Donald McEachron, Editor-in-Chief

Volume 25-2.  March 2021


In this Issue...

  1. Message from the President-Elect - Inspiring Women in Science
  2. IBNS 2021 Hybrid Meeting Networking Events
  3. Call for Abstracts
  4. IBNS 2021 Hybrid Meeting Registration Now Open
  5. Committee Reports
  6. In memoriam - Dr. Sarah Johnson
  7. Call for Guest Editors, IBNS Newsletter in 2021!

Message from the President-Elect - Inspiring Women in Science

Dr. Jill McGaughy
Professor of Psychology
Faculty Fellow - Office of Engagement and Faculty Development
President Elect - International Behavioral Neuroscience Society
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824

The request for this contribution came to me as we moved past International Women’s Day, so I’ve also been thinking about some of my role models growing up. For as long as I can remember, I have been a math and science nerd. I was fortunate to grow up in a family that encouraged these passions, but it gave me pause to think about my role models outside the family. I remember watching shows with Jane Goodall. I found her work fascinating, but I didn’t resonate with her quiet demeanor. When I was growing up in the farmlands of southern Illinois, it seemed impossible that I would ever be able to travel to such exotic locales to study chimpanzees. When I learned about Barbara McClintock studying the genetics of maize and pondering the mysteries of genetics in a cornfield, I understood how someone like me could follow that path. After all, there were plenty of cornfields available to me in southern Illinois. One of the many critical factors in choosing a career path and being successful is understanding that someone “like you” has done it before. For many people, including scientists, there is a sense of isolation that there are no others like you, which makes solving the inherent challenges of science all the more daunting. IBNS has always been a welcoming Society, to any and all, but we recognize that we have not explicitly conducted outreach to ensure greater representation across the spectrum for “like you” representation. President Young has begun the critical work of improving outreach for Diversity & Inclusivity within IBNS. Our Committee is now >2 years old with leadership from Drs. Kentner & Bangasser, they have initiated several excellent programs. In my tenure, we will continue to build on that solid foundation to help others find a new path.

As we move closer to the 2021 meeting, I’m excited about the many opportunities to meet to talk about science and address the challenges we are currently facing. The choice to provide a hybrid meeting to significantly increase accessibility for all is an excellent outcome that we look forward to continuing in the future. This year’s meeting will also have several new sessions, including a workshop from the IBNS Ethics and Diversity Committee to discuss unconscious bias and satellite events from Black in Neuro and Women in Learning. In addition, we will have a panel discussion that addresses the translational validity of animal behavioral models. These sessions will help all of us to be better colleagues, mentors, and scientists. I am also proud to say as incoming President and part of the Program Committee, this year is the first in our history we have an all-female group of Keynote speakers. Our outreach is certainly increasing the chances IBNS are attended by scientists “like you”.

As we hold a second meeting during a pandemic, I am asking myself, “what can we do with our collective strengths as a society to help each other?” One of the things I love about IBNS is our senior members’ willingness to serve as mentors. This mentorship is needed now more than ever. We also need to encourage leadership at our home institutions to remember the ongoing impact of this pandemic, to acknowledge and to provide additional support for colleagues at critical stages of career development. My goal as the incoming President is to provide opportunities beyond the annual meeting to connect and learn from one another, across nations and diversity of backgrounds. I welcome input from all of you on what would help you, so find me at the meeting or send me an email: [email protected]. We are better together.


IBNS 2021 Hybrid Meeting Networking Events

Black in Neuro (BiN)

Dr. Nii Addy, Yale University

As an IBNS member serving on the Membership & Communications Committee and as a liaison on the Ethics and Diversity committee, I’m thrilled about the Black in Neuro networking event at the upcoming IBNS annual meeting. I’ve been fortunate to be involved in several Black In Neuro events, both as a participant and as a speaker. These events have been empowering, equipping and poignant community building experiences for those of us who identify as Black in Neuro. These events have also helped galvanize the broader neuroscience community, creating a space for important conversations about the effects anti-Black racism in neuroscience and society, the importance of mentorship, and the ways that allies, sponsors and advocates can walk alongside their Black trainees, peers, and colleagues. At the IBNS, a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is central the society’s mission. But of course, there are many ways we can do better to truly create and foster an inclusive, diverse and welcoming scientific society. This collaborative Black in Neuro and IBNS event is an excellent opportunity to further foster community, to build relationships and networks, and to introduce an even more diverse audience to the dynamic and engaged behavioral neuroscience community that is the IBNS.  

