The Committee



Samuel Picard, Co-President: Samuel is a French-Dutch Neuroscience PhD student interested in sound and movement. Currently a Wellcome Trust doctoral student working in Oxford’s Auditory Neuroscience Group, he uses in vivo two-photon calcium imaging to unravel the sensorimotor interactions that allow for adaptive behaviour in dynamic acoustic environments. As co-President, Samuel is eager to further diversify the range of speakers and events hosted by Cortex Club. He also strongly believes that although science is best practiced in labs, it is best discussed in pubs – he is therefore thrilled to make this happen with this year’s committee.
More information about Sam.


Kristijan Jovanoski, Co-President: Kristijan is a currently third-year DPhil student reading for Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics at the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour. His main approach in the lab is using two-photon calcium imaging to investigate the neural representation of nutrient value and its role in memory formation in fruit flies. He discovered Cortex Club not long after starting his DPhil and soon found its events to be more engaging than typical departmental seminars. After having a great time revamping Cortex Club’s online presence last year as its IT Officer, Kristijan is thrilled to help further shape Cortex Club as co-President of this year’s committee.


Aleksandar Ivanov (AI), IT Officer: Alex obtained a combined BSc & MSc degree in Biochemistry at the University of Oxford. He then graduated with an MSc in Neuroscience degree at Oxford where he worked with Prof Colin Akerman on cortical connectivity and its effects on synaptic plasticity and with Prof Andrew King on computational modelling of brain adaptive responses to sounds. Currently he is doing a PhD with Prof Andrew King and Dr Kerry Walker funded by the Christopher Welch scholarship. He is interested in how neurons represent sensory information and the underlying computational principles of that representation. He joined Cortex Club this year as the new IT officer and hopes to bring some new exciting functionalities to the website.
More information about Alex.


Maria Ruesseler, Secretary: I am a 1st year DPhil student studying signal integration and perceptual decision making in the parietal cortex of macaques.  During my undergraduate degree at Bremen University I came as visiting student to Oxford investigating the intrinsic connectivity of cortical sensorimotor area LIP in macaques with Professor Krug. Last year I attended the MSc in Neuroscience at St John’s College. During this time I investigated neural networks for the discrimination of conspecific songs from background noise in songbirds with Professor Vogels. In addition, I examined the functional organisation of human visual motion area hMT+ at high field MRI  with Professor Parker.


Alexander von Klemperer, Treasurer: Alex is a medical doctor from South Africa who completed the MSc in neuroscience in 2015 and is currently studying for a DPhil in the Akerman lab. He is interested in synaptic plasticity, cortical circuits, translational neuroscience and all things GABA. Outside of the lab he enjoys the occasional run and is a fiercely competitive Netflix connoisseur.


Ines Barreiros, Communications Officer: Ines Barreiros is currently reading for a DPhil in Interdisciplinary Bioscience at the University of Oxford, in affiliation with Christ Church College and with support of the BBSRC. Presently, Ines is doing a laboratory rotation in the representation of cognitive maps, under supervision of Mark Walton and Tim Behrens.
Passionate for writing and science communication, alongside her role at Cortex Club, Ines collaborates with ‘Career Insight Magazine’, ‘Phenotype’ and ‘Bright Brains’ science magazines, and the outreach science organisations ‘Native Scientist’ and ‘Science Innovation Union’.
Tweets @inesvbarreiros; Ines can be contacted at


Monzilur Rahman, Social Secretary: Monzilur is a first year DPhil student studying Neuroscience at Keble college. At present he spends most of his time building computational models of neural responses that may improve our understanding about the brain. He wants to apply the knowledge about these models to build better algorithm that could be applied in artificial intelligence, voice recognition and object identification. Before starting his DPhil, he studied MSc in Neuroscience at Oxford following BSc in Biotechnology in the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh. In his free time, Monzilur is involved with various social activities. At cortex club he brings his social prowess to ensure an informal vibe in the meetings. As the social secretary of the club, he arranges the refreshments during a talk and the pub visit with the speaker after a talk.
More information