Nolan, Alexa

Alexa Nolan

Current Institution:

University of Alabama in Huntsville


Franklin, TN


Fields of Interest:

Bioinformatics and Genomics

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Genetics

Plant Genetics


When and how did you realize that you wanted to study Genetics & Genomics?

I first realized that I had a love for genetics and plant science at Walt Disney World. In EPCOT, there is a quaint boat ride known as The Land. The ride takes its riders on a journey through Earth’s climates and biomes, on a tour of greenhouse and aquaculture facilities, and gives a peek into a USDA laboratory. The excitement and joy I felt while learning how scientists at The Land use genetic technologies to create more bountiful harvests and sustainable crops was unmatched. I grew my love for genetics as a TA for the course for three semesters as an undergraduate at UAH and knew that I wanted to further my career in crop sciences and genetics.

Why did you choose the Genetics & Genomics Ph.D. program at A&M?

I chose the Genetics program at TAMU because of the incredible opportunities offered during my PhD program and the support offered for a post-grad opportunity in law. The faculty and current students at TAMU helped me envision my future here and made me feel like a welcomed member of the community.

If you were free to choose anything, what research question/topic would you like to address for your graduate studies?

If I could investigate anything, I would love to work in sustainable crop development for the colonization of other planets! By understanding the regulatory networks that control essential crop development processes, we can create new and improve varieties of crops that can help us better prepare for life on other planets.

Fun Facts:

Who was your famous role model growing up?

Hank and John Green were always a huge role model for me growing up. I have loved their passion for learning, innovation, and science and it has had a major impact on how I have strived ot be a better science communicator. I also love their books, and find that they really inspire me to be the best person I can.

What would be your dream job after graduation from the program?

My dream job would be to work at The Land in Disney World! There is where I developed my love for crop sciences and would love to give back. If I can’t do that, I would like to go to law school for biological patent law.

Favorite place you have traveled to.

My favorite place that I have traveled is to Waitomo, New Zealand. There I was able to tour the set of the hobbiton, and also visit the amazing glow worm caves. It was a super cool and one of a kind memory, and the beauty was unreal!