Our Team

Samantha Joel

Principal Investigator

Samantha Joel is an Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario. Her research examines how people make the decisions that grow or break apart their romantic relationships, and how those decision strategies are linked to relationship, well-being, and health outcomes. Click for her CV or her Google Scholar page.

James Kim

Postdoctoral Fellow

James Kim is a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at Western University. His research focuses on sexual rejection and sexual decision-making in romantic relationships. He is also interested in examining relationship formation dynamics and key factors guiding perceptual accuracy in the early stages of relationships. Click for his CV or his Google Scholar page.

Nicolyn Charlot

Graduate Student

Nicolyn Charlot is a Ph.D. candidate who seeks to help people avoid abusive relationships by conducting research that identifies warning signs of intimate partner violence and establishes when they first appear. Additionally, she is curious about how individuals from different backgrounds vary in their perceptions of abuse. She is also interested in translating research findings into policy implications, and directly helping sexual assault survivors using crisis intervention strategies.

Victoria Dale

Graduate Student

Victoria Dale is a graduate student at Western University. She is interested in relationship decision making and attraction, as well as rejection and unrequited love. In the future, she hopes to investigate the pathological nature of limerence and its potential to mirror other forms of addiction.

Devinder (Dave) Khera

Graduate Student

Dave is an incoming SSHRC M.Sc. graduate student at Western University. His research interests include various  spects of human sexuality (e.g., sexual communication and sexual desire) and close relationships. Dave is also passionate about research and education involving sexual consent. In his free time, he enjoys cooking or escaping into a book

Victoria Bucknor

Lab Manager

Victoria Bucknor is a recent graduate from Western University with a B.A. Honors Specialization in Psychology  and a Minor in Anthropology. Her undergraduate thesis project, which garnered her interest in relationship decisions, focused on mobile communication in romantic relationships.

Mengzhi Du

Honours Thesis Student

Mengzhi is an honors thesis student in the Relationship Decision Lab, and has been a research assistant in the lab since 2019. She is interested in information seeking, partner and relationship perceptions and decision-making in relationships. She is completing her honors thesis with a focus on how men and women differ in perceiving sexual interest from potential partners, and how their relationship orientation influences misperception in sexual interest.

Sarita Sinha

Honours Thesis Student

Sarita Sinha started in the Relationship Decisions lab as a research assistant and is now completing her Honors thesis under the Getting to Know You Paradigm. Sarita is finishing her Honors Specialization in Psychology with a Major in Medical Science and is interested in how couples with varying levels of partner investment learn information about each other and how they feel once this information is known, and what information about their partner they choose to ignore.

Abbey Horner

Scholar's Elective Student

I am a third year Psychology and Philosophy student at Western University with an interest in generating new knowledge in the field of Psychology through research and policy. I have joined the lab as a Scholar’s Electives interdisciplinary research program student. In this capacity, I am assisting on a project researching abuse, specifically factors affecting perceptions of abuse in romantic relationships.

Annie Liu

Research Assistant

Annie is a second-year psychology student interested in learning about the different aspects of romantic relationships. She discovered the lab by participating in a romantic study and was marveled by its research topics ever since. The critical thinking and detail oriented skills of a researcher are what she loves to learn as a research assistant. Beyond school she loves the arts and taste testing different food spots! 

Zarah Ahmad Ghulamhussain

Research Assistant

I’m a fourth year student at Western, expected to graduate with a degree in Psychology in June 2021. I’m quite intrigued by the scientific view on romantic relationships, and exploring the complexities of relationship decisions, all while cultivating my research skills has been one of the highlights of my undergrad.

Orli Amar

Research Assistant

Orli Amar is a second-year student at Western University. She is studying psychology in hopes of pursuing an Honors Specialization. She is interested in how mental illnesses, such as anxiety, affect relationships.

Samantha Hanser

Research Assistant

My name is Samantha Hanser and I am a fourth year psychology student. I have always been interested in the science and psychology of romantic relationships, and after taking The Science of Intimate Relationships, it really peaked my interest in the field. I am interested in exploring the depths of intimate relationships, and the decisions that go along with them. Additionally, I am interested in how family members can affect/have an impact on intimate relationships and relationship decisions.