Research Staff

The FAU High School Research Program consists of a team of researchers that specialize in undergraduate research and mentoring. Our goal is to provide students with course-based and individualized support for all aspects of their research journey. Each member of the research team is also a principal investigator in their own respective fields and actively conducts research.

Choose One

Tricia Meredith, Ph.D.

Dr. Tricia L. Meredith is the Director of Research for Florida Atlantic University’s on-site lab school, A.D. Henderson University School and FAU High School. She is also an Assistant Research Professor in the College of Education at FAU. In partnership with her colleagues, Dr. Meredith has developed and oversees four main research initiatives including (1) the FAUHS Research Program, which guides dual enrolled students in undergraduate research, (2) the FAUHS Imaging Lab, which serves as a scientific imaging hub for research collaboration, education, and mentorship, (3) the faculty research training initiative, which supports K-12 teachers in developing classroom research skills and (4) the OPK12 Research Committee, which mediates all research collaborations with the school. As a biologist, Dr. Meredith conducts research on sharks and their sense of smell, in addition to her research on dual enrollment, undergraduate research, and STEM education.  She has presented at both biology and education conferences and published in both disciplines as well. Her focus, which draws these different interests together, lies in hands-on, project-based, research training and the impact of mentorship.

Contact Dr. Meredith

Alexandra Lolavar, Ph.D.

Dr. Alexandra Lolavar is a Research Coordinator at FAU’s on-site lab school, A.D. Henderson University School and FAU High School, as well as FAU High School - Jupiter Campus, in partnership with Max Planck Academy. Dr. Lolavar began her research career as an undergraduate student at Florida Atlantic University, studying the effects of rainfall and moisture on loggerhead sea turtle nests. Using her experience from her undergraduate research, she obtained her doctoral degree in Integrative Biology from Florida Atlantic University, studying the effects of moisture on sex ratios in loggerhead sea turtles and the effects of climate change on Florida sea turtle populations. 

Dr. Lolavar is responsible for coordinating various aspects of the Boca and Jupiter-based campuses including (1) the FAUHS Research Program, which provides coursework and individualized mentoring to dual-enrolled students conducting undergraduate research, (2) the FAUHS Owls Imaging Lab, a scientific imaging hub for research collaboration, education, and mentorship, and (3) the OPK12 Research Committee, which supports research conducted by FAU and other universities, the public schools, the private sector, as well as school-wide action research projects. 

When she is not sharing her love of scientific inquiry with her students, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling to new and exciting places, relaxing on the sofa with her cat, and learning new languages.

Contact Dr. Lolavar

Jennifer Krill, Ph.D.

Dr. Jennifer Krill is a University School Assistant Professor and an Experiential Research Lab Coordinator for Neurophysiology at FAU High School - Jupiter Campus, in partnership with Max Planck Academy. Dr. Krill developed and implemented a course-based, research intensive neurophysiology laboratory that trains students in electrophysiology techniques using invertebrates. The laboratory also serves as a research facility for students to conduct independent research projects under the mentorship of Dr. Krill with the goal of generating publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Dr. Krill, in collaboration with the Center for eLearning, developed and piloted FAU’s first fully online introductory biology course that used a zero-cost Open Educational Resource eText authored by Dr. Krill.

Dr. Krill’s own research investigates the mechanisms to protect the brain during high temperature stress. The common fruit fly is a poikilotherm, meaning that their internal temperature is the same as the environment around them. The fruit fly deals with extreme temperature conditions by going into a protective coma using a biological pathway called the PKG pathway.  While humans have the same pathway, we continue our brain function during extreme temperature stress and, as a result, can incur brain damage. By determining the mechanism by which the pathway protects the brains of fruit flies, we can try and develop a pharmaceutical intervention to prevent brain damage due to acute stress in humans.

Contact Dr. Krill

Amy Tift, Ph.D.

Dr. Amy Tift is the instructor for the 9th grade Exploring Research and Intro to Psychology courses at FAU High School. She is also affiliate faculty in the College of Education, in the department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology. Dr. Tift attended The Ohio State University where she worked in two cognitive developmental psychology labs while completing her bachelor's degree. Dr. Tift then attended FAU to complete her Master's and PhD in developmental psychology. Her research focused on infant multisensory perceptual development and how visual attention moderates the development of speech and language. At FAU High School, Dr. Tift has conducted research on note-taking modalities and their impact on student preparedness and organization strategies. Dr. Tift coordinates the Summer Bridge Program for incoming students and has conducted program evaluation research on the Bridge Program. In addition, Dr. Tift is the advisor for FAU High School chapter of National Honor Society and HOSA (Future Health Professionals). Outside of school, Dr. Tift is a mom to one little girl and two yorkies. She enjoys watercolor painting, travel, cooking, and scuba diving.

Contact Dr. Tift