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 Associate

James Kim is a postdoctoral associate and former SSHRC postdoctoral fellow interested in how individuals and couples can develop and maintain optimal relationship and sexual well-being. His research examines how similarities and differences in romantic partners’ perceptions, motivations, and behaviour shape the quality of relationships, and how romantic and sexual compatibility develops 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. Click for her CV or her Google Scholar page.

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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.


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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Amelia Hamilton

Lab Manager

Amelia Hamilton is a Western graduate with an honors specialization in sociology with a major in criminology. She has returned to Western to pursue an honors specialization in psychology and intends to pursue a Masters in counselling or clinical psychology. 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 the impact of online dating, attachment styles, love languages, attraction and interpersonal relationships and rejection.


Aranee Senthilmurugan

Research Assistant

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.


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! 


Jane Wang

Research Assistant

Jane Wang is a fourth-year psychology student at Western. She’s interested in sexual preferences and relationship decisions. She’s looking forward to strengthening her research skills and experience to prepare her for future academic goals.

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Carina Chen

Research Assistant

Carina is a third-year psychology student in the Honors Specialization program at Western. She is interested in how consensual nonmonogamy influences relationship quality and psychological well-being. Additionally, she is also interested in relationship violence in queer(LGBTQ) communities. She hopes to continue her studies in counselling or clinical psychology in the future.