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.


Maximiliane Uhlich

Postdoctoral Fellow

Maximiliane Uhlich is a postdoctoral associate at Western University. She is interested in the mutual influences of relationship functioning and sexuality processes in the context of early stages of romantic relationships. She is also interested in key predictors of relationship formation and their long-term outcomes for intercultural couples.


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 a M.Sc. graduate student at Western University. His research interests include various aspects 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. Click here for Dave’s CV or his Google Scholar Profile.

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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.


Aranee Senthilmurugan

Honours Thesis Student

Aranee Senthilmurugan is a fourth-year honours thesis student in the Relationship Decisions Lab. She is interested in the decision-making factors involved in pursuing alternative relationship styles, as well any relationship and well-being outcomes that may follow. She is completing her honours thesis in the lab with a focus on examining interest in consensual non-monogamy through an Investment Model framework.


Jenna is a fourth-year honours thesis student in the Relationship Decisions Lab. She is interested in judgements individuals make regarding the future of their relationships (e.g., affective forecasting, bias and accuracy, positive illusions, etc.). The focus of her honours thesis is examining optimistic judgements made in new relationships.

Jenna Dart

Honours Thesis Student
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Madeline Bloomberg

Research Assistant 

I am a fourth year student in the Honors Specialization program in psychology at Western. I am interested in how an individual’s cognitions affect how they perceive their relationship and how mental illness effects interpersonal relationships. Outside of school, I am the captain of a competitive dance team at Western!


Sara Ceresia

Research Assistant

Sara Ceresia is a third-year honours specialization student at Western University. She is interested in how childhood experiences and family life shape the types of romantic relationships individuals have later in life. Along with this, she is interested in different attachment styles, love languages and how the compatibility of these factors affect the strength of a romantic relationship. She is looking forward to developing her research skills and learning from those with research experience! 

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Linfan Zhang

Research Assistant

Linfan is a third-year psychology student in Honor’s Specialization program at Western who is interested in how emotions influence satisfaction and decision-making in a romantic relationship. Additionally, she’s also curious about how parent’s marriage affect the children’s views on marriage.


Orli Amar

Research Assistant

Orli Amar is a third-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.


Carly Yuan

Research Assistant

Carly is a fourth year psychology student at Western. She is interested in how individuals’ attachment styles influence the decisions they make in romantic relationships. She hopes to continue her studies in social psychology or clinical psychology after her undergraduate degree. In her free time, she loves to go on long walks with her dog Marcus!