Principal Investigator Heidemarie Laurent

Heidemarie Laurent

I am interested in the ways people manage (or have trouble managing) to get through the stresses inherent in human life. We are all embedded in social relationships, and a better understanding of how these relationships support or strain our coping capacities can be used to inform depression prevention efforts. In particular, I am interested in how mindfulness can improve the quality of social interactions and alleviate suffering not only for the person practicing it, but also for those they touch.

Graduate Student Rosemary Bernstein

Rosemary Bernstein

Before joining the UO doctoral program in 2009, Rosemary received BAs in Psychology and Art Practice with a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies of Early Childhood from the University of California Berkeley. At the UO, she works with advisors Drs. Heidemarie Laurent and Jennifer Freyd studying the psychosocial effects of early trauma and loss, particularly as they relate to subsequent interpersonal functioning in the context of romantic and parenting relationships.

Graduate Student Dori Egan-Wright

Dori Egan-Wright

Dori began her graduate studies in 2012 with Dr. Laurent at the University of Wyoming and was fortunate enough for the opportunity to follow her to UO. She completed her B.A. in psychology at Whitman College in 2011. She is interested in understanding how biological and environmental factors contribute to the development of psychopathology. She is particularly interested in how exposure to an adverse family environment in childhood (e.g., poor relationship with parents, parental depressive symptoms, parental marital conflicts, abuse, poverty, etc.) exacerbates biological vulnerabilities to stress. Ideally, she would like to integrate this knowledge into the development of early intervention programs targeted toward improving family adversity.


Graduate Student Robin Hertz

Robin Hertz

In 2010, Robin earned a BA in psychology from Reed College in Portland, OR. In 2011, she began working with Dr. Laurent at the University of Wyoming studying mindfulness and stress responses to conflict in the context of romantic relationships. In 2013, she earned a MS in psychology from the University of Wyoming. She then relocated to the University of Oregon to continue her studies in the doctoral program in clinical psychology with Dr. Laurent. Robin is interested in understanding the impact of mindfulness practices on physical, psychological, and interpersonal well-being.



Graduate Student April Lightcap

April Lightcap

April first became interested in humans and stress as an undergraduate conducting research in the field of stress and inequality, She has spent the last decade in the birth world, guiding pregnant mothers and their partners in mindfulness-based childbirth practices. She is currently researching, developing and teaching a mindfulness-based parenting curriculum at the Oregon Research Institute. As an MS student, April is interested in the interplay between birth experience, early parenting practices, mother’s psychological flexibility and infant’s stress response.


Graduate Student Benjamin Nelson

Benjamin is a first year doctoral student in clinical psychology. Prior to UO he earned his B.A. in Psychology from Indiana University in 2011 and then worked at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. His current research interests include mindfulness interventions, interpersonal neurobiology, attachment theory, brain-body connections, particularly with respect the HPA axis, and the impact of stress on early brain development.

Lab Coordinator Sienna Howells

Sienna Howells

Sienna is a nontraditional transfer student in her junior year. Her goal in psychology is to better understand stress in every way that she can. After she earns her undergraduate degree, she hopes to get into a clinical psychology program where she can continue her research in the field of stress. She would like to help make better treatment protocol for people suffering from severe stress disorders like PTSD.

Research Assistant Kelly McMullen

Kelly McMullen

Kelly is a psychology major in her senior year and is also pursuing a minor in biology. Her interests include child psychology, stress response, sports psychology, and animal-assisted therapy. She plans to continue her education in psychology after college. Kelly would eventually like to apply her education and love for children and animals to the study of the benefits of therapeutic riding.

Research Assistant Brianna Soumokil

Brianna SoumokilCurrently majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology, She is planning on taking a pre-med route at the UO, eventually hoping to go to medical school to become a psychiatrist. Neuroscience and patient-centered practices both interest her greatly, which makes psychiatry the perfect compromise of sorts. She is also currently working as a caregiver at a retirement home, and plans to study over the summer to be able to get her CNA and work as a licensed nursing assistant throughout her college education.

Research Assistant Maureen Durnin

Maureen DurninMaureen is an undergraduate Psychology student in her senior year. She is interested in the fields of clinical and cognitive psychology. Maureen wants to learn about how environmental stressors and other experiences influence neurological and behavioral development. After graduation, she plans to continue research with the goal of working in clinical neuropsychology. She will begin applying to graduate school programs in 2015 and hopes to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology.


Research Assistant Martin Hallström

Martin Hallström

Martin is an international undergraduate student in his senior year here at the University of Oregon. Martin was born and raised in Sweden, but has lived in America for the better part of five years. He is passionate about cognitive psychology and sports psychology. After graduation, Martin looks to get into graduate school and become a sport psychologist who works closely with athletes.



 Research Assistant Natalie Crawford

Natalie CrawfordNatalie is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Oregon Honor’s College. Her primary interests include mindfulness interventions, attachment, stress regulation and cognition. After completing her undergraduate degree, Natalie hopes to pursue her PhD in a counseling or clinical psychology graduate program.




Research Assistant Robert Young

Robert YoungRobert is a senior majoring in psychology and minoring in business. He is especially interested in the interpersonal communications that come with clinical psychology. Specifically, Robert wants to work with youth facing adverse situations and those who have experienced trauma. Upon graduation this spring, he plans to experience the world before pursuing graduate school.



Research Assistant Megan Laughlin

Megan LaughlinMegan is an undergraduate psychology student in her third year at the University of Oregon’s Honors College. After completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to continue on to grad school and to eventually publish her own research. Currently, Megan is interested in learning more about the research process, especially within the field of biopsychology.





Research Assistant Regina White

Regina WhiteRegina is a non traditional student, married, and mother of one daughter. She is majoring in Psychology and plans to go on to graduate studies with a focus on movement disorders.




Research Assistant Malaak Damra

Malaak DamraMalaak is an undergraduate student at the University of Oregon. She is in her senior year, and majoring in Psychology. Her main interests are neuroscience and cognition. After getting a B.S. degree, she would like to apply to graduate school and study human cognition or thought as it relates to functions of the brain.



Research Assistant Jonna Hobson 

Jonna HobsonJonna is an undergraduate in her senior year here at the University of Oregon. Her primary interest is studying the relationship between trauma and the development of psychopathology in children. After graduating, she hopes to be accepted into a counseling or clinical psychology program.




Research Assistant Mavis Gallo 

Mavis PughMavis is a nontraditional student in her senior year. She is working on a BS in psychology with a minor in cultural anthropology. Her research interests include the roles of parents and caregivers in the treatment of children and teens with high numbers of adverse childhood experiences, anxiety disorders, stress regulation, mindfulness interventions, trauma treatment and outcomes, self-concept, attachment and resilience. She hopes to obtain her PhD in clinical or counseling psychology and work directly with clients. Her outside interests include art, loud music, being in nature, making pastries and spending time with her dog.


Research Assistant Kishan Patel

Kishan PatelKishan earned his Bachelors of Psychology degree from Oregon State University in 2015. While attending OSU he worked closely with Dr. Christopher Sanchez to develop an array experiments in his Applied Cognitive Lab, focusing on individual differences, virtual learning environments and cognitive performance. His current interests include mindfulness, stress management, embodied cognition, and mind-body connections. He’s particularly interested in how the mind and body work in tandem at higher levels of processing.


Research Assistant Sonia Herman

Sonia HermanSonia is a junior studying business with a marketing concentration and a psychology theme. She is interested in human interactions. Knowing why people act in certain way is a satisfaction to her, especially that she always works with other people, such as an adviser or presenter. After she graduates she hopes to go to graduate school.

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