Lab Director

Ashley Gearhardt, Ph.D.

agearhar@umich.edu

Ashley Gearhardt, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Clinical Science area at the University of Michigan. She also earned her B.A. in psychology from The University of Michigan as an undergraduate. While working on her doctorate in clinical psychology at Yale University, Dr. Gearhardt became interested in the possibility that certain foods may be capable of triggering an addictive process. To explore this further, she developed the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) to operationalize addictive eating behaviors, which has been linked with more frequent binge eating episodes, an increased prevalence of obesity and patterns of neural activation implicated in other addictive behaviors. It has been cited over 800 times and translated into over ten foreign languages. Her areas of research also include investigating how food advertising activates reward systems to drive eating behavior and the development of food preferences and eating patterns in infants. She has published over 100 academic publications and her research has been featured on media outlets, such as ABC News, Good Morning America, the Today Show, the Wall Street Journal, and NPR.

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Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Jenna Cummings

jennarc@umich.edu

Fall 2018-Present

Jenna’s research career began at the University of South Florida, where as an undergraduate she studied the biological, psychological, and social reasons for why drinking alcohol is so rewarding. This research inspired her to complete her PhD in Health Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she used models of reward to study why individuals eat unhealthy foods despite being aware of the physical health consequences. She is currently investigating how mechanisms of reward contribute to early development of unhealthy eating behavior.

Research Staff

Meredith Turner, B.A.

mturneri@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Present

Meredith is a University of Michigan alumni. She graduated in 2019 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in English. She is interested in the treatment and prevention of eating disorders, with a specific focus on holistic treatment options involving the growing, cooking, communal, and cultural aspects of the food experience. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

Graduate Students

Lindsey Parnarouskis

lparnar@umich.edu

Fall 2018-Present

Lindsey earned her B.S. in Psychology from Northeastern University in 2014 and worked as a research coordinator in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital before joining the FAST Lab as a graduate student in 2018. She is interested in exploring how the concept of withdrawal might apply to addictive eating and its implications for treatment. Her other interests include the relationship between the food addiction construct and weight stigma and how demographic characteristics such as race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status impact risk for food addiction.

Lindzey Hoover

lindzeyh@umich.edu

Fall 2020 – Present

Lindzey earned her B.S. in Psychology at Eureka College in the spring of 2016 and worked as lab manager for the FAST Lab from Summer 2018 – Summer 2020. She is currently a first year graduate student in Clinical Science. She is interested in how reward processes impact the development and treatment of food addiction. Her other interests include how risk factors, protective factors, and family history of addiction influence variations in the development of addiction.

Julia Rios

jsmr@umich.edu

Fall 2017 – Present

Julia earned her B.S. in Neuroscience and minor in English at Duke University. She is now a third-year doctoral student in Clinical Psychology. Her current research explores individual differences in infant sucrose response and seeks to index reward system development in early life. She is also interested in exploring the potential effects of dietary restraint on food cue reactivity and addictive-like eating.

Emma Schiestl

emmaschi@umich.edu

Fall 2016 – Present

Emma Schiestl earned B.A.s in Psychology and Philosophy from Colorado College in the Spring of 2015. She is currently a fourth-year doctoral student in the department of Clinical Psychology. Her current research interests include evaluating the impact of negative emotion on subsequent eating behaviors and understanding the influence of impulsivity on food-addiction status. She is especially interested in using real-time assessment technology to better understand proximal and antecedent variables that influence the decision to eat and what types of foods to consume.

Research Assistants

Tori Weingarten

Fall 2020- Present

Tori is a Junior at the University of Michigan majoring in Psychology as well as studying Marketing through the Ross Cappo Sales Track Program. She is interested in learning more about the psychological component of eating disorders with a focus on adolescents. In the future, she hopes to earn a PsyD in Clinical Psychology.

Megan Zhao

Fall 2020- Present

Megan is a Junior majoring in Neuroscience. She is interested in clinical and developmental psychology, specifically child development and how to better prevent the onset of addiction as well as better understand the issue of child malnourishment. After her undergraduate education, Megan hopes to one day attend medical school.

Lucas Preuth

Fall 2020- Present

Lucas is a senior studying three majors: Biopsychology, Cognition, Neuroscience (BCN), Philosophy, and German. He is interested in studying how bio mechanisms of the brain produce cognitive behaviors, especially in regards to how the molecular mechanisms of addiction lead to the perceived subjective experiences of addiction. After finishing his undergraduate education, he would like to pursue a Masters in Neuroscience and then a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Mind.

