February 21, 2022 BPS Conference
Our awesome lab members traveled to San Francisco to present their hard work. We see here (from left to right) the marvelous Michael Liu ’23 , the exceptional Lynn Fu ’22, the incredible Isabel Hardy ’24, the great Gigi Golden ’24, and the dapper Daniel Oo ’23. We also met two beloved and legendary alumni Ashwin Balaji ’19 and Ryan McMillan ’20.

June 7, 2021 First Day of Summer Science!
Welcome to Gigi Golden ’24 who joins the lab. (Front row: Joanna Idrovo ’23, Donna Roscoe ’21, Isabel Hardy ’24, Back row: Carter, Michael Liu ’24, Gigi Golden ’24, Daniel Oo ’24, Kyle Jones ’21) We celebrate with popsicles and a meeting. No more occupancy limits in the Science Center and no masks outside!

May 30, 2021 Seniors Graduate.
Youna Choi ’21, Donna Roscoe ’21, Kyle Jones ’21, and Andrea Boskovic ’21 graduate! Youna wins Neuro Thesis prize! Youna is headed to Brown-NIH, Donna to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, Kyle to the Lucas Lab at Yale, and Andrea to University of Washington. Seniors got their magnets and their mugs! (Pictured: human toroid!)

May 21, 2021 Biophysical Journal paper published
This paper by Ryan McMillan ’20, Vietta Kuntz ’23, Luka Devenica ’17, and Hilary Bediako ’19 looks at the spatial distribution of loops to see if electrostatic binding is the physical mechanism that determines loop placement.

May 18, 2021 Michael is a winner!
Michael Liu ’24 is one of the winners of the Bassett Physics Prize. Congratulations! He joins Vietta Kuntz ’23 and Ryan McMillan ’20 who have also won the award.

February 22, 2021 Youna wins BPS undergraduate poster competition
Carter lab attends the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting virtually. Donna Roscoe ’21, Kyle Jones ’21, Youna Choi ’21, Ryan McMillan ’20, and Prof. Carter attend. Youna Choi ’21 was selected as one of a handful of winners of the undergraduate poster competition. Her poster was titled, “DNA Folding by the SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid Protein.”

February 11, 2021 TPT paper on history of Introductory labs is published
This paper looks at the history of the introductory physics lab over the last 200 years or so.

January 11, 2021 Interterm starts
Michael Liu ’24, Daniel Oo ’24, and Isabel Hardy ’24 join the lab and are awesome! Interterm is really long because we don’t start classes until Feb. 15, but students end up having to quarantine twice! (Pictured are Donna Roscoe ’21, Isabel Hardy ’21, Kyle Jones ’21, Lynn Fu ’22, and Youna Choi ’21.)

December 2020 Ryan is an Apker Finalist
Ryan McMillan ’20 is a finalist for the American Society of Physics Apker Award, which is an award for the best thesis from an undergraduate physics student.

September 2020 Lab opens!
After being shut down since the second week of March, the Science Center and the lab are back open!

June 8, 2020 Summer Research begins
Summer is completely virtual as the Science Center and Lab are closed! Welcome to the lab Genaro Torres ’22, Joanna Idrovo ’23, and Vietta Kuntz ’23! They will be working with the O’Hara Labbers on a summer training project. Also back in the lab are Emily Ma ’20, Ryan McMillan ’20, Lynn Fu ’22, Andrea Boskovic ’21, Kyle Jones ’21, Donna Roscoe ’21, and Youna Choi ’21.

April 21, 2020 Ryan gets NSF and Fulbright!
Ryan McMillan ’20 has won a prestigious NSF fellowship for graduate work. This is the first time Amherst has had an undergraduate winner. Ryan also got a Fulbright to work on DNA origami in the Dietz Lab in Germany. Congrats to Ryan!

April 14, 2020 Carter Lab Brady Bunch! Carter Lab welcomes new SURF students via Zoom and looks like the Brady Bunch! SURF 2020 students are Vietta Kuntz ’23, Joanna Idrovo ’23, Lynn Fu ’22, and Genaro Torres ’22.

April 14, 2020

NAR paper accepted!

Protamine bends DNA into a loop. Now this exciting find by the Carter Lab will be in NAR. Congrats to Obinna Ukogu ’18, Adam Smith ’17, Luka Devenica ’17, Hilary Bediako ’19, Ryan McMillan ’20, Emily Ma ’20, Ashwin Balaji ’19, Robert Schwab ’13, Shahzad Anwar ’14!

