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People

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

Core Personnel

Lab Director

Collaborators and Friends of the Lab:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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. 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. 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.
  • 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, 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, 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, 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, Eva Vium, Peter Westergaard, Jannik Wiggers, Silvia William, Lars Williams, Albertina Yago, and Aida M. Ørskov.

Lab Interns:

Lene Engelst (spring 2022)

Rolf Phuchong Thapara Holm (spring 2022)

Former Lab Interns:

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)