Principal Investigator

Dr. Micheal Dent, Professor of Psychology
B.A. (Psychology) St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Ph.D. (Psychology) University of Maryland, College Park
Post-doc (Physiology) University of Wisconsin Medical School

Graduate Students

Payton Charlton, Ph.D. student in the Cognitive Area of Psychology, B.S. in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science from the University of Evansville

Research Interests: I am interested in ultrasonic vocalizations in mice and their role, if any, in communication between mice. I am also interested in the perception and production of simple and complex auditory vocalizations in both mice and birds.


Jay M. Cooney, M.S. student in Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior; B.S. in Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation from Canisius College.

Research Interests: I am interested in integrating animal behavior and conservation biology to address challenges faced by socio-ecological systems in our changing world. In particular, I am fascinated by the impact of soundscape disturbance on cervids (deer family) and the human communities that rely on them.


Honors Students

Emily Demieri presents her work on noise-induced tinnitus in mice at the 2022 Celebration of Academic Excellence.

Lucia Fetkenhour presents her work on strain, sex, and age differences in mouse USVs at the WNY Psychology Conference.

Recent Former Graduate Students

Dr. Kali Burke, Cognitive Area of Psychology07927b33-89f2-4624-b6b8-a94f1cad525b_zpsimbwzpjs

Current Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


HuaizhenDr. Huaizhen Cai, Cognitive Area of Psychology

Current Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery


Faiza Hafeez, M.A. Evolution, Ecology and Behavior

Current Position: Ph.D. student at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Dr. Anastasiya Kobrina, Cognitive Area of Psychology

Current Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Northern Arizona University Department of Biological Sciences


Dr. Laurel Screven, Behavioral Neuroscience Program (Psychology)20140915_204622_zpspatjr78f

Current Position: Scientific Program Manager at the National Institutes of Health Center for Alzheimer’s and Dementias


Will Smith-Peters, M.A., Cognitive Area of Psychology

Current Position: Research Assistant at Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Hannah Thorner, M.A., Evolution, Ecology, & Behavior Program (EEB)

Current Position: Laboratory Technician at Roswell Park Cancer Center


Recent Former Honors Students 

Kathleen Ohman, B.S. Biological Sciences and B.A. Psychology (University at Buffalo)

Research Interests: I am interested in how traumatic brain injuries affect ultrasonic vocalizations produced by mice. I received the Robert W. Young Award for Undergraduate Research in Acoustics from the Acoustical Society of America for this research.

Kristin Tymchak, B.A. Psychology (University at Buffalo)

Research Interests: I am interested in examining how social experiences influence mouse USV production. In particular, I am interested in investigating if socially housed mice emit USVs to communicate with one another after being separated for various increments of time.


Nina Baldy, B.A. Psychology (University at Buffalo)

Research Interests: I am curious about the role social experience plays in the way animals communicate with each other. Specifically, I would like to know whether socially raised mice can discriminate between vocalizations made by familiar and unfamiliar animals.

Photo on 2-10-15 at 4.07 PM

Nicole Hunter, B.A. Psychology (University at Buffalo)

Research Interests: I am interested in seeing whether mice prefer the ultrasonic vocalizations from a “friend”, or a “stranger”. I predict the mice will prefer to listen to calls emitted from “friends” in a preference test.