Graduate Students

PhD Students

Mary Schneider


I’m very interested in energy homeostasis and body weight regulation. I earned a M.S. in nutrition in 2009, then started working on my doctorate in neurobiology in 2011. In the Bartness Lab, my work focuses on characterizing the molecular mechanisms that mediate the sympathetic nervous system’s inhibition of adipose tissue growth. I also enjoy teaching an anatomy and physiology lab to undergraduate students.


Ngoc Ly Nguyen


I am a graduate student in the neuro-biology PhD program. My research interests are the role of the SNS regulation of body fat, plasticity of SNS and sensory innervations to and from body fat, and the mechanisms behind how melatonin increases SNS drive in short day photoperiod in Siberian hamsters. I also tinker with our super cool chromatograph for HPLC analysis to obtain norepinephrine content for our norepinephrine turnover studies. In addition to carrying out experiments, I also teach human anatomy and physiology to pre-nursing students.


 Alex Thomas


I’m a graduate student in our neurobiology and behavior Ph.D. program currently working on the orexigenic hormone ghrelin and its effects on feeding.  More specifically, I am interested in the neuroanatomical mechanisms underlying ghrelin’s effects on appetitive and consummatory behaviors in Siberian hamsters.  My work is currently focused on AgRP/NPY neurons within the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus and how these neurons control ingestive behaviors.