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 Abdulla, B.S., M.S. | Research Technician and Laboratory Manager
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 translations of Uyghur literature.
Sophie Barton, B.S. | Graduate Student
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 Rogers Flattery, Ph.D. | Postdoctoral Fellow
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.
Suhas Vijayakumar, Ph.D. | Postdoctoral Fellow
Suhas obtained a bachelor's degree in physics, maths, and electronics before deciding to take his chances in the field of neuroscience. He pursued a cognitive neuroscience master's at Radboud University in the Netherlands and continued there to do a PhD at the Cognitive Neuroecology Lab of the Donders Institute, where he compared the parietal-frontal brain network of macaques and humans. He has mainly used neuroimaging techniques to study the brain and is generally interested in knowing what makes human brains (and consequently humans) different from all of the other animals. At Hecht lab, he will try to understand how does one's brain change as they learn and acquire new skills. Apart from neuroscience, he likes to think about science communication, education, and tech. He also sometimes plays badminton. Not very often, though.
Lauren Duffee, VMD, DACVAA | Veterinary Anesthesiologist
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 Looney, DVM, DACVAA, CCRP, DACVSMR | Veterinary Anesthesiologist
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.
Alexandra Grayson | Undergraduate Student Researcher
Alexandra (Alex) Grayson is an undergraduate student researcher in the lab, and she is currently pursuing an A.B. in Molecular & Cellular Biology at Harvard University. While focused on cells in class, she is interested in all aspects of biology, including neuroscience, as it helps to explain why nature is the way it is. Outside of science, she enjoys researching health policy, playing lacrosse, cheering on University of Kentucky basketball, and FaceTiming her miniature dachshund, Oliver.
Stacy Jo | Undergraduate Student Researcher
Stacy Jo '21 is a Harvard undergraduate concentrating in Human & Evolutionary Biology (Mind, Brain and Behavior Track) with a Secondary in Music. She is also a student of the Harvard-Berklee Dual Degree Program and is on her way to earning her Master's Degree in Music. Stacy hopes to bring together evolutionary biology, music and cognitive neuroscience altogether to study the ways in which our musicality may be inherited or newly formed within the human species in an evolutionary standpoint. Beyond academia, you can catch her either performing onstage, tutoring students in SAT, or repping Harvard spirit as part of the Harvard College Events Board.
Serena Fernandopulle | Undergraduate Student Researcher
Serena Fernandopulle is a Harvard College student in the class of 2023 . She is interested in HEB and English, and outside the classroom she enjoys playing club soccer, hiking with her dog (a Cockapoo named Lucky), reading, and being a Junior Staffer for Harvard Model Congress. Her favorite animals include elephants, dogs, bonobos, otters, and planaria.