Dr. Micheal Dent, Professor of Psychology, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Cognitive Area Head
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
Sevda Abdavinejad, DVM, Ph.D. student in Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Islamic Azad University, Iran
Research Interests: Animal behavior, acoustic communication in animals, and animal models of psychiatric disorders.
Mariam Ashour, M.A. student in the Cognitive Area of Psychology
B.S. in Psychology and Minor in Criminology from the University at Buffalo, SUNY
Research Interests: I am interested in bioacoustics of mice and whales.
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.
Cade Leinbach, M.A. student in the Cognitive Area of Psychology
M.M. in Music Composition with a Minor in Psychology from the University of North Texas
Research Interests: My current goal is to build an understanding of auditory perception in general. This will serve as a strong foundation for future interdisciplinary research between music and cognition.
Riley McLaughlin, M.A. student in the Cognitive Area of Psychology
B.A. in Cognitive Science from Swarthmore College
Research Interests: I am interested in many aspects of animal communication, including the effects of noise on hearing in mouse models of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Victoria Majka, Biological Sciences major, Psychology minor
Research Interests: I am curious about the way that animals use different variations of sounds to communicate with one another as well as how animals (pets) use vocalization techniques between themselves and humans.
Recent Former Graduate Students
Dr. Kali Burke, Cognitive Area of Psychology
Current Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Dr. 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)
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
Zachary Zaharkin, Biological Sciences Honors Student
Biological Sciences B.S. Major, Psychology Minor
Research Interests: Animal communication
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.
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.
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.