Jessie Mitchell

Fall 2020- Present

Jessie is a junior studying Psychology at the University of Michigan. She hopes to attend graduate school some day.

Jacob Schuman

Fall 2020- Present

Jacob is a Junior pursuing a B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience with a minor in Judaic Studies. He plans to attend medical school after the completion of his undergraduate degree.

Serena Bernal

Fall 2019 – Present

Serena is a Junior pursuing degrees in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience & Cognitive Science. Her primary research interests include neurobiological conditions such as addiction, ADHD, and Autism, and understanding how common media may affect these conditions. Following her undergraduate education, she hopes to obtain a J.D. with a specialty in Health Law.

Lucy Loch

Fall 2019 – Present

Lucy is a senior double majoring in Psychology & Women Studies. She is interested in developmental psychology, specifically how a child’s environment can impact their eating behavior and the long term outcomes of this behavior. After her undergraduate education, she would like to earn her PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Mark Vanderhyden

Fall 2019 – Present

Mark is a senior pursuing a B.A. in psychology at U of M. He is interested in studying the psychopathology of food addiction and possible treatment outcomes for addiction. After undergraduate studies, he plans on pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology and continuing work in addiction, anxiety, and depression.

Hayley Yu

Winter 2020 – Present

Hayley is a senior at the University of Michigan. She is double majoring in Psychology and Creative Writing and minoring in Religion. She plans to one day attend graduate school and become a clinical psychologist

Isabella Schilling

Spring 2019 – Present

Isabella is a junior at the University of Michigan pursuing a major in Psychology. She is interested in both Clinical and Cognitive Psychology and specifically in learning about the impact of the media and the environment on eating disorders. After finishing her undergrad, she plans to pursue graduate school in order to earn her Ph.D. in Psychology.

Riley Jouppi

Spring 2019 – Present

Riley began her Bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where she worked in a cognitive psychology lab investigating the effects of doodling and fidget spinners on working memory. Upon transferring to the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, she began social psychological research and studied the effects of leadership dynamics on group cooperation. Riley has now shifted her focus toward addiction and is involved with research at the FAST Lab to pursue this interest. After graduating, Riley hopes take all that she has learned from the variety of her past research experiences and pursue a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology.

Past Graduate Students

Erica Schulte, Ph.D

eorenste@umich.edu

Spring 2013 – 2019

Erica earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan and her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Kansas. Erica is interested in identifying which foods or food attributes may be implicated in addictive-like eating. Additionally, she hopes to explore whether individuals may experience symptoms of dependence, such as withdrawal and tolerance, in response to these foods.


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Michelle Joyner, Ph.D

majoyn@umich.edu

Spring 2013 – Spring 2019

Michelle earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University. Her research focuses on cue-induced food cravings. She is interested in how the brain responds to food rewards, and how these responses contribute to addictive-like eating behaviors.


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Past Lab Staff

Jessi Lewis, B.S.

jessilew@umich.edu

Lab Manager and Project Coordinator
Summer 2016 – Summer 2018

Jessi earned her B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan in 2016. She’s interested in assessment and early intervention for various developmental delays and is attending the University of Victoria to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a specialization in neuropsychology.

Celina Furman, M.A.

furmancr@umich.edu

Lab Manager and Project Coordinator
Summer 2015 – Summer 2017

Celina earned her M.A. in Experimental Psychology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and her B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Potsdam. Celina attends the University of Minnesota, pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Psychology with a focus on health-related behavior change.

Julia Smeal, B.S.

jsmeal@umich.edu

Lab Manager
Spring 2015 – Summer 2018

Julia graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in statistics and actuarial mathematics. She is interested in the self-perceptions of addictive eating, especially pertaining to age and gender. She plans to attend medical school and become a primary care physician so that she can identify and work with patients facing issues such as disordered eating.

Alumni

Becca Adams

Spring 2019 – Spring 2020

Becca graduated in 2020 with a major in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and a minor in Biochemistry. She is primarily interested in the neurobiology behind eating disorder development in adolescents as well as the influence of social media on children’s thoughts and behaviors surrounding food. She plans on attending medical school with the intent to focus on either Neonatology or Obstetrics and Gynecology as a specialty.

