Interested students

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.

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 nameResearch interestsAccepting students or volunteers
Michael AshtonMy research focuses on the structure and measurement of personality characteristics and other individual differences (e.g., mental abilities, beliefs and attitudes, interests).Not currently considering graduate students or volunteers
Kathryn BelickiIn 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 or graduate students.
Anthony BogaertDr. 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.
Sandra BosackiMy 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 students.
Michael BusseriOne 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.
Karen CampbellMy research focuses on the cognitive and neural changes that accompany normal human aging. In our present studies, we are interested in gaining a better understanding of how attention changes with age.Currently considering volunteers.
Heather ChalmersDr. Chalmers is interested in the young carer role and the impact on development, gambling and other risk behaviours, gender differences in risk-taking behaviours, risk-taking as it relates to identity formation, and decision making regarding involvement in risky behaviours.Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Stephen CheungDr. Cheung studies the effects of environmental stress (heat, cold air and water, hydration, altitude) on human physiology and performance. This research spans fundamental investigations into the mechanisms of human physiology, while at the same time being applied towards making work and recreation in extreme settings safer and more productive.Currently considering volunteers.
Rosemary CondillacA primary focus of Dr. Condillac’s research is understanding and improving the well-being and life quality of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), autism spectrum disorder(ASD), and other related disabilities. Currently, Dr. Condillac and her students are undertaking research related to teacher education for exceptional learners, post-secondary needs of graduate and undergraduate students with ASD, psychotropic medication use in adults with IDD, the impact of staff well-being on client outcomes and related intervention research to improve individual outcomes.Currently considering volunteers and students.
Maureen ConnollyDr. Maureen Connolly works with qualitative arts-based inquiry, narrative, poetic and bodily expressive modalities and how these function across scholarly, pedagogic and other creative outlets. Dr. Connolly’s teaching and research include curriculum, stressed embodiment, dance & movement education. Her theoretical dispositions are semiotic, phenomenological, post/anti-colonial, irreverent and quixotic.Currently considering volunteers and students.
Kimberly CoteWe 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.
Drew DaneMy 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 DempseyI 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 DwivediThere 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 EmrichI 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 students.
Angela EvansMy research is at the intersection of Psychology and Law. Specifically, I examine social and cognitive factors that influence children’s moral understanding of honesty and their deceptive behaviour as well as how our honest and deceptive behaviours change across the lifespan. I also examine 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.
Brent E. FaughtDr. Faught is interested in physical activity epidemiology, particularly the factors pertaining to individuals’ (young children and pediatric populations) decisions to adopt a regular physically active lifestyle as a health preventative measure.Currently considering volunteers and students.
Bareket FalkI 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.
Maurice FeldmanDr. Feldman studies child maltreatment and parenting, particularly related to child neglect and parents with learning difficulties. His current research focuses on early identification and intervention for children with or at risk for developmental, behavioural, emotional, psychiatric, and school problems. He investigates atypical development, including autism spectrum disorders, intellectual and developmental disabilities, developmental psychopathology, and dual diagnosis.Currently considering volunteers.
Jan FrijtersMy 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.
Kimberley GammageMy research examines factors that can improve positive body image and reduce negative body image across the lifespan and in special populations (e.g., young adults to older adults, individuals with spinal cord injury), physiological and psychological measures of body image, and exercise psychology, including the exercise environment and how it can be structured to promote adherence and positive psychological outcomes.Currently considering students.
Dawn GoodDr. Good’s research team is interested in understanding the processing constraints involved in cognition, reasoning, and memory ability and how it impacts community living and daily function and how these abilities may be preserved, compensated, and/or mimicked in neurologically compromised individuals.Currently considering undergraduate students and volunteers.
Todd GreenDr. Green studies Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and is interested in both the consumer response to CSR and the role of CSR in marketing communicationsCurrently considering volunteers.
Gordon HodsonDr. 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.
Michael HolmesAll too often, people leave work at the end of the day feeling tired and suffering from aches or pains. This not only influences their performance at work, but their quality of life at home. Workplace injuries cause a significant financial and social burden on our society. Our research program integrates neurophysiology and biomechanics techniques to better understand work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The lab aims to optimize human performance at work and sport by developing recommendations to minimize the risk of injury and maximize performance through ergonomic solutions. We use tools such as 3D motion capture, electromyography, cortical and spinal stimulation and roboticsCurrently considering students.
Nota KlentrouDr. Klentrou studies how sexual maturation, inflammation, activity, adiposity and nutrition affect musculoskeletal growth, development and adaptation.Currently considering volunteers and students.
Chunlei LuDr. Lu studies curriculum and instruction in health and physical education, mindfulness, holistic health, Dao for well-being, and wisdom education, enjoyment and habit development in physical activity. His current research investigates East-West discourses in education, health, sports, and language teaching and learning (e.g., English as an additional language, Chinese as an additional language).Currently considering volunteers and students.
