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Aubrey M. Kelly, Ph.D. - Lab PI
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Dr. Aubrey M. Kelly received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) in 2007. As an undergraduate, her research focused on examining courtship behavior in birds. During a gap year upon graduating, she worked as a research assistant at UCSD examining grouping behavior in birds and social communication in honeybees (oh look, the birds and the bees!). She then attended Indiana University for graduate school in the lab of James L. Goodson, completing her Ph.D. in Biology and Neuroscience, with a minor in Animal Behavior, in 2014. Her graduate research examined the evolution of the neural mechanisms underlying social behavior in closely related finch species that vary in sociality, ranging from highly territorial to highly social phenotypes. Upon receipt of an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship, she joined the lab of Alexander G. Ophir in the Psychology Department at Cornell University. As a postdoc, using the socially monogamous prairie vole, her research examined the development of social behavior and the social brain. Dr. Kelly joined the faculty at Emory University in the Department of Psychology in August 2018.

Download Dr. Kelly's CV here: 

Postdoctoral Researchers
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Kelly J. Wallace, Ph.D. - NSF PRFB fellow

Dr. Kelly J. Wallace ( is an NSF PRFB postdoctoral fellow in the Lab of Dr. Aubrey Kelly. Kelly received her undergraduate degree in Neurobiology & Behavior from Cornell University in 2015. While at Cornell she conducted research in the lab of Dr. Alex Ophir, investigating the neural mechanisms of spatial learning and social behavior in prairie voles. She then performed her doctoral research in the Ecology, Evolution, & Behavior PhD Program at the University of Texas at Austin under the primary supervision of Dr. Hans Hofmann and funded by a Ford Foundation Fellowship. Her dissertation characterized variation in cognition between the sexes and across dominance hierarchies in two fish species: the western mosquitofish (G. affinis) and an African cichlid (A. burtoni). In 2021 she joined the lab of Dr. Aubrey Kelly to explore the developmental origins and social influences of cognitive style in the precocial African Spiny Mouse (A. dimidiatus) and the altricial Mongolian Gerbil (M. unguicalatus).   

Download Dr. Wallace's CV here:

Graduate Students
Juliana da Costa Araújo
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Juliana is a Ph.D. student co-advised by Dr. Iain Couzin (Max Planck Institute of Ornithology) and Dr. Aubrey Kelly. Juliana earned her bachelor's degree in Biological Science at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. She completed a master's degree at the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience – University of Lethbridge. Her thesis characterized nonapeptide receptor neuroanatomy of Richardson’s ground squirrels, and identified sex and behavioral differences that relate to nonapeptide receptor distributions. Juliana's Ph.D. research examines migratory and collective behavior in South American flycatchers using neuroendocrinological approaches. Her primary goal is to understand the involvement of hormones in migration. 


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Brandon Fricker - DoD NDSEG fellow

Brandon is a PhD student advised by Dr. Aubrey Kelly. Before joining the Kelly lab, Brandon obtained a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience and a B.S. in Psychology from Lehigh University while working in Dr. Julie Haas’ lab. His undergraduate research focused on identifying how an electrical synapse’s activity induces long-term plastic changes to the same synapse. In the Kelly lab, Brandon is using chemogenetic technology to map neural circuits underlying grouping behavior and cooperation in spiny mice and gerbils.

Download Brandon's CV here:

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Jeanne Powell

Jeanne is a PhD student advised by Dr. Aubrey Kelly. Jeanne earned her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and Psychology from Cornell University in 2017. As an undergraduate, she researched how paternal absence impacted prairie vole pup development. She then spent two years as a Postbaccalaureate IRTA Fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, where she studied the neuroanatomy of the noradrenergic system in mice using viral-genetic and digital strategies. In the Kelly Lab, Jeanne is exploring how various social and physical environmental factors influence social behavior and relevant underlying physiological and neural mechanisms. Furthermore, Jeanne is utilizing computational approaches to explore neural networks in the brain.

Download Jeanne's CV here:

Research Specialists
Jose Antonio Gonzalez Abreu

Jose obtained a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a B.S. in Psychology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2020. As an undergraduate, he worked under Dr. Justin Rhodes studying the effects of endocrine disruptors on the sexual differentiation of anemonefish. In the Kelly lab, he seeks to gain a better understanding of the neural mechanisms guiding social behavior in a variety of mammalian species.

Undergraduate Researchers

Mikala Dowling

Emory Psych Major 2024



Emory Major 


Solanch Dupeyron

Emory NBB Major + Spanish Major 2023

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Mark Li

Emory NBB Major + Japanese Major 2023

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Ann Clemens

University of Edinburgh

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Richmond Thompson

Oxford College of

Emory  University

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Ashley Seifert

University of Kentucky

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Madison Garvin

Kennesaw State

Biological Sciences 2021

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Ashley Rosenberg

Emory NBB Major 2021

Honors Student

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Zack Hoffer

Emory Psych Major 2021

Rebecca Kalik

Emory NBB Major + Psych and Linguistics  Major 2021

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Zia Huballah

Emory NBB Major + French Major 2022

Nicholas Lee

Emory NBB Major 2022

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Manushri Kanoria

Emory Economics

Major 2023