Current Lab Members

Jonathon Crystal

Principal Investigator






Jonathon Crystal received his BSc from University of Toronto in 1992, ScM from Brown University in 1994, and PhD from Brown University in 1997. He was previously a faculty member at University of Georgia and William & Mary. He is currently a Provost Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University. He is also a faculty member of the Program in Neuroscience, the Cognitive Science Program, and the Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior, all at Indiana University. He is currently the Editor in Chief of Learning & Behavior.

Danielle Panoz-Brown

Post-Doc



Danielle Panoz-Brown is currently a Post-doc in the Comparative Cognition Lab. She received a B.S. in Psychological Science from Georgia College & State University in 2011, and a M.A. in Experimental Psychology from UNCW in 2015. Over the last several years she has worked as a research assistant in numerous neuroscience and behavioral pharmacology labs. Her primary research interests include psychopharmacology, behavior analysis, and comparative cognition with special interests in animal models of learning and memory.

Gabriel Nah

Graduate Student

Gabriel Nah is currently a graduate student in the Program in Neuroscience. He received a B.S. in Biology from Lincoln University of PA in 2019. He is interested in studying the cognitive deficits in traumatic brain injuries with special interests in recovery. In his free time, Gabriel enjoys watching tv, traveling, reading and spending time with friends and family.

Cassandra Sheridan

Graduate Student






Cassandra is currently a graduate student pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience and Psychology. She received a B.S. in Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology from the University of Iowa in 2020. While at the university of Iowa, she worked in a comparative cognition laboratory studying categorization and attention in pigeons. In the lab, she studies episodic memory in rats and is currently working on a study examining episodic memory replay in rats. In her free time, Cassandra enjoys spending time with her pets, listening to music, drawing and playing video games.

Stephen Lang

Laboratory Technician

Stephen Lang is a graduate of Indiana University in neuroscience. He is assisting an item in context study examining episodic memory using olfaction in the Comparative Cognition Lab. Stephen intends to apply to medical school. Outside of coursework, he enjoys activities such as soccer, skiing, and climbing.

Sarah Flannery

Undergraduate Researcher

Sarah Flannery is a senior studying Neuroscience with a minor in Spanish. She is assisting with research studying episodic memory in rats. After she graduates, she plans to attend school to become a Physician Associate. Outside of the lab, she is a peer educator for IU's "It's On Us" program and a member of Mortar Board. In her free time, Sarah enjoys watching movies, crocheting, and spending time with family and friends.

Saanika Kamat

Undergraduate Researcher

Saanika Kamat is a senior at Indiana University majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Psychology and Spanish. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, she assists in the study of episodic memory in rats. She plans to attend medical school in the future. In her free time, she volunteers with the service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. She also enjoys hiking and spending time with friends and family.

Carly Count

Undergraduate Researcher

Carly Count is a Sophomore at Indiana University studying Human Biology. In the Comparative Cognition Lab, she is assisting with the study of episodic memory in rats. After graduation, she hopes to attend dental school and pursue a career in orthodontics. In her free time, she enjoys running, making friendship bracelets, and spending time with friends and family.

Ethan Pulliam

Undergraduate Researcher

Ethan Pulliam is a Sophomore at Indiana University studying Neuroscience with a minor in Business. In the Crystal Comparative Cognition Lab, he assists in the study of episodic memory in rats. Ethan has a passion for science and would like to attend medical school after graduation. In his free time, he loves playing sports with friends, watching television and spending time with family.

Priyanka Thomas

Undergraduate Researcher




Priyanka Thomas is a junior at Indiana University studying Neuroscience and Psychology. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, she assists in the study of episodic memory in rats. She wishes to attend medical school after graduation and pursue a career in psychiatry. Outside of school, Priyanka enjoys reading, singing, and spending time with friends and family.

Mary Skelly

Undergraduate Researcher

Mary Skelly is a freshman at Indiana University studying Molecular Life Sciences. She is a member of the premedical fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon and plays on the IU Women's Rugby Team. She plans to attend medical school after graduation to become an oncologist. In her free time, she enjoys playing the piano, exploring campus, and volunteering in the Bloomington community.

Risha Mehta

Undergraduate Researcher




Risha Mehta is a junior at Indiana University double majoring in Psychology and Neuroscience pursuing minors in Chemistry and Public Health. As an undergraduate research assistant, she assists in the study of episodic memory of rats through animal testing. She hopes to attend medical school after her undergraduate years and become a cardiologist. Risha is involved with the Brain Exercise Initiative, Kappa Alpha Theta, and Timmy Global Health. Additionally, she loves to travel, listen to Taylor Swift, and spend time with her friends and family.