Rebecca Skinner

Fall 2019 – Winter 2020

Becca is a graduate from the University of Michigan. She majored in Psychology and minored in Gender and Health. While working in the FAST Lab, Becca expressed interests in the link between media, mood, and eating disorders. She stated plans to earn her doctorate in clinical psychology. She hopes to eventually become a therapist.

Olivia Siklich

Fall 2019 – Spring 2020

Olivia graduated in 2020 with a major in BCN, but planned to apply to the School of Public Health while working with the FAST Lab. She is interested in the connection between public health and food addiction/eating disorders, specifically how advertisements, product placement, and other marketing strategies can have detrimental effects on not only an individual’s eating habits, but on society’s eating habits as a whole. In the future, Olivia plans to obtain either an MPH or a law degree in hopes of influencing environmental/healthcare policy and advocating for those who have been negatively affected many of the public health controversies we hear about today.

Seth Finkelstein

Spring 2019 – Summer 2019

Seth graduated in 2020 majoring in Psychology with a minor in Community, Action, and Social Change (CASC). He is especially interested in child and adolescent psychopathology, and is interested in how the onset of different eating disorders affects anxiety disorders in individuals. After the completion of his undergraduate degree, Seth plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Kendell Lewis

Spring 2019 – Summer 2019

Kendell is a sophomore at the University of Michigan majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience (BCN). She is interested in understanding what influences addictive eating habits and eating disorders. In the future, she plans to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and attend Medical School. She hopes to eventually pursue a career as a psychiatrist specializing in adolescents.

Vishal John

Spring 2019 – Fall 2019

Vishal is a senior majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. At his time in the FAST Lab, he was interested in how food can have an effect on the mind and body of an individual. Specifically how food can be an addictive substance for some individuals. After completing his undergraduate education, he hopes to pursue a master’s program in either health or business administration.

Rhianna Vergeer

rvergeer@umich.edu

Fall 2018-Winter 2020

Rhianna graduated in 2020 majoring in psychology and is also planning to minor in Spanish. She is interested in the development of the comorbidity of eating disorders and substance use disorders. In the future, she hopes to earn a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Aviva Hirsch

avivah@umich.edu

Fall 2018 – Spring 2020

Aviva graduated in 2020 on the pre-med track with a major in Psychology and a minor in Gender and Health. While working at the FAST Lab, Aviva expressed interests in exploring the role that trauma plays in the development of problematic eating behaviors, as well as the ways in which mood affects cravings and regulatory processes related to indulgence. During of her undergraduate studies, she planned to attend medical school, with a potential specialty in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Zoe Kolender

zkolend@umich.edu

Spring/Summer 2018 – Winter 2019

Zoe graduated in 2020 with a major in psychology. While working in the FAST Lab, she was interested in how the environment impacts people’s decision making and the development of eating disorders. She planned to attend graduate school to earn a masters in social work or to attend law school to explore her interest in environmental law.

Nikki Tracy, B.A.

nvtracy@gmail.com

Winter 2017 – Summer 2018

Nikki is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a major in Cognitive Science and Psychology. Nikki worked in a neuroimaging laboratory at Wayne State University and volunteered in the FAST lab in preparation for pursuing a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. The FAST Lab allowed her to combine her professional experience in neuroimaging research with her interests in the etiology, maintenance, and progression of symptoms in eating disorders and addictive behavior.

Liz Kennedy

kenne1ej@cmich.edu

Spring 2018 – Winter 2019

Elizabeth attended Central Michigan University majoring in Psychology. She is interested in the major impact that media platforms and advertisements have on food addiction; to what degree does it influence this dependency in our society? She attended the Medical School of South Carolina to earn a degree in Physician Assistant studies. She hoped to work in Pediatric Neurology after graduation.

Alex Bodfish, B.A.

kaerindf@umich.edu

Spring 2018 – Winter 2019

Alex is a graduate of U of M. She majored in psychology and is very interested in evolutionary psychology, mismatch theory, and their applications to the field of health and nutrition. She hopes to go to grad school where she can develop ways to use the principles of evolution to help create interventions that would aid the current obesity epidemic, as well as other prevalent health issues.

