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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Graduates

The MSc and PhD in Forensic Psychology combine disciplinary and specialized study in Forensic Psychology, study in research methods and statistics, and applied learning experiences to prepare students to work in a variety of settings.

Graduate students in these programs will have opportunities to conduct cutting-edge research on diverse topics related to the application of psychology to the justice system, such as:

  • Antisocial personality and psychopathy
  • Domestic violence
  • Eyewitness identification
  • Geographic profiling
  • Investigative interviewing
  • Juvenile offenders
  • Lie detection
  • Sex offenders
  • Wrongful conviction

The Master of Science (MSc) in Forensic Psychology combines disciplinary and specialized study in the field, study in research methods and statistics, and applied to learning experiences to prepare students to work in a variety of settings. Specifically, the program will prepare students for careers related to the following:

  • Administration in provincial and federal programs
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Behavioural science and statistical research in government organizations.
  • Design and evaluation of community programs
  • Research and/or teaching in college and university settings
  • Research and practice in behavioural science crime units within law enforcement
  • Research in mental health institutions, hospital settings, justice-related institutes, correctional facilities, the pharmaceutical industry, and the educational entertainment industry
  • Trial consulting

Admission

Prospective students must hold a four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent in Psychology or a related field (e.g. Neuroscience, Computer Science, Biology, Criminology) at a recognized institution. Students with both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees are encouraged to apply.

For more information, please visit Forensic Psychology (master's program)

The PhD in Forensic Psychology combines disciplinary and specialized study in Forensic Psychology,  research methods and statistics, and applied learning experiences to prepare students to work in a variety of settings. Specifically, the program will prepare students for careers related to the following:

  • Administration in provincial and federal programs
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Behavioural science and statistical research in government organizations
  • Design and evaluation of community programs
  • Research and/or teaching in college and university settings
  • Research and practice in behavioural science crime units within law enforcement.
  • Research in mental health institutions, hospital settings, justice-related institutes, correctional facilities, the pharmaceutical industry and the educational entertainment industry
  • Trial consulting

The program will also allow professionals (e.g. law enforcement officials) to advance in their current fields.

Each year, a small number of undergraduate students may be admitted directly into the PhD program without a master’s degree. This direct-entry option is for undergraduate students with exceptional academic performance throughout their bachelor’s degree.

For more information, please visit Forensic Psychology (doctoral program).

Core Psychology faculty

Faculty

Research supervision area

Accepting students

Contact

Kimberley Clow, PhD
  • Wrongful conviction
  • Stereotypes and prejudice
  • Perceptions of gender
kimberley.clow@ontariotechu.ca 
Brian Cutler, PhD
  • False accusations
  • False confessions
  • Mistaken eyewitness identification

brian.cutler@ontariotechu.ca 

Joseph Eastwood, PhD
  • Improving investigative interviewing
  • Generation and assessment of alibis
  • Comprehension of youth waiver forms
joseph.eastwood@ontariotechu.ca 
Karla Emeno, PhD
  • Geographic profiling
  • Crime mapping
  • Police stress and recruitment
karla.emeno@ontariotechu.ca 
Leigh Harkins, PhD
  • Group aggression
  • Perceptions of sexual aggression
  • Sex offender treatment effectiveness
leigh.harkins@ontariotechu.ca 
Lindsay Malloy, PhD
  • Disclosure of children's negative or traumatic experiences
  • Children's memory
  • Juvenile victims
  • Witnesses and suspects
lindsay.malloy@ontariotechu.ca 
Matthew Shane, PhD
  • Emotional/cognitive processes in antisocial personalities
  • Psychopathic behaviour
  • Neural systems underlying fear, guilt, shame, empathy, perspective-taking
  • Error monitoring and experiential learning
  • Neuromodulation
matthew.shane@ontariotechu.ca 
Shannon Vettor, PhD
  • Offender profiling
  • Sexual aggression
  • Sexual victimization
shannon.vettor@ontariotechuoit.ca 