Alanna Wu

Undergraduate Researcher

Alanna is a freshman at Indiana University majoring in Psychology with minors in Spanish and Statistics. After graduation, she hopes to attend medical school with the long-term goal of being a pediatric oncologist. Outside of school, Alanna enjoys hiking, graphic design, spending time with family and friends, and watching copious amounts of TV.

Praveen Chirumamilla

Undergraduate Researcher

Praveen Chirumamilla is a freshman at Indiana University studying Neuroscience. In the Comparative Cognition Lab, he assists in the study of episodic memory in rats. After graduation, he hopes to continue his education at graduate school in order to pursue a career in neuroscience research. In his free time, Praveen enjoys spending quality time with friends and family, working out, biking, and working on cars.

Hailey Schlaffer

Tech Assistant


Hailey Schlaffer is a junior at Indiana University. She is studying Psychology with minors in Human Development & Family Studies and Youth Development. She is assisting in the Comparative Cognition Lab with the study of episodic memory in rats. After graduation, Hailey plans to attend a graduate school focusing on Developmental Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys baking, crocheting, and reading.

Lauren Weissmann

Undergraduate Researcher


Lauren Weissmann is a senior at Indiana University majoring in psychology, with a minor in counseling. She also works at the Wells Library on campus. She plans to attend graduate school after graduation to obtain her PsyD or PhD in psychology. In her free time, she enjoys taking walks, reading, spending time with family and friends, and watching Netflix.

Alyssa Wilcox

Undergraduate Researcher


Alyssa Wilcox is a Junior at Indiana University majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Spanish. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, I assist in the study of the episodic memory of rats. After graduation, I plan to attend medical school with the hopes of becoming a psychiatrist. Outside of school, I enjoy hiking, camping, traveling, and spending time with friends.

Sophie Amick

Tech Assistant


Sophie is a Junior at Indiana University studying Psychology and Neuroscience. She is assistingin the Comparative Cognition Lab with the study of episodic memory in rats. After graduation she plans to work towards her Phd in Neuropsychology. Outside of school she enjoys working with ICAN as well as camping and going on hikes with her dog.

Anna Kelson

Undergraduate Researcher


Anna Kelson is a freshman at Indiana University majoring in Animal Behavior with a minor in Studio Art. She assists with the study of memory in rats in the Comparative Cognition Lab and is a co-chair of education and outreach for the Indiana Canine Assistant Network at Indiana University. After graduation, she plans to work towards a master's degree in animal behavior and eventually pursue a career as a dog behaviorist.

Ariel Tysver

Undergraduate Researcher


Ariel Tysver is a sophomore at Indiana University studying Animal Behavior with minors in Chemistry and Biology. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, she assists in the study of episodic memory in rats. After graduation, she plans to vet school and pursue a career in the field of veterinary medicine. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, listening to music, volunteering in the community, playing volleyball, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Ryleigh Loper

Undergraduate Researcher


Ryleigh Loper currently works as an undergraduate research assistant for the study of episodic memory in rats as a Cox Research Scholar. She is a sophomore majoring in biology with a minor in global health promotion. She hopes to become a veterinarian in the future and work with a nonprofit or organization like Veterinarians Without Borders. In her free time, she loves to volunteer, hang out with friends, and go hiking with her cat Charlie.

Tess Harrison

Tech Assistant


Tess Harrison is a junior at Indiana University studying Neuroscience. She plans to attend medical school in the future. In her free time, she enjoys going to the gym and spending time with her family.

Jonah Sanchez

Undergraduate Researcher


Jonah is a Junior at Indiana University studying Biology. He is assisting the Comparative Cognition Lab with the study of episodic memory in rats. After graduation he plans to attend medical school. Outside of school he enjoys reading, volunteering, and spending time with friends.

Ginelle Suico

Undergraduate Researcher


Ginelle is a junior at Indiana University majoring in Neuroscience and Spanish with a minor in Public Health. As an undergraduate researcher in the Comparative Cognition Lab, she assists in the study of episodic memory in rats. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in the medical field. In her free time, Ginelle enjoys painting, reading, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family.

Baily Tillet

Undergraduate Researcher


Baily Tillett is a junior at Indiana University studying Neuroscience and Psychology. She loves working with rats and has two of her own at home. She hopes to study medicine someday. In her free time, Baily enjoys hiking, reading, and listening to music.








