The secret lives of Northeastern researchers

(NOTE: This post was written with the help of North­eastern Col­lege of Sci­ence senior writer and com­mu­ni­ca­tions coor­di­nator Lori Lennon, whom I think looks a lot like Phoebe Cates.)


1. Heather Bren­house, assis­tant pro­fessor of psy­chology


Brenhouse’s twin sister Gisele may be high­lighted in the media more often, but it’s Brenhouse’s work under­standing the impacts of early life stress on brain devel­op­ment that will make the most impor­tant headlines.


2. James Ben­neyan, pro­fessor of mechan­ical and indus­trial engineering

 James Benneyan  kevinklinepenelopewiltoncryfreedom87

Sev­eral of Kevin Kline’s movies tell the story of a reformed dia­mond thief (French Kiss, A Fish Called Wanda). The theme stems from his aca­d­emic interest in the tril­lions of dol­lars being “stolen” from the Amer­ican people to pay for an inef­fi­cient health­care system. Few realize that Kline’s true pas­sion is for reforming this system and that his actual name is James Ben­neyan.


3. Emmanuela Bar­beris, asso­ciate pro­fessor of physics

 barberis1-169x130  Penelope-Cruz-6th-International-Rome-Film-Festival-Photocall-cropped

Pene­lope Cruz’s tal­ents don’t end at model and actress. She is also a renowned par­ticle physi­cist whose work helped iden­tify the Higgs boson last year.


4. Kim Lewis, Uni­ver­sity Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of biology

 Kim Lewis  Harrison-Ford

Lewis is the star of a modern Indiana Jones epic, where the search is on not for a hidden trea­sure, but the innu­mer­able antibi­otics hidden from tra­di­tional drug dis­covery methods.


5. Joseph Ayers, pro­fessor of marine and envi­ron­mental sci­ence and biology

 Joseph Ayers  9782749914268

While pop­ular belief holds that Ernest Hem­ingway passed on in the early six­ties, he’s actu­ally been hard at work up at the Marine Sci­ence Center devel­oping robots whose con­trol sys­tems mimic the neu­rology of marine ani­mals under the assumed name of Joe Ayers.


6. Justin Ries, asso­ciate pro­fessor of marine and envi­ron­mental science

 NEU_UCSC_ by CJM-162  tumblr_static_henry-cavill

Ries’ research into marine geology has estab­lished him as one of the leading experts on the unstable, sed­i­men­tary core of the planet Krypton.


7. Ran­dall Hughes, assis­tant pro­fessor of marine and envi­ron­mental science

 Randall Hughes  Ginnifer-Goodwin

Hughes has a big love for the ecology of marine sys­tems, where polygamy is not nearly as con­tro­ver­sial as it is among the human species.


8. Wil Robertson, assis­tant pro­fessor of com­puter and infor­ma­tion science

 Agnes Chan and William Robertson  Dean-as-Clark-dean-cain-2451692-323-411

In this day and age, Superman’s job isn’t lim­ited to saving the people of Metrop­olis. Now he, aka Wil Robertson, must also defend us in the cyber­sphere as well.


9. Rupal Patel, asso­ciate pro­fessor of speech lan­guage pathology and audiology

 Meirelles and Patel  Untitled-1

Patel is devel­oping an inter­ac­tive com­puter game to help ado­les­cent second lan­guage learners adopt native inflec­tions and sounds. One of the mod­ules, in which players assume the role of a movie star, is based on her own second life as British actress Archie Panjabi.


10. Geoff Davies, pro­fessor of chem­istry and chem­ical biology

 davies  up-movie-14917-hd-wallpapers

Young Carl Fredricksen, whose story was told in the movie Up, could never have imag­ined the great adven­tures he would someday come to embark on through his explo­rations of soil sci­ence.


BONUS ROUND: John Ombelets, senior man­aging editor for uni­ver­sity marketing

 John Ombelets  1362290424_Kid-Rock-detroit-donation

By day, Ombelets writes about sci­ence, engi­neering, and every­thing else under the North­eastern sun for the external affairs office. By night you know him as Kid Rock.

Fea­tured image by davidd via Flickr.