From Angeline Dukes, BiN President: 

Black In Neuro is an international grassroots organization dedicated to the support and amplification of Black scholars in neuroscience-related fields. It is a trainee-led organization that began in July 2020 amidst the heightened awareness of the racial injustices faced around the world and the isolation many of us felt. We aim to diversify the neurosciences by sharing knowledge, offering resources, and building community at every stage of one's academic journey. Previous events we have hosted include neuroracism panels, film screenings, negotiation and interview skills workshops, and monthly socials. Last fall, we also organized an international virtual conference that allowed Black trainees to present their cutting-edge research, find potential labs for their next steps, and connect with attendees from over 60 different countries. We are constantly developing new programs and offering various resources to make neuroscience more equitable for everyone to thrive. At you can find upcoming events, a multitude of resources for trainees, and over 500 profiles of Black scholars who are available for mentorship and speaking engagements.

In collaboration with IBNS, Black In Neuro is hosting a social on June 2, 2021 at 6pm CST. This will be a fun opportunity for Black scholars to be exposed to the IBNS network and for everyone to make new friends. This event is open to EVERYONE (Black scholars, non-Black allies, people at various career stages, those not registered for the conference, etc) so come ready to have a good time and meet some amazing new people! 


Women in Learning (WIL)

Women in Learning (WIL) is delighted to host our first-ever IBNS event at the annual meeting in June! WIL is a group of young scientists – mostly graduate students and postdocs – who share a common goal: promoting women in science. WIL was started by Dr. Moriel Zelikowsky in 2011 as an offshoot of the Pavlovian Society. For years, the group organized a simple luncheon at the Pavlovian Society meeting to provide a forum for young scientists to find support, advice, and guidance as they moved through their careers. As the group has expanded, we have developed new opportunities to support women in science, including our annual “WIL Outstanding Woman in Learning” award, our ongoing “Women to Watch” virtual research seminar, our 2020 Coronavirus Relief Fund, and our recent “Where there’s a WIL, there’s a way” research grant. We are proud of the work we have done to support women in science, and we’re really looking forward to introducing ourselves to the IBNS community!

At IBNS 2021, we are excited to host and invite you to a virtual panelist discussion and happy hour on Thursday, June 3 at 6pm CDT (Puerto Vallarta time). We have recruited the IBNS keynote speakers (all women!) to serve as our panelists. Drs. Marina Picciotto, Tracey Shors, Gina Quirarte, and Kay Tye will share their career trajectories, experiences, and advice and answer any and all questions you have about being a woman in science. We plan to take questions both in advance and live, so start thinking about your questions and please plan to join us in June. In the meantime, check out our website for more information on WIL:

WIL would also like to announce the first-ever WIL-IBNS Outstanding Graduate Women in Learning Award! To mark this special event, with the help of IBNS, WIL is offering to support two women graduate students who have submitted to present at the conference with the Outstanding Graduate Woman in Learning Award. The award will recognize outstanding work in and commitment to the study of learning, behavior, and memory and will be cover the cost of registration to support both awardees’ attendance at the full IBNS meeting (June 1-5, 2021). 

Applying is easy – just send a current CV and a copy of your submitted IBNS abstract to [email protected] no later than Saturday, May 1. 

Send in your applications and mark your calendars – we can’t wait to see you there!


Dr. Janine L. Kwapis,           Dr. Nicole Ferrara,
Penn State University
         Rosalind Franklin University
                                             of Medicine and Science

Ethics & Diversity Committee Workshop 

In our current global context of a pandemic highlighting health disparities, racial reckoning and protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd, and the historic U.S. election of our first Black, Asian-American woman Vice President, the IBNS Ethics and Diversity Committee invites you to a luncheon to share in a discussion about unconscious bias. We will examine our unconscious biases and use a Case Study approach to think about how we might lean into equity and inclusion in our labs, departments, institutions, and workplaces. EDI Workshop will be held Wednesday, June 2 from 12pm-1pm CDT.

Featuring Dr. S. Tiffany Donaldson  

Dr. S. Tiffany Donaldson graduated with a BA in Biology and Spanish with Honors from Dartmouth College, completed a Master’s at Harvard College in Psychology (Concentration in Psychopharmacology) and obtained her Ph.D. in Psychobiology (Concentration in Psychopharmacology) from Northeastern University in 1993. Dr. Donaldson joined IBNS in 2014 and served on the Program Planning Committee from 2016-2018.

