Alysha Putnam

42413606_1191089544367300_177000721869176832_oPh.D. Student in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

M.S. Biology, Smith College

B.A. Biology, Smith College

A.S. Biology, Holyoke Community College



Hi! I am Aly! I am passionate about Marine Ecology, species interactions, and how various aspects of climate change play a part in dynamic marine systems and interactions. As well, I am enthusiastic about STEM education, diversity/equity/inclusion in STEM fields and am a cofounder of the local organization Pioneer Valley Women in STEM. 

I am a first generation college student and am the first of family to pursue a career in science. I started my academic journey as a community college student where I studied Biology at Holyoke Community College and then transferred to Smith College as an Ada Comstock Scholar with a family and two children in tow. As well, I completed a Masters of Science at Smith College where I focused on Biology and Marine Ecology and explored competitive interactions between two rocky intertidal marine gastropod species (Littorina littorea and Littorina obtusata) in New England and how predation by invasive crabs (Carcinus maenas and Hemigrapsus sanguineus) impact these interactions and also how parrotfish use reef systems as habitat and food resources within and outside of marine protected areas within the Caribbean Sea.

My research in the Cheng Lab is to focus on species interactions in the context of climate change. Questions that interest me are: How will warming waters induce range expansion of southern distributed species into the Gulf of Maine (GoM) and what cascade effects could this have (predator/prey) and how will temperature influence current predator/prey/competitive interactions currently occurring between benthic invertebrate species in GoM. 

Feel free to be in touch with me about any of the topics listed above by contacting me at: 


  • Putnam A.B., Peckol P. (2018). Asymmetric interference competition between herbivorous gastropods, introduced Littorina littoreaand indigenous obtusata. Marine Ecology Progress Series 594:135-147.
  • Peckol, P. & Putnam, A.B. (2017). Differential toxic effects of Ulva lactuca (Chlorophyta) on the herbivorous gastropods, Littorina littorea and obtusata (Mollusca). Journal of Phycology 53(2):361-367
  • Putnam, A.B. (2016). Competition and coexistence: Interactions between the two herbivorous marine gastropods, Littorina littorea and obtusata. Master’s Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.