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The lab currently employs four researchers (core personnel) and collaborates with scientists and scholars around the world as well as research assistants and interns.

Lab Directors

Core Personnel

Collaborators and Friends of the Lab:

  • Cecilia Abate, independent analyst and EIC of the Horror Scholar Journal. Research interests include representations of sexual violence and class/privilege in horror.
  • Dr. Xavier Aldana Reyes, expert on horror media and affect, Reader in English Literature and Film at Manchester Metropolitan University and co-founder of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies.
  • Dr. Daniel T. Blumstein, ethologist and evolutionary biologist with research expertise on fear in non-human mammals, Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA.
  • Dr. Brian Boutwell, behavioral geneticist with an interest in human cognition and the evolution of minds and consciousness and how these topics relate to frightening and fearful experiences, Associate Professor at The University of Mississippi and University of Mississippi Medical Center.
  • Lucie Daniel-Watanabe, cognitive neuroscientist interested in using biofeedback games to teach emotion regulation strategies, PhD student at the University of Cambridge, UK.
  • Ashley Dillard, personality specialist interested in receptivity to and influences of horror media and dark/morbid humor, Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Psychology at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Dr. Helen Dodd, psychologist with a research focus on childhood adventurous experiences and how they relate to mental health, particularly anxiety, Professor of Child Psychology, University of Exeter, UK.
  • Edgar Dubourg, PhD student investigating the evolved cognitive foundations of fiction at the Département d’études cognitives of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France.
  • Kaneez Fatima, Research Scholar at Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, interested in manipulation of fear memories and finding interventions for anxiety and related disorders.
  • Dr. Lily FitzGibbon, psychologist interested in responses to uncertain situations, including curiosity, adventurous play, and challenge seeking in children and adults, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Stirling, UK. 
  • Dr. Andreas Frick, psychologist with an interest in the neurobiological and psychological underpinnings of fear and anxiety, associate senior lecturer in the Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Sweden.
  • Dr. Will J. Harrison, vision scientist interested in how the effectiveness of horror cinema can be understood in terms of the most fundamental operations of the early visual system, researcher at University of Queensland.
  • Katariina Henttonen is a music researcher interested in scary music and music-evoked/music-induced fear, particularly experiences and expressions of young people. Katariina is a doctoral researcher at the Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies at the University of Jyväskylä.
  • Dr. Matthew Hudson, cognitive neuroscientist with an interest in social interactions and horror movies, Lecturer in Psychology at the National College of Ireland.
  • Dr. John A. Johnson, personality psychologist with an interest in the psychological underpinnings of scary media, Professor Emeritus of Penn State University.
  • Dr. Emelie Jonsson, evolutionary literary scholar with an interest in myth-making, scientific cosmology, and the dark places of the human mind. Lecturer in English literature at UiT—The Arctic University of Norway.
  • Dr. Dawn Keetley, horror scholar and Professor of English at Lehigh University and co-founder of Horror Homeroom
  • Dr. Margee Kerr, haunted house researcher and fear sociologist, lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Madison LaSaga, cognitive psychology student researcher with a focus on the cognitive mechanisms of controlling unwanted memories and the relationship between memory control and emotion regulation,  B.Sc. (Hon.) in Psychology (Co-op) student at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
  • Dr. Catherine Lester, expert on children’s horror films and Lecturer in Film and Television in the Department of Film and Creative Writing, University of Birmingham.
  • Dr. Teresa Lynch, communication scientist with expertise in processes and effects of fear with specific interest in video game contexts, Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University and director of Chronos Laboratory.
  • Dr. G. Neil Martin, psychologist with an interest in the psychology and neuroscience of emotion, including horror, and Honorary Professor of Psychology at Regent’s University London, a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and former head of psychology at Regent’s University London.
  • Krista Mitchell, music scholar interested in perceptions of horror as mediated through sound, doctoral musicology student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Dr. Rachel Nesbit, psychologist with expertise in children’s adventurous/risky play and mental health, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, College of Medicine and Health, University of Exeter.
  • David Norris, lecturer, researcher and performer based in the UK completing a PhD on identity affirmation and conflict in live horror performance at the University of Birmingham.
  • Brooke Oliver, Doctoral Researcher at the University of Reading, interested in children's adventurous play and how to reduce children's risk of developing problematic anxiety.
  • Dr. Kirk N. Olsen, music psychologist and expert in auditory perception and cognition, with particular interest in the psychosocial risks and benefits of music with violent themes, Postdoctoral Researcher in the School of Psychological Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia.
  • Dr. Todd K. Platts, horror/zombie scholar and professor of sociology at Piedmont Virginia Community College.
  • Dr. Jakub Polák, psychologist with expertise in fear research, researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health, Czechia.
  • Henry C. W. Price, theoretical physicist with an interest in frightening entertainment, research postgraduate at Imperial London College, Department of Physics.
  • Dr. Fernando Rosas, data scientist with an interest in the interplay between data and frightening entertainment, Research Associate at Imperial London College, Department of Brain Science and Data Science Institute.
  • Zoe Ryan, Intolerance of Uncertainty researcher, interested in children’s behavioural and emotional responses to uncertainty, Doctoral Researcher at the University of Reading, UK.
  • Dr. Nina Schimmel, interested in the representation of evil in the works of fiction. She holds a PhD from the University of Basel, where she worked on "Evil Children in Horror Films."
  • Dr. Uffe Schjoedt, cognitive scientist of religion with an interest in dysphoric ritual, associate professor in the Department of the Study of Religion, Aarhus University.
  • Steve Schlozman, M.D., Dartmouth College and Medical School, is interested in the relationship between psychiatry and popular culture, e.g. the representation of mental illness in horror movies. He has taught on horror movies at Harvard University and published fiction such as The Zombie Autopsies.

