Alexandria Hoeher

Graduate Researcher

Aly received a B.S. from The College at Brockport, Brockport, NY in 2013 and an MSc. from Miami University, Oxford, OH in 2015. She started at Virginia Tech in 2015, working with Marc Michel and continuing research that she started during her Master’s.

Aly’s main research interests revolve around the process of crystal growth. Currently she is focusing on examining the structure of calcium phosphate nanoparticles, commonly termed Posner’s clusters, that aggregate to form amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP). ACP is a known precursor material in the crystallization process of hydroxylapatite and brushite. Determining the structure and aggregation of these clusters is a crucial first step in understanding the growth and formation of hydroxylapatite.

The main techniques she uses for her research include x-ray diffraction, extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy, and pair distribution function (PDF) analysis. EXAFS data for her research has been collected at the National Synchrotron Light Source 1 at Brookhaven National Lab, NY and the Synchrotron Light Research Institute in Thailand. Data for her PDF analysis has all been collected at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Lab, IL.

In the News

Aly recently attended a workshop on the reverse Monte Carlo (RMC) approach that was hosted at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN. Aly’s blog post on her experience is hosted here.

Teaching Experience

Miami University of Ohio

2015 Graduate Teaching Assistant – Petrology
2014 Graduate Teaching Assistant – Mineralogy
2014 Graduate Teaching Assistant – Introductory Geology
2013 Graduate Teaching Assistant – Mineralogy

The College at Brockport

2012 – Physical Geology Teaching Assistant
2012 – Physical Geology Tutor
2011 – Physical Geology Tutor
2010 – Physical Geology Tutor
2010 – Intern at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center

Research Areas


Crystal Growth


Amorphous Calcium Phosphate



Ph.D. Graduate Student, Virginia Tech Geosciences
MSc., Miami University, Oxford, OH


BSc., The College at Brockport

Virginia Tech Environmental Nanosciences

Office Address
5057 Derring Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: +1.540-231-3299
Fax: +1.540.231.3386

Mailing Address
1405 Perry Street
4044 Derring Hall (0420)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

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