Laboratory Staff

Principal Investigator

Dr. Murray began investigating the interoceptive stimulus properties of drugs of abuse as a graduate student in Prof Rick Bevins' Behavioral Neuropharmacology laboratory at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the United States. Following earning her PhD in 2009, she joined Prof Barry Everitt as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Cambridge in England. There, she used novel models of drug dependence to assess particular theories of addiction. She was also an official fellow of Murray Edwards College and directed studies for their psychology students. In 2016, Dr. Murray returned to North America as a research assistant professor at UNL with Prof Bevins' research group before beginning her post as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Guelph in 2018.

Graduate Students

Graduate Student


Graduate Student

Rita is a graduate student in the Neuroscience and Applied Cognitive Science program at the University of Guelph (UoG). She is a former Bachelor of Arts and Science graduate from UoG and has been an active member of the lab since 2018.

Graduate Student

Davin graduated from the University of Guelph with a BScH in Neuroscience and a minor in Psychology and is starting his first year in the Neuroscience and Applied Cognitive Science MSc program in the Murray AIM Lab in 2022. He is interested in investigating drug-induced neuroplasticity, neural circuits that mediate drug seeking, and interactions between drugs and hormones using animal models of substance use disorder.

Anita Sikic

Graduate Student

Anita is a first year MSc student in the Neuroscience and Applied Cognitive Science program at UoG. She completed her BSc in Psychology & Neuroscience with minors in biology and chemistry at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has been an active member in the lab since June '21 and is currently investigating the differential effects of nicotine alone compared to cigarette smoke extract. Her research interests also include the effects of cannabinoids on the brain and behaviour as well as the effects of prenatal exposure to drugs of abuse. Outside of the lab she enjoys reading, being outdoors, spending time with her friends (especially watching horror movies), and travelling.

Donna Wood

PhD. Student

Donna is a first-year P.hD. student in the Neuroscience and Applied Cognitive program at the University of Guelph. She is a former Neuroscience Master’s and Bachelor of Science graduate from the University of Delaware. Donna’s previous research focused on investigating sex differences in avoidance, darting, and freezing behavior among patients with PTSD using the SPS rat model. Her current research interests are to further investigate and development new treatments for PTSD, depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders.

Undergraduate Students

Lucas Porto

Undergraduate Student

Lucas is in their second year BSc Neuroscience major at the University of Guelph. They work in the lab in assisting with multiple projects on a daily basis. Their research interests include addiction mechanisms, poly-drug use disorder, the impact of music on drug-seeking behaviour and the intricacies and interaction of opioids,

Mckenna Williams

Undergraduate Student

Mckenna is a 5th-year undergraduate student at the University of Guelph, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Psychology. Her current role in the AIM Lab involves investigation of morphine as an occasion setter, as well as the interoceptive stimulus effects of nicotine vs. cigarette smoke extract. Her research interests include addiction, mental health, and holistic/naturopathic treatment methods. Outside of the lab, she enjoys exercise, music, and hanging out with her dog, Gracie.

Jessica Karlovcec

Undergraduate Student

Jessica is a fourth year BSc Neuroscience major at the University of Guelph, minoring in Nutrition. She is currently working in the lab as a URA assisting in multiple projects in the lab and has also recently completed a research project in the lab. Her research interests include the neural mechanisms and behavioural effects of drugs of abuse, and outside of the lab, she enjoys travelling, cooking, and dogs.

Alyssa Sheppard

Undergraduate Student

Alyssa is a recent Neuroscience graduate from the University of Guelph. She is currently assisting with the Oral-Morphine Self Administration project which investigates how pre-treatment with morphine, fentanyl, naloxone, and methamphetamine affects oral morphine self-administration in rats. She previously completed a literature review on the concurrent use of Benzodiazepines and Opioids. Her research interests include poly-drug use, sex differences and neural and behavioural mechanisms behind drugs of abuse.

Past Members

Allyson completed her MSc in Neuroscience and Applied Cognitive Science (NACS) here at the University of Guelph in 2020. She is a former BSc graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University where she studied Psychology with a specialization in research. Her research with the Murray AIM Lab focused on the role of interoceptive stimuli elicited by drugs of abuse as discriminative guides of behaviour in rodent models using pavlovian conditioning paradigms.

Avery Cameron

Avery was a fourth year Biomedical Science major at the University of Guelph, minoring in Neuroscience. Her role in the lab involved investigating drug discrimination between cigarette smoke extract and nicotine. Other research interests include neural mechanisms underlying substance use disorders.

Caroline Falkowska

Caroline Falkowska was a graduate of the University of Guelph where she double majored in psychology: brain and cognition and animal biology. She was a volunteer In the lab . Her interests include the neuromechanisms in rewards and drug addiction. Hobbies include skiing, dancing, and running.

Rashmeet Kaur

Rashmeet Kaur was an undergraduate student at the University of Guelph completing a Bachelor of Science degree with a Bio-Medical major and Neuroscience minor. Her research interests include: gender and making, mental health, and medical ethics. In her free time, Rashmeet loves to merge her passion for both the sciences and the humanities through her poetry and mixed media artwork.

Noelle Morris

Noelle Morris was a third year BSc biomedical science major at the University of Guelph, minoring in neuroscience. She has volunteered in the lab and her interests revolve around the neural mechanisms of mental health and addiction. Outside of the lab, her hobbies include playing various sports, cooking, and traveling.

Caitlin Nolan

Caitlin Nolan was starting her first year as a graduate student in Neuroscience and Applied Cognitive Science (NACS) at University of Guelph. Her research focused on morphine occasion setting and its effects on subsequent reward, using a conditioned place preference paradigm.

Hannah Puckering

Hannah Puckering was an undergraduate student completing a Biological Science degree with a minor in Neuroscience. She is currently an MSc student in Occupational Therapy program at McMaster University.

Maddie Peters

Maddie Peters was a 4th year B.A. Honour's Thesis Psychology student. She is particularly interested in the neurological basis of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia, as well as potential pharmacological treatments for these illnesses.

Briana Renda was a graduate student who joined the lab in September 2018. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University and her MSc at U of G in 2020. Briana’s current line of research focuses on the impact of adolescent nicotine or stress exposure on adult nicotine consumption and value.

Michael Sharivker

Michael Sharivker was in the BSc Neuroscience program at the University of Guelph. He was a volunteer in the AIM lab since the winter of 2019, the Undergraduate Research Assistant for the summer of 2019, and completed a year of independent research coursework in 2019-2020.