Faculty Research

Our faculty have a wide range of research interests and enjoy mentoring both doctoral and undergraduate students who are interested in working with their team!

Areas of Research

UMKC Department of Psychology faculty come from clinical and experimental — applied cognitive and brain sciences — traditions, including social psychology, cognitive science and quantitative psychology. Our faculty have active programs of research and invite student participation in their projects. Research areas range from understanding basic cognitive and emotional processes to more applied questions related to the impact of crime and victimization, the adaptation of refugees in Kansas City and the promotion of better food choices by children. 

Meet Our Faculty Research Mentors

Kymberly Bennett

Professor, Director, Undergraduate Psychology Program and Mentoring Office
Email: bennettkk@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Area of Research: The impact of social cognition on health — how causal attributions shape physical and psychological health

Lab: Social Cognition and Social Health

Diane Filion

Professor and Vice Provost
Email: filiond@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1249

Area of Research: Physiological measures of attention and emotion, attentional function and dysfunction, aging and psychopathology

Lab: Cognitive Psychophysiology Research Group

Oh-Ryeong Ha

Assistant Professor
Email: hao@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Area of Research: Infant and child development using behavioral and physiological techniques — eye-tracking, mouse-tracking, economic games — with a particular focus on eating decisions, self-control, resilience to advertising effects in children with and without obesity, identifying risk factors for developing obesity in infant-parent dyads, prosocial decision-making in parent-child dyads, as well as impacts of stress, rejection, inequity contexts on adults’ prosocial and eating decisions.

Lab: Child Lab

Erin Hambrick

Assistant Professor
Email: hambricke@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Area of Research: Children who have been exposed to trauma or adversity. Specific lines of research include identifying risk and protective factors following exposure to trauma or adversity, identifying helpful ways for caregivers to talk to children about disasters, and evaluating the effectiveness of available trauma treatments in community-based settings.

Lab: lab PANDA

Seung-Lark Lim

Associate Professor
Email: limse@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Area of Research: Using computational, behavioral and functional neuroimaging — EEG and fMRI — techniques to understand the neural mechanisms of cognitive-affective interactions and decision-making in the brain and their implications for affective-behavioral dysregulation in normal and clinical populations

Lab: Lim Lab for Affective Neuroscience and Neuroeconomics

Jennifer Lundgren

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Email: lundgrenj@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1107

Area of Research: Eating disorders, body image and obesity, including the impact of circadian rhythm and sleep disturbance on eating behavior and obesity

Lab: Eating, Sleep and Circadian Rhythm Research Lab

Jacob Marszalek

Professor, Director of Applied Cognitive Brain and Brain Sciences Ph.D. Option
Email: marszalekj@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-2638

Area of Research: Translational methodology, motivational theories — flow, anxiety, reactance — measurement, social justice advocacy, evaluation of institutional/educational programs for minority outreach and support

Ricardo Marte

Associate Teaching Professor
Email: marter@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Area of Research: Risk and protective factors surrounding adolescent problem behaviors — delinquency, aggression, and drug use

Currently not accepting student applications


Joan McDowd

Professor and Chair, Psychology, Minor and Graduate Certificate Advisor
Email: mcdowdj@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Area of Research: Cognitive aging, particularly in attention and memory processes. Also applies methods from cognitive psychology to understanding cognition in stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, as well as in severe mental illness.

Lab: SilverRoo Lab

Johanna Nilsson

Email: nilssonj@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-2484

Area of Research: International issues and populations — international students, refugees, and immigrants — supervision, and social justice advocacy

Lab: Global Immigrant Wellbeing and Equity Lab

Melissa Rempfer

Associate Professor, Clinical Training Director
Email: rempferm@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-8850

Area of Research: Serious mental illness, disability and rehabilitation, neurocognition and community outcomes for individuals with psychiatric disabilities, and community-based participatory research

Lab: Serious Mental Illness and Community Functioning Research Lab

Joah Williams

Associate Professor
Email: williamsjoah@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Area of Research: Psychosocial and health consequences of trauma exposure across the lifespan, in particular, the development and evaluation of traumatic stress prevention and early intervention programs

Lab: Stress and Trauma Evaluation and Prevention Science Lab