Hello and welcome!

The University of Nevada, Reno Postdoctoral Association (UNRPA) is a volunteer organization formed in 2021 both by and for the University's postdocs.

Our mission is to improve the postdoctoral experience both at the University and in academia. We do this by supporting fellow postdocs in your transitions to and from the University; enhancing your research and training opportunities while here; and advocating for the inclusive and equitable transformation of academia. We empower postdocs to become bold and effective leaders in academia, industry and community.


All postdoctoral scholars at the University of Nevada, Reno are automatically included in UNRPA and welcome to attend meetings, events and discussions relevant to postdocs.

Executive leadership

Stanislav Kolencik, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Stanislav Kolencik

Stanislav is a postdoctoral scholar working in various biology fields, mostly with an emphasis on Biodiversity, Ecology, and Evolution. His current research focuses on improving our knowledge of ectoparasite biodiversity and understanding of coevolutionary patterns between hosts and their parasites. Stanislav is a current Executive Director for the University of Nevada, Reno Postdoctoral Association. He is passionate about improving the environment and opportunities for postdocs at the University, as well as bringing them together. He loves being active, finding new challenges, and discovering new places or hobbies.

Dhurba Neupane, Ph.D.

Communication and Technology Director

DhurbaDhurba is a postdoctoral Scholar working on diverse aspects of molecular biology and biochemistry, with the emphasis on developing drought-tolerant, climate-resilient biofuel crops under changing climate. His current research focuses on expanding the use of cactus pear (Opuntia ficus indica) as a highly water-use efficient, highly productive and climate-resilient biomass feedstock for arid and semi-arid environments. He was the inaugural Operations Director and a current Communication and Technology Director of the University of Nevada, Reno Postdoctoral Association. He is very enthusiastic to bring innovative ideas and opportunities for the postdocs and the university community. He loves watching movies, traveling to new and historical places, playing soccer and making new friends

Behnaz Balmaki, Ph.D.

Community Director

BehnazBehnaz is a post-doctoral researcher interested in research questions related to palynology, pollination ecology, paleoecology, and climate change. Her current research focuses on plant-pollinator interactions, pollinators' responses to past and future climate change, and how pollination webs are changing in response to anthropogenic disturbances. She is a creative and talented environmental scientist with a broad range of professional research interests and is open to exploring new research fields and following the results of her experiments into unknown scientific territory. Also, as a current Community Director of the Nevada Postdoctoral Association, she is a self-motivated, hard-working individual with a strong desire to learn and grow professionally using her skills in project management, problem-solving, and organizing tasks.

Open position

Finance Director

Empty desk with chair and plantThe finance director is responsible for the financial status of the Association. The incumbent will manage and monitor the expenditure of funding and provide regular reporting on the financial health of the Association to the directors and relevant University parties and maintain compliance with university regulations. A key focus of this position is to develop initiatives that enhance the association’s financial health and longevity, including developing alternative and non-traditional mechanisms to obtain funding that lie outside of the university.

Open position

Operations Director

Empty desk with chair and plantThe operations director facilitates the day-to-day running of the association. This includes managing meeting agendas and minutes, membership, and the efficient archiving of information. The incumbent provides administrative support to the association’s endeavors and relevant stakeholders, including that relevant information is communicated to postdoc members. Responsible for the duties of executive chair when he/she is absent.

Organizational structure