People

Current Lab Members

 

Doug P. VanderLaan, Ph.D. Dr. VanderLaan, Director of the Biopsychosocial Investigations of Gender Laboratory, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga and a Collaborator Scientist in Child and Youth Psychiatry at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. Prior to these appointments, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Psychology at the University of Lethbridge, and a B.A. (Hon.) in Psychology at McMaster University. Email: doug.vanderlaan@utoronto.caFaculty Webpage

Malvina Skorska, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow. Malvina is a Brain Canada - Kids Brain Health Network postdoctoral fellow working on a brain imaging project of adolescents with gender dysphoria in relation to hormone therapy. She received a PhD from the Department of Psychology at Brock University (St. Catharines, ON) in October 2016. Her master's and doctoral work focused on biological/physical correlates (e.g., height, facial structure, birth weight, fraternal birth order) related to sexual orientation. In addition to the brain imaging project, she is continuing to work on projects related to the development of sexual orientation in the BIG lab. In her free time you can find her outdoors, reading, visiting wineries, and traveling. Email: malvina.skorska@utoronto.ca

Lindsay Coome, Ph.D. Student. Lindsay is a PhD student in the B.I.G. lab. Her research interests span the fields of biological, evolutionary, and cross-cultural psychology. Her thesis investigates the science of sexual orientation and gender identity. Mostly, she is interested in the evolutionary, genetic, hormonal, and immunological bases for the development of third gender identities in a non-Western culture, Thailand. Email: lindsay.coome@mail.utoronto.caPersonal Website: lindsaycoome.com

Diana Peragine, Ph.D. Student. Diana is an NSERC Doctoral Scholarship Holder with an interest in social neuroscience, feminist research, and science outreach. She studies sexual development from an experiential perspective, emphasizing how one’s social position “writes on the body” to alter reproductive physiology and behavior. Her Masters research used a unique rodent system to characterize neural correlates of social competition in female-dominated groups, and clarify neuroendocrine mechanisms by which cues conveying subordinate status can delay puberty for life. This work underscores the importance of including females in research on aggression and intrasexual competition, and highlights a new role for GnIH in mammalian reproductive maturation. Diana’s dissertation research explores the developmental psychobiology of human sexual motivation, asking how sex and social position (i.e., gender) steer brain development to produce differences in sexual desire and sensation. Off the clock, Diana enjoys bringing science out of the lab and into the streets with Science Rendezvous and ROM Friday Night Live, and has founded several outreach initiatives, including the SRSF STEM Education Scholarship, the Sexuality Interest Network (SIN), and SEXposium Science Outreach Conference. Email: d.peragine@utoronto.ca

Lindsey Thurston, Ph.D. Student. Lindsey is pursuing her PhD in psychology with a specialization in Neuroscience through the Collaborative Program in Neuroscience (CPIN) at U of T. Her primary research interest is neuroendocrinology, specifically the interaction of testosterone and estrogen with brain structure and function. With a feminist focus, Lindsey aims to include advocacy and equity in her scientific pursuits. In her spare time she explores avenues of science communication, volunteers as a mentor for women and girls in science, and photographs the city of Toronto. Email: lindsey.thurston@utoronto.ca

Laura MacMullin, Ph.D. Student. Laura is a SSHRC award holder and is currently in the first year of her PhD. She researches the well-being of racially diverse gender minority youth. She is interested in studying peer, family, and school relations, minority stress, structural stigma, and resilience. Additionally, she is continuing to design and implement novel interventions to try to improve children’s appraisals of gender nonconformity. Email: laura.macmullin@utoronto.ca

Joanna Matthews, B.Sc. (Hon.) Student. Joanna is a fourth-year student pursuing a double major in Biology for Health Science and Psychology. Her senior project investigates the association of children's play behaviour with biological and social factors.

Simran Isani, B.Sc. (Hon.) Student. Simran is a fourth-year student pursuing a double major in Biology for Health Science and Psychology. Her thesis project examines children's facial emotional reactions to hypothetical peers who vary in their gender expression.

Haley James, B.Sc. (Hon.) Student. Haley is a completing her honour's thesis project with the BIG lab and Dr. Madison Aitken in Child, Youth and Family Services at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Haley's thesis project compares how mothers and fathers react to their adolescents' internalizing (e.g., depressed) and externalizing (e.g., aggressive) behaviour. 

Melanie Asselin, ROP Student. Melanie is a team-member on an eye-tracking study of sexual interest and arousal.

Marisa Dariotis, ROP Student. Marisa is a team-member on an eye-tracking study of sexual interest and arousal.

Tanzeela Faisal, IRP Student. Tanzeela's research includes studies of how gender relates to children's academic motivations in math and reading, children's play behaviour, and children's appraisals of gender nonconformity.

Alex Fiodorova, ROP Student. Alex is a team-member on an eye-tracking study of sexual interest and arousal.

Bhajan Gill, IRP Student. Bhajan is working on a study of children's gender self-concepts and gender-based intergroup bias. 

Adrienne Kalicharan, IRP Student. Adrienne is a team-member on a systematic review study of sexual debut experiences.

Tanya Manchanda, IRP Student. Tanya is a team-member on an eye-tracking study of sexual interest and arousal. She has also conducted research in the BIG lab on children's moral reasoning about gender nonconformity.

Claire Murray, IRP Student. Claire is a team-member on an eye-tracking study of sexual interest and arousal.

Rabbia Noman, IRP Student. Rabbia is a team-member on a systematic review study of sexual debut experiences.

Syeda Rizvi, IRP Student. Syeda's research includes studies of how gender relates to children's academic motivations in math and reading, children's play behaviour, and children's appraisals of gender nonconformity.

Erich Wang, IRP Student. Erich is working on projects that focus on gender similarities and differences in children's toy play and play styles. 

Savera Zahid, IRP Student. Savera is a team-member on a systematic review study of sexual debut experiences.

Adhm Zahran, Research Assistant. Adhm is working on several studies in the BIG Lab, including anthropometric studies of sexual orienation and gender identity, and eye-tracking studies of person perception and sexual interest and arousal.

 

Lab Alumni

 

Past International Visiting Graduate Students

Anna van der Miesen (PhD Student, VU University, the Netherlands)

Lisa Bokeloh (MSc Student, Westfälische Wilhelms-University of Münster, Germany)

Nina van Bruggen (MSc Student, Utrecht University, the Netherlands)

Karen Kwan (PhD Student, University of Hong Kong)

 

Past Undergraduate Lab Members

Pamela Adjei (Lab Manager)

A. Natisha Nabbijohn (Master of Arts; B.Sc. Honour's Thesis; Independent Research Project; SSHRC Summer Research Assistantship; Work Study)

Nicole Raquinio (Research Assistant & Illustrator) 

Alanna Santarossa (B.Sc. Honour’s Thesis; Independent Research Project; SSHRC Summer Research Assistantship; Work Study)

Victoria Troisi (B.A. Honour's Thesis)

Amy Yang (Research Assistant)