Interested Students

The Centre for Lifespan Development Research

Interested Students

 *Thank you for your patience while we revise our website to better serve you. Please note that this section of our website is currently under construction, please check back for updates!*

The Centre for Lifespan Development Research houses various faculty members across Brock University representing Social Sciences, Applied Health Sciences, Education, and Humanities, as well as over 40 community agencies, who collaborate to investigate psychological, social, health, neurophysiological and educational aspects of life from infancy to old age. For example, the Centre involves various faculty members from Brock's Psychology Department - if you are a student interested in learning more about psychology graduate studies in lifespan development please download our psychology information sheet here.

The Centre itself does not formally accept students, but there are lots of ways for students to become involved with the work of our members - for example undergraduates can volunteer with researchers, participate in research and work on their thesis projects with professors, while graduate students can also apply to work with professors on their Masters or PhD projects. Also, anyone can sign-up to receive updates from the Centre regarding new information, events and opportunities.

Looking for information on opportunities with Centre members?

Below we have a list of some of our current members, along with information on their research and whether or not they are currently accepting students. If you are interested in connecting further with a faculty member please email them directly (note that you can connect directly with their faculty pages using the links below).

Professor name Research interests Accepting students or volunteers
Michael Ashton My research focuses on the structure and measurement of personality characteristics and other individual differences (e.g., mental abilities, beliefs and attitudes, interests). Currently considering graduate students.
Kathryn Belicki

In my research I am studying forgiveness and forgiveness-seeking, with a focus on different forms of forgiveness and their relation to well-being. In addition, I am  returning to the study of dreams and nightmares, examining dream content following trauma. I also have an enduring interest in the connections between psychology and theology.

Not currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Anthony  Bogaert Dr. Bogaert accepts students through both the Applied Health Sciences and Psychology programs at Brock.  He studies various aspects of human sexuality, including the development of sexual orientation, the coming out experience in sexual minorities, gender differences in sexuality, and asexuality. Currently considering volunteers.
Sanda Bosacki My research provides a unique window into children’s thinking – focusing on Theory of Mind (understanding thoughts and emotions in self and other) and social cognition.
Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Michael Busseri One aspect of our research focuses on “subjective well-being”.  Another aspect of our research focuses on how people evaluate their SWB as unfolding over time, that is, their beliefs concerning their past, current, and anticipated future well-being. We are interested in understanding these issues from a lifespan perspective, drawing on experiences and findings based on people of various ages, from adolescence through older adulthood. Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Kimberly Cote We investigate the role of sleep in waking cognition and performance, including studies on the effects of varying levels of sleep deprivation on frontal lobe function and emotion regulation, and studies on sleep-dependent memory consolidation. We record EEG and event-related potentials from multiple scalp sites, and apply quantitative analysis techniques, to examine arousal and attention processes. Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Andrew Dane My research focuses on aggression, antisocial behaviour, and bullying amongst children and adolescents. These studies have addressed the role of parenting, peer relations, social cognition (e.g., moral beliefs), and temperament in the development of behavioural difficulties. Recently, I have begun to examine how bullying may be adaptive for some children, with a view to understanding the challenges this presents for the development of anti-bullying interventions. Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Lynn Dempsey I am interested in how children’s language develops, particularly in the preschool years. My research focuses on narrative language comprehension in both monolingual and bilingual children and in children with and without language and hearing impairments. I want to learn more about what children understand when stories are read aloud to them by others, how comprehension of story read-alouds develops, and what factors contribute to successful story comprehension in young children. I am also interested in the relationships between early comprehension of story read-alouds and later reading comprehension. Currently considering volunteers.
Veena Dwivedi There are at least 7,000 languages spoken on the planet. Furthermore, each human brain consists of a network of about 100 billion neurons. How do human brains comprehend and generate language? In my lab, we examine how adults interpret sentences in context, using theories from linguistics, psychology and neuroscience. Interested students from any of these disciplines are welcome. We use both behavioural (self-paced reading) and electrophysiological (EEG, ERPs) methods. We are also interested in special populations (e.g., older adults, Alzheimer’s, ADHD). Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Stephen Emrich I am interested in the cognitive neuroscience of visual attention, perception, and working memory. I am also interested in how these processes function in special populations (e.g., older adults, mild traumatic brain injury). I examine these questions with the use of behavioural methods, neuroimaging (fMRI), and electrophysiological methods (EEG,ERPs).  Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Angela Evans My research examines social and cognitive factors that influence children’s moral understanding honesty and their deceptive behaviour. I am also interested in issues related to child eyewitness testimony such as how to question children to obtain the most honest and accurate report, children’s competency, credibility, and our ability to detect their lies.  Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.

