Research UNCovered


Research UNCovered is a biweekly series showcasing the many faces of research at Carolina, from undergraduate students to faculty, across all disciplines. Every other Wednesday, learn what inspired our researchers to pursue their field, how they’ve overcome obstacles, and a little about their lives beyond their labs and offices.

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Daphne Klotsa

Daphne Klotsa is an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Physical Sciences within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She studies the physics of swarms — systems that exhibit emergent collective and cooperative behavior such as flocks of birds, schools of fish, and crowds of people — in order to engineer similar systems composed of moving parts, from self-propelled nanoparticles in solution to cars in traffic.

Derrick Carr

Derrick Carr is a PhD student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He searches for rare, compact galaxies called nuggets and strives to understand how they form and evolve.

Divya Narayanan

Divya Narayanan is a junior double-majoring in neuroscience and music within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She explores the neural connections between the auditory cortex and thalamus to understand how the brain processes and reproduces sound.

Terence Johnson

Terence Johnson is a PhD student in the UNC School of Social Work and a student assistant in the Department of Social Medicine within the UNC School of Medicine. He researches how to create equity within the criminal justice system.

Mohit Bansal

Mohit Bansal is the John R. & Louise S. Parker Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and a recipient of the 2020 Hettleman Award for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. Through natural language processing and machine learning, he develops programs that help artificial intelligence technology understand and use human-like language.

Angela Smith

Angela Smith is an associate professor in the Department of Urology within the UNC School of Medicine and a recipient of the 2020 Hettleman Award for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. She studies how to improve the lives of patients with bladder cancer by amplifying patient voices in research and clinical care.

William Sturkey

William Sturkey is an associate professor in the Department of History within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and a recipient of the 2020 Hettleman Award for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. He studies the history of race in the American South, with a focus on working-class, marginalized peoples. His book “Hattiesburg” is a biracial history of the Jim Crow era in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, which played a central role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Andrea Bohlman

Andrea Bohlman is an associate professor in the Department of Music within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and a recipient of the 2020 Hettleman Award for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. She explores the diverse music that permeates past and present cultures and why people use music during political movements.

Margarett McBride

Margarett McBride is a PhD student in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on how neighborhood contexts shape parenting and youth well-being in Black families.  

Esteban Agudo

Esteban Agudo is a PhD student in the Department of Biology within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He explores how temperature affects the feeding rates of organisms living on reefs and how this impacts ecosystems like the Galápagos Islands.