I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology & Microbiome Research at the University of Oklahoma and a Research Associate at the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum, part of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. My work is at the intersection of conservation, ecology, and paleontology.

In February 2021, I will join Middlebury College as an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Biology and Environmental Studies!

R&C staff Alexis web

Genomes, bones, and sediments hold clues to how organisms responded to changes in the past. I apply a diverse methodological toolkit to reconstruct the ecological histories of presently threatened species and the ecosystems in which they live, and place these results in a conservation context.

I employ toolkits that can accommodate data from fossil, historic, and modern specimens, such as stable isotopes, DNA, morphology, and species distribution models. I conduct fieldwork that includes both excavations of Pleistocene/Holocene sediments and non-invasive surveys of extant mammals. Natural history collections provide invaluable contributions to my research.

Current projects include:

  • Historical ecology of California Channel Islands vertebrates
  • Historical responses of red foxes to urbanization in Hokkaido, Japan
  • Stable isotope analysis of California’s last grizzly bears with the California Grizzly Research Network
  • Paleoecological reconstructions of a 50,000 year old woodrat midden
  • Ecology and conservation of the Hispaniolan Solenodon
  • Extinction dynamics of Caribbean mammals
  • Developing interdisciplinary partnerships for conservation paleobiology

I strive to include stakeholders, students, and conservation professionals from local communities wherever possible at all stages of my research.



I am honored to be featured in Dr. Eugenia Gold‘s new children’s book, “She Found Fossils”, which can be purchased on Amazon in English and Spanish!


My two recent publications were reported by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

ECSS Poster 2020

I am honored to be an invited speaker for the University Michigan’s 16th Annual Early Career Scientists Symposium: Natural History Collections: Drivers of Innovation.


August 2019: We had an awesome first BREAS meeting, with participants from the US, Venezuela, and Trinidad!


I was thrilled to participate in the National Geographic-Fulbright “Sciencetelling” workshop in July 2019 at National Geographic Headquarters in Washington DC.

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Thanks to all who participated in our workshop and attended our public lecture series!


Check out my blog feature on the Biodiversity Heritage Library user stories: “A Window into the Past, Present, and Future of Caribbean Mammals


April 2019: We had our first meeting of our Pursuit: “The death and life of biodiversity: modeling extinction and resilience on islands”


Our high school researchers participated in the Los Angeles County Science & Engineering Fair. Great work!

Why Insectivora.org?

A) Insectivores are amazing and I like to study them!

B) My last name is tricky to spell.