was born and raised in Hayward, California. Her earliest
memory where she became curious about marine life
was at a young age, on a family trip to Monterey Beach.
There she explored through tidal pools for crabs,
anemones, and sea stars. From there on, sea stars
fascinated her like nothing else and her curiosity
for the ocean continued to grow. In 2014, she was
admitted into COSMOS Summer Program at the University
of California - Irvine and attended a host talk about
the career of a talented marine biologist. Instantly
she was inspired and realized that she could turn
her passion into a professional career.
With her mind set on a career in marine science,
Alondra attended the University of California - Santa
Barbara and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree
in Aquatic Biology in June 2019. During her undergraduate
career, she engaged in educational and research opportunities
to expand her experience in marine science related-fields.
During the summer of 2017, Alondra volunteered at
the Santa Barbara Sea Center and educated visitors
about marine organisms and their ecological role in
marine ecosystems. She was able to work hands-on with
marine invertebrates and reef sharks. Through this
volunteer opportunity, she enjoyed bringing educational
insight to the public because it was a resource of
information she did not have outside of college courses
and a way to express to people why the ocean is so
Alondra also dedicated two years working for the
Moorea Coral Reef Lab at UC Santa Barbara. As an intern
she helped a graduate student with their research
project by conducting video analysis and data collection.
She gained knowledge in fish behavior and ecology,
specifically on Stegastes nigricans, and spent long
hours collecting and organizing data.
In 2018, Alondra studied abroad in Australia at the
University of Queensland, where she participated in
a program focused on marine biology and terrestrial
ecology and completed two group research projects.
One project focused on the effects of filtration activity
by filter feeders (oysters, mussels, clams, and sponges)
on turbidity and sedimentation. The second research
project, completed on Heron Island, focused on the
habitat selection and behavior of xanthid crabs. For
both projects, she took a major role in conducting
the data analysis, since statistics is one of her
strengths. Through the study abroad program she gained
several valuable skills and experiences in research,
field work, and data analysis.
After graduating from undergraduate school she quickly
realized her next step was to pursue graduate school
to continue to develop her career in marine science.
Alondra has always had a strong aspiration to contribute
to marine conservation, with plastic pollution being
an area of particular interest. When she came across
Dr. Hyrenbach's research on marine vertebrates plastic
ingestion and conservation, she immediately found
his lab objectives matched her interests.