Mariana Corpus

Undergraduate Researcher

Mariana is a senior at Indiana University studying Psychology and minoring in Spanish. As a member in Dr. Crystals Comparative Cognition lab, she assists in the study of episodic memory in rats. After graduation, she plans to attend an Occupational Therapy graduate program. In her free time, she enjoys teaching at the figure skating rink, running, and going to the park with her dog.

Luke Swartz

Undergraduate Researcher

Luke Swartz is currently a Sophomore at Indiana University studying Biology with a certificate in Liberal Arts & Management and minors in Chemistry and Psychology. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, he is assisting in the study of episodic memory in rats. In the future, he hopes to attend medical school after graduation and later become an anesthesiologist. In his free time, Luke enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading books, and watching Netflix.

Manpreet Kaur

Undergraduate Researcher

Manpreet is a junior at IU. She is majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Spanish. She plans to attend medical school and aspires to be a neurosurgeon. Outside of studies, she volunteers at Teachers Warehouse each week. In her free time, she likes to read especially on new research, play games, and hang out with her friends.

Clara Hall

Undergraduate Researcher

Clara Hall is a sophomore at Indiana University studying Animal Behavior with minors in Psychology and SSRI. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, she is assisting in the study of episodic memory in rats. In the future, she will be continuing with research in animal cognition with a focus on language. In her free time, Clara enjoys spending time with animals, playing video games, and exploring new kinds of coffee and tea.

Sarah Spivak

Undergraduate Researcher

Sarah Spivak is currently a student at Indiana University pursuing a B.A. in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. In the Comparative Cognition Lab, she is currently assisting with the study of episodic memory in rats. In the future, she plans to attend medical school and specialize as a pediatrician. In her free time she enjoys spending time with animals, hiking, playing the piano, and watching The Office.

Payton Sparks

Undergraduate Researcher



Payton Sparks is a Junior at Indiana University studying Biology and minoring in Psychology and Studio Art. He is currently a member of the Comparative Cognitive Laboratory assisting in the study of episodic memory in rats. In the future, he plans to attend medical school to pursue a career in plastic surgery. Outside of the lab, he is on the executive board of MEDLIFE, and goes abroad each spring break to run mobile clinics in various South American countries. In his free time, Payton enjoys photography, travelling, cooking, working out, and spending time with friends.

Madeline Alvarez

Undergraduate Researcher



Madeline Alvarez is a sophomore at Indiana University pursuing a Human Biology B.S. with a minor in Public Health. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, she assists in studying episodic memory in rat models of Alzheimers Disease. In the future, she plans to attend graduate school in order to receive her masters degree in Genetic Counseling. Outside of her courses, she enjoys being an active member of her sorority and of her chemistry fraternity as well as participating in STEM outreach programs with local elementary schools weekly.

Aiza Syed

Undergraduate Researcher







Aiza Syed is a freshman at IU. She is majoring in Neuroscience and Chemistry. She plans to go to medical school in hopes of becoming a neonatologist. Aiza participates in PhiDE (a pre medical fraternity), Mock Trial, Student Government, and Hutton Honors Council. She enjoys volunteering for outreach programs that encourage children to go into STEM careers. In her free time, she plays in a band that consists of her playing the recorder while her kid brother plays the trumpet. As a testament to her role models, Aiza strives to challenge herself and advance the realm of scientific knowledge; in the words of her heroes "the only thing that is impossible is impossibility"~Phineas and Ferb.

Rithika Chari

Undergraduate Researcher

Rithika Chari is a sophomore at Indiana University majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry and French. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, she assists in the study of episodic memory in rats. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school. In her free time, Rithika volunteers as a member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. She also enjoys playing tennis, watching basketball, and spending time with friends and family.

Abigail Wallace

Technical Assistant

Abigail Wallace is a Freshman at Indiana University majoring in Psychology with a Certificate in Neuroscience. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, she is assisting in the study of episodic memory in rats. In the future, she hopes to attend graduate school for Psychology and later pursue a research-based career. In her free time, Abigail enjoys hiking with her friends, playing the oboe, and knitting.

Mira Antonopoulos

Undergraduate Researcher

Mira is a Junior at IU pursuing a Neuroscience B.S. with minors in Spanish and Psychology. She is currently assisting with research studying episodic memory in rats, and her future plans include pursuing a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. In her free time, Mira enjoys dance, movies, and spending time outdoors, especially on or near the water.

