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© 2016-19 Jake Socha

Previous lab members

Past members of the lab. Not always up-to-date on where they are now—hard to keep up with the lot of them!

Previous graduate students

Dr. Melissa Kenny

Ph.D. 2019

Melissa earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, studying the biomechanics of circulatory- and respiratory- related internal flows in insects. Melissa earned a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from Cornell. As a member of the interdisciplinary BIOTRANS program, she was co-advised by Dr. Mark Stremler. She is now a Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Engineering at Wake Forest University.

Dr. Isaac Yeaton

Ph.D. 2018

 

Isaac earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, studying the mechanics of flying snakes. Isaac also earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in applied math from the University of New Hampshire. He was co-advised by Dr. Shane Ross. Isaac was also a member of the BIOTRANS program. Click here for Isaac's home page.

Dr. Farid Jafari

Ph.D. 2017

 

Farid earned his Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics, studying the mechanics of flying snakes. He is currently a visiting professor at Grand Valley State University in the Mechanical Engineering department.  Farid earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from Sharif University of Technology.   

Dr. Khaled Adjerid

Ph.D. 2019

Khaled earned his Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics, studying the mechanics of the insect tracheal system.  He earned bachelors and masters degrees in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech and spent time in industry as well. He was a member of the BIOTRANS program, and was co-advised by Dr. Raffaella De Vita. He is currently a postdoc working on chewing biomechanics with Dr. Rebecca German at Northeast Ohio Medical University. 

Dr. Matt Giarra

Ph.D. 2017

 

Matt received his Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering, studying methodologies for fluid mechanics, including circulation in insects. Matt has ME degrees from the Rochester Institute of Technology and U. Alabama Hunstville.  Matt’s primary advisor was Dr. Pavlos Vlachos (Purdue), and Dr. Socha was his co-advisor, as part of the interdisciplinary MultiSTEPS program (an NSF program that that is now called BIOTRANS.

Dr. Hodjat Pendar

Ph.D. 2014

 

Hodjat received his Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics from Virginia Tech, studying insect biomechanics. He is currently a research assistant professor in our department (BEAM) at Virginia Tech. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from Sharif University. 

Masters students: coming soon...

Previous postdocs

Dr. Sharri Zamore

Postdoc

 

Sharri was a postdoc in the lab from 2015-18, supported by an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology (PRFB). Sharri received her Ph.D. in neurobiology and behavior at U. Washington, co-advised by Adrienne Fairhall and Tom Daniel, studying how mosquitoes navigate convective plumes. She did her bachelor's degree in biology at Cornell. Sharri worked on flying snakes in our lab.

Undergraduates

We've had great participation and help from undergraduates in the lab over the years. There are so many of them, they deserve their own page. Find them here.

Teachers

Amanda Barnes

High school teacher

 

Amanda teaches science at Breckenridge Middle School in Roanoke, VA. She is doing research in the lab on the viscosity of insect hemolymph through our NSF RET (Research Experiences for Teachers) program "Biomechanics from molecular to organismal scales." 

Pam Tegelman Malabad

High school teacher

Pam teaches earth science at Giles High School in Pearisburg, VA, and intro biology at New River Community College. She did research on insect hearts through our NSF RET (Research Experiences for Teachers) program "Biomechanics from molecular to organismal scales." 

Dawn Hakkenberg

High school teacher

Dawn teaches math at Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke, VA and intro biology at New River Community College. She did research on skittering frogs through our NSF RET (Research Experiences for Teachers) program "Biomechanics from molecular to organismal scales."

Phil Hernandez

High school teacher

Phil (right) taught biology at William Fleming High School in Roanoke, VA. He was conducting a new research project on flying snake tongue flicking, as part of our NSF RET (Research Experiences for Teachers) program "Biomechanics from molecular to organismal scales." Prior to teaching, he was a in the Peace Corps in South Africa.  He is currently a Ph.D. student at Stanford University.