Bareket Falk

I am a pediatric exercise physiologist, with a wide interest in children’s responses to exercise and the physiological effects that physical training may have on healthy children, as well as on children with chronic diseases. My current work focuses on the effect of growth, maturation and physical activity on neuromuscular function and on bone development. Neuromuscular function is examined using strength testing and electromyography, while bone health is examined using quantitative ultrasound and biomarkers of bone. 

Currently considering graduate and undergraduate students.

Jan Frijters My research currently focuses on the motivational characteristics and function of adult struggling readers. Two other projects focus on the genetic and neurophysiological predictors of dyslexic children's response to intensive remediation.  Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Carolyn Hafer I am interested in questions related to the psychology of social justice--what people perceive to be fair or unfair, how they respond to perceived injustice, and why people are motivated by justice concerns. Currently considering volunteers.
Gordon Hodson Dr. Hodson is a social psychologist who examines intergroup relations, with an emphasis on stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. He focuses particularly on how individual differences and personality relate to social exclusion.  His research typically explores the multifarious precursors of prejudice, including both cognitive (e.g., group representations) and emotional (e.g., anxiety, disgust, empathy) factors.  Recent research has focused on methods to improve intergroup attitudes and relations. Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Andrea Josse Andrea Josse's research area combines nutrition and exercise in the context of both health and chronic disease, and centres on lifestyle modification strategies and/or training regimens that manipulate nutrition and exercise to achieve a healthy body composition, better bone health or beneficial cardiovascular and metabolic outcomes. She is also interested assessing the effects of nutrition and exercise manipulations in pediatric populations, as well as how major lifestyle changes (e.g., entering university for the first time) affects nutrition and exercise habits, stress, sleep and body composition. Dr. Josse leads the Nutrition, Exercise and Lifestyle improvement Laboratory at Brock University (WH 144). Currently considering graduate and undergraduate students
Caitlin Mahy Have you ever noticed how young children often forget to do things or have trouble imagining the future? My research focuses on the development of future-oriented thinking in early childhood and in old age. We examine how two important abilities, prospective memory and episodic foresight, change with age and how they relate to self-regulation and social understanding. Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Antonia Mantonakis  My research centers on understanding psychological factors that affect consumer behaviour. For example, some recent findings show that:
  • the simple order of sampling (e.g., of wine at a winery), can influence which option is chosen as the favourite
  • a brief pause between a tagline and brand, in digital media for example, can lead to increased brand recognition and preference
Currently considering volunteers.
Zopito Marini My research focuses on the dynamics of peer aggression, bullying and victimization, addressing issues related to bullying subtypes, the role of temperament, parenting practices, quality of peer relationships, and social cognition factors such as antisocial beliefs and moral disengagement. Currently, we are focusing our research efforts on understanding the precursors, motivation and the adaptive and maladaptive conditions that can sustain bullying behaviours, with a view of developing more targeted intervention strategies. Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Voula Marinos
My research is focused on three main areas. First, I am conducting research on plea bargaining in the criminal justice system (adult and youth) specifically around how defence counsel and Crown prosecutors negotiate sentences, including their underlying motivations, and short-term and long-term interests. Second, my research is focused on youth justice processes, including diversion, mental health court, and sentencing. This research is concentrated on decision-making processes, the outcomes of these processes, and understanding the gaps between the law and practice. Lastly, I am involved in research on persons with intellectual disabilities and the justice system along with Dr. Dorothy Griffiths. This research is focused on the experiences of criminal justice professionals in working with accused persons with intellectual disabilities.
Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Tanya Martini Most undergraduates make time for part-time work, volunteering, and extracurricular activities on top of their coursework. My research is aimed at improving what we know about the career-related skills that university students develop during these types of learning experiences. Currently considering volunteers.
