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RIFFELLLab | People
RIFFELLLab | People
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Riffell Laboratory Personnel

Principal Investigator

               Jeff Riffell, Ph.D

               Endowed Professor

               Department of Biology



              My Biography: http://faculty.washington.edu/jriffell/


              My CV

Research Associates and Scientists

Riffell Lab Gabby Headshot

Gabriella H. Wolff


Beginning in January 2021, I will be starting as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Case Western Reserve University. In arthropods, primary sensory brain neuropils project to higher-order centers, such as connections from olfactory glomeruli to the mushroom bodies in insects, chelicerates, and myriapods, and from the olfactory lobes to the hemiellipsoid bodies in malacostracan crustaceans. These higher centers integrate visual, olfactory and haptic inputs, and have been described as “learning and memory” neuropils. I am currently investigating how insect brains encode salient olfactory sensory information in the antennal lobes and mushroom bodies. Using comparative neuroanatomical and behavioral assays, I examine how these structures have evolved to adapt to various host-seeking strategies.


Claire Rusch


Claire has recently received her PhD in the Biology Department. Her work focuses on learning and memory, and sensorimotor control in the honey bee – and attractive system because of it’s robust behaviors and relatively simplified neuroanatomy that permits neurophysiological recordings from identifiable neurons.


Diego Alonso San Alberto

Diego is a Controls Engineer and a Lecturer in the Department of Biology. While training members of the department, he works on real-time tracking and virtual reality with mosquitoes in the hyper-sensed wind tunnel.

Graduate Students

Riffell Lab Jeremy Headshot 2

Jeremy K. Chan


Jeremy is a senior graduate student in the lab working on chemical ecology and behavior of plant-pollinator interactions. Jeremy is focusing on how free radicals impact floral odor plumes, and the effects on pollination services.


Binh T. Nguyen


Binh is a research technologist, and is a master of insect rearing and husbandry. Binh supervises the care of the mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) and hawkmoths (Manduca sexta) colonies.


Dane Alzate (BIO, NBIO)

Ben Arnold (BIO, NBIO)

Jessica Liao (BIO)

Kyle A. (BIO)

Stephanie H. (BIO)

Edward K. (BIO)

Kennedy Tobin (BIO, NBIO)

Brian Vickers (BIO)

Lab Alumni

Postdoctorates / Engineers:

Diego Alonso San Alberto (2014-2020) – Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme

Floris Van Breugel (2017-2019) – Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno

Clément Vinauger (2013-2018) – Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Tech

Chloé Lahondère (2013-2018) – Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Tech

Winnie Ho (2014-2017) – Lecturer, Department of Biology, University of Washington

Akira Mamiya (2015) – Now in John Tuthill’s laboratory in Physiology and Biophysics


Graduate Students:

Claire Rusch (PhD ’20) – Now a postdoctoral in Eugenia Chiappe’s lab (Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme)

Eleanor K Lutz (PhD ’20) – Graphics Fellow, New York Times

Ryo Okubo (MA ‘ 18) – Data Analyst, Microsoft

Marie R. Clifford (PhD ’17) – Amazon Web Services

Miles Fenske (PhD ’17; advised with Takato Imaizumi) – Postdoctorate University of Zurich

Yasmeen Hussain (PhD ’17) – An Associate Program Officer, Washington State Academy of Sciences

Kelsey Byers (PhD ’14) – Group Leader, John Innes Centre, UK



Elischa Sanders (BA ’14): MD/PhD student at UCSD
Lauren Locke (BA ’14): MD student at New York Medical College.
Jillian Joiner (BA ’14): PhD student at the University of Greenwich, UK.
Pratishtha Chhabra (BA ’14): Master’s student at Lincoln Memorial University.
Jonathan Miao (BA ’15): PhD student at Brown