ALEXIS M WALKER
University of Alaska Fairbanks ∙
Ph.D. Candidate • UAF • Marine Biology • Spring 2014 - Present
Major: Marine Biology | Thesis: Exploring community composition, environmental drivers, and oil degradation by bacteria and archaea in Arctic marine sediments | Advisors: Dr. Sarah Hardy & Dr. Mary Beth Leigh | GPA: 3.76
Bachelor of Science • UCSC • Marine Biology • Sept. 2007 – Dec. 2009
Major: Marine Biology with Honors* | Thesis: Establishing potential habitat refuge of nocturnal fish species Myripristis kuntee in Moorea, French Polynesia | Advisors: Dr. Pete Raimondi and Dr. Giacomo Bernardi | GPA: Overall 3.6 | Upper division: 3.9
Research Assistant • UAF • 2014 – June 2020
Assessing community structure of archaea and bacteria in Arctic marine sediments from the Beaufort and Chukchi seas via 16S rRNA and metagenomic sequencing.
Investigating crude oil biodegradation by bacteria and archaea in Chukchi shelf sediments via 16S rRNA and metagenomic sequencing.
Teaching Assistant • UAF • Spring 2017 & 2019
Taught multiple 3-hour lab sections, prepared media/cultures, and designed and wrote bioinformatics lab protocols for metagenomic sequencing for two academic semesters of an upper level undergraduate microbiology course.
Research Specialist • UCSC • June 2012 - 2014
Investigated the mechanisms of transport of Toxoplasma gondii via transparent exopolymer (TEP) in kelpforest ecosystems through sampling and analytical lab techniques. PIs: Dr. Mary Silver, Dr. Karen Shapiro, Dr. Fernanada Mazzillo.
Research Technician • UCSC • Jan. 2010 – June 2012
Conducted field and lab work pertaining to a Ph.D. candidates thesis work assessing how fires affect nearshore intertidal and subtidal habitats in Big Sur, CA. PIs: Dr. Pete Raimondi, Dr. Mark Carr, and Dr. Melissa Foley.
Journal Reviewer • Polar Biology • Arctic, Environmental Monitoring, Metabarcoding, Environmental DNA
PRODUCTS IN PREPARATION
Walker AM, Leigh MB, Hardy SM (2019) Patterns in bacterial and archaeal community structure exhibited in Arctic marine surface sediments from the Beaufort Sea Shelf and Slope. Planned submittal to Frontiers in Microbiology.
Walker AM, Gofstein T, Hardy SM, Leigh MB (2019) Microbial biodegradation of Alaska North Slope crude oil in Arctic marine sediments. Planned submittal to Applied and Environmental Microbiology
FELLOWSHIPS | GRANTS | AWARDS
2019 • Institute of Arctic Biology Fellowship • $7,500
2019 • Oil Spill Recovery Institute • $60,000
2019 • Goering Family Fellowship • $1000
2019 • CMI Best Student Talk • Coastal Marine Institute Review
2018 • Francis “Bud” Fay Memorial Scholarship • $1000
2018 • ASM Best Student Talk • Alaska branch of the American Society for Microbiologists
2017 • Frances And Alfred Baker Memorial Scholarship • $2000
2017 • Co-Authored CMI Grant • $150,000
2017 • INBRE Travel Grant • $2000
2016 • The Dieter Family Marine Science Research Scholarship • $4500
2016 • Coastal Marine Institute Student Fellowship • $25,000
2016 • NPRB Best Student Poster • Alaska Marine Science Symposium
SKILLS | EXPERIENCE
Proficiency in current bioinformatics pipelines pertinent to amplicon (mothur & DADA2) and metagenomic (PATRIC, RAST, BBTools, HMMER) sequence data
Five years of experience with processing environmental DNA samples from in situ Arctic marine sediments both uncontaminated and contaminated with crude oil including: lyophilization, DNA extraction, PCR, and library preparation
Participated in four research expeditions, 2 in the Arctic and 2 over the Monterey, CA submarine canyon
Designed and conducted a 300+ bottle biodegradation incubation experiment with in situ Arctic marine sediments
NAUI Master Diver with over 200 dives, the vast majority in Central California, Channel Islands, Southern Oregon, and French Polynesia
AAUS Certified Scientific Diver – PISCO trained