Who are we?

Interested in joining?  Contact us!

Doug Photo

Doug Bafford is currently studying anthropology at Brandeis, with a research focus on the semiotics of young-earth creationism. His dissertation project concerns the enactment of religious and scientific rhetoric within the context of Christian missions in South Africa.  He is a founding member.

Collaboration Interests: As a student of anthropology, he has taken an interest in questions that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries, including those that touch on language, theology, culture, symbolism, and the human body.
Contact: bafford@brandeis.edu

bronkgabrielheadshotGabe Bronk is a doctoral student in physics at Brandeis, specializing in computational biophysics. His research involves the mathematical modelling of DNA break repair processes. He is a founding member.

Current Projects: Gabe is interested in reinventing middle and high school science education through the creation of funny videos (see the Bronk’s Brain youtube channel) and creative classroom activities, emphasizing how learning science can help students make informed decisions in their daily lives. He is spearheading a project that will create and distribute course materials both online and to local schools and will submit a video to Alan Alda’s science education contest “The Flame Challenge”.

Collaboration Interests: Gabe would love to collaborate on science education projects (including that described above). He is also interested in collaborations in biophysical/biomedical research (need a computational/mathematical model?). Additionally, as an avid singer and saxophonist, artistic collaborations would also strike his fancy!

Contact: gbronk@brandeis.edu


Lauren Bernard graduated from the University of North Texas in 2015 with a Bachelors degree in Music and is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Musicology. Her research interests include exploring the interplay between music, society and politics, with a particular focus on reception history, sociopolitical context, and musical hermeneutics, topics she applies to both classical as well as contemporary music.



screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-11-08-06-amMichelle Dang is an undergraduate student studying biology and journalism, decidedly pursuing science journalism. She’s a student ambassador for the Experiential Learning department and a publishing assistant at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. She is a founding member.

Current projects: Stories Behind the Science, Editorial Assistant for The Justice student newspaper

Collaboration Interests: Digital media storytelling and visualization; Data journalism; Meaningful learning experiences; Team dynamics & collaborative leadership; Stories about personal enlightenment/setbacks/challenges/initiatives – If you have a story worth sharing, let me know! :] 

Contact: mdang@brandeis.edu 


Munzareen Khan is a neuroscience PhD student in the Sengupta lab. Currently she is studying how neural circuits integrate sensory stimuli and process information to generate relevant behavior and how the processing mechanisms change under different conditions/experiences. In her spare time she likes to travel, learn about different cultures, read, write, play sports and volunteer! She is a founding member.

Current Projects:Travel blog, science new writing, Women in Science Initiative (WiSI), Deisortium.

Collaboration Interests: I am interested in any project/effort that combines the arts and sciences together. The marriage between these fields creates paths to spread awareness, build strong networks, and bridge gaps and make progress. 

Contact: munzareenkhan@brandeis.edu


Nikhil Krishnaswamy is a Ph.D. candidate in computer science, studying simulation generation from natural language data and computational approaches to spatial reasoning.  He has worked in both the defense and video game industries, and his interests include linguistics of all kinds, particularly computational and cognitive, the science and philosophy of perception and mind, artificial intelligence, and innovative social applications of emerging technologies. He is a founding member.

Current Projects: Graduation

Collaboration Interests: Facilitating cross-pollination across various disciplines, bringing the hard sciences and soft sciences together, and building bridges between the sciences and the humanities.  I’d love to discuss crazy theories with a physicist and a philosopher some time.

Contact: nkrishna@brandeis.edu

tripathy-2Aneil Tripathy is a doctoral student in anthropology at Brandeis, specializing in economic, environmental and anthropology of finance. His research involves the development of the green bond market and climate finance more broadly. His work focuses on the translation of knowledge across different fields of expertise and the communication and creation of the environment and climate change. Aneil loves gardening, winemaking, canoeing, and walking.

Current Projects: This Anthropological Life, an anthropology podcast focused on presenting social science knowledge in-formation.

Collaboration Interests: Down to discuss everything, send me a message! I’ve been at Brandeis a long time, since 2008, so always enjoy connecting people together as well.

Contact: tripathy@brandeis.edu


IMG_0517ddVivekanand Pandey Vimal is a graduate student in the Ashton Graybiel  Spatial Orientation lab and is studying the role of gravitational cues on human balancing.  Before coming to Brandeis, he taught physics at Waltham High School for six years and also spent one year in India as a consultant to a NGO, making documentaries and writing grants on social issues.  He is a founding member.

Current Projects: WHS-Brandeis Summer Research Program, The Beauty of Balding Podcast/Radioshow, The Virtual Reality Project, The 3D Printing Project

Collaboration Interests: …if you want to collaborate, don’t hesitate to contact me. A few things I am interested in:
– brainstorming and implement academic ideas that span multiple disciplines and give a glimpse of beauty and truth.
– developing a feeling of family and collaboration between Brandeis and WHS
 creating projects that connect Art and Science
– creating projects that express beauty through photography, music and film
– creating partnerships between Brandeis and the outside world, to give graduate students the ability to truly interact and create a unique portfolio of projects.
– creating an environment of epicness where as a community we can dream, develop ideas, get stronger and make a significant positive change in the world. 

Contact: somde@brandeis.edu



Adam Gamwell is a public anthropologist and PhD Candidate at Brandeis University working across food, design, science, and markets. His research is based in southern Peru on quinoa. He is also Creative Director and host for This Anthropological Life Podcast.



Ryan H. Collins is doctoral candidate in Anthropology studying archaeology and specializing on the development of complex society at the site of Yaxuná, Yucatan, Mexico and its implications throughout Mesoamerica as one of the earliest permanent living settlements in the region. As one of the founding members of the radio show and podcast, This Anthro Life, Ryan works to make anthropology accessible to the public. Anthropologists all engage in a very real world with very real issues. When we crawl through ancient collapsing temples it’s with the help of individuals the world over who care deeply about the past and because the past is relevant today in social politics, climate, and heritage. This Anthro Life” is committed to connecting people to stories from the past, ongoing in the present, and how messages are transmitted cross culturally.

Current Projects: This Anthro Life radio show and Podast, The Graduate Labor Coalition, The Brandeis Anthropology Research Seminar (BARS), Proyecto de Interacción Política del Centro de Yucatán (PIPCY).

Collaboration Interests: Anything building and sharing accessible content. Storytelling the human condition goes beyond anthropology. Creating new spaces for diverse content to be shared can help bring people together, facilitate curiosity and empathy.

Contact: ryanhco@brandeis.edu

Sohani SirdeshmIMG_1950 copyukh is currently a grad student in Sustainable International Development at Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Her interest areas are

education, social justice, public health and innovation. She is a founding member.
Current Projects:
ollaboration Interests: Sohani is interested to work with people, identify gaps and solutions in their projects and assist in making meaningful connections with people within and outside the Brandeis community.
: sohani@brandeis.edu