Lab Personnel

Erin Hecht

Erin E. Hecht, Ph.D. | Assistant Professor

Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
Office location: Museum of Comparative Zoology, Room 535C 
Mailing address: 11 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Google Scholar  |  ResearchGate  |  The Canine Brains Project

Dr. Hecht received her B.S. in Cognitive Science from the University of California San Diego in 2006, and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University in 2013.  Before moving to Harvard, she was a Research Scientist in the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at Georgia State University, and an Affiliated Scientist at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University.  Dr. Hecht joined the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University in January 2019.  Her lab studies brain-behavior evolution in dogs, primates, and humans.  She has two Miniature Australian Shepherds, Lefty and Izzy, who are mostly good.


Munawwar_AbdullaMunawwar Abdulla, B.S., M.S. | Research Technician and Laboratory Manager  |  Curriculum Vitae

Munawwar Abdulla received her Bachelor of Medical Science degree from the Australian National University and her B.S. and M.S. in Physiology and Pharmacology from the University of New South Wales, where she used behavioral tests, immunohistochemistry and microscopy to study mechanisms and treatments of neuropathic pain and peripheral neuropathy. She continues to use these skillsets in support of the work at the Evolutionary Neuroscience Lab when she isn’t attempting terrible translations of Uyghur literature.



Sophie Barton, B.S. | Graduate Student    |   Curriculum Vitae

Sophie earned her B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Georgia in 2019. She is a first-year PhD student at Harvard University. Sophie is broadly interested in comparative neuroscience. Through neuroimaging and behavioral experiments, she plans to study the neural circuits that support the learning of breed-specific behaviors in working dog breeds. Sophie began working on the Canine Brains Project as an undergraduate researcher at the University of Georgia at Athens. She draws inspiration from her rescue dog Tamsin.



christina_rogersChristina Rogers Flattery, Ph.D. | Postdoctoral Fellow  |  Curriculum Vitae

Christina Rogers received her B.A. in Anthropology and Psychology from the University of Notre Dame in 2013.  She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology with a Certificate in Mind, Brain, and Culture from Emory University in 2019.  Broadly, she is interested in how brains evolve to underlie species-typical behavior. For her dissertation, she studied the neuroanatomy of the oxytocin and vasopressin systems in humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, and rhesus macaques. These neuropeptides are tied to various social behaviors which differ among these and other primate species. As a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Hecht Lab, she is investigating these and other neural systems among strains of foxes: those bred to be tame, those bred to be aggressive, or those unselected for any particular behavior. When she is not delicately handling brain tissue with a paintbrush in the lab, she can be found biking around the city or cooking unnecessarily elaborate meals.


Lauren DuffeeLauren Duffee, VMD, DACVAA | Veterinary Anesthesiologist

Curriculum Vitae

Lauren Duffee provides expert veterinary support to dogs during MRI scans at the Hecht lab.  She is an anesthesiologist at the Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in Woburn, Massachusetts.  Lauren received her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.  She then spent a year in the San Francisco area for a private practice equine internship before returning to the University of Pennsylvania to complete a three-year residency in veterinary anesthesia and analgesia in small and large animals.  Lauren is a diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia (ACVAA) and a member of the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture (AAVA).  Outside of the hospital, Lauren enjoys gardening, travel, and hiking with her two corgis.



Andrea LooneyAndrea Looney, DVM, DACVAA, CCRP, DACVSMR | Veterinary Anesthesiologist

Curriculum Vitae

Andrea Looney provides expert veterinary support to dogs during MRI scans at the Hecht lab.  She received her DVM from Cornell University's NYS College of Veterinary Medicine in 1989.  Since then, she has become specialty trained and boarded in veterinary anesthesiology and pain management (Dip, ACVAA) & veterinary rehabilitation and sports medicine (Dip, ACVSMR).  She has served on staff at Angell Animal Medical Center, Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and Cornell University`s Hospital for Animals in general and emergency medicine, anesthesiology, intensive care and rehabilitation.  Her current position is with Ethos Veterinary Health where she mitigates multi hospital anesthesia and rehabilitation/pain management for small animal patients.


Positions are available for undergraduate and graduate students.  Please email to enquire.