Our People


Dr. Eliza Bliss-Moreau

Dr. Eliza Bliss-Moreau is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and a Core Scientist at the California National Primate Research Center at the University of California, Davis. She completed her undergraduate (S.B. in biology and psychology) and graduate training (Ph.D. in psychology) at Boston College and a postdoctoral fellowship in nonhuman primate neuroscience and UC Davis.  Prior to joining Psychology, she was a faculty member in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

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Dr. Brittany aguilar / post doctoral Scholar

Brittany completed a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Georgetown University under the advisement of Drs. Patrick Forcelli and Ludise Malkova in the Department of Pharmacology. Her dissertation work was broad and included a comparative study of sensorimotor gating mechanisms between rodents and non-human primates and an analysis of anxiety-like behaviors in the genetically epilepsy prone rat model (GEPR-3s). Prior to beginning her Ph.D., Brittany received her B.S. from UC Irvine in Biology and worked in the UCI MIND Institute tissue repository collecting, storing, and distributing human brains for use in research. She is interested in promoting public awareness of scientific advancements and encouraging stewardship of science within academia. Follow Brittany on Twitter here.

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Alyssa Maness / Ph.d. Student (Psychology)

Alyssa is a graduate student broadly interested in non-human animal affect, emotion, and welfare. Her research will be focused on better understanding the affective experiences of goats and sheep and how we can use this knowledge to improve captive welfare and management. Alyssa graduated from UC Davis in 2014 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Wildlife Biology. Since then, she has worked as a laboratory assistant on projects exploring naturally occurring low-sociability in rhesus macaques as a model for core social deficits observed in humans with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and how social networks and dominance interactions relate to individual health outcomes.


Gilda Moadab / Lab MAnager

Lab Manager. Right-hand man. Left-hand man. Assistant. Aide. She who gets hot water for tea. Reminder-in-chief. Muy importante. Interested in the evolution of psychological processes. 


Ashley Murphy / Research Technician

Ashley joined the lab in March 2017 after working 4 years at the NICHD’s Laboratory of Comparative Ethology. Her background and primary interests are in rhesus macaque infant development and maternal investment, but the fun thing about being a technician is that you get to do everything! Since joining the BML she has expanded her interests to include multi-species comparisons of socio-affective behavior and the effects of Zika virus on development, just to name a few.

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Delaney Roth / Research Technician

Delaney earned her B.S. in Evolutionary Anthropology from UC Davis. At Davis, she studied the consequences of early infant stress and maternal care on juvenile behavior in rhesus monkeys with Dr. Erin Kinnally. She then spent a year as a part of the Barrett-Henzi lab studying how vervet monkeys in the Karoo respond to ecological problems in a social context. Since returning to Davis she has joined the Bliss-Moreau lab as a Junior Specialist to help study the Zika virus on rhesus development.


Anthony Santistevan / Ph.D. Student (Psychology)

Anthony is a graduate student broadly interested in the neurobiological underpinnings of socioaffective behavior. He is interested in how these behaviors develop within an individual and change over time. Anthony earned his B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from UC Davis. There, he studied the effects of ibotenic acid lesions of the amygdala, hippocampus, or anterior cingulate cortex on socioaffective behavior in rhesus monkeys with Dr. Bliss-Moreau. He then earned his M.S. in Biostatistics from Columbia University and subsequently worked for several years as a data scientist at two start-up companies. Because he is a masochist, he then left NYC for Davis in 2017 and returned to Dr. Bliss-Moreau’s laboratory to pursue a PhD. 


Dr. Adele Seelke / Assistant Project Scientist

Adele received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, studying sleep development with Dr. Mark Blumberg. She then came to UC Davis and completed a postdoc with Dr. Leah Krubitzer studying the evolution and development of the mammalian neocortex. Adele’s work in the lab is focused on how Zika infection during gestation affects brain organization and anatomy. 


Affiliated Trainees (Present and Past)


Dr. Krishna Balasubramaniam / Postdoctoral Fellow


Alice Chou / Former Undergraduate Research Assistant

Alice is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, studying the neuroanatomy of mantis shrimps with Dr. Thomas W. Cronin. Alice is deeply interested in the neural interface between sensory systems and behavioral output, especially in the context of state changes. Although now wildly infatuated with invertebrates, Alice’s scientific story began when she interviewed for an undergraduate position with Eliza her freshman year at UC Davis. Over the course of three years, she contributed to a variety of socioaffective behavioral and histological studies in rhesus macaques. Prior to completing her B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior at UC Davis, Alice also studied at the Bodega Marine Laboratory with Dr. Ernie Chang. You can find her on twitter gushing about her microdissection kit and neuroethology in weird animals. 


Kelly Finn / Ph.D. Student (Animal Behavior)


Victoria Heng / M.S. 2017, Radboud Univeristy


Dr. Stefano Kaburu / former postdoc

Current: Lecturer, University of Wolverhampton


Dr. Pascal Marty / Postdoctoral Fellow

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Shubhangi Srivastava / M.Phil. 2018, University of Delhi

Current: Ph.D. Student, School of Natural Sciences and Engineering in National Institute of Advanced Studies

Shubhangi received her M.Phil. from the University of Delhi during which she worked with Eliza as part of the National Science Foundation-funded team evaluating human perspectives on the origins of human-macaque conflict in Northern India (Shimla). Her thesis focused on understanding the attitudes and perceptions of local people and tourists about the conflict. She is now a Ph.D. student working on a European Research Council-funded project evaluating the urban ecologies of dogs in India. She is interested in studying human-animal relations in urban spaces and the cultural/spatial differences in such interactions.

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Chongyang Wu / Intern

Current: M.S. Student, Harvard Medical School

Wu earned his B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior from UC Davis in 2018. He has a broad interest in neurobiology and neurology and is right now taking a gap year while applying to medical schools. He is currently responsible for MRI image segmentation of rhesus monkey brains. Before he joined the lab in August 2018, he worked as a research assistant for a major cognitive impairment study in Beijing, and volunteered as an undergrad intern studying rapid focal cooling strategy in seizure control in primate epilepsy model.