Alessandra Polo, PhD
July 2016: PhD in Molecular Biology, University of Vienna, Vienna
May 2011: Master of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Università Tor Vergata, Rome
(110 cum laude / 110)
Sep 2008 – Mar 2009: Erasmus student at the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, University of Vienna.
February 2009: Bachelor of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Università Tor Vergata, Rome
(110 cum laude / 110)
July 2005: Scientific High School graduation, Liceo Scientifico “Vito Volterra”, Ciampino, Rome
1997-2000: Secondary School “St. Thomas More School”, London
She was awarded with a money prize from Tor Vergata University for the best graduates of the year (2011). Third place in the photography contest ‘Your Research in One Picture’, University of Vienna (2015). AAUS Scientific Diver certification (2017). SCUBA Diving certifications: PADI Divemaster and Discover Scuba Diving Leader, DAN First Aid, EcoDiver Mediterranean Trainer and Tropical Ecodiver (ReefCheck Italy), Coral Restoration Diver, Drysuit and Nitrox specialty.
In the Bio. Other interests: She is interested in monitoring the coral health on St. Kitts and disease outbreaks, such as the fast-spreading SCTLD; assess the anthropogenic impact of returning tourism on the reef of St. Kitts as part of an ongoing international collaboration, conduct observations during coral spawning season for the Caribbean-wide research group and collaborate with local marine conservation NGOs for citizen science projects and outreach.
Andreatta G, Broyart C, Borghgraef C, Vadiwala K, Kozin V, Polo A, Bileck A, Beets I, Schoofs L, Gerner C, Raible F (2019). Corazonin signaling integrates energy homeostasis and lunar phase to regulate aspects of growth and sexual maturation in Platynereis. PNAS 117(2):1097-1106.
Bannister, S., Antonova, O., Polo, A., Lohs, C., Hallay, N., Valinciute, A., Raible, F., and Tessmar Raible, K. (2014). TALENs mediate efficient and heritable mutation of endogenous genes in the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii. Genetics 197, 77–89
Alessandra comes from a seaside village in Italy and was born Pisces - so maybe her love for the ocean was written in the stars!
Alessandra always wanted to face new challenges, thorough out her ‘life as a biologist’ she has been a Science High School teacher, a SCUBA diving guide in cold water lakes, a coral-nurse, and an underwater photographer!
She has swam with hammerhead sharks and dolphins, inside Red Sea wrecks and wherever she goes will always try out new adventures, but her biggest dream, which is still on her bucket list, is to kayak with Orcas in the Salish Sea.
She has volunteered for numerous animal welfare and environmental causes: like dog-sheltering, plastic beach clean ups, mangrove channels restoration projects and Reef Check Tropical Ecodiver expeditions.
Having moved numerous times already in her life, she feels she belongs to every place she lived in, but when it comes to food.. there’s only one place she misses and that is home! She enjoys cooking traditional Italian recipes for her friends, as long as you never name the infamous ‘salsa Alfredo’!