Core cross-appointed faculty

Faculty

Research supervision areas

Accepting students

Contact

Shahid Alvi, PhD
  • Crime and social exclusion
  • Violence against women
  • Youth crime
  • Cyberbullying
  • Theoretical criminology
shahid.alvi@ontariotechu.ca 
Carla Cesaroni, PhD
  • Corrections/penology
  • Youth justice
carla.cesaroni@ontariotechu.ca
Sean Forrester, PhD
  • New drug targets to eradicate tropical diseases
sean.forrester@ontariotechu.ca 

Associate faculty

Faculty

Research supervision areas

Accepting students

Contact

Ron Hinch, PhD
  • Criminological theory
  • Food crime
  • Green criminology
  • Policing violent crime
  • Serial murder
Steven Downing, PhD
  • Ethnography
  • Game studies
  • Mixed qualitative methods
  • Sociological theories of crime
steven.downing@ontariotechu.ca
Karla Dhungana Sainju, PhD
  • Corrections and sentencing
  • Offender monitoring technologies
  • Traditional and cyber bullying
  • Gender and crime
  • Public policy
karla.dhungana-sainju@ontariotechu.ca
Helene LeBlanc, PhD
  • Forensic entomology
Krystal Martin, PhD
  • Risk assessment
  • Treatment of offenders
  • Management of maladaptive patient behaviours
krystal.martin@ontariotechu.ca 
Thomas McMorrow, PhD
  • Socio-legal studies
  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Legal theory
thomas.mcmorrow@ontariotechu.ca 
Timothy McTiernan, PhD
  • Alternative dispute resolution and restorative justice processes
  • Governance in contemporary Canadian Indigenous Treaties
  • Social psychological processes underpinning prejudice and discrimination
  • Bias and evidence as vectors in formulating public policy
timothy.mctiernan@ontariotechu.ca 
Natalie Oman, PhD
  • Aboriginal law and politics
  • Global governance
  • Human rights
  • Law and society
  • Philosophy of law
  • Political philosophy
  • Public international law
natalie.oman@ontariotechu.ca 
Michele Peterson-Badali, PhD
  • Assessment
  • Youth justice
  • Evaluation of programming for Indigenous youth
Andrea Slane, PhD
  • Cyberbullying
  • Cybercrime
  • Internet law
  • Online sexual exploitation of children and youth
andrea.slane@ontariotechu.ca 
Arshia Zaidi, PhD
  • Intimate partner violence in immigrant families
  • Quantitative/qualitative methodologies
  • Race, gender, sexuality, family and culture
  • Socio-cultural issues of immigration
arshia.zaidi@ontariotechu.ca 
Chelsea Blake

Chelsea Blake completed her BA (Hons) in Forensic Psychology with a minor in Criminology and Justice at Ontario Tech University. For her undergraduate honour's thesis under the supervision of Dr. Amy-May Leach, she researched perceptions of accent and fluency in native and non-native English speakers and how that affected deception detection decision-making. She is now pursuing her MSc in Forensic Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Amy-May Leach. Her research interests for her master's thesis include analyzing the relationship between cognitive load and the components of executive functioning to determine how they affect deception detection decision-making.


 
Carina Cardoso

Carina completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminology at Ryerson University. Under the supervision of Dr. Kimberley Clow, Carina is now pursuing her master's degree in Forensic Psychology with a focus on wrongful conviction research. Her research interests include understanding exoneree's post-release experiences, exoneree stigma, and social media activism.


 
Cassandre Dion Larivière

Cassandre received her Bachelor of Arts, Honours in Applied Psychology from Bishop’s University. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in Forensic Psychology at Ontario Tech University. Under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Eastwood, Cassandre’s research examines rapport-building in the context of virtual interviews in the hopes of helping inform the virtual investigative interviewing processes.


