principal investigator

Office: 212 Pryale Hall, Oakland University Main Campus.

Email: welling[at]oakland[dot]edu

Dr. Lisa Welling, Ph.D.

Dr. Lisa Welling is a tenured Professor at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan (USA). Previously, Dr. Welling completed an honors thesis on the neurological components of the facial feature hierarchy in the psychology department at St. Thomas University (Canada), which was funded by an Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA). Next, she attended the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) where she completed the requirements for a Masters in Research (M.Res.) and was transferred into the Ph.D. program. Her Ph.D., entitled Individual Differences in Face Preferences, was completed in 2008 under the supervision of Dr. Ben Jones in the Face Research Laboratory and was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Dr. Welling was then able to secure an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) one-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Face Research Laboratory under the supervision of Drs. Ben Jones and Lisa DeBruine. Thereafter, she completed a 3-year American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB) funded postdoctoral fellowship at the Pennsylvania State University with Dr. David Puts in collaboration with Dr. William Crowley at the Harvard University Medical School. Dr. Welling has presented her work at international conferences in various locations around the world, such as Japan, Russia, Italy, and France, and has given invited lectures at prestigious institutions, such as Harvard University, McMaster University, and University College of London. She joined the faculty at Oakland University in the Autumn of 2012, was awarded the Oakland University New Investigator Research Excellence Award in 2015, received tenure in 2017, was awarded the Oakland University Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award in 2018, and was promoted to Full Professor in 2023. In addition to having published more than 80 journal articles, she has produced two edited volumes (Evolutionary Perspectives on Social Psychology by Zeigler-Hill, Welling, & Shackelford, and The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology and Behavioral Endocrinology by Welling & Shackelford), several book chapters, and various other publications. She currently serves on the Editorial Boards for the journals Archives of Sexual Behavior, Evolutionary Psychological Science, and Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology. She is also an Associate Editor for Evolutionary Psychology and Frontiers in Psychology, and was elected the Secretary/Archivist for the Human Behavior and Evolution Society in 2021 and 2023. She is particularly interested in how hormones affect different aspects of our behavior, including mate choice, preferences, and sexual behavior.

current graduate students

rich holler

Rich Holler is a doctoral student who joined the Welling Research Lab in Fall 2018. He earned his B.A. in Psychology (minor in Biology) at Penn State University, where he worked in Dr. Lynn Liben's, Dr. Mark Shriver's, and Dr. David Puts' labs. Thereafter, he worked at the University of Texas at Austin with Daniel Conroy-Beam and Laith Al-Shawaf. He received his M.S. with Dr. Glenn Geher at the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2018, where he also worked with Dr. Carol Vazquez. He is primarily interested in the malleability and development of sexual/romantic attraction, and the impact of hormones and environments on mating strategies. He is an associate editor of the Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium. In his spare time, he watches college and professional football, runs, plays guitar, and rides his beloved bike called The HMB Beagle.

jenna lunge

Jenna Lunge​ is a Ph.D. student who joined the Welling Research Lab in Fall 2016 and completed her M.S. in 2018. Jenna previously attended the University of California, Merced, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology. While at UCM, she was a research assistant at the Consortium for Research on Atypical Development and Learning, where she investigated the evolutionary influences on attention using a change-detection task known as the flicker paradigm. Jenna is interested in how hormones influence behaviors related to mate choice and the behavioral immune system. She is funded by the King-Chavez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowship. Otherwise, Jenna enjoys dark wine, darker coffee, gardening, brewing homemade beer, and hanging with her rescue animals.​

katherine (kat) sheetz

Kat Sheetz joined the Welling Research Lab in the Fall of 2022 and is pursuing her M.S. in Psychology. She earned her B.A. in Psychology (minor in English) from Bowling Green State University in December of 2021. While at Bowling Green State University, Katherine assisted in research on bacteriophage in the Sea-Phages Lab and discovered a passion for Evolutionary Psychology during her senior year. Katherine is interested in hormonal contraceptives, mate selection, and dating violence, specifically in online dating. In her free time, you’ll find Katherine watching reality tv shows with a cup of coffee in the morning, tending to her plethora of houseplants, dancing to Harry Styles, and watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe in chronological order. 

current honors students

Kyla Dainty

Kyla joined the lab in December 2023 and is currently a senior at Oakland University who is getting her bachelors in psychology. She plans on attending graduate school and becoming a clinical therapist. Her honors thesis investigates sexual behavior in lesbian women. She is an animal mom to two chinchillas (Ben and Jerry) and a Pomeranian named Louie. Kyla enjoys spending most of her free time with her pets and friends/family. 

Jennifer Ognjanovski

Jennifer Ognjaonvski is currently a junior at Oakland University who joined the lab in January, 2024. She is majoring in health sciences with a concentration in pre-health professionals. Jennifer is interested in how online dating shapes the mating market. Her future goals are to attend medical school. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and reading! 

current embark students

Silvana Iskandar

Silvana completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience at UCLA and is currently a medical student at OUWB School of Medicine. Previously, she conducted a year-long independent study testing the application of Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TcES) on the spinal cord to improve function in nerve palsy patients. She joined the lab in 2023 and her EMBARK project focuses on the relationship between contraceptive use, political affiliation, religious identity, and social dominance orientation. Her hobbies are singing, traveling, and spending quality time with friends and family.

Tannoz Norouzi

Tannoz is presently working on her M.D. degree at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. Previously, she received her Bachelor's Degree in Biological Science at the University of California, Irvine where her research focused on Neurological Injury and Alzheimer's Disease. She joined the  Welling Lab in 2023, where she will be completing her longitudinal Embark project. She will focus on the impact of social media on mate retention behaviors, attachment, personality, and intimate partner violence within romantic relationships. Tannoz loves spending her time at the beach, going on new adventures, spending quality time with her puppy, Simba, as well as her circle of friends and family.

Manasa Pavuloori

Manasa Pavuloori joined the Welling Lab in Spring of 2023 and is currently pursuing her M.D. at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. Manasa previously attended Virginia Commonwealth University and earned her Bachelor's degree in Biology with honors and minors in Chemistry and Psychology. She was previously involved in research into aggression and has worked at a local domestic violence shelter as a shelter advocate. Her current Embark project focuses on the fear of being alone and domestic violence. Manasa's hobbies include traveling, cooking, and spending quality time with her friends and family.

current research assistants

Alex Koblin

Alex is a senior at OU who is majoring in Psychology and who joined the lab in 2023. His goal is to become a clinical psychologist so that he can work with children and people with various disabilities. He likes to collect vinyl and books. In his free time, he likes to read, make music, and watch movies.

Sydney Markel

Sydney joined the lab is 2024, is currently a junior, and is preparing for her senior year. She hopes to move on to graduate school after her Winter 2025 graduation. She is most interested in personality disorders, dementia, and schizophrenia. Outside of school, she is a part time dance teacher. In her free time, she enjoys reading and trying new exercise programs.

Isabella Nowak

Isabella joined the lab in 2023 and is currently in her senior year at Oakland University. She is currently in the process of applying to  graduate school. She plans on  pursuing a career in clinical psychology. Her interests include: psychology of human sexuality, bipolar disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder. She enjoys hanging out with friends, cat and family, weight lifting, and exploring nature. 

Zach Samet

Zach is currently a Super Senior in his final semester in Psychology and Philosophy at OU. He joined the lab in Winter 2024 and plans to work in Forensic Psychology in the future. His interests include Forensic Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, and Ethics. In his free time, he likes to discuss film, TV, and music, and also enjoys public speaking.