Principal Investigator

Peter YunkerPeter Yunker – Assistant Professor in the School of Physics

Contact: peter.yunker(at)                           Google Scholar Profile

Peter’s interests are biophysics, soft matter, and golden retrievers.

Office phone: 404-385-8642

Postdoctoral Fellows

Gabi Steinbach – Postdoc, Physics 2018-present

Contact:     Google Scholar Profile

Gabi is excited to study bacterial communities, and likes to picture 
them as the animated version of colloidal particles that she worked on 
during her PhD in Germany. If research does not detain her in the lab, 
she can be found on the dance floor or travelling the world on her bicycle.

Skanda Vivek – Postdoc, Physics, 2017-present

Contact: skanda.vivek(at)                                           Google Scholar Profile

Skanda did his PhD at Emory University with Eric Weeks in soft matter physics. There he used colloids as model systems to probe dimensionality aspects in liquids and glasses. Currently he is interested in using the tools of soft matter to understand living systems. Outside of physics, he is a classically trained south Indian (Carnatic) singer, plays guitar and enjoys the outdoors.

Graduate Students

shane jacobeen

Shane Jacobeen – PHD Student, Physics, 2014-present

Contact: shane.jacobeen(at)

Shane started at GT after earning his B.S. in physics from Lebanon Valley College. Originally drawn to physics by a fascination with understanding how things work, he is currently interested in pursuing a career in industry. Outside of physics, his interests include working out, being outdoors, and exploring the south.


groupicArben Kalziqi – PHD Student, Physics, 2013-present

Contact: arben(at)

Ben is primarily interested in exploring the intersection of theory and experiment, and how we may use novel computational and manufacturing techniques to bring them closer together. Outside of research, he is a competitive powerlifter with the Georgia Tech Barbell Club and “enjoys” driving himself insane by correcting the many scientific misunderstandings he finds on the internet.


jonathanJonathan Michel – PHD Student, Physics 2013-present

Contact: jonathan.michel(at)

Jonathan is investigating the relationship between structure and mechanics in experiments. He hails from St. Louis and is thus a Cardinals fan. He is also an excellent (and very knowledgeable) baker.


David Yanni

David Yanni, PhD student, Physics, 2015-present

Contact: dyanni3(at)

David is currently interested in how concepts from condensed matter physics can be useful in describing phenomena observed in biological systems. Outside of physics, he is a student of Islam and likes to do any sport involving a board.

Ali Dahaj, PhD student, QBioS, 2017-present
Contact: al.dahaj(at)
Ali did his master’s in Physics with Paul Higgs at McMaster on the bacterial genome evolution. Currently, he is interested in modeling major transitions in individuality using statistical physics. He also enjoys cooking and mixing Iranian, American, and Italian cuisines.


Undergraduate Students

Colin Brandys

Contact: cgbrandys22(at)

Colin is an undergraduate at Georgia Tech. He pursues physics as a means to explain and understand interesting phenomena. When not working, he enjoys hockey, climbing, video games and playing music.

Laura Yang

Contact: ylaura9797(at)

Laura is a second year undergraduate who is primarily interested in the interaction between biofilm spatial structure and antibiotics. She wants to learn more about interdisciplinary approaches to pathogen-related problems.

Tanay Tak

Contact: ttak3(at)

Tanay is a 2nd year undergraduate. He chose to study physics to learn more about how the world works, and hopes to connect theory and experiments. He also enjoys sleeping, eating, and reading random scientific articles.

Alex Bukharin

Contact: alexbukharin18(at)

Alex is a first year undergraduate at Georgia Tech pursuing a major in Physics and minor in Mathematics. In his spare time Alex enjoys playing soccer, playing volleyball, and reading.

Matt Repasky

Contact: mrepasky3(at)

Matt is a first year undergraduate studying physics with a concentration in astrophysics. His free time is spent playing piano and volleyball.


Shawn Sanderlin

Contact: ssanderlin3(at)


Lab Alumni

Nathaniel Moore (Undergraduate alumnus, GT BS, Physics 2017) – Physics grad school at Georgia Tech

Brent Limyansky (Undergraduate alumnus, GT BS, Physics 2016) – Physics grad school at UC Santa Cruz.

Samuel (Edward) Finley-Price (Undergraduate alumnus, GT BS, Physics 2016) – optical systems engineering.

Elyes Graba (Undergraduate alumnus, GT BS, Physics 2017) – Machine Learning Engineer at AnswerRocket




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