Alissa Ganser
 COVES Fellow Profile

Alissa Ganser

  • Ph.D. candidate, Fish and Wildlife Conservation
  • Virginia Tech
  • Office of Virginia Senator Jennifer McClellan

“Being a COVES fellow changed my life. I am now planning to embark on a career in science policy.”

Summer Responsibilities: During her fellowship, Alissa built on her research skills and honed her communications skills. Among other activities, she prepared talking points for the senator’s speaking engagements, hosted a town hall event, and worked directly with constituents to help address their concerns.

Background: Alissa works with freshwater mussels, an extremely endangered aquatic fauna. Her research encompasses genetics, physiology, population demographics, reproduction, and life-history of freshwater mussels, which she has worked with for over a decade. Alissa hopes to combine her interests in aquatic science and ecology with her interests in human health in her future career.


  • Ph.D. candidate, Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech
  • M.S., Biology, University of Louisville
  • M.S., Biology – Aquatic Sciences, University of Wisconsin—La Crosse
  • B.S., Biology, University of Wisconsin—La Crosse