Principal Investigator:
Jacob H. Olshansky

Prof. Olshansky (he/him/his) grew up in Urbana, Illinois, where he got his start in scientific research by spending summers in the research corn fields of the University of Illinois. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Physics from Haverford College (’12) where he worked in Alex Norquist’s solid state chemistry group, studying the hydrothermal syntheses of amine-templated metal oxides. He then moved to California to pursue his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at UC Berkeley. His dissertation research aimed to understand the mechanism of charge transfer from photoexcited quantum dots and was advised by Paul Alivisatos. He completed his postdoctoral studies at Northwestern University under the guidance of Michael Wasielewski. At Northwestern, he studied spin dynamics of photogenerated charges in synthetic DNA. He joined the Amherst College community in the summer of 2020.

Nejc Nagelj ’21

Research Technician and Lab Manager


From: Vrhnika, Slovenia

Fun facts: I learned a bit of Chinese and I make a decent pizza

Favorite wavelength of light: 280 nm

Max Hoffman ’22


From: San Diego, California

Fun facts: I compete in Olympic weightlifting and play guitar in a heavy metal band.

Favorite wavelength of light: 750 nm

Troy Colleran ’22


From: Boise, Idaho

Fun facts: I’m on the track team at Amherst, and compete in the decathlon

Favorite wavelength of light: 383nm


Autumn Lee ’23


From: Pacific, Washington

Fun facts: I play softball at Amherst, I love to hike, and I can talk about sneakers for a very long time. I would like my last meal to be the cashew chicken dish from the China House restaurant located nearby.

Favorite wavelength of light: 550 nm

Shoshanna Peifer ’23


From: Golden Valley, Minnesota

Fun facts: I have been a cross country skier for six years and I love baking.

Favorite wavelength of light: 500 nm


Frida Hernandez ’24


From: California and Virginia

Fun fact: I am the oldest out of five children, and I am also the first person in my entire extended family to attend a four-year college

Favorite wavelength of light: 600 nm


Karime Hernandez-Perez ’24


From: San Diego, CA

Fun fact: I once rode a boat operated by a 15 year old. Afterwards, I ate a fish and became friends with a stray dog

Favorite wavelength of light: 570 nm


Amisha Jain ’25


From: Charlotte, North Carolina

Fun fact: I like travelling and foreign languages, and I love spicy foods.

Favorite wavelength of light: 510 nm


Kyle Hur ’25


From: Southern California

Fun fact: I am a big fan of red bean mochi bread, and I love using emojis

Favorite wavelength of light: 425 nm

Daniya Ali ’25


From: Connecticut

Fun fact: I love puzzles and can speak 4 different languages!

Favorite wavelength of light: 421 nm


Sunnie Noh ’25


From: Bethel, AK

Fun fact: I like running, playing word games, sending cat pictures to my friends, and showing people that it is physically possible to lick your elbow 🙂

Favorite wavelength of light: 450 nm

Jovan Markovic ’25


From: Dedina, a small village in Serbia

Fun fact: I’m double-jointed 🙂

Favorite wavelength of light: 555nm (so green, so photopically pleasing)

Former members

Hyery Yoo ’22

Hasham Warrich ’23

Sonja Lazovic ’22