Cami Albers

Undergraduate Researcher

Cami Albers is a Sophomore at Indiana University studying Animal Behavior. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, she is assisting in the study of episodic memory in rats. In the future, she hopes to find herself doing field research as a Wildlife Biologist. In her free time, Cami enjoys reading, writing, baking, and watching movies with family and friends.

Sejna Alibegovic

Undergraduate Researcher

Sejna Alibegovic is a Junior at Indiana University studying Biology and Chemistry. She is currently a member of the Comparative Cognitive Laboratory assisting in the on-going study of episodic memory in rats. In the future, she hopes to attend medical school. In her free time, Sejna loves running, reading, drawing, and spending time with friends and family.

Will Schaab

Undergraduate Researcher

Will Schaab is a Junior at Indiana University studying Biology. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, he is assisting in the study of episodic memory in rats. In the future he hopes to attend medical school and later become a pediatrician. In his free time, Will enjoys spending time with friends, playing tennis, and trying unique restaurants around Bloomington.

Katie Thieme

Undergraduate Researcher

Katie Thieme is currently a senior at Indiana University studying Neuroscience. As a member of this lab, she studies episodic memory in rat models of Alzheimer's Disease throughout aging. She plans to attend medical school after graduation in hopes of becoming a pediatrician. Katie enjoys spending her free time with friends, going to concerts, and playing a variety of musical instruments

Natalia Chaudhry

Undergraduate Researcher




Natalia Chaudhry is a graduate of Indiana University where she studied biology and global health promotion. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, she helped study episodic memories in rats in pursuit of developing a memory model that can be used to conduct Alzheimer's related studies accurately. In the future, she hopes to be involved with providing equitable healthcare access to under-served communities and continue furthering innovations in the field of cognitive disorders. Outside of the lab, she enjoys volunteering at IU Methodist and learning about new cultures.

Sydney Beck

Undergraduate Researcher

Sydney Beck is a Junior at Indiana University studying Human Biology and Chemistry. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, she is assisting in the study of episodic memory in rats. In the future, she hopes to attend medical school and become an Infectious Pathologist or an Emergency Room Physician. In her free time, Sydney enjoys hanging out with friends, traveling and going to concerts.

Elaina Xiong

Undergraduate Researcher

Elaina Xiong is currently a senior studying Psychology at Indiana University. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, she is assisting in the study of episodic memory in rats. She aspires to become a clinical psychologist. In her spare time, she enjoys going to concerts, traveling, and photography. She is currently attempting to learn calligraphy.

Caroline Tann

Undergraduate Researcher

Caroline Tann is a junior at IU studying Biology and minoring in Chemistry and French. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, she is assisting with the study of episodic memory in rats. Caroline plans to attend medical school after graduation. In her free time, Caroline enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with close friends and family.

Jonathan Breckler

Undergraduate Researcher

Jonathan is a freshman at IU studying Molecular Life Science. He plans to attend medical school and specialize in trauma surgery, and will hopefully also be able to continue research in Alzheimer's. The end goal is to offer medical services to undeveloped countries. In his free time he likes to swim on the IU Swim Club, binge watch Shameless, and travel (across the campus to the bubble tea place).

Moses Marandet

Undergraduate Researcher

Moses Marandet received his B.S. in Neuroscience from Indiana University Bloomington. He currently assists in the study of episodic memory relating to Alzheimer's in rats. After spending a year serving in the National Health Corps in North Florida, he intends on pursuing medical school. Hobbies include reading, piano and basketball.

Cooper Tennent

Undergraduate Researcher

Cooper Tennent is a junior at Indiana University studying Biology. In the Comparative Cognition Lab, he is assisting with the study of episodic memory in rats. Post-graduation, he intends to continue his education in medical school and plans to pursue a specialty that allows him to help people suffering from dementia and related neurodegenerative diseases. In his free time, Cooper enjoys spending time with friends and performing with his improv comedy troupe.

Olivia Harris

Undergraduate Researcher

Olivia Harris is a junior at IU pursuing degrees in Neuroscience and International Studies as well as a minor in Psychology. She is in the Groups STEM Initiative Program. Olivia is interested in mental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. After undergrad, she hopes to attend medical school (for a M.D/Ph.D.) or grad school. Olivia enjoys spending time with friends, playing soccer, traveling, cooking, and reading.

