Birdbrain Lab






Current Lab Members


Principal Investigator

Donna Maney

Dr. Maney received her PhD in Neurobiology & Behavior from the University of Washington in 1997 and did her postdoctoral work at Johns Hopkins University. She has been at Emory since 2002.


Postdoctoral Fellow

Nicole Baran

Nicole received her PhD from Cornell University, where she  focused the neuroendocrine control of reproductive strategies in birds. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Ga Tech, where she investigated the neural and genomic basis of complex social behaviors of African cichlid fish. In our lab, Nicole is analyzing a previously understudied chromosomal rearrangement in white-throated sparrows. 

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Research Specialist

Isabel Fraccaroli

Isabel has an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Ferrara, Italy, and completed her masters thesis in Biomolecular Sciences and Evolution. She has worked with bumblebees, rats, mice, lizards, and of course, birds. In our lab, she contributes to every project and makes sure everything runs smoothly.


Graduate Fellow

Kenzie Prichard

Kenzie graduated from the University of Montana in 2017. In her honors thesis there, she looked at how stress hormones affect parental behavior in tree swallows. She has also worked with woodpeckers and wolverines. Her field experience includes projects in South Africa and Tanzania. In our lab she is interested in the evolution of behavior and its neuroendocrine control.

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Graduate Fellow

Yesenia Garcia

Yesenia graduated from Vassar College in 2020 and is now pursuing a PhD in the Neuroscience Program at Emory. As an undergraduate, they studied the role of steroid hormones in the repair of the nervous system following traumatic brain injury. While rotating in our lab, their main project is a bibliographic analysis of how sex differences are tested for and reported in the literature.

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Undergraduate Honors Student

Aditya Bhise

Aditya is majoring in Psychology and Music. He is interested in how music interacts with learning processes and its effectiveness as a treatment for neurological disorders. In our lab, he is investigating the neuroendocrine mechanisms of song learning in zebra finches.

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Undergraduate Honors Student

Katerina Rinaldi

Katerina is a Psychology major. She previously worked with the Grady Trauma Project on a large-scale study on PTSD. She leads a mental health awareness club at Emory. In our lab she is analyzing the literature on sex differences in symptoms of depression.


Undergraduate Researcher

Megan Lagerquist

Megan is majoring in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology. After taking a course in social neuroscience, she joined our lab to explore these interests further. Currently, she is helping us start up a new project on the role of nonapeptide receptors in vocal development.