E44. Physics of Cockroaches, Cocoa, Bumblebees, and Trees. The Power of Plant Physiology w/ Teressa Alexander

In the episode, Teressa Alexander shares her journey from being an associate degree student to a Ph.D. student. She talks to us about her many research endeavors. After working for a challenging advisor, she knew what to look for as she searched for more research opportunities.

She talks to us about how in one of her studies one of her test subjects started giving birth in the midst of an experiment. She talks to us about how an email got her at Harvard doing research and he difficult time getting into graduate school.


Teressa Alexander is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in plant physiology at The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago. Teressa did her undergraduate degree in physics at Morgan State University while working in research labs studying cancer biology and insect biomechanics. After graduation she spent two years as a research fellow at Harvard, discovering a passion for plant physiology. Her desire to work on tropical plant models drew her to the West Indies. Here, she focuses on linking genotypic differences to drought tolerance in Cacao trees (Theobroma cacao) under climate change.

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. Further, in an effort to amplify Caribbean voices in STEM and inspire Caribbean youth, she founded STEM Caribbean Media. Alexander also hopes through the communication of her scientific research, she can educate persons on the importance of farmers and the effects of climate change on this generation. 

Connect with her:

Facebook: Teressa Melca

Instagram: @teressamelca

LinkedIn: Teressa Alexander

Connect with me:

Website: TheResearchHer.com

TikTok: @TheResearchHer

Instagram: @TheResearchHer

Twitter: @TheResearchHer

Facebook: @TheResearchHer