Rodney A. Swain, PhD
Dr. Rodney A. Swain is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Dean of the College of Letters & Science. Dr. Swain joined the UWM faculty in 1997 after completing graduate training at Miami University and the University of Southern California and postdoctoral training at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Swain’s research focuses on plasticity of motor systems in the brain. In particular, he studies the effects of exercise on the structure and function of the cerebellum, motor cortex, and hippocampus, and in turn, the effects these plastic changes have on learning and cognition. Dr. Swain’s teaching interests include behavioral neuroscience, neurobiology of learning and memory, and brain injury and recovery.
Morgan E. Stevenson
Morgan graduated from Wartburg College with a BA in Psychology in 2012. She is currently a graduate student in the Experimental Psychology PhD program, specializing in neuroscience, at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Her interests are in brain plasticity, specifically how exercise-induced vascular and neural changes in the hippocampus affect learning and memory. She is currently investigating the temporal regulation of angiogenic factors in the hippocampus following aerobic exercise.
Vienna K. Behnke
Vienna graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee with a BA in Psychology in 2014. She is currently earning her MS in the Experimental Psychology program with specializations in behavior analysis and neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Her interests pertain to the cerebellum’s involvement in developmental abnormalities, especially the role of the connections of the cerebellar deep nuclei. She is currently studying the fastigial nuclei’s role in facilitating social interaction among individuals with developmental abnormalities such as autism or ADHD.
Jacob J. M. Kay
Jake graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee with a BA in Psychology in 2012. He is currently earning his MS in the Health Psychology program at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. His research interests lie in better understanding the influence of physical exercise on vascular function in both healthy and diseased states. His current project is focusing on using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) to study micro-level changes in capillary function and morphology in both normoxic and hypoxic conditions.
Amanda S. Nazario
Amanda graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh in January 2015 with a BA in Psychology, minors in Chemistry and Neuroscience, and with a pre-med emphasis. She is in the Neuroscience PhD program at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Amanda is interested in researching the cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathway and its implications in pup rats and in utero development. Her research will likely generalize to autism and ADHD.
Undergraduate Research Assistants
Alexander T. Wickstrom
Alex is majoring in Biological Sciences. He has worked in the lab for four semesters. He plans to pursue a degree in Translational Medicine or Biomedical Engineering prior to entering a joint MD/PhD program.
Vincent G. Beltrone
Vince is majoring in Psychology. He has worked in the lab for one semester. His interests lie in sleep cycles and Circadian rhythms. He plans to pursue a graduate degree in the neurosciences.
Hanna E. Hobson
Hanna is majoring in Psychology. She has worked in the lab for one semester. She plans to earn a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology.
Andy is majoring in Psychology and Biochemistry. This is his first semester in lab after transferring from another lab at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He plans to earn an MD/PhD and study brain to brain interfaces and computer to brain interfaces.