• Area of Study Biology

Where are you from?

Mission Viejo, California.

What is your major?

I am a BA/MS student in biology. I have always been interested in the sciences and particularly the intersection of natural processes and human/public health. I am drawn to the patterns and room to explore within the very interdisciplinary field of biology.

What is your favorite Biology course?

Through my major, I have experienced many types of courses, with my favorites being cellular and environmental biology studies.

What’s your favorite BU Biology memory?

So far, my favorite course is BI309: Evolution because Professor Mullen did a great job of presenting the material in a fascinating, relevant, textbook-independent way that brought the biology to life. The class had a way of making me think about the adaptive advantages and disadvantages of given traits/behaviors in all my subsequent classes and research, giving me a well-rounded perspective.

Have you been involved in any research opportunities?

I work with Dr. Larkin in a microbiology lab associated with both the Biology and Physics departments at the BU’s College of Arts and Sciences. We are primarily interested in physical influences on biofilm growth and behaviors. In particular, I am investigating similar interactions in the human gut microbiome.

Alyssa with her lab group.

How has your research tied into your classroom learning?

I feel as though they work to strengthen my understanding of one another. I often find myself drawing on things I’ve learned in the lab to help me understand concepts in courses, and vice versa. Also, being part of a lab encourages me to read scientific papers and think about biology in a way that’s independent of my required courses which I have noticed has allowed me to grow significantly as a student and rookie-scientist.

Alyssa at a lab bench pipetting.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in?

I am a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. I was also awarded the Clare Luce Booth award for women conducting research in STEM.

What is your favorite dining spot on or around campus?

Noodle Street!

What’s the best place to study or relax on campus?

The top floor of Stuvi 2 if I want quiet, Pavement Coffeehouse if I want some ambient noise.

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