Nicole is a PhD candidate in the Behavioural Neurosciece program. She completed both her BSc and MA in Pyschology at UBC. Nicole’s research focuses on characterizing cortico-striatal and amygdalar circuits that control different aspects of appetitvely motivated behaviours, from simple reward learning to more complex forms of decision-making such as decisions related to reward uncertainty, or risk.
Debra (she/her) is a PhD Candidate in Behavioural Neuroscience. Her research focuses on using pharmacological and optogenetic approaches to study how neural activity in the medial prefrontal cortex is important for behavioural flexibility. Debra is a Singaporean-Canadian from Montreal, where she completed her BSc at McGill University working with Dr. Jonathan Britt.
Jackson is originally from Columbus Ohio and completed his BS in neuroscience at The Ohio State University. At OSU, he worked with John Bruno investigating how embryonic and adolescent exposure to heightened levels of the endogenous metabolite kynurenic acid resulted in schizophrenia-like cognitive and neurochemical deficits in adulthood. His masters project will focus on the role of dopamine in the PFC in mediating cue-guided cost/benefit decision making.
Valerie completed her B.A. in Psychology at UBC in 2020. During her undergraduate degree, Valerie worked in the Floresco lab studying the role of the medial prefrontal cortex in behavioural flexibility. As a M.A. student, she is currently co supervised by Dr. Kiran Soma, and her research focuses on investigating the relationship between locally-produced testosterone in the mesocorticolimbic system and behavioural flexibility, specifically looking at the effects of testosterone and its sites of action.
Giulio was born and raised in Rome, where he picked up all of his quirks on food and un-solicited puns. He pursued his Bachelor’s degree at UBC in neurobiology and physiology and worked on his honours thesis with Dr Catharine Rankin on Parkinson’s Disease genetics using the C. elegans model system. Now he is in the Floresco lab as a Master’s student in the Neuroscience program investigating the effects of stress/corticotropin-releasing hormone in rats on the meso-cortico-limbic dopamine circuitry responsible for decision-making.