Ana Espinosa

Ana Espinosa is an international student from Mexico. She recently completed her BSc in Clinical Psychology and Health at Tecnológico de Monterrey where she minored in Research and Innovation. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Forensic Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Lindsay Malloy. She has gained a keen interest in children who have survived maltreatment and sexual abuse. Based on these interests, she is hoping to complete her master’s thesis by studying the jury’s perceptions of immigrant children’s testimonies. Ana wishes to pursue a PhD once she has completed her masters and she plans on staying in academia and pursuing a career as a professor.


 Alexandra Grave

Alexandra Grave completed her BA (Hons) in Forensic Psychology with a minor in Criminology at Ontario Tech University and is now pursuing her MSc in Forensic Psychology. For her undergraduate thesis, she researched the potential of exposure to exonerees to combat stigma toward wrongfully convicted individuals under the supervision of Dr. Kimberley Clow. Her research interests for her master’s thesis under the supervision of Dr. Karla Emeno broadly include police use of force on public perceptions of police. 


 Ryan Lahay

Ryan Lahay completed an Honours Bachelor of Arts and Science in Criminology and a BA in Psychology at Lakehead University where he studied the use of body-worn cameras with Dr. Alana Saulnier. For his MSc, he will be researching whether cognitive load and physiological arousal differ across language proficiencies and veracity condition, and the effect of an interpreter on those differences with Dr. Amy Leach. Ryan is interested in pursuing his PhD or moving into a career following the completion of his master’s.


Jingyuan (Sophie) Li

Sophie completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at York University. She is pursuing her master's degree in Forensic Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Kimberley Clow. She is interested in the consequences of wrongful convictions, factors that influence people's emotions and attitudes toward exonerees, and the relationship between people's empathy and their perception of those who have been wrongly convicted. 

 


Mari Pullman

Mari completed her undergraduate at King’s University College at Western University in Psychology with a major in Criminology. She hopes to pursue research on geographic profiling and other topics within the umbrella of police and investigative psychology under the supervision of Dr. Karla Emeno. Mari hopes to complete her PhD at Ontario Tech before working as a consultant with Canadian law enforcement. 

 


Katrina Villeneuve

Katrina Villeneuve is a Forensic Psychology MSc student under the supervision of Dr. Amy Leach. She holds a BA in Forensic Psychology and a minor in Criminology and Justice. Katrina’s current research focuses on lie detection in non-native English speakers—more specifically, how rapport may mediate the relationship between language proficiency and detail (i.e. a cue to deception). She has additional experience as a volunteer research assistant at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.

 

Carisa Collins

Carisa Collins is in her fourth year of the PhD program under the supervision of Dr. Leigh Harkins. She holds a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Psychology, from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, and a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Her research experience has been varied, with manuscripts published in two different fields, but her current research interests include sexual offenders and paraphilias. Her dissertation research is largely focused on non-offending pedophiles and the challenges and issues they may face. Her work is adding to a new and growing body of literature supporting the understanding that pedophile and child molester are not synonymous.

Carisa has additional research experience volunteering at the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences where she has partaken in research projects examining protective factors for mentally-ill offenders and the influence of the subjective experience of restrictiveness on treatment outcomes. 


Christina Connors

Christina is a third-year Forensic Psychology PhD student. From Halifax, Nova Scotia, she completed both her Master of Science and Bachelor of Arts at Saint Mary's University. Under the supervision of Dr. Marc Patry, her undergraduate honours thesis focused on Canadians’ legal rights upon arrest. In her master's thesis, she empirically examined jury decision making in a Mr. Big case. Now working under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Eastwood in the ALERT lab, Christina's PhD work is focused on improving Canadian cautions and knowledge of interrogation rights.


Quintan Crough

Quintan is a PhD student working under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Eastwood in the Applied Law Enforcement Research and Training (ALERT) Laboratory. He received his BA (Hons) in Psychology from Carleton University and an MSc in Forensic Psychology at Ontario Tech University. Quintan’s current research interests include suspect interviewing, rapport-building and memory.