Ethan Wood

Undergraduate Researcher

Ethan Wood, a sophomore, is majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry and Norwegian. After undergraduate studies, he plans to attend medical school. In his free time, he enjoys working out, hanging with friends, and watching Netflix.

Danni Shelton

Technical Assistant

Danni Shelton is currently a junior at Indiana University, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Counseling. In the future, she hopes to attend graduate school for social work or mental health counseling. Outside of the lab, she is also a proud member of the IU Marching Hundred, sister of Tau Beta Sigma, and owner of four pet rats.

Jessica Duke

Technical Assistant

Jessica is currently a junior at Indiana University majoring in Biology and minoring in Spanish. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, she assists in the research of episodic memory in rats. In the future, she hopes to attend graduate school. When she is not in the lab, Jessica enjoys hiking, playing video games, and working on embroidery projects.

Vanessa Eaton

REU Intern

Vanessa Eaton is a junior Biology major at Spelman College where she is a member of the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Program. Her past experience includes researching prostate cancer, virology, and public health. After graduating from Spelman College, Vanessa plans on entering a PhD program that utilizes both biology and psychology concepts. For fun, she watches scary movies, dances to music, and explores the city.

Mercedes Andrade

PRSSRP Intern

Mercedes Andrade is currently a pre-med junior at Indiana University Northwest studying Neuroscience and Biology. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, she assists in the current study for episodic memory in rats. Outside of school, Mercedes is a medical scribe, volunteers at St. Franciscan Hospital, currently in the process of creating a new special needs group with her peers, as well as enjoys listening to music and attending concerts.

Dasuni Sirisooriya

Undergraduate Researcher

Dasuni is currently a junior pursuing a Neuroscience B.S and Psychology B.S. with a minor in Clinical Science. In the lab, she studies both episodic memory in rats using items in context to characterize Alzheimers Disease risk factor genes as it progresses with age. After graduation, she intends to continue her education in medical school, in hopes of becoming a psychiatrist. Outside of school work, Dasuni enjoys listening to music, reading, and watching movies.

Amanda Gucwa

Laboratory Technician

Amanda Gucwa graduated from Indiana University in 2018 with a B.S. in Neuroscience and in Animal Behavior. In the Comparative Cognition Lab, she assists with a variety of studies concerning episodic memory and episodic memory in Alzheimer model rats. Her future plans include pursuing a pHD in Behavioral Neuroscience and pursuing a career in research. When not in the lab, she enjoys jogging, reading, and spending time with her pets.

Cassandra Sarria

Graduate Student

Cassandra Sarria is currently a graduate student in the Cognitive Science and Psychological and Brain Sciences programs. She received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Central Florida in 2018. She is interested in studying prospective cognition in non-human animals and hopes to continue with a career in academia. In her free time Cassandra is an avid baker and enthusiastic cat mom.

Sophie Allen

Research Associate

Sophie Allen is a senior at Bloomington High School South and plans to attend college for a B.S. in cognitive science or animal behavior. She volunteers in the Comparative Cognition Lab to assist with the ongoing study of episodic memory of rats. She is excited to be participating in the lab, and when she is not there, she can be found sailing on lake Monroe or hiking with her dog.

Xinzhu Zhang

Research Associate


Xinzhu Zhang graduated from Indiana university in 2018 with a BS in Biology with honors. She assists the Crystal lab with the study of episodic memory in rats. In the future, she plans to pursue her PhD in sensory ecology and behavior. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with nature, talking about and interacting with animals as well as watching her favorite show Grey's Anatomy. She is forever proud to be part of Timmy Global Health and IU Dance Marathon.

Harsh Patel

Undergraduate Researcher

Harsh Patel is a senior at Indiana University studying Neuroscience and Psychology. He is currently assisting with episodic memory derived from olfactory trials in rats, which could have implications on human neurological disorders. His dream is to attend medical school and become a pediatrician. Outside of research and coursework, he enjoys playing ukulele, snapchatting, and watching episodes of Friends multiple times.

Christina Sluka

Undergraduate Researcher



Christina Sluka is a senior at Indiana University studying Animal Behavior. She is working with both Dr. Crystal and Dr. Allen through the STARS and Cox Research programs. Current scientific interests include animal memory, inter-species social interactions, predatory-prey relationships, and animal conservation. Long term goals include pursuing a PhD in Zoology and working in research both in the lab and the field. She is also a member of the Indiana University Marching Hundred and pursues interests in music, art, paleontology and gaming.