  • Dr. Efram Sera-Shriar is an anthropologist and historian of science interested in the intersection and science and the occult during the modern era. He is an associate professor in the Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies, University of Copenhagen.

  • Dr. Ken Swan was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Florida until 2019 and now runs a haunted house attraction, The Gainesville Fear Garden, where he studies (and plays with) fear year-round.

  • Dr. Sarah M. Tashjian, cognitive neuroscientist with an interest in development of threat circuits and influence of social context, Postdoctoral Scholar in Affective Neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology.
  • Dr. Shannon Wake, researcher interested in developing our understanding of what causes and maintains anxiety in children and adults, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Psychology at the University of Reading, UK.
  • Dr. Nicholas Watier, experimental psychologist and visual psychophysicist with an interest in identifying the low-level visual information that is implicated in threat appraisals, Associate Professor at Brandon University in Manitoba, Canada.
  • Guy Webster, a modernist scholar researching the representation and elicitation of fear in early 20th Century modernism(s). He is currently completing his PhD with the Centre for the History of Emotion at the University of Melbourne.
  • Dr. Susan Weidmann, tourism scholar with an interest in the intersections of immersive horror leisure, tourism experiences and emotions, Lecturer in the Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.

Research Assistants (Current and Former):

Karoline W. Andersen, Nina Andreassen, Emilie Bagger, Theiss Bendixen, Charlotte B. Bentsen, Cecilie J. Bjerregaard, Stephen Bjerregaard, Amalie Bluhm, Eva Døgg Bragadóttir, Emilie Larsen Bro, Anna Sofie Bruun, Simon Bysted, Line Rosengaard Carlsen, Lene Engelst Christensen, Signe Clausen, Nanna R. Dahl, Mira Dønstrup, Sóley Eliasdóttir, Maria Ellebøg, Tinne Frederiksen, Marie Cecilie Gammelby, Satine B. R. von Gersdorff, Nilab Gholam, Majbritt Grønbæk, Laura S. Hartelius, Mette Hviid-Vyff, Marc Kofoed Hye-Knudsen, Bonnie Iburg, Anna Sofie Hauge Jacobsen, Majken T. Jensen, Mark M. Jensen, Patricia Mellany Jensen, Cecilie Møller Johansen, Sissel Jørgensen, Mathilde Kellberg, Sabrin Khalil, Anna Kildehøj, Jens Kjeldgaard-Christiansen, Sarah Klainberger, Erik Klintø, Freja Hovgaard Knudsen, Maja Kruse, Asger Langebæk, Emily T. Larsen, Rikke O. Laursen, Ninna Vestergaard Lorenzen, Sofie L. Madsen, Jonas Bilgrav Mathiasen, Johan Mejniche, Zeynep Metinsoy, Kathrine Micheelsen, Agnethe Mogensen, Lena Molin, Pernille Lærke Munk-Hansen, Louise Lønroth, Jonas Møldrup, Anne B. Møller, Mathilde Randlev Møller, Loc-An Nguyen, Cecilie L. Nielsen, Alex Laurence Olrik-Ernst, Laura B. Olsen, Theis Oxholm, Daniel I. K. Pedersen, Julie Pedersen, Mads Jessen Pedersen, Mathilde B. Pedersen, Maria-Louise L. T. Pedersen, Emma Hove Petersen, Niels Riis, Sarah Isabella Roed, Nirha Salihovic, Kristine Schulz, Peter M. Self, Valborg Silberg, Sine Simonsen, Oliver Toft Sivebæk, Esther Stadsholt, Sofie V. Stege, Martin Stigaard, Marie Bach Søgaard, Marie-Louise Søndergaard, Julie Sørensen, Katrine D. Sørensen, Alexander L. B. Sørensen, Sofie Thinggaard, Emma Thomsen, Johanne Thomsen, Jonas B. Thomsen, Katrine Naujokat Thorsen, Rina Vijayasundaram, Sofie Vittrup, Eva Vium, Peter Westergaard, Jannik Wiggers, Silvia William, Lars Williams, Albertina Yago, and Aida M. Ørskov.

Lab Interns:

Sofie Thinggaard (fall 2023)

Sofie Vittrup (fall 2023)

Peter Westergaard (fall 2023)

Former Lab Interns:

Antonina Jasztal (spring 2023)

Dominika Męcina (spring 2023)

Sabrin Khalil (spring 2023)

Christoffer Nordved Madsen (fall 2022/spring 2023)

Pernille Lærke Munk-Hansen (fall 2022)

Majbritt Kastberg Grønbæk (fall 2022)

Christian Egelund Sørensen (fall 2022)

Lene Engelst (spring 2022)

Rolf Phuchong Thapara Holm (spring 2022)

Emilie Schjoldager (spring 2021)

Lauritz Holm Petersen (spring 2021)

Marie-Louise Søndergaard (fall 2020)

Katrine Dahl Sørensen (fall 2020)

Marc Hye-Knudsen (fall 2019)

Johan Mejniche (fall 2019)