Caitlin MahyHave 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.Not currently considering volunteers or students.
Antonia MantonakisMy 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, and a brief pause between a tagline and brand, in digital media for example, can lead to increased brand recognition and preferenceCurrently considering volunteers.
Voula MarinosResearch in my Justice Lab 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, research is being conducted about persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the justice system, including diversion, accommodations and supports.Currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Tanya MartiniMost 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.Not currently considering volunteers or graduate students.
Lynn McClearyMy research interests include improving health and social care for older persons and their care partners. I and currently am part of a research team investigating ways to improve advance care planning and end of life care in long term care homes. I also conduct research aimed at improving gerontological education for health and social care professionals. I am currently part of a research team that is creating resources to teach gerontology students about the experiences of sexual and gender minority older persons.Currently accepting volunteers and students.
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 comparesCurrently considering volunteers and graduate students. 
John McNamaraOur 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 MondlochPeople 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).Not currently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Sheila O’Keefe McCarthyDr. O’Keefe-McCarthy is a registered nurse, expert in adult cardiovascular critical care and a cardiovascular pain scientist and is the Primary Investigator within her Heart Innovation Research program. Her program is dedicated to cardiac health focusing on women’s and men’s heart health using a sex and gendered approach and the latest in digital health technology. With respect to this, the inter-related current areas of focus are: 1) to examine and describe cardiovascular disease related pain and associated symptoms [early [pre-clinical] cardiac prodromal symptoms and acute symptom presentations], 2) develop and evaluate interventions to improve diagnosis and management and 3) create knowledge mobilization through employing arts-informed research design, analysis, interpretation and dissemination strategies. Sheila works clinically in the critical care area of the intensive care and serves as the National Research Director for the Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses and as member of the Ontario Division Executive and is the Provincial Research Chair for Ontario.Currently considering students and volunteers.
Frances OwenDr. Owen studies education and advocacy for the human rights of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in employment and daily life, organizational issues in service delivery for children, youth and families, evaluation of social service impactsNot currently considering students or volunteers.
Linda Rose-KrasnorIn 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.
Elizabeth ShulmanEveryone 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. See here for more information about Dr. Shulman’s work Youth Development LabCurrently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Christine Tardif-WilliamsDr. Tardif-Williams studies the social emotional development of children and youth within the context of family relationships. Specifically, she is interested in the role of companion animals in the lives of children and youth, the quality of parent-child interactions, and trauma and abuse in the lives of children and youth.Currently considering volunteers and students.
Ayda Tekok-KilicDr. Tekok-Kilic is interested in developmental psychopathological approach to anxiety and ADHD, functional brain connectivity underlying cognitive control,cognitive, sensory and temperamental aspects of cognitive control in anxiety and ADHD, threat detection and novelty processing in the context of cognitive control, strength-based assessment of executive skills (focus on cognitive control), and sex differences in anxiety and ADHD.Currently considering students and volunteers.
Sabrina ThaiThe ultimate goal of my research program is to understand how people think about themselves, their relationship partners, and their close relationships (e.g., romantic relationships, parent-child relationships, and friendships). In particular, I am interested in how people respond to social comparisons that occur in the context of close relationships and the consequences these comparisons have for their relationships.Currently considering volunteers.
Craig TokunoDr. Tokuno studies the neurophysiological and biomechanical control of human movement, with particular interest in determining how the central nervous system contributes to balance control, and how it is affected by age or neuromuscular deficitsCurrently considering volunteers and graduate students.
Tricia VauseDr. Vause is interested in the behavioural assessment and treatment for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), as well as dual diagnosis of ASD and other challenges such as Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour.Currently considering volunteers and students.
Tony VolkMy 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 WangOne 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 volunteers.
Wendy WardDr. Ward’s research team studies how diet – including whole foods as well as specific nutrients and novel bioactives – can support bone and oral health throughout the life span. The long-term goal is to develop nutritional strategies that reduce the risk of osteoporosis-related fracture. Clinical and preclinical studies are conducted to answer our research questions.Currently considering graduate students.
Richard WellandMy research interests include how neural and other structural changes associated with adult aging can affect speech, voice, and cognitive-linguistic abilities, how stereotypes of aging and disability can influence communication, how gestures interact with the spoken language they accompany (and what happens to this relationship with the onset of and recovery from brain damage), how speech-language pathologists made clinical decisions and translate knowledge into action, and how the Canadian legal and health care systems treat people with speech, voice, and cognitive-linguistic disorders. Clinical populations of particular interest include people with dementia, stroke-induced aphasia, traumatic brain injury, stroke-induced dysarthria, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson disease.Currently considering volunteers.
Teena WilloughbyMy 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.