March 13, 2020 Magnet Ceremony for Seniors!
Carter presents the magnets to the graduating seniors. Ryan McMillan is headed to Harvard, Emily Ma will be the Amherst Q Fellow before going to medical school, and Ruth Mosunmade is going to do a postbac at Elms College.

February 17, 2020 Donna wins BPS poster prize!
Congratulations to Donna Roscoe ’21 for winning the BPS undergraduate poster prize. Kyle and Emily were also finalists. Carter Lab poster domination!

January 2020

Interterm sledding

This year we broke out the sleds and plowed through the snow! Sledders are Donna Roscoe ’21, Ruth Mosunmade ’20, Kyle Jones ’21, Ryan McMillan ’20, Lynn Fu ’22, and Emily Ma ’20.

February 16, 2020

Socks store at BPS

We found an awesome sock store at BPS this year and all got donut socks! Because donuts = toroids!

January 23, 2020

TPT paper accepted!

Carter’s paper on the history of the physics lab course over the last 300 years or so is accepted in TPT. It should be published in Fall 2020.

November 11, 2019

Talk at Princeton

Carter goes to Princeton to give the Biophysics seminar. She meets up with Andy Leifer and Josh Shaevitz while there.

July 23, 2019


Carter gives a talk on her historical work looking back at laboratory classes from the 1700s to today. Lab classes have been the same for the last 100 years. It is time for an update!

September 13, 2019

Donna wins poster prize!

Donna Roscoe ’21 won “Best Poster” at the SURF poster session in September. Her work was on measuring folding of DNA by different folding agents, including protamine, spermine, and histone H1. Congrats!

July 19, 2019

Mammoth Makers 2019

The Makers have built a robot for the pick-and-place race! Robot team is Megan Lyster, Mina Lee ’22, Josh Burns ’22, Flanagan Waldherr ’21, Carter, Lynn Fu ’22, Ajay Sarathy ’21, and Eva Lau ’17.

July 12, 2019

Last day for seniors

Good luck Ashwin at Stanford, Peter at Duke, and Hilary at UPenn!

June 13, 2019


We had our ALPhA New England Regional Meeting at Holy Cross in Worcester. There we realized that our Regional Director has the awesome title of being the ALPhA NERD!

July 5, 2019

Six Flags trip!

The SURF students all went to Six Flags so the Carter lab did too. Everyone conquered their fears and rode those coasters!

June 6, 2019

Move to Science Center

The Merrill lab moved last summer. Now it is time to move the Beneski lab. We are all in C009 in the New Science Center now.

May 16, 2019

AJP editorial published

Carter published an editorial in AJP on building a research lab, not starting one. Main takeaway is that new professors should start small and build the resources in the lab gradually over time – electronic notebooks, student training, student experience, all can be built over time!

May 10, 2019

Mug ceremony for seniors

Ashwin Balaji ’19, Peter Cho ’19, and Hilary Bediako ’19 graduate from the Carter Lab and receive their mug. We will miss them!

April 26, 2019

Ryan wins a Goldwater!

Ryan McMillan ’20 wins a Goldwater Fellowship. Congratulations to Ryan!

March 6, 2019

APS March Meeting

Carter and students (Andrea Boskovic ’21, Ryan McMillan ’20, Kyle Jones ’21, Peter Cho ’19, Hilary Bediako ’19, Emily Ma ’20, Ruth Mosunmade ’20, Ashwin Balaji ’19) all present!

March 2019

Moumita goes to Augsberg

Moumita Dasgupta has taken an assistant professor position in Augsberg University in Minnesota. Lab celebration!!

July 30, 2018

Blue smoke certified!

Very first Robot team creates Arnold, a robot pentathlete. Robot team is Devin Epstein ’21, Ingrid Shu ’20, Donna Roscoe ’21, Allan Phillips ’20, Abdoulaye Sanago ’17E, and Ellen Mutter ’17. Pictured here with Brian Crepeau our head of electronics.

January 2019

Interterm skate!

Interterm is here and it is time to do some research and relax with the Carter Lab. This year we went to the mullins Center at UMass to skate and to Blues, Booze, and BBQ for dinner.

July 27, 2018

BFY3 at Loyola

Carter heads to Loyola in Blatimore for the ALPhA conference “BFY3”. This is a meeting of 150 physics lab instructors.

