I am an NIMH-funded T32 Postdoctoral Scholar working with Dr. Aric Prather & Dr. Elissa Epel in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. I am also an inaugural Bakar Aging Research Institute Postdoctoral Fellow and Co-Executive Director of the NIA-funded Stress Measurement Network. I earned my Ph.D. in Psychological Sciences from Rice University working with Dr. Chris Fagundes on questions of attachment, grief, and stress reactivity. For my graduate work, I received the 2023 APS Albert Bandura Graduate Research Award. I also benefitted from mentorship through collaborations with Dr. Lisa Christian (The Ohio State University; stress and health in pregnancy and postpartum), Dr. Cobi Heijnen (MD Anderson; neuroimmunology), Dr. Bryan Denny (Rice University; emotion regulation), Dr. Julian Thayer (UC Irvine; heart rate variability), Dr. Danielle King (Rice University; resilience), and Dr. Mikki Hebl (Rice University; experimental social psychology). At Rice, I was honored to receive a university-wide Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award after being nominated by my students.
I am broadly interested in using theoretical perspectives drawn from developmental, health, and social psychology to understand the role of stress sensitization in healthy aging, particularly through times of social loss (e.g., widowhood). My program of research focuses on transdiagnostic psychological factors that relate to dysregulation of the stress-response system, the biological mechanisms underlying those relationships, and how psychological and biological factors operate together to affect health across the lifespan. I am particularly interested in how our close relationships and emotion regulation processes may help or hinder these processes. I invite you to take a look at my published work to get a better idea of my interests. Feel free to get in touch with me to discuss potential collaborations.
I am passionate about communicating my research to the public (e.g., through Skype A Scientist or my YouTube channel). As a graduate student in 2020, I created Ryan's Science, a cross-platform science communication outlet that fosters curiosity and excitement around scientific research. Dr. Nanci Weinberger and I also created Sci-Tea to demonstrate how the value of research can extend far beyond publication.