Current members of the Akcay Lab

Erol Akcay, PI

Erol is currently an Associate Professor of Biology at Penn, where he has been since 2014. He is interested in wide range of questions in theoretical biology and social sciences. He is also sporadically accused of harassing songbirds in the wild, but maintains that it’s not him.

Emerson Arehart, Postdoc

Emerson is a SCEW postdoctoral fellow in the lab, interested in social and individual learning, opinion dynamics, and socioecological systems. Prior to Penn, he did his Ph.D. at the University of Utah with Fred Adler.

Eeman Abbasi, Graduate Student

Eeman is a 5th year graduate student in the Akcay lab, and is interested in host-microbiome interactions. Prior to Penn, Eeman did her undergraduate degree at Mt Holyoke College.

Aidan Fielding, Graduate Student

Aidan is a 3rd year graduate student co-advised by Erol and Josh Plotkin. He interested in public good games and division of labor. He finished his undergraduate degree at William and Mary College.

Past members of the lab


Amiyaal Ilany, 2015-2016
Slimane Dridi, 2015-2017
Elliot Aguilar, 2015-2018
Chai Molina, (co-advised with Simon Levin, Ulf Dieckmann, and Elena Rovenskaya), 2016-2019
Marco Smolla, 2017-2021
Bryce Morsky, 2017-2022
Andrew Tilman, 2017-2021
Rafael Ventura, 2020-2022 (SCEW postdoctoral fellow)

PhD Students

Alexandra Brown, 2014-2019
Haoran Zhou (coadvised with Brent Helliker), 2014-2019

Undergraduate Researchers

Madeleine Andrews
Natalie Weiss
Jimmy Qian
Seokyoon Chang
Christopher Carlson
Mark Lowett
Ryo Ohashi
Riley Fotis
Emery Thul (Hamline U, MindCORE Summer Fellow)



Francois Bienvenu