Kalei Glozier

kalei@umich.edu

Spring 2018 – Winter 2019

Kalei Glozier is a U of M graduate who pursued three majors, Psychology, Sociology, and Women’s Studies. He is interested in how food addiction is impacted by socio-cultural factors including race, gender, sexuality, and SES. Upon completing his undergraduate studies, he hoped to pursue a PhD in Psychology.

Kyle Jozsa, B.A.

kyrojo@umich.edu

Winter 2017 – Spring 2018

Kyle earned his B.A. in English language and literature from the University of Michigan in 2013. After working in hospitality for several years, he returned to U of M in 2016 to study psychology and prepare for a career in research. He is particularly interested in addiction and the public health implications of resource and health disparities among minority communities. Kyle attended Northwestern University and worked in the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing toward his M.A. in Clinical Psychology. He hopes to earn a PhD in Clinical Psychology studying assessment and treatment intervention.

Jolie Horne

jihorne@umich.edu

Fall 2017 – Winter 2019

Jolie is a U of M graduate who majored in Psychology, minored in History, completed a Sales Certificate through the business school, and participated in the Program for Entrepreneurship. She is interested in discovering relationships between eating disorders and the environment. Jolie hopes to pursue a career in Human Resources or Marketing, which would allow her to continue exploring how different environments impact individuals.

Julia Harbison

jnharbi@umich.edu

Fall 2017 – Winter 2018

Julia graduated in 2020 from the LSA Honors Program majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. She is interested in exploring at exactly what point poor eating habits transform into a clinically diagnosed food addiction. After graduation, Julia plans to attend medical school and specialize in pediatric neurology.

Jesse Dzombak, B.A.

jdzombak@umich.edu

Winter 2017 – Summer 2017

Jesse earned his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2017. He is interested in exploring the role of impulsive and compulsive behavior in eating disorders and volunteered his time conducting research with the Michigan Comprehensive Eating Disorders Program when not engaged with the FAST Lab. He aims to pursue a doctorate in Clinical Psychology focusing on improving the identification and treatment of impulsive behavior in disordered-eating populations.

Ben Hsu

benhsu@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Winter 2019

Ben graduated with a B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and a minor in music. He is interested in how food advertising targets individuals, and how that can, in turn, affect an individual’s overall health. He is currently a graduate student at the U-M School of Information as a Master of Health Informatics candidate.

Afeefah Khan

afeefah@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Winter 2019

Afeefah graduated in 2020 majoring in Public Health Sciences. She is interested in studying social factors, health behaviors, and health disparities related to obesity, especially in marginalized social groups. She plans to go on to graduate school to get her masters in public health.

Riley Olson

rburkeo@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Winter 2019

Riley graduated in 2020 majoring in BCN with a minor in philosophy. During her time at U of M, she worked at the MDen on campus. She is especially interested in the self-perceptions of addictive eating and how it differs with gender and age; particularly concerning social media and different environments.

Grecia Quiroga

greciaq@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Winter 2018

Grecia graduated with a degree in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience with a minor in Gender & Health. She is interested in understanding how different social environments and advertisements influence the development of food addiction as well as the drive of the obesity epidemic. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, Grecia hopes to attend medical school and work to address health disparities among minority populations.

Jessica Zhao

jezhao@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Winter 2019

Jessica is a Senior majoring in Biomolecular Science and Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience. She is interested in the biological mechanisms that are behind food addiction as well as the social factors that cause eating disorders. She hopes to attend medical school after the completion of her undergraduate degree.

Katie Stewart

kestewy@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Winter 2018

Katie is a sophomore planning to major in Psychology with a minor in Entrepreneurship. She is interested in studying the etiology as well as the gender dichotomy in eating disorders and food addictions. In the future, she hopes to attend graduate school.

Lily Carlson

lilycarl@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Winter 2019

Lily is a junior majoring in Public Health Sciences. She is interested in understanding the food environment in the United States and the implications this has on the growing obesity epidemic. She is also interested in understanding how food related disorders contribute to the epidemic. Upon the completion of her undergraduate degree, she hopes pursue a masters in public health and get a degree as a registered dietician.

Hursh Desai

Winter 2017 – Winter 2018

Hursh is a junior majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Biochemistry. He is interested in researching the neurological pathways and behavioral factors that contribute to food addiction patterns in adolescents. Upon completion of his undergraduate studies, Hursh hopes to attend medical school and specialize in neurosurgery.

