I graduated from University of Maryland with a BS in Psychology and received my Masters/PhD from University of Nebraska in Psychology (Neuroscience and Behavior). My interests and experience have always been multi-disciplinary with many toes in biology as well as psychology. I teach primarily Intro Psych (PY111), Learning and Cognition (PY221), and Behavioral Neuroscience (PY222). In addition to teacing, I manage Arcadia's Rat Lab and have an active research agenda.
Why do some humans behave generously (holding door open for strangers, anonymously donating to charity), while other humans behave more selfishly (don’t share food/belongings with others)? How do we balance self-interest with altruistic desires?
My research interests are in understanding the when/how/why of generosity. For example, which factors most influence “how generous” you are likely to be toward a particular individual? If asked to share your meal: You’re likely to treat an absolute stranger differently than your own spouse, parent, child, or even close friend. Likewise, nonhuman animals often make decisions that either positively or negatively impact others and show considerable variation in the degree of their generosity. By using a variety of behavioral and physiological techniques, basic animal research can identify simple processes also found in humans and begin to explain the when/how/why of our own generosity... (or lackthereof!). I look forward to sharing my research and collaborating with students in the years to come!
Areas Of Focus
PsychoPharmocology, altruism/generosity, behavioral effects of CBD