Previous Lab Members

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Samantha Hellberg ’16: Ratmantha CropI recently graduated with high honors in psychology and as the sole recipient of University Honors. I wrote my honors thesis in the Robinson Lab entitled, “Under the Influence: the effect of anxiety and adolescent ethanol exposure on motivation for gambling-like cues.” I presented my honors thesis work at the Eastern Psychological Association conference this March in NYC and received a Psi Chi Regional Research Award for the presentation. In my last few weeks at Wes, I was awarded with the Butterfield Prize, the Holzberg Fellowship, and inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. During my time at Wes, I was also the Bystander Intervention Intern at WesWell and highly engaged in outreach around mental health, wellness, and sexual assault prevention at Wes; a member of Professor Kurtz’s Schizophrenia Cognition Lab; and worked independently with Professor Caitlin Shepherd on an original research project focused on subtypes of eating disorders. I am now working as the Program Coordinator of the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. Long-term, I plan to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology in order to specialize in treatment and research on the mechanisms and effective treatment of anxiety and related disorders.

Awards: University Honors; High Honors; Butterfield Prize; the Holzberg Fellowship; Phi Beta Kappa; Psi Chi Regional Research Award

Current Position: Program Coordinator of the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital


Aarit AhujaAarit Ahuja ’16: I gradueted from Wesleyan with a neuroscience-psychology double major, with a particular interest in animal behavior. I wrote my honors thesis on risky decision-making for which I received High Honors. In the past, I have worked at zoos, veterinarian hospitals, and animal shelters, and the Robinson lab is where I pursue my passion for animal studies here at Wesleyan. My work is specifically focused on analyzing cognitively-based gambling tasks in rats, and I hope to pursue a career in comparative cognition in the future.

Awards: George H. Acheson and Grass Foundation Prize in Neuroscience; Walkley Prize

Current Position: PhD student in Neuroscience at Brown University

Rebecca Tom ’16: I’m a junior from Brooklyn, NY. I’m a Neuroscience & Behavior and Biology double major, and I’m also pre-med. On campus, I’m a member of Wesleyan’s only sorority, Rho Epsilon Pi. We are a close-knit group of women with diverse interests, and a common goal: strengthening the role of women on campus, in the community, and in the world. This past summer, I worked at an early intervention and treatment center for autistic children ages 0-3 as an Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist. It was both interesting and challenging work, and I loved and learned a lot from the kids! This semester, I’m working as a Course Assistant for Behavioral Neurobiology.  In my spare time, I enjoy running and drawing. Possible post-grad plans include continuing research and attending medical school.

Awards: George H. Acheson and Grass Foundation Prize in Neuroscience; Phi Beta Kappa

Current Position: Master’s student in the Robinson Lab examining risky-decision making in the Central Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex. Headed to Medical school

Hannah Maniates ’16: I am originally from Meadville, Pennsylvania and graduated from Wesleyan with double majors in Neuroscience & Behavior and Biology and induction into Phi Beta Kappa. While at Wesleyan, I worked as a course assistant, tutored elementary and middle-school students, and conducted research with Dr. Robinson and Dr. Shellae Versey. Following graduation, I will be working with Drs. Erika Wolf and Mark Miller at the National Center for PTSD in Boston.

Awards: Phi Beta Kappa

Current Position: Researcher at the National Center for PTSD in Boston.


Sarah Mi ’16: I’m a junior from Hong Kong majoring in Neuroscience. My research area in the Robinson lab focuses on the motivation of diet­-induced obesity in rats. After graduation, I’d like to work as a clinical researcher before heading to medical school. I volunteer at the Connecticut Valley Hospital and work with the Food Rescue program on campus. Outside of school I enjoy reading, baking, and traveling.

Current Position: Researcher at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)


Aime ArAime Arroyo-Ramirezroyo-Ramirez ’16: I am a Neuroscience and Psychology double major from Berkeley, California. I am interested in diet-induced obesity as well as numerical cognition in young children. In addition to working in the Robinson Lab, I also do research in the Cognitive Development Lab with Professor Barth. Outside of research, I love to read, travel and dance.





Adam Fischer: I was the Lab Manager and Research Coordinator for the RobAdam Fischerinson Lab from May 2014 to May 2015. I am currently doing a Masters program in Pharmacology at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, where I previously completed an Honors Thesis in Neuroscience from my work in the Affective Neuroscience and Biopsychology Laboratory of Dr. Kent Berridge. I graduated in May of 2013 with High Honors in Neuroscience and continued my work in the Berridge Lab for a year after graduation.

Ellen Lesser ’15: I graduated in Neuroscience & Behavior with a certificate in Ellen LessnerSouth Asian Studies.  In the Robinson Lab, I wrote my Honors Thesis (for which I received High Honors) on how mothers’ high fat diet may affect their offsprings’ motivation for food cues.  I am particularly interested in communicating scientific research regardless of scientific background.  For this reason (among others), during my time at Wesleyan, I enjoyed being a course assistant for an introductory neurobiology course.  I was also a volunteer DJ at the community radio station, where I played new punk music and made up soundtracks for my favorite books. I am currently doing an PostBac at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) with Dr Donna Calu.

Awards: High Honors; George H. Acheson and Grass Foundation Prize in Neuroscience

Current Position: Researcher at the University of Maryland and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) with Dr Donna Calu.

Melanie Schaffler ’15: Melanie SchafflerI am from Long Island, New York, and graduated with a BA in Neuroscience & Behavior. On campus, I was the leader of the pep band, tutored elementary school children in math, and lead an after-school science club for elementary school students as part of the Wesleyan Science Outreach. As a member of the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program, I am interested in increasing the number of minority students in the sciences and higher education. In my free time I enjoy cooking and DIY projects. I am currently doing research in the lab of Dr Jacqueline Crawley at the UC Davis school of medicine. Her research uses mouse models to test drug treatments for various behavioral aspects of autism.

Caroline Mead

Caroline Mead ’15: I am from the Boston area and graduated with a double major in Psychology and English. In my spare time I enjoy running, cooking, and taking road trips. While at Wesleyan, I wrote a senior thesis on prejudice and interracial dating, sung in a band, and worked as a manager intern at Wesleyan’s student center. I am currently working in Boston.

Jeremy Levit ’15: Jeremy LevitI graduated in Neuroscience & Behavior, and studied rodent gambling behavior and the effects of uncertainty on perceived reward. I grew up in Massachusetts, where I worked  on hunger and satiety research at Amherst College. Outside of neuroscience I spend my time drumming, reading, hiking, and soaking up the sunshine.