Jie-En Wu

Undergraduate Researcher

Jie-En Wu is currently a junior at Indiana University. She is assisting with source memory research in the Comparative Cognition Lab. At school, she is the co-captain of the Science Olympiad and varsity golf teams, a freshman mentor, as well as an active member of the Habitat for Humanity chapter. In her free time, Jie-En enjoys playing golf, swimming, baking, and watching Netflix.

Tola Ibikunle

Undergraduate Researcher

Tola Ibikunle is a senior at IU studying Chemistry, Neuroscience, and Biology, and minoring in Psychology. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, she is assisting with the study of episodic memory in rats. Tola plans to attend medical school after graduation. In her free time, Tola enjoys reading, finding new recipes, hanging out with friends and family, and going to the gym.

Olivia Rowe

Undergraduate Researcher

Olivia Rowe is a junior at Indiana University, majoring in Biology and minoring in both Psychology and Gerontology. After finishing her undergraduate studies, she plans to attend medical school to pursue her dreams of becoming a doctor specializing in geriatrics. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, having game nights, and painting.

Samantha Colin

Laboratory Technician

Samantha Colin graduated from Purdue University in 2016 with a B.S. in Brain and Behavioral Sciences. At Purdue, she was involved in researching a rat model of epilepsy. In the Comparative Cognition Lab, she studies a rat model of source memory to better understand the genetic influences on dementia. Her future plans are to obtain her Ph. D in medical neuroscience from IUPUI and become a professor. When not handling rats, Sam enjoys lifting, Netflix, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.

Courtney Weaver

Undergraduate Researcher



Courtney received a B.S. from Indiana University in 2018 in Biology with a minor in Chemistry in order to become a veterinarian. In the Comparative Cognition Lab, she is involved in the APOE project and item in context experiment where she handles rats as well as collects and analyzes data. She is passionate about attending vet school and intends on specializing in an area of veterinary medicine. Her time away from the lab is spent either at her favorite place on campus, Herman B. Wells Library, or eating different ethnic foods on 4th street.

Sarah Myers

Undergraduate Researcher

Sarah Myers received a B.S. in Neuroscience at Indiana University in 2018. She is assisting with the odor trials investigating memory in rats. She hopes to continue to graduate school and pursue a research-related career. Sarah is also a member of IU's water polo team. When she isn't at the pool or in class, she enjoys reading, watching Netflix, and being with friends and family.

Jesse Kestenman

Laboratory Technician





Jesse graduated from Indiana University in 2017 with a B. S. in Neuroscience. In August, he will be attending medical school to apply his passion for neuroscience to become a physician, specializing in surgery or anesthesia. In Dr. Crystal's lab, Jesse is involved in studying the episodic memory of rats with odor related tasks. He is interested in this research due to it's potential to help the scientific community learn more about Alzheimer's disease. In his free time, Jesse loves to play guitar, golf, hike, and spend time with his family and friends.

Isaac Somekh

Undergraduate Researcher




Isaac Somekh is currently a senior at Indiana University studying neuroscience, biology and psychology. At the Comparative Cognition lab, Isaac is currently completing an honors thesis under the supervision of Dr. Crystal and has taken part in collecting data for an episodic replay study. His current scientific interest includes cellular and molecular neuroscience, comparative cognition and neurodegenerative diseases. Long term goals involve attending graduate school in the hopes to pursue a research-related career in neuroscience or biotechnology.

Melinda Stewart

Undergraduate Researcher




Melinda graduated from Indiana University with a B. A. psychology and counseling. Her research interests include exploring parallels between human and animal brains specifically pertaining to mental illness. In the Crystal lab, she aids in experimentation as well as collection and interpretation of data. Melinda is attending NYU to pursue a Master's in counselling. Her future goals are to obtain her PhD in Clinical Psychology and become a practitioner. Her hobbies include volleyball, kickboxing, traveling and interior decorating.

Michelle Soper

Undergraduate Researcher

Michelle Soper received a B.S. from Indiana University in 2018 with a major in biology and minor in psychology. She is currently attending optometry school. She is a member of Comparative Cognitive Laboratory assisting with the study of episodic memory on rats. In her free time, she loves to play video games and playing piano.

Stefan Dalecki

Undergraduate Researcher

Stefan Dalecki graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science. He is involved in studying multiple types of memory in rats and how the findings might benefit the research of memory related diseases such as Alzheimer's. Stefan hopes to continue his education past undergraduate school into either graduate or medical school. He enjoys spending his spare time playing futsal and rock climbing.

