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Neuroscience & Behavior Graduate Students


Aaryn Mustoe

I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in both Psychology and Biology. There, I studied psychopharmacology and stress in rodents and ecological physiology in Black-capped Chickadees. I came to UNO for the opportunity to study behavioral neuroendocrinology and animal behavior in marmosets. My main research interests focus on how social contexts and neuropeptide treatments influence prosocial behavior. I am also generally interested in gene-environment interactions and social development. In my free time, I enjoy consuming calories at all the local favorites here in Omaha, and also burning all those calories by hiking, playing pick-up basketball games, and running.

Amber Brooks

I received a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Anthropology from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. I find all topics pertaining to neuroscience fascinating, so my research interests are quite broad. I especially enjoy researching the sensory systems. Specifically, I came to UNO to study the gustatory system in the Sollars Lab. My hobbies include hiking, camping, tennis, basketball, and enjoying craft beers!

Amy Proskovec

I received my BA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2010 and majored in Psychology. Following, I spent a few years working at the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Clinic at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. I chose to attend UNO for graduate school because of the exciting potential the program holds and for the opportunity to work with Dr. Tony Wilson in the Magnetoencephalography Center at UNMC. My research interests include investigating the neurobiological variables at play in pediatric feeding disorders, as well as, other clinical populations. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my nieces and nephews, hiking, biking, and Husker football.

Andrew Riquier

I am originally from Connecticut. I completed my undergraduate at Nebraska Wesleyan University. I majored in Psychology. I minored in music and religious studies. I came to UNO because I liked the program, the faculty, and because people in Nebraska are friendly :-) I am interested in many things. I enjoy reading, jazz music, video games and sports.

Alicia Phillips Buttner

I completed my undergraduate in Psychology at UNO in 2008 and my Masters in 2012 as a student of Dr. Rosemary Strasser. I am interested in combining the physiological and psychological aspects of animal cognition, human-animal interactions, and animal welfare. Specifically, I study the physiological processes that influence how dogs interact with humans and interpret their social cues. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my son and husband, being outdoors, and playing with my dogs. 

Beth Graham

I received my B.S. in chemistry and psychology from Creighton University. I came here to UNO because I love trying to discover the brain bases of behavior, both in healthy brains and in disordered brains. I currently work in the Center for Magnetoencephalography (MEG), where my research interests focus on imaging the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders in humans. My primary research goal is investigating the locus of motor control deficits in patients with Parkinson's disease. In my spare time, I like traveling, going on adventures with my husband, being outside, surrounding myself with people, playing games and sports, cooking, and laughing.


Jaquelyn Davis

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls in 2010 with a degree in Psychology. I did my thesis work on the effects of capsaicin on the gustatory system and am interested in neural damage and regeneration across development. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my daughter and our two cats, Fatty and Squish.

Jack Taylor

I received my BA in Psychology from Westminster College. I came to UNO to do research with primates, humans, and hormones. My research interests are related to hormones and stress, and my favorite food is a Primanti's Sandwich.

Jon-Ryan Cavanaugh

I received a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Biology from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. I came to UNO to work at the Callitrichid Research Center to study the neuroendocrinology of social behavior in marmoset monkeys. In particular, I am examining how hormones (e.g., oxytocin, vasopressin, testosterone, cortisol) influence social relationships. I study how these hormones influence male-female bonds (as well as parent-offspring relationships) in different social contexts. If you are interested in volunteering and/or getting involved in research please contact me at  

Kristen Cunningham

I graduated with a psychology major from the University of San Diego and am originally from Austin, Texas.  I came to UNO to work in Dr. Rosemary Strasser's lab because we share many of the same research interests.  I'm interested in studying different human/animal interactions including pets, working dogs, and horses.  Before coming to UNO I studied the effects of the presence of tourists on harbor seals in San Diego and studied training and raising styles of TSA dogs.  When I'm not at school I enjoy horseback riding, cooking, and spending time outdoors.

Kristen Snyder

I am a native from Lexington, Kentucky.  Having ridden horses since the age of four, animals have always been a passion of mine.  Throughout my high school and college career, I volunteered in several veterinary clinics and worked at the Kentucky Equine Humane Shelter.  I graduated from Georgetown College with a double-major in Psychology and English Literature, and a minor in Biology.  My previous research experience includes working with Thomas Zentall in his pigeon lab and travelling to the Bahamas to study object permanence in dolphins and sea lions.  My hobbies include horseback-riding, ultimate Frisbee, racquetball, playing the piano, running, and reading.  Currently, I am working on a research project investigating the physiological benefits of equine-assisted therapy in children with autism.

Louis Martin

I majored in psychology and philosophy at the University of Mississippi. While I am interested in understanding behavior and cognition, I am also a hardcore reductionist - which has led me to neuroscience.  I came to UNO because the Sollars lab seemed like a good fit given my interests. My research involves damaging the rat's taste system at an early age, and determining how the system changes functionally to this damage; by doing this, I hope to gain a better understanding of how the system functions and develops normally.  I am also very interested in how the brain extracts meaningful information (e.g. taste discriminations/perceptions) from neuronal activity. My hobbies include cooking, rock climbing, philosophical contemplation/discussion.

Michelle Huffman

I received a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from Metropolitan State University of Denver and an MA in Forensic Psychology from Marymount University in Arlington, VA. I came here because UNO offered the opportunity to conduct interdisciplinary research and apply behavioral neuroendocrinology to criminal justice issues. My research interests include the HPA axis and secondary trauma. In my spare time, I love playing music, traveling, and volunteering.

Sarah Carp

I graduated from University of California, Davis with a BS in psychology and minor in neuroscience. I am interested in studying the neurobiology of social behavior in nonhuman primates. I came to UNO because of the opportunity to work with Dr. Jeff French and the CRC. I love coffee, sunshine, and yoga. 



Zachary Darwish

I graduated from UC Davis with a BS in Animal Science and a minor in Psychology. I am interested in behavioral management of captive animals.  I came to UNO because of the program and the opportunity to do research in conjunction with the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. My hobbies include cooking and going to the zoo.