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The Distinguished Postdoctoral program, sponsored by the College of Arts, Sciences & Education, is designed to support and enhance the professional development of early-career scholars engaged in highly promising research in the sciences, humanities and education. Postdoctoral recipients will conduct scholarly activities and research under the mentorship of a CASE faculty member, and are expected to interact with graduate students, participate in outreach efforts and submit competitive research proposals where appropriate. The Postdoctoral Scholars will have the opportunity to teach if desired and to interact with faculty from across the college and university as well as with external partners affiliated with the university.

Scholars may work with faculty aligned with one of our preeminent centers or institutes, including the Institute of Environment, the Center for Children and Families, the STEM Transformation Institute, the Global Forensic and Justice Center and the emerging preeminent Translational Molecular Discoveries program.

Appointments will run for one year commencing at the beginning of the academic year, Fall 2020. A second-year renewal will be contingent upon accomplishments over the past year and require a recommendation from the mentor.  As part of the application, a faculty mentor will submit a Statement of Support and a Rubric evaluating the applicant's performance. Contact Alina Delgado for more information.

Distinguished Postdoctoral Scholars

2019-20 Cohort

Marcus Vinicius Avelar

Department of English — 2019-20

Dr. Avelar is the inaugural Postdoctoral Fellow in Public Humanities in the Center for the Humanities in an Urban Context. With Dr. Phillip Carter, he is working on the implementation of the vision of the Center and on research related to Brazilian identity in South Florida. An ethnographer of language and social life, he is investigating the question of how Brazilianness figures in local constructions of Latinidad, how Brazilians orient to South Florida's Spanish-English bilingualism, and to questions of Portuguese as a heritage language and the Spanish-English-Portuguese language contact.

Saeed Moshfeghyeganeh

Department of Teaching and Learning — 2019-20

Dr. Moshfeghyeganeh is a physicist and physics educator whose interest lies in understanding the effect of culture on identity formation and intersection of multiple identities in pursuing physics. His current project focuses on congruity/incongruity of femininities and physics identities across different cultures. Women continue to be underrepresented in physics programs in the west while this is not the case around the globe. Working with Dr. Zahra Hazari, Saeed tries to understand cultural factors facilitating or impeding women and other minorities from pursuing physics while using this knowledge to improve diversity in the field of physics.

Juliet Wong

Department of Biological Sciences — 2019-20

Dr. Wong is interested in global change biology and understanding the processes by which organisms can respond to their changing environments. Her postdoctoral work with Dr. Jose Eirin-Lopez in the Environmental Epigenetics Lab is focused on the role of epigenetic processes in providing rapid phenotypic plasticity within coral reef ecosystems. Using sea urchins in Puerto Rico and reef-building corals in French Polynesia as model systems, she is investigating environmental-epigenetic linkages and how they affect marine ecology and evolution.

2018-19 Cohort

Woubet Alemu

Department of Earth and Environment — 2018-19, 2019-20

Dr. Alemu is interested in the synergistic use of satellite active/passive microwave and optical datasets, crop growth models, and in situ datasets to study cropland dynamics, crop production and yield estimation for food security in East Africa and elsewhere like the wetland dynamics in the Florida Everglades. He is focused on writing articles on cropland and grassland land surface phenology and seasonality in the Prairie Pothole Region of the USA using satellite passive microwave datasets and the USDA crop data layer (CDL). He works under the direction of Dr. Assefa Melesse.

Rolando Santos

Department of Earth and Environment — 2018-19, 2019-20

Dr. Santos is a seascape ecologist with expertise in fish, fisheries, benthic, disturbance and spatial ecology. He works on two research projects in collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Rehage to investigate how the transformation of seagrass seascapes and the spatial distribution of algae blooms influence the movement, habitat use andfitness of recreational fish species. With Dr. Todd Crowl, he investigates the movement and distribution of shrimp in Puerto Rico streams. Both studies are designed to generate knowledge regarding how extreme climate events and other disturbances associated with climate change affect ecological processes, ecosystem functioning and services.

Lorian Schweikert

Department of Biological Sciences — 2018-19, 2019-20

Dr. Schweikert is a sensory neuroethologist, using integrative approaches to study visual system specialization in the marine world. In the open ocean - where there is seemingly no place to hide - deep-water shrimp use bioluminescent (or light-emitting) trickery to hide in plain sight. Working with Dr. Heather Bracken-Grissom, Lori pursues the long-sought-after mechanism by which these animals so precisely match their glow to downwelling light that their silhouette disappears when viewed from predators below. Over her career, Dr. Schweikert has studied fish, such as hogfish and tarpon, as well as zebra finches, chickens and whales.

Tatiana Viena

Department of Psychology — 2018-19, 2019-20

Dr. Viena's main research interests include the anatomy and physiology of the midline thalamus and its role in memory, executive and attentional states. Her postdoctoral work focuses on investigating the influence of Nucleus Reuniens (RE) of the midline thalamus in the coordination of the medial prefrontal (mPFC)-hippocampal (HF) brain circuit using animal models, while also assessing RE’s role in the temporal organization of memory and behavior. Importantly, dysfunction of the mPFC-HF circuit is the hallmark of many mental disorders such as schizophrenia, OCD and ADHD. Dr. Viena works under the direction of Dr. Tim Allen, director of the Neurocircuitry & Cognition Lab in the Cognitive Neuroscience Program.