July 24, 2018

Farewell Summer

Carter Lab finishes summer work. See you in the Fall. 🙂

July 11, 2018

Obinna leaves for Capstone

Obinna Ukogu ’18 is starting his new job at Capstone Research. Carter labbers have lunch at the Works to celebrate.

July 20, 2018

Gordon Conference!

Carter gives a talk at Single Molecule approaches to Biology Gordon conference at Mt. Snow.

June 4, 2016

Hey, hey, goodbye

Luka Devenica ’17 leaves the lab, just as Obinna Ukogu 18, Hilary Bediako ’19, Peter Cho ’19, Ashwin Balaji ’19, Andrea Boskovic ’21, and Kyle Jones ’21 start.

February 20, 2018

Reunion at Biophysics

Carter and Luka Devenica ’17 see Jess Morgan ’17 (Smith College) and Elizabeth White ’17 at the Biophysical Society conference. Now the party can start!

December 19, 2017

Carter gets tenure!

The champagne was flowing all day and night when president Biddy Martin announced that Amherst would be tenuring Carter and Hanneke in Physics. Elizabeth White ’17 comes back for the party along with Luka Devenica ’17, Bishop Grimm ’18, Hilary Bediako ’19, and Peter Cho ’19.

February 2, 2018

Carter gives talk at Bates

Carter heads to collaborator Gavin King’s alma mater to give the physics department colloquium there. All seniors at Bates are required to do theses so there were lots of undergraduates in labs.

December 19, 2017

Making history

Carter is the first woman tenured in physics cat Amherst. She joins Caroline Goutte (right, Biology) and Pat O’Hara (left, Chemistry) as the first women to be tenured in their departments.

June 14, 2017

First ALPhA Regional Conference

ALPhA members from New England invade Amherst for a meeting on how to improve the advanced lab. Luka Devenica ’17, and newbies Ruth Mosunmade ’20, Ryan McMillan ’20, and Emily Ma ’20 give tours.

January 2017

Carter wins NSF CAREER award

The Carter Lab has been awarded a 5 year grand for $500k to study DNA folding. Specifically, for “Investigating reconfigurable DNA self-assembly at the molecular scale.”

March 6, 2017

DNA Folding Review Out

Seniors Adam Smith, Luka Devenica, and Elizabeth White, along with junior Obinna Ukogu have published a paper in MPLB. My favorite figure shows how DNA folds in sperm.

January 20, 2017

Hibachi Night!

Elizabeth White ’17, Adam Smith ’17, and Luka Devenica ’17 all pass comps, newbie Ryan McMillan ’20 finishes his training, Peter Cho ’19 gets his program to work, and Obinna Ukogu ’18 analyzes the data from the summer and finds amazing results. Time to celebrate!

November 8, 2016

Carter gives talk at Wellesley

On election night, Carter gives a physics colloquium at Hilary Clinton’s alma mater, Wellesley.

September 2016

Hilary wins SURF poster competition

Hilary Bediako ’19 won “Best All Around” poster at Amherst’s SURF poster session for her poster on how protamine folds DNA. Congratulations!

October 2016

Methods paper published

Carter’s graduate thesis results are published in a methods text. Paper is Okoniewski et al., Methods in Molecular Biology, which should come out in January 2017.

August 12, 2016

Last of the Dog Days of Summer

What a summer! Newcomers Peter Cho ’19, Hilary Bediako ’19, and Moumita Dasgupta (Amherst’s Teaching Fellow) do an amazing job.

August 2016

Lab Flood Causes Complete Shutdown!

The lab floods causing a two week hiatus. Luckily, Luka Devenica ’17 takes care of everything with a little help from a future Carter Labber.

June 9, 2016

AFM Workshop at Harvard

ALPhA immersion on imaging DNA with AFM! (Left to right) Jose Vithayathil from UPenn, Carter, Liang Zeng from UT-Rio Grande Valley, Laura Wessels from Xavier, Xuemei Cheng from Bryn Mawr.

June 7, 2016

Lab takes on Harvard

The Lab travels to Harvard to give a workshop on imaging DNA with AFM. Carter labbers also visit museums, shops, and have a lab sinner at the Maharaja.

June 2016

Read all about it!

The Journal of Physiology has published Eileen’s paper about the mechanics of the larval zebrafish startle response. Great work!

May 9. 2016

Carter Lab Brady Bunch!

Nucleic Acids Research (NAR) accepted Carter’s paper on the direct observations of the helicase RecBCD unwinding in DNA.

May 21, 2016

Ji Hoon Graduates!