Hedy McGarrell  My research investigates linguistic features of texts created by or for learners of ESL and how these features relate to language learning and teaching. Current work focuses on two areas: how the use of cohesive devices in graduate and undergraduate ESL student writing differs from that in native speakers, both student and expert writers, and how the use of lexical strings in ESL and native speaker writing compares Currently considering volunteers and graduate students. 
John McNamara Our research team studies the most effective approaches to supporting children with reading disabilities. We partner with the Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara to implement and study reading intervention programs to support children throughout the Niagara region. Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Cathy Mondloch People gain a lot of information from faces: Who someone is, how they are feeling, and personality traits. I study how face perception develops across the lifespan and how  these judgements vary across face categories (e.g., own- versus other-race faces; young versus older faces). Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Rebecca Raby My research concentrates on examining and theorizing agency and participation in the lives of young people. Specific projects include school rules, gender and smartness in school, and children and work.  Not considering volunteers or graduate students.
Lynn Rempel My current research is focused on the effect of father involvement as a member of the breastfeeding and parenting team on infant health and development.  Currently considering graduate students.
Linda Rose-Krasnor In our lab, we do research in the domains of both social competence and youth engagement, as well as assessing the impact of youth programs designed to promote positive development. Currently considering volunteers.
Sid Segalowitz I use EEG/ERP methods to study brain responses from prefrontal cortex and from visual sensory regions to examine their role in personality and cognitive traits related to self-regulation. Of special interest is whether it is the amplitude or the consistency of the ERP responses that relate most, and account for good performance on tasks. Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Elizabeth Shulman Everyone takes risks at some point, but research suggests that risk-taking is particularly common during adolescence and early adulthood. In my work I investigate why risk-taking increases in adolescence and decreases in adulthood, focusing particularly on decisions based on intuition. I also consider how research in this area should inform societal responses to adolescent risk-taking (e.g., crime). My work helps to educate individuals on why adolescents engage in risky behaviour. Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Tony Volk My lab does a range of interesting evolutionary and developmental psychology research.  We primarily study bullying and aggression, but also study parenting, infant faces, personality/psychopathy, and the evolution of childhood. Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Kai-Yu Wang
One of my ongoing project investigates how counterfactual thinking, a mental simulation process of reflecting upon past events and generating alternative possible outcomes, influences consumer information processing and persuasion (e.g., advertisement appeals preference and health choices and behaviors) in subsequent consumption settings. The other project investigates the applicability of the entitativity (refers to the wholeness of a group defined as the degree to which a social aggregate is perceived as "having the nature of an entity") measures of group perceptions for family brand evaluations.
Currently considering volunteersCurrently considering volunteers
Teena Willoughby My major research interests are in adolescent and emerging adult development. I focus on two main questions: (a) What predicts the individual differences found among adolescents and emerging adults with regard to risk taking, mental health, and academic achievement, particularly in terms of different developmental pathways over time, and how are these pathways related to psychosocial adjustment?, and (b) Is adolescence and emerging adulthood a sensitive period for development, resulting in unique vulnerabilities and opportunities for both negative (e.g., risk taking, nonsuicidal self-injury) as well as positive behaviors (e.g., engagement in structured activities)? Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Barbra Zupan My research focuses on how people interpret and combine facial and vocal cues of emotion. In my lab, we investigate factors that influence this (e.g., verbal language, music) for typically developing people. I have also worked with an international research team to develop emotion recognition treatment programs for people with TBI. I have also done research with children with hearing loss investigating how their hearing loss and communication style affect speech perception and literacy. Currently considering volunteers