Lab Members


Lab Manager
Katherine Moore
Katherine is currently working toward completing her undergraduate B.A in Psychology and plans to attend graduate school afterwards  She is particularly interested in how educational services offered by the government to first time parents can help improve the well being of caregivers as well as children.
Graduate Students
Kostadin Kushlev
Kostadin is originally from the small town of Madan in Bulgaria. In the pursuit of happiness, he moved to the US at 19 to attend Reed College – a small liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon with a reputation for being not only particularly academically challenging, but a‘hippie’ haven. After college, Kostadin took a year off to explore his interest in mindfulness with Kirk W. Brown at Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2009, Kostadin started working with Dr. Dunn in the Happy Lab.
Ashley Whillans
Ashley completed her undergraduate degree at UBC. She loved working in the happy lab so much as an undergraduate honours student, she decided to stay. She is now working towards her MA/PhD in Social Psychology. Her research is focused on factors that encourage charitable giving among high income individuals. She is also conducting research that looks at the health benefits of helping others, and how perceptions of others’ social networks affect one’s well-being.
Alyssa Croft
Alyssa is a PhD Candidate in social psychology. Her research aims to answer broad questions concerning motivation, cognition and affect, specifically as they relate to stigma, stereotypes and prejudice. For more information about Alyssa and her research please see:
Aaron Weidman

Aaron is a Ph.D. student at UBC. He studies the function and measurement of emotion and related constructs, including happiness and well-being. Some of his work in the Happy Lab concerns the way in which research questions related to happiness can yield different answers depending on what type of happiness is measured. Aaron’s complete profile can be found here:

Senior Research Assistants

Alison Knill

Jason Proulx

Winnie Liang

Lab Alumni
Graduate Students
Lara Aknin
Lara completed her BA (Hons.), MA and PhD at UBC. Her primary research focuses on whether, when and how giving leads to happiness. She also studies the impact of gift giving, social connection, and money. Lara is now an Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University (here’s a link to her profile there).
Gillian Sandstrom
Dr. Gillian Sandstrom completed her Ph.D. in 2013. For her dissertation, she studied how relationships with acquaintances, or weak social ties, are associated with well-being.  Her work finds that people are happier on days when they interact with more weak ties than they usually do, and that minimal social interactions, like the ones with your usual barista, might provide a hidden source of happiness. She currently holds a post-doctoral position at the University of Cambridge, where she is collaborating with computer scientists to examine the behavioural correlates of emotion through use of a mobile phone application.
Jordi Quoidbach
Dr. Quoidbach is interested in understanding how our ability to mentally travel through tie to re-experience the past and pre-experience the future shape our happiness in the present.
Lab Alumni
Research Assistants
Anna Podolsky Brian Lee Georgia Bradley Jaden Lu
Jael Van Bentum Jennifer Wong Navio Kwok Rajeena Kumar
Sophia Ng Stephanie Kwong Victoria Lau Aman Jassal
Ayumi Samarakoon Breanna Morrow Ariel Chih Dawn Lee
Dylan van Eerden Djordje Vujatovic Jeff Hoffman Helen You
Josh Laiken Sahiba Waila Shelby Vredik Vanya Saxena
Andrea Kim Alice Fleerackers Hazel Hughes Heather Herriot
Sandy Huang Anita Zangeneh Saskia Willemsen Shennie Yang
Shirley Bi Paul Grewal Elena Ramos Marli Siebritis
Jenny Lee Saskia Willemsen Shennie Yang Angela Siow
Chris Ickertc Michael Agustino Jenna Kuck-Chang Viorica Hrincu
Alexandra Gradeen Juan Leano Elizabeth Wong Kristy Cook
Lynnaea Northey Brittany Hathaway Katie Coopersmith Jan Grohn
Zainab Naqqash Pooja Patel Wen-qing Cai Frances Zhou
Puneet Sandhu Bob Sim Justine Hsu Caitlin Semmens
Nicholas Chan Clarence Chan Fabienne Lind Beth Li
Tanya Feng

Comments are closed.