Suzana Herculano-Houzel

Former Lab Members

Most of the former lab members joined the lab as undergraduate students and went on to pursue either a Master’s or a PhD degree.

Bruno Mota is an Associate professor at the Institute of Physics at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, which he joined in 2013.

Bruno obtained a Ph.D. in Physics (Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Físicas) in 2007, working on topology of the cosmos, then joined the Herculano-Houzel lab for a postdoctoral fellowship from 2008-2013. Bruno remains a close collaborator and visits the lab often at Vanderbilt.

Publications:
  • Herculano-Houzel et al. (2006)
  • Herculano-Houzel et al. (2010)
  • Mota & Herculano-Houzel (2012)
  • Ventura-Antunes et al. (2013), Ribeiro et al. (2013)
  • Mota and Herculano-Houzel (2014)
  • Mota and Herculano-Houzel (2015), Mota et al. (2019)

Débora Jardim Messeder obtained her MSc in 2016 working on the cellular composition of the brain of carnivorans. She joined the lab as an undergraduate student in 2011.

Publications:

  • Herculano-Houzel et al. (2015)

Fabiana Bandeira (co-supervised with Roberto Lent) received a Ph.D. in 2007 for her work examining the postnatal changes in the cellular composition of the rat brain (Bandeira et al., 2009).

Pedro Ribeiro was awarded an MSc in 2012 for his work examining the distribution of neurons along the human cerebral cortex (Ribeiro et al., 2013) and the scaling of the olfactory bulb (Ribeiro et al., 2014). Pedro is currently a research assistant at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

Lissa Ventura-Antunes joined the lab as an undergraduate student in 2008, obtained her PhD in 2016, and stayed in the lab as a postdoctoral fellow from 2017 to 2020.

Her work focused on the relationship between capillary density and neuronal density in mammalian brains. She is now a staff scientist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Publications:
  • Ventura-Antunes et al. (2013)
  • Ribeiro et al. (2013)
  • Ventura-Antunes et al. (2022)
  • Ventura-Antunes and Herculano-Houzel (2022)

Bianca Torres de Mendonça, undergraduate student 2007-2010, is now an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Mariana Gabi obtained a PhD in 2014 for her work on how numbers of neurons in the prefrontal region of the cortex compare across human and non-human species. She joined the lab as an undergraduate student in 2007.

Mariana was a post-doctoral fellow in Jon Kaas’s lab at Vanderbilt University, then a research scientist in the Herculano-Houzel lab, and is currently a research scientist in Kari Hoffman’s lab at Vanderbilt University.

Publications:

  • Gabi et al. (2010)
  • Ribeiro et al. (2013)
  • Gabi et al. (2016)

Ayanda Ngwenya was in the lab for a few months while still a PhD candidate at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, supervised by Prof. Paul Manger, studying crocodile brains.

Publications: 

  • Ngwenya et al. (2013), Ngwenya et al. (2016)

Kamilla Avelino-de-Souza finished her MSc in the lab working on the cellular composition of the Minke whale brain. She joined the lab as an undergraduate student in 2012. She is now completing her PhD with Bruno Mota.

Publications:

  • Herculano-Houzel et al. (2014)

Karina Fonseca-Azevedo was awarded an MSc in 2013 for studying trade-offs and trade-ins between the expected metabolic cost of the brain and body of different species. She joined the lab as an undergraduate student in 2008. Studied the metabolic limitations to brain expansion in primates, including humans (Fonseca-Azevedo & Herculano-Houzel (2012), and in other mammals large and small (in preparation). Karina currently lives in the Netherlands, where she is working on her PhD.

Kleber Neves joined the lab at UFRJ as an undergraduate student in 2010, became a PhD candidate in 2014 and graduated in 2018. He now works at Instituto Serrapilheira, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Publications: 

  • Neves et al. (2014), Neves et al. (2020)

Felipe Barros da Cunha obtained an MSc in 2016 working on how the cellular composition of the brains of burrowing moles compares to that of other, surface-dwelling rodents. He joined the lab as an undergraduate student in 2010 (Herculano-Houzel et al., 2020), and obtained his PhD (2021) in Andrew Iwaniuk’s lab at the University of Lethbridge, Canada.

After doing his postdoctoral research on evolutionary neuroscience and animal domestication at Linköping University (Sweden), Felipe joined a biotech company at Karolinska University (Stockholm), where he currently works as a scientist.

Sandra Dos Santos was a postdoctoral fellow from 2012 to 2019, coming from Linda Holland’s lab at the Scripps Institute in San Diego, USA. Sandra’s work focused on marsupial brains, then on non-neuronal cells across mammals.

Publications:

  • Dos Santos et al. (2017),
  • Herculano-Houzel and Dos Santos (2018)
  • Dos Santos et al. (2020)

Frederico Azevedo (co-supervised with Roberto Lent) was awarded an M.Sc. in 2008 for his work determining the cellular composition of the adult human brain (Azevedo et al., 2009). Frederico is currently a PhD student at the Max-Planck Institute in Tübingen, Germany.

Nina Patzke was a postdoctoral fellow in the lab between 2014-2016. She was a professor in Japan, and now in Germany. She was previously advised by Paul Manger, at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Rodrigo Siqueira was awarded an MSc in 2013 for work on the cellular composition of the brains of artiodactyls, as large as primate brains and with cortices even more folded (Kazu et al., 2014). Rodrigo joined the lab in 2010. He currently a PhD student at the University of Reading, UK.

Felix Ströckens was a postdoctoral fellow in the lab in 2014. Felix got his PhD working with Onur Güntürkün at the Ruhr-Universität-Bochum, Germany, and came to the lab for a few months to study the distribution of neurons within the avian telencephalon (Ströckens et al., 2022). He is now a researcher at the University of Düsseldorf, Germany.

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