Dr. Symone Alexander
Eckert Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Ph.D. Macromol. Sci. and Engineering
B.S. Chemical Engineering
Current Research Projects:
As a postdoctoral research fellow in the Bhamla Lab, I am leading investigations on extreme organismic biophysics with a focus on ultra-fast motion in nature. I am currently focusing on a tiny arachnid native to the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest known as the “Slingshot Spider.” This spider employs a conical 3-D web to generate ultrafast motion without sustaining physiological harm. In this research, I am uncovering how slingshot spiders achieve power amplification using polymeric materials, fundamental physics concepts, and engineering design, while sharing insight about the utility of this extraordinary prey capture strategy.
Dr. Alexander received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Howard University in 2013 and earned her Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science and Engineering as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow at Case Western Reserve University, advised by Prof. LaShanda Korley. During her graduate career, she led research on the influence of high molecular weight polymers on self-assembling small molecules and how those networks can be utilized to generate responsive polymer composites. She recently served as the elected chair of the 2019 Polymers Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) and actively participates in science communication through her role as a social media contributor for the Biophysical Journal. She is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including selection as a 2020 Emerging Leader by Georgia Tech Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, selection as a 2019 American Chemical Society Future Faculty Scholar (ACS PMSE), and being selected as a 2018 Rising Star in Chemical Engineering by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).