Sydney Brotheridge

Undergraduate Researcher

Sydney graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in neuroscience and minors in psychology and biology. Sydney plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in medical neuroscience and going into research dealing with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease. Sydney enjoys cooking and being with friends and family.

Kjersten Cox

Undergraduate Researcher



Kjersten majored in neuroscience and minored in psychology at Indiana University. She received her A.A. with a concentration in psychology from College of Lake County in 2014. Currently, she assists in the study of episodic memory for olfactory stimuli. Her research interests include neurodegenerative diseases and psychopharmacology. After IU, Kjersten's plans to continue her studies with a graduate degree in psychopharmacology, behavioral neuroscience or clinical neuroscience. In her free time, Kjersten enjoys watching documentaries, and creating art.

Krysten Garcia

REU Intern

Krysten is a junior at Johns Hopkins University studying Behavioral Biology and Psychology. In the lab, she was involved with the study on the role of the hippocampus in episodic memory. She is primarily interested in the development of mental health and memory disorders and plans to attend medical or graduate school. In her free time, Krysten enjoys playing soccer, dancing and watching movies.

Meredith Gentry

Undergraduate Researcher

Meredith Gentry graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in neuroscience and biology. She assisted in collecting data for the odor-related memory tasks in the comparative cognition lab. Meredith plans to follow up her undergraduate degree by attending graduate school and pursuing a research-related career. In her free time she enjoys watching movies, running, and spending time with family and friends.

Hannah Corbin

Undergraduate Researcher

Hannah is a junior at Indiana University studying Neuroscience and Statistics. Hannah primarily collects the data coming from the odor trials related to memory. In the future, she hopes to continue on to graduate school and focus on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. When she isn't working or going to class, she likes to spend her time outdoors by hiking or playing soccer.

Xan Smith

Graduate Student

Xan Smith graduated from Earlham College in 2013 where she majored in Psychology. Following graduation, she joined the Comparative Cognition Lab as a recipient of the Visiting Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Her research interests include source memory, Alzheimer's disease, and rat models of neurodegenerative diseases. In her free time Xan enjoys table top games, playing oboe, biking, and discovering new types of teas.

Bianca Almeida

REU Intern

Bianca Almeida is a Neuroscience undergraduate student at Federal University of ABC, in Brazil. In the Crystal Lab, she is involved with the study of episodic memory. She has great interest in animal memory, time perception, and psychopharmacology. She wants to pursue a master degree in Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences. In her free time, she likes to read and to watch movies and TV shows.

Severine Hex

REU Intern







Severine is a junior at Cornell University pursuing a program of her design through the Rawlings Presidential Research Scholar program and the College Scholar Program. Her program incorporates Neurobiology and Behavior, Psychology, Linguistics and Philosophy in order to explore non-human language in a comparative and interdisciplinary fashion. After graduation in 2018, she intends to pursue a PhD, and in the future hopes to become a professor of comparative ethological study. When not researching, Severine is training for bodybuilding competitions, writing, reading, or drawing.

Hailey Meyer

Undergraduate Researcher

Hailey Meyer is a senior at Indiana University studying chemistry and neuroscience. She is involved in studying the effects of chemotherapy on the episodic memory of rats via a radial arm maze. After graduation, Hailey plans to attend medical school. In her free time, she enjoys running, paddle boarding, and spending time with her family.

Matthew Pizzo

Post-Doctoral Fellow




Matthew Pizzo graduated from University of Georgia in 2005 with a PhD in Psychology. Since that time he has held the posts of Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of York as well as Visiting Assistant Professor at Bucknell University. As a Research Associate in the Comparative Cognition Lab, Matt investigated episodic and prospective memory in rodents. His other areas of research interest include circadian timing and the mechanisms of time-place learning. He is a self-appointed foodie, enjoys hiking, traveling as well as homebrewing.

Spencer Kann

Lab Technician


Spencer Kann graduated from Indiana University in 2015 with a B.S. in Neuroscience. In the Comparative Cognition Lab, he studies rat models of learning and memory to better understand the cognitive processes and genetic components involved in Alzheimer's disease. His favorite book is Catch-22. His interests in the field lie primarily in learning/memory, music, and decision making. When not handling rats, Spencer enjoys movies, cooking, computer games, and making music.