In addition to her activity on IBNS, Dr. Donaldson collaborates on a U54 NCI-funded partnership between the University of Massachusetts (UMAss) Boston and Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center to share evidence-based intervention and prevention strategies for reducing cancer disparities among Black diasporic and Latinx populations in the Greater Boston Area. She is also PI on an R25 Grant from NICHD that delivers paid research opportunities for underrepresented groups in community-based participatory research, behavioral medicine, nursing, and psychological research (evolutionary psychology and behavioral neuroscience) focused on family, child, and community health. She is also a National Research Mentor Network (NRMN) Mentor Trainer who supports postdocs, faculty, and staff at UMass Boston in evidence-based mentoring practices for racial/ethnic minorities. Since joining the faculty at UMass Boston in 1997, she has mentored over 270 undergraduates and graduate students in her Behavioral Neuroscience lab, had an undergraduate co-author on every one of her publications, and served on Review Committees for Ford Fellowships, NSP Fellows, F31, T32, and Study Sections for NIH MARC and RISE grants. Dr. Donaldson’s research focuses on biology – environment interactions that influence vulnerability to anxiety- and depression-like behaviors and addiction in rats. She also uses a rodent model of hypoxia ischemia (HI) to promote maternal care-taking behavior to reverse neurological and behavioral sequelae associated with HI injury.

In her downtime, she enjoys attending her kids’ orchestral concerts, knitting, reading historical and science fiction, and hiking.

American Psychological Association Predoctoral Award
Postdoctoral Fellowship - National Institutes of Mental Health
R25 Training Grant
SBIR Phase I/II Grants
Nominated for McArthur Genius Award (Finalist)
College of Arts and Sciences – Outstanding Service Award, University of Massachusetts Boston
College of Arts and Science – Outstanding Teacher Award, University of Massachusetts Boston
President’s Public Service Award, University of Massachusetts Boston

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Call for Abstracts 

Abstracts may be submitted on any subject related to the general area of behavioral neuroscience. PRESENTING AUTHORS MUST SUBMIT THEIR ABSTRACT USING THEIR OWN LOG IN (e.g. Advisors may not submit an abstract for a student under the advisor's account). More than one abstract may be submitted by each author.

Abstracts should be no longer than 2,500 characters including spaces and prepared as a single paragraph, single-spaced. Abstracts should NOT contain photos, tables or references. Data must be original and not previously published. Please include any funding acknowledgements.

A nonrefundable abstract fee of $50 USD is due at the time of submission. Abstracts should be submitted by April 15, 2021. Late abstracts will be considered until April 15, 2021, for posters only. After March 1, 2021, the fee is $75 USD.

Members and non-members of IBNS are invited to submit abstracts online at the following link: 2021 Abstract Form

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2021 Hybrid Meeting Registration Now Open


 Register Today


Travel tips from the IBNS Central Office

  • Submit your abstracts before April 15, 2021
  • Register for the Meeting
  • Book your flight (Check your airline for change & cancellation fees after 3/31/21)
  • Make hotel reservations (Marriott PV is offering a seven (7) day cancellation policy)

Meeting and Hotel FAQ's  Check out the most frequently asked questions on our website.   

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Committee Reports

Finance & Fundraising Committee
IBNS is healthy financially. Even though there will be more costs than usual due to moving to a hybrid conference format this summer, we expect that the conference will be able to pay for itself. Hope to see you at conference this summer, even if virtually!

Education & Training Committee
2021 Travel Awardees

We are pleased to announce this year’s winners!

Postdoctoral Awards

Marie Labousse, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
Puja Parekh, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, USA
Hayley Fischer, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Jordan Marrocco, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA
Suzanne Nolan, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA
Nicholas Race, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Ewa Galaj, National Institute on Drug Abuse Intramural Research, Bethesda, MD, USA
David Nguyen, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Ahmed Eltokhi, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

Graduate Awards
Michelle Stackmann, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
Eleni Hartomeni Moschona, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Nicholas Upright, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA
Evelyn Ordoñez Sanchez, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Moises dos Santos Correa, Universidade Federal do ABC, São Paulo, Brazil
Felicia Reed, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Kayla Nygaard, Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, MO, USA
Sabrina Zequeira, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
Ileana Morales, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Claire Corbett, Rowan University, Vorhees, NJ, USA
Sean Monroe, Miami University, Oxford, OH, USA
Rhianne Scicluna, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Tavleen Kaur, Taiwan International Graduate Program, Taipei, Taiwan

Undergraduate Awards
Megan Maxwell, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA
Aftyn Trumbo, Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, VA, USA
Anjali Kumari, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC, USA

Please remember that the financial portion of the travel award will only be provided to the winners who declared an intent to attend the meeting in Puerto Vallarta in-person. All award winners will receive an award certificate, free registration to the 2021 meeting, 1 year membership, participation in the mentorship program, participation in the Travel Award Blitz presentations, and attendance to all other trainee events held during the meeting.

