Chiemeka Ezie · Our fearless former lab manager is now a medical student at NYU
Aaron S Heller, PhD
Aaron is a clinical psychologist and affective neuroscientist who received his BA from UC Berkeley, his PhD from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and postdoctoral training at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is interested in better understanding the temporal dynamics of emotion and how they relate to individual differences in risk for psychopathology. He uses a variety of methods including brain imaging (fMRI), psychophysiological (facial EMG, skin conductance) and mobile Health to better understand these relationships.
Prior to attending UM, Lara pursued her undergraduate studies in Behavioral Biology, Psychology and French at Johns Hopkins University, and completed a post baccalaureate fellowship in the Genetic Epidemiology Branch at the National Institutes of Health. She is interested in integrating neuroimaging and Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) to discover how changes in the brain affect real-time emotional fluctuations in individuals with mood disorders.
Brittany graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in Psychology. She then spent two years as a post-baccalaureate research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health. Her primary research interests lie in understanding the brain-based mechanisms that relate to the sustainment of positive and negative affect following personally-relevant stressors. She is also interested in applying different neuroimaging techniques (MRI, fMRI, and MRS) to elucidate the relationship between affective regulation and psychopathology.
Nikki Puccetti is a graduate student in the adult-track clinical psychology program. She earned her B.A. in Psychology with Research Distinction from The Ohio State University. Nikki is interested in using neuroimaging techniques to study the neural basis of emotion regulation and cognitive-affective interactions in both healthy individuals and those with psychopathology.
Bill is interested in affective dynamics, and how individual differences in the features of our emotional lives predict risk and resilience in psychopathology. A goal of Bill's research is to use computational modeling to uncover the factors that compel our emotional lives, and to identify the sources of aberrant affective experiences in clinical populations. As a member of the MANATEE Lab, Bill is involved in the preprocessing and analysis of neuroimaging data, and Ecological Momentary Analysis (EMA) programming and data analysis. In his spare time, Bill practices the trumpet and plays jazz around Miami.
Andrew earned a B.A. degree from Emory University double majoring in Psychology and Human Health. Andrew is interested in better understanding how environmental aspects of an individual’s life effect emotional volatility, stress perception, and mental distress. He hopes to find more translational applications for psychometrics such as Ecological Momentary Analysis (EMA) data in the assessment of psychopathology. Andrew’s role in the lab currently entails subject screenings, data collection, and analysis as well as the creation of procedural protocols. In the future, he intends to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.
Travis (Rick) Reneau
Rick is a Computer Science and Psychology double major from St. Augustine, FL. He plans to attend graduate school and his research interests include affective neuroscience, the mechanisms behind anhedonia, and alternatives for treatment-resistant depression. In his free time, he enjoys dancing with his crew Unit 305.
Betelhem is a Neuroscience major and Public Health minor from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She plans to attend graduate school and her future interests include research around religiosity and mental health illnesses and treatments in Ethiopia.
Conor is a Computer Science major from Philadelphia, PA. He is interested in learning computer programming through interdisciplinary research. In the Manatee Lab, Conor assists in downloading and processing Ecological Momentary Analysis data. Outside of the lab, Conor likes to practice Spanish.
Claudia is a Neuroscience major from Eastchester, New York. Her research interests include better understanding learning and memory and their relation to psychopathology. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the city of Miami.
Evelyn Menkes is a sophomore neuroscience major. Her main interests lie in affect and emotion. She is interested in attending medical school in hopes of becoming an OBGYN. She enjoys playing the violin and writing music in her free time.
Anuj is a 3rd year Neuroscience major from Jacksonville, FL. He is interested in researching affective neuroscience. He plans to attend medical school after graduating and plays basketball and searches for new music in his free time.
Cate's research focuses on characterizing the development and dynamics of the learning, memory, and decision-making processes that shape our behavior. She uses a broad array of methodological approaches to examine the cognitive, computational, and neural processes that inform our choices and actions.
Kiara's primary focus lies in researching factors that play a role in the etiology, comorbidity, and maintenance of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders. She is particularly interested in translational factors and integrative risk models, including the role of stress, self-regulatory deficits, and emotional tolerance.
MANATEE Lab Alumni
Jackie Yang · Jackie is currently a medical student at NYU
Ariel Gonzalez · Ariel is currently a research assistant with Angela Laird at FIU
Jesse Winton · Jesse is currently a medical student at the University of Florida