Congratulations to Ji Hoon Lee ’16! Ji Hoon is thinking about going to physics grad school to do theory work.

April 5, 2016

Carter goes to Clark

Carter gives the physics colloquium at Clark and meets Moumita’s graduate thesis advisor Arshad Kudrolli.

March 2016

Carter elected to ALPhA Board of Directors

Carter has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Advanced Laboratory Physics Association (ALPhA). Look for her to plan an upcoming New England Regional meeting for ALPhA in June 2017.

February 2016

Stuff Matters!

The Carter lab has decided to read Stuff Matters by Mark Modownski as a part of the book club this semester.

February 2016

Marco Sighting at Biophysical Society Annual Meeting

Carter gives Panel Discussion and runs the Conference’s Networking event. After which, she sees Marco Catipovic ’14!

August 2015

Obinna is the poster child!

Obinna Ukogu ’18 and Carter are featured in the new video short on what life is like during the SURF program at Amherst.

July 22, 2015

Summer students present in Maryland

Adam Smith ’17 and Obinna Ukogu ’18 presented posters and led a workshop at the BFY and AAPT summer meeting. Number one lesson learned: Preparation is key!

March 2015

AFM paper submitted to AJP

Congratulations go to Luka Devenica, Clay Contee, Raysa Cabrejo, and Matt Kurek for submitting their paper on imaging bio samples with AFM to the American Journal of Physics!

April 2015

Carter wins Cottrel College Science Award

Carter gets two year grant from the Research Corp to fund the lab’s DNA folding research.

February 10, 2015

White and Carter duck out

Elizabeth White and Professor Carter duck out of the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting to go to the aquarium.

February 9, 2015

Marco Sighting!

We saw Marco Catipovic ’14 at the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in Baltimore!

June 2014

Summer: a time for lazy days and hard core research

Give a big welcome to newcomers Luka Devenica, Elizabeth White, and Matt Woop. Looks like we also didn’t quite get rid of Marco yet!

February 7, 2015

Off to the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting

Elizabeth White, Luka Devenica, and Matt Woop will give posters at the meeting in Baltimore.

June 5, 2014

FRC talk highlights Clay’s AFM work

Profeessor Carter gives a talk at the Gordon Research Conference on Physics Education about Clay’s thesis work.

May 25, 2014

Marco and Clay are out!

Marco Catipovic and Clay Contee have graduated after a great year of thesis research. Marco is headed to graduate school at Harvard and Clay goes to UMass. Good luck!

July 2013

Marco’s paper published in AJP

Congratulations to junior biophysics major Marco Catipovic and junior biology major Paul Tyler on their paper on quantifying Brownian motion! The paper comes out in July in AJP. This is also our first paper with the Trapani lab.

August 20, 2013

Fly larvae avoid light

In a paper just published in PNAS, a collaboration that includes Professor Carter looks at the behavioral algorithm that help fly larvae avoid light. Figure from Kane et al., PNAS, 2013.

June 10, 2013

They’re back!

Summer has started and Terri Hultum and Marco Catipovic are back to cause trouble in the Carter lab. Also, big welcome to newcomers Ji Hoon Lee and Matt Kurek.

May 26, 2013

First thesis students leave the nest

It’s official. Robbie Schwab and Fred Shipley have graduated, leaving the Carter laboratory saddened by their departure. But, both are off to great research jobs – Robbie goes to UPenn medical school and Fred goes to Princeton. Good work you two!

April 11, 2012

First paper published in Optics Express

The first paper published by the Carter Laboratory and first-authored by sophomore Fred Shipley appeared in Optics Express. The paper determines the limitations of using back-scattered detection, a laser interference techique, as a position-sensing method. Good work Fred!

April 2013

Side rule better than calculator?

In the paper just accepted into The Physics Teacher, Professor Carter talks about how the invention of the calculator lead to the use fo the significant figure rules students love to hate.

February 27, 2012

Fred has style

While many might think that scientists have no fashion sense, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto thought otherwise and scoured the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in San Diego for stylish scientists. He stumbled upon our own Fred Shipley and fashion history was made.

February 24, 2012

We are off to BPS!

Armed with the most beautiful bright pink poster imaginable, Shipley and Carter are off to the Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society.

January 2012

Winter Warriors

Junior physics majors Cheyenne Teng and Robert Flynn join the group for three weeks over interterm. Cheyenne machines several sample holders, while Robert makes headway on tracking beads inside zebrafish embryos.