This year presented a number of challenges to our travel award procedures. We also added a new standardized scoring rubric as well as procedures to increase diversity and representation among our award winners. We thank you for your patience and attentiveness throughout these uncertain times. If you were not among this year’s winners, we sincerely encourage all of you to apply again in 2022.

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In memoriam - Dr. Sarah A. Johnson

April 10, 1982 - Jan 28th, 2021

Dr. Johnson was an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago. She was the recipient of a National Institute of Health K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award and was beginning to set up her research laboratory in Chicago. Prior to her faculty appointment, Sarah completed a BSc with honours in Neuroscience from Dalhousie University in 2004 with Lisa Kalynchuk. She then moved to the University of Toronto for graduate training, completing a MSc in the lab of Trevor Young, and a PhD with Suzanne Erb in 2014. In 2013-2014, Sarah worked in the laboratory of Christina Alberini, as a Junior Research Scientist where she became interested in the neurobiology of cognitive aging. Then followed several years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Florida in the Age-related Memory Loss group at the McKnight Brain Institute within the laboratory of Sara Burke.

Cited in over 500 scholarly publications, Sarah’s research in behavioral and systems neuroscience focused on the neural mechanisms that allow us to distinguish similar events from memory, and how these functions change across the lifespan, particularly during later adulthood and aging.
Sarah became active with IBNS as an undergraduate student presenting on the role of corticosterone on depression-like behavior. She became a member in 2004 and then sat on the Program Committee (2005 - 2007), was elected as a Student Representative to Council (2007 - 2008), served on the Education and Training Committee (2008 - 2010), She most recently presented at the meeting in Australia on Aging Alters Hippocampal Neural Ensemble Activity Subserving the Formation of Details Memory as part of the symposium on The Importance of Being Earnest about Sex and Stress Effects on Cognition Across the LIfespan.
She will always be remembered as an empathetic and engaging mentor to young scientists, and as a friend admired by all for her generosity, intelligence, sense of humor, and unflagging optimism and persistence in all she did. Throughout her career Sarah mentored dozens of students; many have noted her profound impact on their academic careers, scientific thinking, and personal lives. The McKnight Brain Institute and Center for Cognitive Aging and Memory at the University of Florida recently announced a named annual award in her honor to recognize one postdoctoral fellow and one assistant professor who exemplifies Sarah’s passion for research and dedication to mentorship.


Sara N. Burke, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Associate Director of the Center for Cognitive Aging and Memory at the University of Florida. Her research program is focused on understanding the neurobiology of age-related cognitive decline and how life-style interventions could be used improve cognitive outcomes using animal models.

Mandy Wintink, PhD, is the CEO and Curriculum Director of the Centre for Applied Neuroscience, a post-secondary education company based in Toronto, Canada. She is also an instructor within the Department of Psychology at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto, Canada. 

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Call for Guest Editors, IBNS Newsletter in 2021!

We are calling for volunteers to act as guest editors for the IBNS Newsletter for the following months in 2021


Each Guest Editor is expected to provide the following:

Guest Editor Profile. Each guest editor provides a brief biographical sketch (300-500 words) and a head shot photograph to highlight the guest editor for the Newsletter

Recent Trends in Behavioral Neuroscience. These are brief summaries of recent exciting research activities in behavioral neuroscience. The number varies between 2-4 short reports (100-200 words plus citation) that the guest editor feels would be of general interest to the membership. An excellent source would be Neuroscience News -

IBNS News. Events related to the Society, announcements, travel awards, Annual Meeting issues, etc. (depends on availability – contact IBNS Main Office)

Member News. This section reports upon and highlights significant events in the lives of members of the IBNS. This is usually provided by the Central Office, but the Guest Editor may add any member news of which they are aware.
There are two subsections:

1) Significant Events and Milestones – this would include be named to prestigious professorships, promotions, tenure, etc.

2) Awards and Recognition – these include special types of recognition (best teacher, best young researcher, etc.) and funding for research activities, etc.

Diversity & Ethics Roundtable. Items from the Ethics and Diversity Committee, IBNS Officers or members involving issues of inclusiveness, diversity and/or research and/or educational integrity/ethics, (depends on availability – contact IBNS Central Office)

Other materials may include information on the Annual Meeting, travel information associated with the Annual Meeting (if applicable) and other news and information of interest to the IBNS membership.

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