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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.