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Professor and Department Chair, Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University

I am a Full Professor in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour and McMaster University's first Transgender department chair. In my professional life and my personal life I work towards Social Justice, and I take an evidence-based approach to issues of equity, diversity and inclusion. We share the goal of creating a workplace where each person can bring their whole selves to work, but what are the best practices for creating this safe workplace? As psychologists, and as scientists, we have some tools at our disposal to discern which approaches work, and which lead us astray.

The work in my lab is experimental psychology motivated by evolutionary theory. We work on the questions of Social Perception and Social Perceptual Development. We study the perception of social categories, using both face-perception paradigms and essentialist paradigms. We use these approaches to explore evidence-based approaches to equity, diversity and inclusion. We are exploring developing psychological machinery underlying prosocial and moral behavior, and exploring whether we can expand our definition of our ingroup to extend our moral concern to a bigger circle . We study animacy perception, as the first developmental step in social cognition. Using eye-tracking technology, we study the development of autistic characteristics and of the broader autism phenotype.

I have developed workshops and writings on the topics of Radically Inclusive Leadership, Formal Consensus Decision Making, and Queer Etiquette.


  • –present
    Professor and Department Chair, Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University


  • 2000 
    University of California, Santa Barbara, Psychology