Alison was born far from the ocean in Aurora, Ohio, USA. When it came time to choose a college Alison picked the University of North Carolina Wilmington (5 miles from the ocean) pursuing a BS in Marine Biology. During her four years as an undergraduate, she took the opportunity to spend five months in Australia where she fell in love with coral reefs and the underwater world of the tropics. After returning to Wilmington she continued studying coral by researching the sub-lethal effects of ocean acidification on corals from the North Carolina coast. Her interest in researching tropical coral reefs lead her to KAUST in 2014.
Alison completed her Master’s degree at KAUST in 2015 with a project on population genetics of two Red Sea corals at different spatial scales. Following graduation she decided to stay at KAUST and is now pursuing a PhD in Marine Science. Her main focus is on genetic and epigenetic changes in fish caused by environmental factors such as warmer temperatures and ocean acidification. Alison is also continuing to study coral through surveying the effects of the 2015 and possibly 2016 bleaching events on the coral communities in the Central and Southern Saudi Arabian Red Sea. She is excited to again be focusing on the effects of climate change on reef organisms.
Co-advised by Prof. Timothy Ravasi