Kneeling (left to right): Chelsea Romney, Kate Kuhlman, PhD. Standing (left to right): Evelyn Mercado, PhD, Ben Shulman, MA, Peter Nooteboom, Jonah Price, Josie Menkin, MA, Theodore Robles, PhD (and yes, we’re at Diddy Riese!)

Theodore F. Robles, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology

I received my PhD in Psychology (Clinical-Health) from The Ohio State University. When I’m not directing the lab, I enjoy watching the Green Bay Packers, listening to podcasts, and chasing around my kids. Here’s my CV.

Postdoctoral Trainees

Kate Kuhlman, PhD, NIMH T32 Postdoctoral fellow

Dr. Kuhlman received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from University of Michigan. She studies the impact of childhood experiences, such as childhood abuse and parenting styles, on physical and mental health across the lifespan. To examine these relationships, she focuses on multiple mechanisms including the structure and function of the brain, information processing patterns, neuroendocrine functioning, social and behavioral regulation of stress, affect, and the immune system.

Evelyn Mercado, PhD, NIMH T32 Postdoctoral fellow

Dr. Mercado received her PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from UC-Davis, and is currently an NIMH postdoctoral trainee in Health Psychology at UCLA. Her research focuses on understanding how both stressful and positive family interactions (romantic and parent-child) impact indices of allostatic load (adrenocortical, autonomic, and immune functioning) rendering individuals more or less susceptible to adverse health outcomes. Her current work explores intergenerational transmission of emotional and physiological regulation as a mechanism of susceptibility to internalizing symptoms across development in ethnically diverse samples. She seeks to improve the current understanding of these biobehavioral processes in the Latino community, with the hope of identifying protective and risk factors for mental health.

Graduate Students

Josephine Menkin, MA

Josie is a 6th year Health Psychology graduate student. Josie received her B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University in 2009 and worked as the lab manager for the Life-span Development Laboratory at Stanford University. She is interested in predictors and consequences of new social relationship formation in later life. Her research broadly aims to address how older adults establish new relationships (friends or romantic partners) following life transitions (e.g., retirement, moving to a new residence, or bereavement). Her dissertation project specifically focuses on social engagement in assisted living residences. Relocating to an assisted living facility can be a disruptive experience at a vulnerable time of health decline. Within this context, She is hoping to learn about how older adults adjust socially to the assisted living setting, and how making friends might relate to emotional well-being and physical health (e.g., sleep and pain).

Melissa Fales, MA

Melissa is a 6th year Social Psychology graduate student. Melissa received her B.A. in Psychology from UCLA in 2011. She is interested in the antecedents and health consequences of subjective social status (SSS). Her research broadly aims to address what predicts whether someone will attain high or low SSS, and how this relates to health. Her dissertation examines various antecedents of SSS, how SSS unfolds in a brand new social group and its relation to health. It also examines the molecular underpinnings that might mediate the established relationship between SSS and health.

Ben Shulman, MA

Ben is a 4th year Health Psychology graduate student. He studies conflict, support, and self-control, in close relationships. He received his BA in psychology form the University of British Columbia. His current work examines the role of self-control and heart-rate variability in the interactions of young dating couples, changes in parent’s relationship quality following the birth of a child, and how people’s experiences with their partner are shaped by their beliefs about how relationships unfold.

Jonah Price

Chelsea Romney

Chelsea is a 2nd year Health Psychology graduate student interested in understanding the biobehavioral mechanisms that forge the connection between close social relationships and health. She received her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Statistics from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. There, she completed an honors thesis with Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD which investigated the effect of exogenous oxytocin on parasympathetic control. Her current work focuses on the daily effects of physical and emotional intimacy in married couples on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning. She is also interested in physiological synchrony in romantic couples, including sleep synchrony and cortisol coregulation.

Peter Nooteboom