Lab Members


0. Frances Chen


Frances Chen received her A.B. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from Stanford University. She was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Freiburg, Germany. She joined the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia in 2013. Her research investigates how people establish, negotiate, and sustain social relationships. Frances’s work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including The Globe and Mail, Forbes, Time, NPR, Slate, and The Washington Post. You can find her CV here.

Postdoctoral Fellows


Christine Anderl received her M.Sc. in Neuro-Cognitive Psychology from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and her doctorate degree in Psychology (Dr. rer. nat.) from Goethe University Frankfurt. She joined the Social Health Lab as a postdoctoral fellow in April 2017 to investigate the short and long term effects of sex hormones in shaping social-affective functioning. Furthermore, Christine is interested in developing and employing smartphone sensing methods to study the relationship between people’s online behaviours (e.g., social media use) and health-relevant outcomes (e.g., well-being, sleep quality) in the context of their natural environments. Christine’s research is supported by a Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation. You can find her CV here.

DR. ALEC BEALLyour_image1

Dr. Alec Beall received his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in 2016. His research is informed by contemporary perspectives in evolutionary psychology and generally focuses on short-term mating, sexual attraction, parenting, and goal-oriented human behavior more broadly. Alec is currently investigating the role of Oxytocin (OT) in physiological and psychological responses to sexual stimuli and short-term mating attitudes. He is also investigating the role of women’s menstrual cycle phase on physiological and psychological responses to human infants. His research is supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and more information about Alec can be found here.


Dr. Gu Li received his M.S. in Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona and his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Cambridge. His research broadly examines the development and mental health of sexual and gender minority young people. In the Social Health Lab, Gu is working on developing a brief psychological intervention that aims to facilitate social integration, reduce internalized homophobia, and promote psychological well-being among first-year college students who identify as “mostly heterosexual.” Gu’s research is funded by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. For his CV, click here.

Graduate Students

3. marlise hofer

Marlise is a social psychology graduate student. Before coming to UBC, she completed her undergraduate degree at Florida State University. Marlise currently studies the formation and maintenance of social relationships, and is particularly interested in verbal and nonverbal communication within these relationships. In the Chen lab, she is examining the hormonal and cognitive processes that underpin such communications. More information about Marlise can be found here.


Yeeun is a health psychology graduate student. Before joining UBC, she received her M.A. in clinical psychology from Korea University. Broadly, her research aim is to gain deeper insights into the ways people pursue positive life outcomes (e.g., health, happiness) through prosociality and social connection. For instance, she is interested in examining the influence of prosocial (vs. non-prosocial) behaviors on well-being and health-related outcomes (e.g., stress reactivity, immune functioning, and sleep quality) and its psychological and physiological mechanisms, by employing a multi-method approach. She is also interested in investigating how mobile device and social media use may shape human daily social behaviors and experiences and, consequently, their health and well-being.


Charlotte is a health psychology graduate student starting her first year at UBC. She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at Concordia University, Montreal. Her research interests include the influence of social relationships on health behaviours and biomarkers, such as heart rate variability (HRV), blood pressure, and immune function.


Bita is a clinical psychology graduate student, starting her M.A. at UBC. She received her Pharm.D degree from Tehran University of Medical Sciences and her B.A in psychology form UBC. She is interested in investigating the social and biological factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of depression. In the Social Health Lab, her research focuses on the role of hormonal contraceptives in the development of depression.




Sarah has a Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She is passionate about human rights, social justice, and inclusion. In addition, she is particularly interested in how both physical and mental health are influenced by social conditions, and is excited to use her experiences to advance Dr. Chen’s research.



Rachel is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology and minoring in Interpersonal Development. She is interested in how both physical and mental health are influenced by social conditions, relationships and norms.

Senior Research Assistants


Kiana has recently graduated and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Her research interest is in Health Psychology and she is excited to learn more about heart rate variability and how loneliness can affect people’s heart. Her plan is to continue her studies and research in the medical field.


Daisy is a fourth-year undergraduate student at UBC studying Psychology and English Literature. She is interested in biopsychology, particularly neuropsychology, and how the brain affects and is affected by our behaviour.


Kien is a fourth year-undergraduate student in the department of Psychology. He is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Counselling. Kien is interested in issues such as LGBT mental health, suicide, and in the techniques of counselling. He is involved in Dr. Gu Li’s researches dealing with LGBT students as well as volunteering programs with Vancouver Coastal Health and Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention center. For the future, Kien hopes to further his study at the graduate level in Counselling and one day to have his own counselling practice.



Jennifer is a third year Behavioural Neuroscience student and a research assistant at the Centre for Collaborative Research on Hoarding. She is interested in understanding clinical interventions in a global context with hopes of pursuing a career in mental health.



Heather is a third-year undergraduate at UBC, majoring in Behavioural Neuroscience. She is interested in the effects of stress and anxiety on the brain, especially the sex differences in these areas. Heather hopes to pursue graduate studies in Neuroscience, specially focusing on sex differences in the brain.



Peter is a third-year undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Honours Cellular, Anatomical, and Physiological Sciences. He is interested in exploring how physiological parameters can help advance health psychology research. He is currently learning about how experiences like loneliness affect heart rate variability.



Miranda is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia. She is interested in many areas of psychology as she constantly learns of exciting research happening in the various fields! Currently, Miranda is focusing her attention on research in health and social psychology. 



Hannah is a fourth-year undergraduate Psychology student at the University of British Columbia. She is primarily interested LGBTQ+ mental and social health, particularly in the relationship between psychological well-being and/or suicidality in gender minority identities. Hannah hopes to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology, and career as a professor and clinical researcher in an effort to destigmatize and expand the conversation on LGBTQ+ health and well-being.



Joseph is a fifth year Psychology and Economics double major. He is
interested in Evolutionary Psychology, especially in anything related
to short-term mating. He is also intrigued by topics where Economics
and Psychology intersect, such that rational (economic) and irrational
(psychological) assumptions are put up against each other. His
favourite shape is the triangle.



Annie recently graduated from UBC with Honours in Psychology. She is interested in Clinical Psychology, particularly in stress reactivity, emotion regulation, and mood. 



Tianqi is a Third-year Arts Student at UBC, majoring in Psychology. She is interested in health psychology, particularly, how physical and psychological health is impacted by social interactions.



Jane is a fifth-year undergraduate student at UBC. She is interested in Clinical Psychology and is especially intrigued by mood disorders. She wishes to make use of what she learned in research in real life, such as ways to effectively promote mental and physiological well-being. Social health psychology is a particularly resourceful field in this sense, and she is currently focusing on research in relation to being prosocial.



Yana recently graduated with B.A Honours in Psychology and currently works at two research labs. Her research interests are within the areas of  personality in relation to relationship satisfaction, sexual health, attachment, and body image. Currently, she assists on the Teen study.



Rachel will be graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology this coming fall. Her research interests mostly focus on the cognitive processes of negative emotions and affect. In the future, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology

Research Assistants

Elaine Hu

Elizabeth Krapitz

Gorkem Atilla

Hallie Liu

Jayani Mehta

Jolin Lin

Laya Alamdaran

Lior Torgeman

Linnan Zhao

Meihua Huang

Sabrina Ge

Sophie Wensel

Tina Li

Xiaohan Lin

Xinyi Wang

Yingchi Guo