Alejandra Hernandez

PhD candidate, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University

Alejandra grew up in Caracas, Venezuela and completed her BSc (honors) (Biology) at Simon Bolivar University (USB). During her undergraduate studies, Alejandra discovered her passion for corals while she worked as support staff for the Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity (CARICOMP) program in the Laboratory of Marine Communities and Ecotoxicology (USB). Her undergraduate thesis evaluated the effect of suspended solids on the development of Caribbean ciliate infections in Acropora palmata. During the following four and half years, Alejandra worked as a researcher in the Experimental Ecology Laboratory (USB), collaborating in monitoring programs related to coral reefs, seagrass extensions, and intertidal and subtidal rocky shores, environmental impact assessments and in the evaluation of antibacterial activity in healthy and infected corals. In 2014, Alejandra obtained the Australian Awards Scholarship and moved to Australia. She jointed the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies to begin her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Bill Leggat, Dr. Tracy Ainsworth, Dr. Pim Bongaerts and Dr. Andrew Hoey. The focus of her research is coral-associated bacteria, their habitat distribution and response to environmental changes.

Experience

  • 2014–present
    PhD Student, James Cook University
  • 2009–2013
    Research Assistant, Universidad Simon Bolivar