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Mendel Postdoctoral Fellows


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences supports three postdoctoral fellows who contribute to the development and teaching of core science courses taught within the Mendel Science Experience.  Mendel Science Experience (MSE) postdoctoral fellows are appointed for two years, with an option to renew for a third year.

MSE postdoctoral fellows are mentored by a tenured or tenure-track Villanova faculty member. Half of their time during the academic year is dedicated to supporting the teaching of specialized courses designed for non-science majors. These core science courses (referred to as MSE courses). MSE courses are thematic (i.e., not traditional survey courses) and are associated with a complementary thematic lab that is linked directly to the lecture section. Although MSE courses are topically diverse, they share a common approach, incorporating in a meaningful way each of four critical components: problem solving, laboratory/field experience, use of technology and application of quantitative tools, and interdisciplinary understanding. MSE postdoctoral fellows also conduct research within the laboratory of their faculty mentor. They are expected to demonstrate research productivity which, when coupled with their teaching experience, should prepare them for academic careers at institutions that value undergraduate education.

Our current Mendel Postdoctoral Fellows are:


Meghan Caulfield (Psychological and Brain Sciences)

Meghan Caulfield joined the laboratory of Dr. Irene Kan in August 2018. She completed a B.A. in Psychology at Lafayette College (2006), an M.S. in Experimental Psychology at Villanova University (2009), and a doctoral degree at Rutgers University in Behavioral Neuroscience (2014). Following graduate school, Meghan completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Kessler Foundation using neuroimaging and clinical neuropsychological techniques to study spatial cognition after stroke (2014-2016) and taught in the Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Lafayette College (2016-2018). Meghan’s research uses human neuroscience methods (including computerized tasks, neuroimaging, functional near infrared spectroscopy, and electroencephalography) to study the brain regions underlying learning and cognition differences in risk for anxiety.


Dovid Kozlovsky (Biology)

Dovid Kozlovsky has been working in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Curry since August 2019. He completed a B.S. in Biology, Psychology, and Interdisciplinary Studies (Animal Behavior) at Towson University (2012). He then completed a doctorate degree at University of Nevada, Reno (2017) in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, where he studied the relationship between behavior, cognition, and the environment in chickadees. After graduate school, Dovid held an international postdoctoral fellowship at University of Ottawa in Canada. Dovid is interested in the evolution of behavior, animal cognition, urban ecology, and reproductive ecology. Dovid’s recent research projects include individual variation and heritability of spatial memory and exploratory behavior in field crickets and the effects of climate on breeding in chickadees along an elevation gradient. 



Dylan Belton (Humanities)

Dylan Belton completed his B.A. in Philosophy and Theology, and his MTS and Ph.D. in Systematic Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He has received research funding awards from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) as well as the Research Center for International and Interdisciplinary Theology in Heidelberg, Germany. As a Mendel Postdoctoral Fellow, Dylan will join a team of scholars involved in the “Collaborative Inquiries in Christian Theological Anthropology” project funded by the John Templeton Foundation and by Villanova University. His research will concentrate on the notion of the “Umwelt” that is currently gaining attention from Anglo-American scholars within anthropology, biosemiotics, cognitive science, religious studies, and philosophy of mind. The Umwelt is the world of meaning or significance that surrounds a living organism, and its species-specific form is tightly correlated with the organism’s sensorimotor and affective capacities. An analysis of an organism’s Umwelt is therefore simultaneously an analysis of its body. Dylan will be exploring interdisciplinary research on the Umwelt as well as its significance for scholarship in theological anthropology focused on human embodiment.

Past Postdoctoral Fellows

Past MSE Postdoctoral fellows, their faculty mentors, and their current positions are described in the Table below:

Year Department Name Faculty Mentor Current Position
2010-11      Biology Sultan    Jenkins Anil    Bamezai Assistant Prof., LaGuardia Community College
2011-13  Biology Valentina Ferretti Robert    Curry Faculty, Universidad de Buenos Aires
2012-15   Chemistry
Amanda Norbutus Anthony Lagalante Professor of Chemistry, Valencia College
2013-15  Geography &   the   Environment Lori Sutter Nathaniel Weston Researcher, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia
2013-16  Biology John      Schmidt Janice Knepper Assistant Professor, Villanova University
2015-17  Chemistry Matthew McLaughlin Jared Paul Principal Process Engineer, GlobalFoundries
2016-19  Psychological   and Brain   Sciences Laura Getz Joe Toscano Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of San Diego
2017-20 Astrophyics and Planetary Sciences Angela Kochoska Andrej Prsa Research Associate, Villanova University