiz
Graduate Student
Tropical Diversity at RBGE
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh RBGE and University of Edinburgh

 

Dustin Ray
Dustin M. Ray
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Plant Physiology
University of Minnesota, Duluth

 

Past Spotlights

Kadeem J. Gilbert
Pennsylvania State University

Sonal Gupta
University of Michigan

BSA Spotlight Series Logo BSA Spotlight Series  


The BSA Spotlight Series, created and run by the BSA Student Social Media Liaisons, highlights early career scientists in the BSA community. Scientists' profiles are shared on all BSA social media platforms, Membership Matters, the BSA eNewsletter, and on this webpage.

The spotlight series shares both scientific goals and achievements, as well as personal interests of the botanical scientists, so you can get to know your BSA community better.

Are you an early career scientist, or do you know an early career scientist that we should highlight in our Spotlight Series? Click here to fill out a simple form. This opportunity is open to current early career (undergraduates, graduates, and postdoctoral positions) BSA members, to learn more about becoming a BSA member click here.

Below is the most recent early career scientist Spotlight. To see more information on past Spotlights, use the menu to the left.


Teressa Alexander
Graduate Student
Department of Life Sciences under the Faculty of Science and Technology
The University of the West Indies, Trinidad

Posted 10-14-21

Social Media Handle (T/FB/IG): @teressamelca

Teressa Alexander


Teressa Alexander is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in plant science in The University of the West Indies, Trinidad. However, her journey in STEM began in Aviation. Teressa did her undergraduate degree in physics at Morgan State University in Maryland, USA. As a MARC Scholar at Morgan, she worked in research labs that focused on cancer biology and insect biomechanics. After graduation she spent two years as a research fellow at Harvard, discovering a passion for plant eco-physiology. Her desire to work on tropical plant models drew her to the West Indies. Here, she focuses on linking genotype differences to drought tolerance in cacao trees (Theobroma cacao) under climate change and developing a crop model to deduce genotypic adaptation strategies to future climate scenarios. Cacao trees are important economically as a source for the confectionary and beauty product industries. These trees are very susceptible to drought conditions and there is a need to develop drought tolerant trees.

Teressa has always had a strong desire to contribute to the significant upliftment of women and girls in science, build a network of Caribbean STEM professionals, and engage Caribbean youth in STEM. She co-founded STEMNoire, a scientific research conference and retreat for women within the African diaspora. Additionally, in an effort to amplify Caribbean voices in STEM and inspire Caribbean youth, she founded STEM Caribbean Media. Teressa also hopes through the communication of her scientific research, she can educate persons on the effects of climate change on agriculture and ways we can secure crop sustainability for future generations.

Cacao Trees (Theobroma cacao)