Niki Osborne

December 13, 2017

Dr Niki Osborne works with Professor William Thompson in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society to examine and address human factor issues in the interpretation of forensic evidence. Her research, funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), is primarily focused on the role of contextual information and the mitigation of cognitive and contextual bias in the interpretation of bloodstain pattern and handwriting evidence.

Niki gained her PhD in Psychology through the University of Otago, New Zealand, and is working at UCI as an International J-1 Scholar. Niki is actively involved in several committees that are tasked with improving the practice of forensic science. She also regularly trains and advises forensic scientists and crime scene investigators around the world on bias in forensic science. Much of Niki’s research can be found in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, Science and Justice, and Forensic Science International.

Niki won third place for her poster presentation at our recent UCI Postdoc Research Symposium.


Antara Das

December 6, 2017

Dr. Antara Das is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Developmental and Cell Biology where she works with Dr. Diane O’Dowd. Antara completed her PhD at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) in Bangalore, India where she investigated how environmental temperature cycles can influence circadian clock neuronal circuit via heat-sensitive TRPA1 ion channels in genetically tractable fruitflies, drosophila melanogaster.

She arrived at UCI in August 2016 and now studies sodium ion channel associated genetic epilepsy models in mice using behavioural assays and physiology. In particular, she is studying a seizure disorder known as GEFS+ which causes fever-induced (febrile) seizures in early childhood, persists in adults and can result in generalized seizures in later life. Her work focuses on understanding the cellular mechanism of sodium channel mutations in seizure development, i.e. to join the dots from how a mutation in a sodium ion channel modifies neuronal firing and causes hyper-excitation in the brain leading to seizures. In collaboration with Dr. Robert Hunt (Anatomy and Neurobiology), Antara is evaluating seizure load and cognition deficits in mice models via EEG (electroencephalogram) and behavior assays. To dissect the underlying mechanism, she is examining sodium channel function and neuronal firing properties via electrophysiological approaches. Antara won third place for her research talk at our Fall UCI Postdoctoral Research Symposium.


Soobin Yim

November 29, 2017

Dr. Soobin Yim is a postdoc at the Language, Literacy, and Learning (L3) Lab in the School of Education. She is currently working with Dr. Young-Suk Kim on the Self-Regulated Strategy Development + (SRSD+) intervention project. Soobin’s research focuses on writing development, digital literacy, Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL), and English for Specific Purposes (ESP). She studies how literacy development can be supported by the integration of digital media and systematic K-12 interventions. Soobin’s work has been published in journals such as Teachers College Record and Language Learning & Technology, and books including Routledge Handbook of English for Academic Purposes and TESOL Encyclopedia.

Soobin received her Ph.D. in Education (specialization: language, literacy, and technology) from UC Irvine and Master’s degree in language and literacy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a recipient of the TIRF Doctoral Dissertation Award, Phi Beta Kappa International Scholarship, and the Korean Honor Scholarship.


Erin Gray

November 15, 2017

Dr. Erin Gray is a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in African American Studies at UC Irvine. Specializing in the intersections of politics, aesthetics, and critical theory, her current research focuses on gendered racial formations within and against the photographic history of global white supremacy. Mobilizing black feminist theory, Marxist critical theory, affect studies, and psychoanalytic and new materialist currents in visual and performance studies, her current book project theorizes the lynching photograph as a dialectical object and moving image that illuminates anti-black terror’s constitutive relationship to racial capitalism and U.S empire. Dr. Gray has published articles on feminist poetics in Open Letter: A Canadian Journal of Writing and Theory and The International Feminist Journal of Politics. Her writing on U.S. lynching culture has appeared in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and her analyses of policing and the Black Lives Matter movement have been published in Mute and Truthout. She has articles on Cold War-era black left feminist anti-lynching defense campaigns and contemporary black cinematic praxis forthcoming in The Black Scholar and The Journal of Global Slavery.


SA Smythe

November 8, 2017

Dr. SA Smythe completed their Ph.D. in history of consciousness (with emphases in literature and feminist studies) from UC Santa Cruz and will continue postdoctoral research here at UCI with Lilith Mahmud, Associate Professor in the Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies.

SA’s research interests include Black poetics, dispossession, créolité, meticciato, postcoloniality and decoloniality in Europe and Africa, cultural memory in the African diaspora, queer aesthetics, the Black Mediterranean, testimony, and the so-called “refugee and migration crisis.” At UCI, Smythe will develop their book manuscript, Crisis and the Canon: Shifting Representation Regimes in the Black Mediterranean. The book focuses on representations of blackness, femininity, and mobility in Italophone writings from 1985 to 2015. SA was awarded the prestigious UC Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship.