Alum remembers power of faculty mentoring

photos of Max Mehlman and Brett Gibson in Gibson's lab

Max Mehlman with his mentor Dr. Brett Gibson in 2009, discussing honors thesis research on spatial learning and memory in pigeons.

A UNH alumnus remembers how his love of psychology and biology perfectly merged when he met Psychology Professor Brett Gibson. Max Mehlman ’09 spent two years under Gibson’s mentorship, studying navigational strategies in rats and spatial learning and memory in pigeons. With Gibson’s help, Mehlman obtained over $5,000 of research funding from UNH’s Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research.

“I attribute much of my success to the fantastic mentorship of Dr. Gibson,” says Mehlman, “a close friend whose guidance has been tremendously valuable not only during my undergraduate career but also throughout all my subsequent endeavors. With Dr. Gibson, my training was just as important as the research itself. He treated me as a genuine collaborator, and I ultimately learned how to function as an autonomous scientist.”

After graduation, Mehlman conducted research in the Australian outback on Spotted Bowerbirds and in California on Acorn Woodpeckers. He joined an environmental nonprofit organization to work on habitat restoration along California’s central coast. This spring, he entered a Ph.D. program in neuroscience at Dartmouth College.

Now Mehlman looks forward to providing guidance and mentoring to undergraduates at Dartmouth, helping younger students find their way.

Read the full story in the Inquiry Journal.

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