Amanda Doyle

Research Technician


Amanda Doyle graduated from Indiana University in 2013 with a BSc in Psychology and an area certificate in Neuroscience. In the past, she has researched the electrophysiology and motor behavior of mice modeling Huntington's disease under Dr. George Rebec. Amanda intends on earning her PhD to study the neuropsychological bases of anxiety and panic. When not working in the lab, Amanda enjoys making chocolates, dancing, and instructing aerial fitness classes.

Alex Bratch

Undergraduate Researcher

Alex Bratch was a senior at Indiana University majoring in Psychology and Philosophy. In the Comparative Cognition lab, Alex primarily studied working memory using a change detection paradigm. In addition, Alex also studied visual perception and object recognition through the IU Vision lab and the Perception and NeuroImaging lab. Alex is now pursuing his PhD at Outside of the lab, Alex enjoys playing music and hiking.

Nilda Yarelis Rivera-Reyes

Undergraduate Researcher





Nilda Yarelis Rivera-Reyes is a senior at University of Puerto Rico majoring in Psychology and Mental Health. After her graduation in 2015, she aims to get a Ph.D. either in Psychology or Neuroscience. In the future she wants to become a neuropsychologist. Her research interests are in animal behavior from a clinical perspective (mainly neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease), memory and cognition, and to understand how the brain works using neuroimaging techniques. Nilda likes to go to the beach, play dominoes, spend time with her family and friends, and watch movies.

Aaron Ketzenberger

Undergraduate Researcher

Aaron Ketzenberger is a senior at Indiana University majoring in Psychology. After graduation, he intends to pursue a PhD in psychology. His primary research interests include: memory, comparative cognition, and language acquisition. In addition to being a research assistant, Aaron is also an undergraduate teaching assistant. In his free time, Aaron enjoys baking, dancing, and windowsill gardening.

Wes Alford

Laboratory Technician






Wesley Alford graduated from Indiana University in 2009 with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. He is attending graduate school at Brandeis University. In the Comparative Cognition Lab he developed a model of source memory in the rat, and he studied this model to better understand this complex cognitive process. Additionally, as a lab technician, he helped to train new research assistants and maintained a variety of behavioral equipment. He has also studied acute slices of cortical tissue from a complex systems prospective. When the weather is fortunate enough he enjoys cycling, and on less fortunate days he fills time by watching movies.

Ashlyn Mannery

Undergraduate Researcher

Ashlyn Mannery is a senior at Washington & Jefferson College majoring in Psychology with a Neuroscience emphasis. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Psychology after graduating in the spring of 2014. Her research interests include memory and cognition, behavior, and decision making. As a career, Ashlyn is considering Neuropsychology. In her free time, she enjoys working out, skating, and bowling.

Diana Arman

Undergraduate Researcher



Diana Arman is a freshman at Indiana University pursuing a Neuroscience degree and a certificate in Animal Behavior. In the Comparative Cognition Lab, she is involved in studying working memory in rats and developing an animal model of learning and memory, which can benefit the research and treatment of memory disorders. After completing her undergraduate education, she plans to attend medical or graduate school. In her free time Diana enjoys painting, playing tennis, and practicing violin and piano.

Austin Dunn

Undergraduate Researcher

Austin Dunn is a Junior at Indiana University studying Neuroscience. After graduation he plans to attend medical school and his end goal is to become a food allergist. Outside of school and the lab Austin spends whatever free time he has doing CrossFit at CrossFit Bloomington.

Joshua Cain

REU Intern



Josh Cain is a rising senior from Drake University majoring in Neuroscience. He is participating in CISAB's animal behavior research experience for undergraduates at IU. In the Comparative Cognition laboratory, Josh works on a study that investigates working memory in rats and the influence of age on spatial memory. After graduating, his goal is to obtain a PhD in cognitive neuroscience. His interests in the field primarily lie in memory, language, and sensation/perception.

Megha Redkar

Research Programmer



Megha Redkar graduated from the University of Mumbai, India in 2013 with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Information Technology. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Science degree in Computer Science at Indiana University and working as a Research Programmer in the Comparative Cognition Lab. Megha enjoys learning about networks and intends to obtain a certification on CCNA routing and switching. In her free time, she enjoys watching stand up comedy shows and music videos.

Katelyn Stevens

Undergraduate Researcher

Katelyn Stevens is a sophomore at Indiana University, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Spanish. After she finishes her undergraduate degree, Katelyn plans to attend medical school. She is also a part of the Special Events committee for the Indiana University Dance Marathon and Honorvol. When she isn't working in the lab, Katelyn enjoys playing intramural soccer, reading, and dancing.