Graduate Students – CEBUS lab

PI: Sarah Brosnan, Ph.D.

For more information, visit the CEBUS lab website.

Matt Babb – Ph.D Student 

Matt is a Ph.D. student working under Dr. Sarah Brosnan at Georgia State University. He is interested in studying the group dynamics of decision-making and the problem-solving abilities between species. He is also interested in researching hormones as they relate to different social behaviors in non-human primates. Before coming to GSU, Matt received a B.S. in Biology from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. While studying at UNC, he worked under Drs. Kenneth and Catherine Lohmann studying the geomagnetic sensing abilities of loggerhead sea turtles.

Stella Mayerhoff – Ph.D. student

Stella is a Ph.D. student working with Dr. Sarah Brosnan in the Cognitive Sciences program at Georgia State University. She is a 2CI University Doctoral Fellow in Primate Social Cognition, Evolution & Behavior. Stella is interested in studying comparative primate social cognition, especially how social factors influence the development of socio-cognitive abilities, to gain insight into human evolution. She received her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin—Madison where she worked in both Dr. Karen Strier’s Muriqui Behavioral Ecology Database and Dr. Paula Niedenthal’s Emotions Lab. After graduating, Stella spent a year working with bonobos as a Research Intern at the Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative. She then worked for Dr. Lauren Brent on Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico investigating grooming reciprocity in rhesus macaques. Most recently, she collected observational data from wild bonobos at LuiKotale in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Jhonatan Saldana – Ph.D. student

Jhonatan is a graduate student in Dr. Sarah Brosnan’s CEBUS lab at Georgia State University. His current focus is on the relation between inequity/proximity and cooperation during a bar-pull task as well as the relationship between feature masking and facial recognition. He is also interested in understanding the role of hormones as predictors for cooperative and competitive situations. Previously, in addition to working at the LRC as an undergraduate, he has also worked alongside Dr. Erin Hecht for the Georgia State University Canine Project where he focused on exploring the connections between social interactions like food sharing and human-dog relationships.

Sierra Simmons – Ph.D. student

Sierra is a Ph.D. student and a Primate Social Cognition, Evolution & Behavior 2CI fellow working with Dr. Sarah Brosnan in the CEBUS Lab. Her research interests lie in individual variation in social cognition, decision-making, and cooperation and the implications of these variations on both intragroup/intergroup relationships. To study these variations and relationships, Sierra likes to combine comparative, evolutionary, and biological approaches. Prior to joining the CEBUS lab, Sierra worked for Dr. John Capitanio from UC Davis and Dr. Karen Parker from Stanford University where they were researching various aspects of using rhesus macaques as a model for the social deficit in Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as work at the Maderas Rainforest Conservancy looking at social energy budgets between white-faced capuchins and black mantled howler monkeys.

Meg Sosnowski – Ph.D. candidate

Meg is a Brains & Behavior (B&B) fellow and Ph.D. candidate in the Cognitive Sciences program at GSU, working under Dr. Sarah Brosnan. Meg studies how primates think and interact with an ever-changing environment. Specifically, she is interested in using naturally-occurring hormone levels to predict individual differences in performance failure under cognitive pressure and social decision-making. She also studies cognition in the great ape species housed at Zoo Atlanta as a visiting graduate researcher, and has begun to branch out to work with the reptile collection as well. She earned a B.S. in Psychology-Neuroscience from Yale University for her work with Dr. Laurie Santos, where she studied cognition in the resident capuchin colony as well as in free-ranging rhesus macaques on Cayo Santiago. Meg is active in the science communication community and serves as the webmaster for the LRC website.

Olivia (Tomeo) Reilly – Ph.D. candidate

Olivia is a Ph.D. candidate and 2CI University Doctoral Fellow in Primate Social Cognition, Evolution & Behavior working with Dr. Sarah Brosnan in the Cognitive Sciences program. Olivia is fascinated by social cognition and decision-making questions, and aims to answer these questions using comparative approaches. Prior to the LRC, she spent the past two years as a post-baccalaureate fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health in the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition where she investigated holistic face processing in rhesus macaques using fMRI and behavioral techniques. Before that, Olivia worked at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC and studied the impact of diet on regurgitation and reingestion behaviors of gorilla and orangutan groups. She received a bachelor’s degree in animal behavior from Bucknell University, where she completed an independent study project to determine whether squirrel monkeys have a concept of identity.

Mackenzie (Smith) Webster – Ph.D. candidate

Mackenzie is currently a doctoral candidate in the Cognitive Sciences program at Georgia State University working with Dr. Sarah Brosnan. Her interests largely lie within the domains of social behavior and cognition, using a comparative approach to study species across the Primate order (including humans). Mackenzie is particularly interested in the evolution of emotions and affective states, and investigating the ways in which they impact our thoughts and behaviors. She is also interested in decision-making research aimed at gaining a better understanding of how and why individuals make certain decisions, both within and outside of social situations.

Updated 11-Oct-2020