The Research Diaries Team

Jessica Chomik

Alex Keene, PhD

Bethany Stanhope, PhD

Undergraduate Researcher & Podcast Host

Research Mentor

& Podcast Producer

Currently, a second-year student at the Honors College of Florida Atlantic University (FAU), who is majoring in Cognitive Neuroscience. I am a born and raised South Florida kid of Hispanic roots, so don't even get me started on Broward rappers and the greatly feared "chancla". I love to ride street motorcycles and talk about science, which, admittedly, aids me greatly in conversation... say, why don't you sit down, and I'll tell you all about it on the next episode. 

Alex is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at FAU, and a member of the Jupiter Life Science Initiative.  His laboratory studies the genetic regulation of sleep in fruit flies, and how sleep evolves using blind Mexican cavefish. Alex is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation.  He also directs the undergraduate Neuroscience and Behavior Program at FAU. 

Andrea Carter Mincer

Erik Duboué, PhD

Postdoctoral Mentor & Podcast Producer

Bethany is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Jupiter Life Science Initiative at FAU. Her work investigates the evolutionary, genetic, and neural mechanisms that modulate sleep in flies and cavefish, ultimately helping us to better understand sleep disturbances and neurodiversity. Bethany is also passionate about science communication, and has developed outreach curriculum to bring laboratory science to undergrads and the public. Outside of lab, she loves to travel, spend time with her dogs, and play recreational sports. 

Johanna Kowalko, PhD

Podcast Editor

Andrea has worked as science journalist and writer for over fifteen years. After graduating from University of California, San Diego with a degree in biology she soon realized that her talent lay more in writing about science rather than working at the laboratory bench. Andrea enrolled in the science journalism masters program at Boston University on a merit scholarship, and wrote on a range of topics including the science behind stiletto heels and the plight of the bluefin tuna. She was also an intern with the ABC News Medical Unit in Boston researching news stories and writing for the network website. Since then Andrea has written for Boston Children’s Hospital, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and Oceanus Magazine at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Most recently she was a reporter for the Falmouth Enterprise on Cape Cod where she wrote about health, science and education and was a correspondent for the newspaper’s podcast. Having recently relocated to Jupiter, Florida, Andrea is working as a freelance science writer and is happy to be a part of The Research Diaries podcast.  

Academic Mentor

Academic Mentor

Erik is an Assistant Professor at Florida Atlantic University, where he runs a laboratory that examines the neuronal modulation of stress, and how the brain may be altered in individuals with anxiety disorders. Erik loves animal behavior, and whereas fish are his career passion, Erik's real love is in dogs. He has two Pitbull’s, Nena and Coco, who run his life, and, when not at daycare, sometimes go to the lab.

Johanna is an Assistant Professor in the Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University. Her laboratory investigates  evolution and development in the blind Mexican cavefish, and aims to optimize genetic tools such as CRISPR in this study system. Johanna is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and teaches a Genetics course in the Honors College.

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