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Lab Members



I received my PhD from the University of Cincinnati in 2017 where I trained in the lab of Stephanie Rollmann. My research interests include investigating the neurogenetics of sensory processing and understanding how it contributes to behavioral variation. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. My dissertation research focused on understanding the genetic factors that underlie variation in olfactory behavior in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. My current work in the Keene lab investigates the mechanisms underlying taste perception, feeding state, and their interrelationship with sleep behaviors.  I am currently supported by a K99 award from the National Institute of Aging.



Dr. Elizabeth Brown



Evan Lloyd



In 2017 I received my B.A. in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University. After joining the lab as an undergraduate researcher, I began to investigate differences in foraging and feeding strategies between different populations of Astyanax mexicanus. Upon graduation, I went on to begin work on my Ph.D in the Integrative Biology program. My current research involves understanding the sensory basis of prey capture in larval cave fish, as well the neural mechanisms underlying regulation of feeding behavior. 

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Madelyn Dotson



I am a PhD student working both on Drosophila and Astyanax. I am interested in identifying novel regulators of sleep in both species. My work in fish includes identifying genes implicated in sleep using CRISPR and evaluating their expression using immunostaining and confocal imaging. In flies, I am  working to carry out behavioral analyses to identify genes expressed in neurons that are important for sleep regulation

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Sharon Epps



 I received my Master of Science (MS) in Toxicology from Texas A&M University in 2013.  I completed my research at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  My research was in food safety, we developed a natural product Thymol-β-D-Glucopyranoside to use as a feed supplement to reduce the amount of Campylobacter in cattle, chickens and pigs before they go to harvest.   From 2014 to June 2022, I was a Faculty Biology Lab Instructor.  I’m the Faculty Advisor for the Apprentice Doctor program.  I am the Research Associate (Lab Manager) for the Keene lab.  Fun Facts About me: I’m a former NCAA and Professional Athlete (Women’s Basketball).



Jiwei Zhang



In 2018 I received my master’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Southwest University in Chongqing, China. My dissertation research focused on understanding the circadian regulation of night feeding and daytime detoxification in a formidable Asian pest Spodoptera litura with the guidance of Dr. Kazuei Mita. My current work in the Keene lab involves glial function, sleep, aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Outside of the laboratory, my interests include volleyball, tennis, badminton, running, movies, and traveling.



Cody Loomis



Joshua Torres



I graduated from FAU with a B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavior in the fall of 2016. I began working in Dr. Keene and Dr. Duboue's lab in the fall of 2017 before entering the M.S. program in Biology during the spring 2018 semester. I am currently generating a brain atlas in Mexican cavefish and examining the genetic basis for cave-derived changes in metabolic rate.



I am currently an undergraduate at the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of
FAU pursuing my Bachelor of Science in Biology. I will be pursuing my Master’s in Biomedical Sciencestarting in the fall of 2018. .As an undergraduate, I have been examined sleep and metabolic function in flies collected from diverse geographic localities throughout the world.  During my graduate studies I will screen for novel genes regulating the interaction of sleep and feeding state.



Ariana Kerbs



I am in the International Baccalaureate program at William T. Dwyer High School and will be attending the University of Florida this coming fall. My extracurricular interests include volunteering with several local charities and music activities like classical piano and choir. My interests in the Keene lab include investigating the developmental consequences of selection for starvation resistance as well as examining natural variation in sleep in relation to environmental changes.



Estelle Laure Sah Pamboro



I am a Senior international student from Cameroon at Florida Atlantic University. I am interested in the study of the brain and nervous system and ultimately hope to pursue MD-PhD upon graduation. My research interests in the Keene lab include examining how the supplementation of fatty acids into the diet contribute to changes in sleep by targeting tissues that are known to mediate the metabolism of dietary fats.



Former Lab Members

Masato Yoshizawa, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Hawai'i

Pavel Masek, PhD, Assistant Professor, SUNY Binghamton


Kurtresha Worden, B.s., CMB Graduate Program, UC-Berkeley

John Silvaroli, B.s., UNLV Dental School

Nicolai Oh, Davidson Academy High School

Ian Oh, Davidson Academy High School

Josue Regalado, University of Nevada, Reno

McKenna Cortez, University of Nevada, Reno

Larissa Gloutak, University of Nevada, Reno

Sam Kafle, University of Nevada, Reno

Beatriz Robinson, B.S., Neuroscience PhD program, Stanford

Aradhana Mehta, UNR School of Medicine

Catriona Moody, UNR School of Medicine

Melissa Slocumb (M.S.), Technician, Standford Medical School


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