Research by Graduate Students
Current PhD students and research active MS students.
|Raphael Asfour is a PhD student with the Swarm Lab under Dr. Garnier. The focus of his research is in the behavior and collective intelligence of organisms. His goal is to use the movement patterns of Pharaoh ants as a model species to track and predict population migration.
|Claire Bailey (incoming Fall 2023)
|Claire is interested in ecology, evolution, and behavior, with a focus on eusocial organisms. She has previously worked on three-dimensional honeybee nest architecture and animal behavior.
|Shakila Behzadi (incoming Fall 2023)
|Shakila is interested in computational, biophysical, and cellular neurobiology. She is current laboratory technician in the Severi lab and previously worked in SARS-CoV-2 research.
|Will is a PhD student in Biology with a concentration in Ecology and Evolution. He got his B.S. in Marine Biology at the University of Rhode Island and his Master's in Marine Science at the University of New England studying aggression behavior in the European Green Crab. He is currently studying mass panic behavior in zebrafish in the Swarm lab and the Severi Lab. His main research interests are in intraspecies and interspecies behavior and in community ecology, with special interests in manta rays, coral reefs, and the deep sea.
|Grant is a PhD student who’s interests include community ecology, biogeography, and evolutionary history. His focus is on the factors that determine the species composition of isolated habitat patches like islands, as well as the biogeographic patterns those processes produce. Previous work has involved island biogeography of birds in the Chesapeake Bay and vertebrate paleontology.
|Nilasha (Neel) is a PhD student interested in the neurobiology of human social behavior, and wants to study its underlying mechanisms using small animal models. Having worked on quantifying male-male aggression in Drosophila mutants with Autism Spectrum Disorder phenotype, she now wants to understand the effects of substances on neurotransmitters and the associated diseases upon chronic use. She is working in the Severi Lab with zebrafish as a model to study Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. She primarily aims to explore the dopaminergic nervous system by tracking anomalous social behavior and locomotion, and further use immunohistochemical methods to visualize the altered 'brain chemistry' under influence.
|Catherine Eno (incoming Fall 2023)
|Cat is interested in elasmobranchs (cartilaginous fish), bio-inspired design, and marine biology. Prior to joining NJIT, she participated in shark research and worked as an engineering intern at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.
|Gianpiero is a Colombian Ph.D. candidate interested in biogeography, systematics, and evolutionary relationships in ants. He completed his undergraduate degree at the National University of Colombia, studying the patterns of biodiversity of Neotropical ants using systematics and taxonomy. Following his undergraduate career, Gianpiero has worked as an assistant curator at the Institute of Natural Sciences, a research assistant with the Insects of Colombia, and as a collaborative researcher with Escuela Superior Politecnica del Chimborazo (ESPOCH) and the Charles Darwin Research Station. There, he is working on studying the effects of Biological invasion on island ecosystems in the Galapagos. Gianpiero is a proud Latino and is currently leading an initiative in Colombia focused on engaging scientific learning in rural indigenous communities in the Amazon and the Pacific. He is a Co-founder of the Neotropical ants study group (GEHN), an outreach initiative that looks to give visibility to up-and-coming Latin American researchers. GEHN provides young researchers looking to enter academia with the chance to participate in weekly talks and science communication meetings. With his passion for teaching, he hopes to one day become a university professor and continue working towards encouraging diversity and inclusion in STEM.
|Alifia Ibkar (incoming Fall 2023)
|Alifia is interested in ecology, ecohydrological modeling, and wildfire, with an emphasis on remote sensing & GIS. Alifia recently worked on sustainable groundwater management in government settings.
|Kathryn Gallman is a PhD candidate working with Dr. Daphne Soares. Her research is focused on the neural control of sleep/wake cycles. She is particularly interested in how regulatory cues fine tune sleep/wake behaviors to the physiological needs of the animal. Kathryn uses the river-dwelling and cave-derived forms of the teleost fish, Astyanax mexicanus, to examine how the evolutionary transition to life in perpetual darkness modifies the regulatory input to the sleep circuit and the corresponding behavior.
|Smita is a graduate student in the Golowasch lab. She investigates cellular mechanisms that homeostatically regulate neural activity. In addition, Smita enjoys teaching and is actively involved in spreading awareness about climate change.
|Roxanna Nadim (incoming Fall 2023)
|Roxy is interested in interested in the intersection of behavior, communication, and decision-making in social organisms. As an undergraduate and laboratory technician, she worked on neuroscience and comparative anatomy in vertebrate systems.
|Zainab is a native of Brooklyn, NY, holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Stony Brook University and a master's degree in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Delaware. She is currently co-advised by Dr. Gal Haspel and Dr. Kris Severi, at NJIT. Zainab is now interested in looking at neuronal connectivity using a new technique known as expansion microscopy.
|Jonathan is a PhD candidate with Professor Golowasch. He works on identifying the molecular pathways that govern coregulation of ion channels in neurons. Using bioinformatic tools and patch clamp experiments, Jonathan hope to understand how neurons regulate their highly variable combinations of parameters to exhibit characteristic electrophysiological activity.
|Amani is a PhD candidate in the Flammang Lab studying shark functional morphology and swimming kinematics. She is particularly interested in how their scale morphology changes fluid flow around their body.
|Yuchen Zhang (incoming Fall 2023)
|Yuchen is interested in neuromodulation and electrophysiology as viewed through the stomatogastric nervous system. He is currently a MS student at NJIT and previously worked in animal physiology and marine biology laboratory settings.