Join us!

How to apply

We are always looking for curious and enthusiastic team members!
Positions are currently open for:

  • Summer internships
  • Undergraduate students
  • Graduate students
  • Postdoctoral researchers

At the moment, our main priority is experimentalists.

To apply: Simply send me a short email so we can start chatting!

It would be helpful if you include a

  • CV with a list of publications
  • Contact details of 2-3 people who agreed to write you a reference letter.
  • Statement of research interests (~2 pages) describing why you want to join our team, what skills you can bring in, and ideas for potential projects you want to explore together.
  • For prospective postdocs, a list of potential fellowships that we could apply to.

If you have any questions, please  get in touch and I will be happy to discuss them directly!

Team members

Arnold Mathijssen

Arnold JTM Mathijssen

Assistant Professor

Department of Physics & Astronomy

University of Pennsylvania

Arnold was named ’30 under 30′ by Scientific American, and ‘Best Overall Undergraduate’ after completing his MSci at University College London (2012). He was awarded the Sir Sam Edwards PhD Thesis Prize for his work in the group of Julia Yeomans FRS at the University Oxford (2016). Supported by an HFSP cross-disciplinary fellowship, he moved to the lab of Manu Prakash at Stanford University, where he won the Charles Kittel Award from the American Physical Society (APS) far west division.

Outside the lab, Arnold is very enthusiastic about science communication. He worked editor-in-chief of The New Collection, a student-led magazine, and now he frequently organises family events, school visits and science hikes.

Departmental profile page          


Ercag Pince

Erçağ Pinçe

Senior Research Scientist

Erçağ’s research is focused on understanding the dynamics behind the assembly of large microbial communities. Specifically, through studying motility and microbial swimming patterns, he aims to discover assembly mechanisms leading to emergent spatial organization and coexistence within diverse bacterial species.

Erçağ did his PhD in 2016 under the supervision of Giovanni Volpe at the Department of Physics at Bilkent University, Ankara. He conducted postdoctoral research in AMOLF, the Netherlands between 2016 & 2018 and in Rowland Institute at Harvard University between 2018 & 2021.

When not in the lab., he enjoys boxing, watching arthouse movies, reading Russian literature, and collecting Bluray discs from the criterion collection.

Send email   LinkedIn Page 

Graduate Students

Hannah Xiao

Siqi Lu

Master student in Nanotechnology

Siqi is a master student majoring in nanotechnology and working on artificial microtubules recently. She enjoys playing valley ball, swimming, and taking photos by both digital and film cameras.

Hannah Xiao

Ran Tao

PhD student in Physics & Astronomy

Ran Tao is a graduate student studying Soft Matter and Biophysics. His current project focuses on bacteria swimming upstream. He did his undergraduate at Emory University studying physics and applied mathematics. He enjoys running, soccer, and watercolor painting.

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Undergraduate Students

Samantha Donovan

Samantha Donovan

Vagelos Scholar in the Molecular Life Sciences

Samantha is a Vagelos Scholar in the Molecular Life Sciences interested in the intersection of physics and public health. Sam loves reading, music, going to museums and hiking with friends.
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Samantha Donovan

Anthony Mohr

Undergraduate Researcher

Anthony is a junior majoring in Physics. At Penn, he plays drums in jazz groups, tutors for intro math and physics courses, and leads classroom activities at nearby high schools. At home, he enjoys reading, listening to bluegrass music, and eating trail mix.
Raman Thadani

Raman Thadani

Vagelos Scholar in the Molecular Life Sciences

Raman is a sophomore in the Vagelos Scholars program who hopes to attend graduate school in Physics. He loves to visit new places, plays a great many sport (but is mediocre in all), and enjoys serious discussion on existential threats to humanity at 3am with friends. 

  Send email   LinkedIn Page
Hannah Xiao

Hannah Xiao

Vagelos Scholar in the Molecular Life Sciences

Hannah is a sophomore in the Vagelos Scholars program majoring in Physics. Outside of class, she enjoys woodworking, smoking meats, and listening to the CNBC Youtube channel while playing minesweeper.

Send email
Samantha Donovan

Yihan Xie

Undergraduate Researcher

Hi, I am Yihan, a junior majoring in Electrical Engineering. I am interested in nanofabrication of electrical devices. I enjoy vibing with the 60s and 70s music in my free time.

High School Students

Samantha Donovan

Rishi Ambavanekar

High school student

Hi! My name is Rishabh “Rishi” Ambavanekar and I am a junior in high school. Apart from experimenting with science at home, some of my interests include playing bored games (like Catan and Dungeons and Dragons), reading philosophy, swimming, and watching sitcoms!

Some of our collaborators & co-authors

  • Saad Bhamla (Georgia Tech, United States)
  • Zev Bryant (Stanford University, United States)
  • Sapna Chitlapilly Dass (Texas A&M, United States)
  • Eric Clement (ESPCI Paris, France)
  • Abdallah Daddi-Moussa-Ider (University of Düsseldorf, Germany)
  • Ahmet F Demirörs (ETH, Switzerland)
  • Amin Doostmohammadi (Niels Bohr Institute, Denmark)
  • Nuris Figueroa-Morales (CU Boulder, United States)
  • Joost de Graaf (Utrecht University, Netherlands)
  • Francsica Guzman-Lastra (Universidad Mayor, Chile)
  • Raphael Jeanneret (Ecole Normale Supérieure, France)
  • Chenyu Jin (University of Bayreuth, Germany)
  • Anke Lindner (ESPCI Paris, France)
  • Maciej Lisicki (University of Warsaw, Poland)
  • Hartmut Löwen (University of Düsseldorf, Germany)
  • Corinna Maass (University of Twente, The Netherlands)
  • Wallace F Marshall (UCSF, United States)
  • Andreas Menzel (Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany)
  • Endre J Mossige (UC Santa Barbara, United States)
  • Marco Polin (University of Warwick, United Kingdom)
  • Manu Prakash (Stanford University, United States)
  • Vivek Prakash (University of Miami, United States)
  • Mitya Pushkin (University of York, United Kingdom)
  • Guillermina Ramirez – San Juan (Brandeis University, United States)
  • Tyler Shendruk (University of Loughborough, United Kingdom)
  • Robert S Thorne (University College London, United Kingdom)
  • Julia Yeomans FRS (University of Oxford, United Kingdom)
  • Andreas Zöttl (TU Vienna, Austria)
Interested in starting a collaboration together? Please get in touch!