Hi, my name is Alexis! My greatest passion has always been the natural world, but unfortunately my plant knowledge is a little lacking. I hope this class will help remedy that, and help me feel a little closer to the plants around me! My favorite flowers are prairie-fire, beeblossom (I just bought one that I hopefully won’t kill :’)), birds-of-paradise, and lotuses. My favorite trees are cottonwood, sassafras, and sweetgum.

One of our first assignments in this class was to create a coat-of-arms that described us. So allow me to describe mine! The first image shows an ammonite. I chose this specific creature because ever since I was little I’ve been fascinated by paleontology (I bet you can’t guess my favorite dinosaurs), as well as the ocean. I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio (also on my coat-of-arms!), which is absolutely full of fossils from the Ordovician period. I remember being a very small kid and playing in our backyard garden, and some of our rocks had little shell fossils in them. I loved to study these and imagine what these organisms must have looked like in life, millions of years ago. But my passion doesn’t end at the extinct. I’m a fourth year majoring in Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife (expecting to graduate in December!), with a specialization in Forestry and Wildlife specifically. My main interests right now are in birds and ecology. My coat-of-arms depicts a rare Kirtland’s Warbler perched on a jack pine. I think these birds are fascinating because over millions of years they’ve evolved to become dependent on this one tree species! I would love a career studying unique ecological relationships like this one.

The final image on my coat-of-arms is a quote that I remember whenever I’m frustrated with assignments. It comes from ancient Greece (I think from Aristotle?) and translates very nicely to English as “the roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” This quote is also important to me because of it’s origin. My grandpa is Greek, and he’s the one who taught me this saying. I’m very proud of my Greek heritage and of my grandpa, so I thought this would be the perfect quote to add.

In my free time I enjoy things like birdwatching, playing video games, cooking, and creative pursuits like drawing and origami. I’m excited to meet all of you and learn more about Ohio plants!