Find a Mentor

Below are the current Badger Buddy Mentors holding meetings throughout the year. Please look at the Meeting Calendar for meeting times or feel free to request a meeting with the mentor of your choice by email.

Alireza Ousati Ashtiani

Credentials: PhD


Department: Electrical engineering

Research Field: microlens

Postdoc Start Date: January 1st, 2017

Hobbies: hiking

Country of Origin: Iran

Languages and Level of Fluency: English and Persian, fluent

About me: Hello fellow Badgers! I’m Alireza, UW Madison alumnus and a post-doc here. I’m originally from Iran and I’ve been here long enough; hopefully, I know a thing or two about Madison, UW Madison, and being a post-doc here. Shoot me a message if you have anything in mind, would be glad to help, or just talk 🙂

We can talk about: International moves, Madison foodies, Long distance relationships, Outdoor enthusiast, Local sports, Madison nightlife

Sebastian Bauer

Credentials: PhD


Department: Biostatistics and Medical Informatics

Research Field: Engineering/applied physics

Postdoc Start Date: June 1st, 2018

Hobbies: Ultimate frisbee, Soccer, reading, enjoying nature

Country of Origin: Germany

Languages and Level of Fluency: English (pretty fluent), German (mother tongue), a little Spanish

About me: I joined UW-Madison as a postdoc in June 2018, and it was a tough decision to leave behind my friends, family, work and living environment. I don’t regret it, as UW-Madison has awesome research and researchers, advanced training opportunities and in general a very friendly and supportive working atmosphere. I’d like to help you make a start here!

Pronouns: he/him/his

We can talk about: International moves, Local sports

Kaitlin Davis

Credentials: PhD


Department: Medical Microbiology & Immunology

Research Field: Virology

Postdoc Start Date: January 1st, 2018

Hobbies: cooking, yoga, exercise, pets of all kinds

Country of Origin: United States

Languages and Level of Fluency: English (fluent)

About me: Hello! I am a 2nd year postdoc in the Mehle Lab. I’m originally from California, and lived in DC/Baltimore before moving to Madison. I am passionate about promoting representation of all kinds in STEM and advocating for trainees to find the support they need to be successful. I am interested in promoting mental health awareness, women in science groups, and alternative career options like policy and biodefense.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

We can talk about: Madison foodies, Women in science, Madison nightlife, Music in Madison

Sanath Janaka

Credentials: PhD


Department: Pathology

Research Field: HIV/SIV

Postdoc Start Date: October 1st, 2013

Hobbies: Photography, Numismatics, Philately

Country of Origin: India

Languages and Level of Fluency: English, Tamil

About me: An avid retrovirologist with an interest in academic research and several on and off hobbies. 

We can talk about: International moves

Ashley Kates

Credentials: PhD


Department: Medicine

Research Field: Gut microbiome and infection prevention

Postdoc Start Date: December 1st, 2016

Hobbies: Painting, cooking, hiking, reading, gardening

Country of Origin: USA

Languages and Level of Fluency: English (Fluent)

About me: I am a third year postdoc in the Safdar Lab and am a Computational Informatics in Biology and Medicine Trainee. I am originally from the Chicago area and did my grad work a the University of Iowa in Epidemiology. I moved to Madison in December of 2016 and love it here.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

We can talk about: Madison foodies, Women in science

Konstantin Nesterov

Credentials: PhD


Department: Physics

Research Field: Quantum Computing

Postdoc Start Date: May 1st, 2016

Hobbies: hiking, biking, running, downhill skiing, watching movies

Country of Origin: Russia

Languages and Level of Fluency: English (fluent), Russian (fluent), French (basic, gradually getting worse)

About me: Originally from Russia, I have been living in Madison since 2016. Before coming here, I went to graduate school in the US and did another postdoc in France, so I am quite experienced about moving between countries. I would be happy to meet new postdocs and assist in settling in. Feel free to email me if you have any questions even before moving to Madison.

Pronouns: he/him/his

We can talk about: International moves, Madison foodies, Outdoor enthusiast

Liza Chang

Credentials: PhD