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Our Team

Samantha Joel

Principal Investigator

Samantha Joel is an Associate 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 Associate

James Kim is a Postdoctoral Associate at Western University and a Provost Interdisciplinary Scholar at the University of Waterloo. He is interested in how people navigate their romantic and sexual needs across diverse contexts, and in ways that enhance relationship and sexual well-being. His research uses multiple research methods (e.g., dyadic, longitudinal) and analytical strategies (e.g., MLM, SEM, RSA) to examine questions about how similarities and discrepancies across romantic partners’ perceptions, motivations, and behaviors shape relationship outcomes. Other research investigations include understanding how romantic and sexual compatibility develops in the early stages of relationships, and addressing fundamental questions about how people evaluate their relationships. Click for his CV or his Google Scholar page.


Devinder Singh Khera

Graduate Student

Dave is a Ph.D. student at Western University who is currently working under the supervision of Dr. Joel. Dave is an SSHRC Scholar (CGS-D) whose research interests include various aspects of human sexuality and close relationships. Currently, Dave has several projects on the go including research focusing on sexual compatibility, consensual non-monogamy, relational perceptions of bisexual+ individuals, and involuntary celibacy. In his free time, you can catch him escaping into a Sci-Fi audiobook or cheering for his hometown Canucks. Click here for Dave’s CV or his Google Scholar Profile.

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Helena Yuchen Qin

Graduate Student

Helena is a master's student at Western University. She is interested in exploring various factors that contribute to the development of a fulfilling romantic relationship and the cultivation of individual well-being within a relationship. Her current research focuses on the cognitive processes involved in evaluating one’s romantic partner and their relationship quality in both daily life and self-report studies.

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Amelia Hamilton

Lab Manager

Amelia Hamilton is a Master's student in the Counselling Psychology program at Western. From a research perspective she is interested in relationship decision making, singlehood and the needs of men in therapy. 

From a counselling perspective, she seeks to understand effective communication strategies to build strong relationships and navigate through difficult times with a partner. She also has an interest in encouraging more men to engage in therapy and prioritize their mental health, the impact of online dating, attachment styles, love languages, attraction and interpersonal relationships and rejection.


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! 


Jordan Trbizan

Research Assistant

Jordan Trbizan is a recent Western graduate with an Honors Specialization in Psychology. She is interested in research regarding the progression of romantic relationships as well as the derogation of alternatives. She is hoping to pursue further education to continue research in Social Psychology.

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Kaila Hinch

Research Assistant

Kaila is a second year student studying psychology at Western University. She is interested in the development and progression of relationships, as well as how one’s personality affects what they look for in a partner. In her pass time, she enjoys walks with her dogs, reading, and spending time with family.

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Ananya Balike 

Research Assistant

Ananya Balike is a fourth-year psychology student at Western University, with a double minor in biology and creative writing, along with a French certificate. Her true passion lies in unraveling the intricacies of human stories and life experiences, delving deep into the motivations behind individuals' choices, particularly those that impact communication and language use in various relationship contexts. In her leisure time, Ananya finds solace in the art of poetry and song composition. She is thrilled to embark on her journey in the Relationship Decisions Lab, eager to contribute meaningfully to the field and explore the fascinating dynamics of human connections.


Elisha Cimring

Research Assistant

Elisha is a third year honours specialization psychology student at Western. She is interested in how culture and early experiences affects how a person chooses a partner. She is also interested in how informal relationships can progress into long term partnerships. She hopes to complete her undergraduate degree and pursue further education as well as enhancing her research skills.

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Kylie Mercado

Research Assistant

Kylie Mercado is a fourth-year undergraduate student pursuing an Honours Specialization in Psychology. She is interested in research that examines the role of communication styles and patterns in fostering healthy relationships and effective conflict-resolution. She hopes to pursue graduate studies in Clinical or Counselling psychology.

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Asma Muhammad

Research Assistant 


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