Hannah Ellis

hcellis@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Winter 2018

Hannah graduated from the LSA Honors Program with a major in Psychology and English and minoring in Spanish. She is interested in knowing the societal and biological factors that contribute to food addiction. She completed an honors thesis with the English department and will be attending the University of Michigan Law School in the fall.

Jocelyn Schwartz

jocelbai@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Winter 2018

Jocelyn graduated with a major in Psychology and minors in Gender & Health and Food Systems. She is interested in the underlying mechanisms of eating disorders and the correlation between the environment and one’s behavior. She completed an Honors Thesis investigating the influence of positive affect on one’s food consumption. To study affect, Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) was used with participants. Since graduation, she has become a research coordinator at the Center for Healthy Eating and Activity Research (CHEAR) in San Diego. In the upcoming years, Jocelyn plans to pursue graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

Ruby Siada

rubsiada@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Winter 2018

Ruby Siada graduated with Highest Distinction from the LSA Honors Program with a major in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and a minor in Gender and Health. She completed an honors thesis and is applying to medical school. She is currently working in a pediatric neuro-oncology research lab at the University of Michigan Medical School. The FAST Lab fostered a passion for research that she did not know that she had, and she plans on continuing to conduct research in medical school and beyond.

Neel Swamy, B.S.

nswamy@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Winter 2018

Neel graduated as a Neuroscience major and attends pharmacy school at the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. He is interested in pursuing a career in psychiatric pharmacy, and says “I am indebted to the FAST Lab for providing me with clinical research skills that I hope to apply in the future.”

Blaire Crockett, M.A.

bcrocks@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Spring 2017

Blaire graduated spring of 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan. She pursued a M.S. in Psychology with a special focus in Clinical Science at the University of Michigan. She is interested in the intersectionality of diet, sleep hygiene, physical fitness and overall health, particularly with adolescents. In the future she hopes to earn her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a focus in Health Psychology.

Alexandra Draybuck

draybuck@umich.edu

Winter 2015 – Winter 2017

Alex graduated with a major in Neuroscience.  She is interested in studying how societal cues and views on food contribute to food related disorders.  Upon completion of her undergraduate studies she hopes to attend medical school, striving to be a practicing physician.

Rachel Korn

kornrach@umich.edu

Fall 2015 – Winter 2017

Rachel graduated with a major in Psychology and minor in Applied Statistics. She is interested in the decision making process in choosing food to eat among individuals who have eating disorders. She wrote an Honors Thesis on impulsivity and food consumption. In the future, she hopes to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

Jillian Bean, M.S.

jilbean@umich.edu

Winter 2015 – Winter 2016

Jillian graduated spring of 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and was previously a research assistant in the Michigan Psychoneuroendocrinology Affective Laboratory from May 2012 until May 2015. She wrote her Honors Senior Thesis with MPal, which investigated freshmen women and specific self-esteem traits that may place a person at high risk for disordered eating. In Fall 2015, Jillian began her studies for an M.S. in Psychology with a special focus in Clinical Science at the University of Michigan, under the guidance of Professor Ashley Gearhardt. Jillian is interested in food policy aimed at creating a healthier food environment for children and adults.

Caroline Bartholomew

cbarthol@umich.edu

Spring 2015 – Winter 2017

Caroline graduated with a major in Psychology and minor in Community Action and Social Change. She is interested in the effects of stress, social expectations, and restrictive environments on food addiction. She completed an Honors Thesis. In the future, she hopes to pursue either Clinical Psychology or Developmental Psychology in graduate school.

Alyssa Marquette

marqalys@umich.edu

Spring 2015 – Winter 2017

Alyssa graduated with a double major in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and Spanish. She is interested in studying the neural basis of preference for different ethnic foods throughout varying cultures. She hopes to one day get her Ph.D. in clinical psychology and work as a clinical health psychologist.

Alison Grenon

aegre@umich.edu

Spring 2015 – Winter 2017

Alison graduated with majors in Psychology and Spanish and a minor in Writing. She is interested in the possible relationship between food addiction and eating disorders, as well as researching effective methods of prevention and treatment for eating disorders. In the future, she hopes to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

Past Group Lab Photos

Winter 2019

Fall 2016

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Spring 2016

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Winter 2016

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Fall 2015

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Spring 2015

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Winter 2015

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Fall 2014

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Summer 2014

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2013-2014

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