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


Sonja Lazovic ’22


From: Miami, Florida

Fun fact: I speak 4 (-ish) languages!

Favorite wavelength of light: 550 nm



Hyery Yoo ’22


From: San Jose, California

Fun fact: I like walking around new and random places, and I love listening to slap bass (would like to learn how to play someday).

Favorite wavelength of light: 450 nm

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


Hasham Warrich ’23


From: Metaire, Lousiana

Fun fact: My right pinky is significantly larger in diameter than my left pinky.

Favorite wavelength of light: 450 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