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PhD Students

Maddie Dwortz
Maddie Dwortz
Phd Student

mdwortz@utexas.edu  

Maddie is interested in the neural mechanisms facilitating social rank in group-living animals, specifically how individuals in a group learn and/or recognize social rank relationships between themselves and group-members. Her research examines the neural representation of social rank and social context in the mouse brain using genomic and electrophysiological techniques. She received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Michigan.


Koll Rada
Koll Rada
Phd Student

Radak1257@utexas.edu  

Köll is a PhD student in the Curley Lab at The University of Texas at Austin. He is currently working on the neural mechanisms involved in paternal care. His research investigates the genomic expression within specific neural regions that regulate social behaviors (e.g., aggression and parental behaviors), specifically the neural shifts between paternal and non-paternal behaviors. He received a B.S. in Psychology and a certificate in Forensic Science at the University of Texas at Austin.


Kathryn Mahach
Kathryn Mahach
Phd Student

kathryn.mahach@utmail.utexas.edu  

Kathryn is interested in how the early life social environment affects stress resilience later in life. More specifically, her research is focused on investigating the changes in glial cell characteristics driven by social experiences and their influence on affective behavior. Before coming to UT Austin, she received a B.S. in Biology from James Madison University.


Tyler Marie Milewski
Tyler Marie Milewski
Phd Student

milewski@utexas.edu  

Tyler is interested in how social relationships and environmental context shape social status. Primarily, how behavioral plasticity coordinates with neural and physiological systems to induce metabolic, cellular maintenance, immune, and locomotion changes leading to adaptive and maladaptive fitness outcomes. Tyler’s research looks at how social transitions in status influence an individual’s behavior, physiology, and molecular profiles. Before coming to UT Austin, Tyler received a B.S. in Neuroscience and M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Scranton.


Sydney Seese
Sydney Seese
Phd Student

sydney.seese@utexas.edu  

Sydney is interested in studying how social behavior is influenced by developmental environment and how/what influences social status to change. She is currently researching dominance in male and female stable social mouse groups and doing work with how rearing environment influences social behaviors in mice. Sydney received a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience at Michigan State University in 2020.


Research Associates

Ariel Bellatin
Ariel Bellatin
Researcher

Lab Manager
ariel.bellatin@austin.utexas.edu  

Ariel is a lab manager and research associate in the Curley Lab at The University of Texas at Austin. Her current roll revolves around structuring and maintaining an easily functioning lab. She is interested in the neurobiological and physiological outcomes of social behavior in animals. Before coming to UT Austin, Ariel received a B.S. in Biology from Texas Tech University.


Livy TaliaFerro
Livy TaliaFerro
Researcher

olivia.taliaferro@austin.utexas.edu  

Livy is a research associate in the Curley lab at the University of Texas at Austin. They are interested in the neural pathways and structures associated with social behavior in animals. Currently, they are helping research the neural processing of social information within dominance hierarchies. Before joining the Curley lab, they received a B.A in Psychology from Baylor University.


Undergraduate Students

Mia Fusillo
Mia Fusillo
Undergraduate Student

Mia is an undergraduate student in the Curley Lab at The University of Texas at Austin. She is majoring in Psychology (B.S.) and pursuing a Certificate in Applied Statistical Modeling. Mia is working with temporospatial data from social networks of mice, specifically developing code in RStudio to track animal activity and association.


Kenzo Revilla
Kenzo Revilla
Undergraduate Student

Kenzo Revilla is a Junior at The University of Texas at Austin. He is pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Human Biology and an Art History Minor. As an Undergraduate research assistant in the Curley Lab, Kenzo aides in the research being conducted over the glial morphology of mice after they form social dominance hierarchies.


Arjun Seth
Arjun Seth
Undergraduate Student

Arjun is an undergraduate research assistant in the Curley Lab at The University of Texas at Austin. He is pursuing a degree in Biochemistry (B.S.). Arjun’s work revolves around social behavior in mice, more specifically the positions of mice within their social hierarchy and associated hormonal and epigenetic patterns.


Sujit Vankineni
Sujit Vankineni
Undergraduate Student

Sujit is an undergraduate research assistant in the Curley Lab, pursuing a Bachelors of Science and Arts in Biology at The University of Texas at Austin. Sujit’s work revolves around RNA processes from rodent tissue samples, observing animal behavior and social interaction within dominance hierarchies.


Postdocs

Name Current Position | Interests
Becca Franks
Postdoc at the Animal Welfare Program at The University of British Columbia
Ph.D. in Psychology, Columbia University (2012)
B.A. in Anthropology, New York University (2002)
Research Scientist of Environmental Studies, New York University

Becca’s research interests include animal welfare; curiosity and cognitive enrichment; motivation; animal personality; statistical modeling; and fish behavior.

Graduate Students

Name Current Position | Interests
Won Lee
Postdoc in Champagne Lab, the University of Texas at Austin (2021)
Ph.D. in Psychology, Columbia University (2020)
Masters in Psychology, Columbia University (2017)
B.S. in Biology Education, Minor in Psychology, Seoul National University (2013)

Won completed her PhD at Columbia University. She is now an associate In Vivo scientist at The Jackson Laboratory

Nina So
PhD, Sarah Woolley Lab, Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Columbia University
Masters, Curley Lab, Columbia University
B.A. in Biology and Music, University of Virginia

Nina completed her Masters’ degree at Columbia University in the lab. She is now director of R&D operations at Pfizer.

Cait Williamson
Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience, Columbia University (2018)
B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior, Columbia University

Cait completed a PhD at Columbia University. She is now an Account Director at 21GRAMS

Undergraduate Students

Name Current Position | Interests
Jaxon Paige Bowman
B.S., University of Texas at Austin (2019)
Medical Assistant at Dermatology & Skin Surgery Institute of North Texas, P.A.
Hanan Brower

Hanan is an Freshman undergraduate research assistant in the Curley Lab at The University of Texas at Austin. She is pursuing a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology with a specification in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Hanan’s work revolves around social dominance structures and how they affect physiological outputs.

Jolie Burek
B.S. in Biology, University of Texas at Austin (2020)

Olivia Laster

Olivia Laster is an undergraduate research assistant in the Curley Lab at The University of Texas at Austin. She is pursuing a degree in Biology (B.S.). Olivia’s work revolves around Identifying the gene expression differences between the two sexes of mice.

Tina Thi Nguyen

Tina Thi is an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Neuroscience (B.S.). She is working as an undergraduate research assistant in the Curley lab and her current project revolves around the behavioral analysis of mice social discrimination ability—more specifically, what information is being extracted in the discrimination between social odors of different groups of mice.