Laleh Dadgardoust

Laleh Dadgardoust is a PhD student in the Forensic Psychology program at Ontario Tech University. The main focus of her research is improving understanding of rape proclivity as a potential risk factor for sexual offending. Her other research interests include risk assessment and factors influencing treatment management of different subtypes of sex offenders.

Laleh has contributed to different research projects aiming at understanding and improving treatment provided to sex offenders in Canada and has presented her research at international conferences. She also has more than 10 years of experience providing group facilitation, advocacy, and public education to individuals fleeing abuse.​


William Denomme

William is a PhD student in Dr. Matthew Shane's Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory for Discovery and Innovation (CANdiLAB), studying neurocognitive dysfunctions in substance use disorders, and how they may correlate with other mental disorders, including personality disorders (e.g. psychopathy) and psychotic and mood disorders. You can follow his research via his ResearchGate profile.


Elizabeth Elliot

Elizabeth Elliott is a third-year PhD student supervised by Dr. Amy Leach. She received her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology from Carleton University and a Master of Arts in Criminology from Ontario Tech University. Currently, she is examining elements of lie detection decisions and the components that make up deceptive accounts. In the past, she has also examined the association between language proficiency and lie detection. Her other interests include wrongful confession and psychopathy.


Cristina Ferrara

Cristina is currently in the third year of her PhD. Her research area is broadly police, but more specifically to do with the influence of social media on public perceptions of police. Other research areas include police stress, police body-worn cameras, and social role theory. 

Supervisor: Karla Emeno, PhD.

  


Karli Hamilton

Karli Hamilton completed her BSc in Psychology at Acadia University in 2018 and her MSc in Forensic Psychology at Ontario Tech University in 2021. She is currently in the first year of her PhD in Forensic Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Kimberley Clow. The focus of her research is on perceptions of exonerees. More specifically, Karli’s MSc thesis focused on how emotions expressed by an exoneree, emotions experienced by participants, and empathic concern influenced willingness to help exonerees. 


Taya Henry

Taya is a PhD student in Forensic Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Kimberley Clow. Taya received an Honours Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology, from the University of British Columbia Okanagan, and a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology from Ontario Tech University. Taya’s research interests include race and media effects on wrongful conviction.


 Annmarie Khairalla

Annmarie is a PhD student in the Forensic Psychology program. Under the supervision of Dr. Brian Cutler, Annmarie's research focuses on the effects of body-worn cameras on memory. Her research interests are plea decision-making, eyewitness memory, and body-worn cameras.


Jeffrey Kaplan

Jeff Kaplan is a teaching assistant, research assistant, and PhD student affiliated with the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at Ontario Tech University. He holds a BA (Hons) degree with a double major in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Winnipeg, and a master's degree in Forensic Psychology from Ontario Tech University. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, Canadian Psychological Association, and American Psychology-Law Society.

Under the supervision of Dr. Brian Cutler, Jeff's PhD research is in the area of assessing the psychology behind interrogation techniques and coercion. His research experience includes not only studies conducted in an academic context, but also public
sector evaluations and private sector market research. Past clients include the Health Canada, the Correctional Services of Canada, the Manitoba Provincial Government, AAA/CAA, MTS (now Bell Telecom) and many others. His areas of research have been highly varied, as he often focuses on synthesizing research from disparate areas of the social sciences. This includes research projects involving eyewitness identification accuracy, offender rehabilitation, evolutionary psychology, methods of supported employment for individuals with mental illnesses, and the effects and correlates of workplace bullying and harassment.

Jeff Kaplan provides literature reviews, survey design, and data analysis services for public and private sector organizations on a contract basis.


Lillian Rodriguez-Steen

Lillian completed her BA in Psychology with a focus in Developmental Forensic Psychology at the University of Toledo in May of 2016. She is currently in her second year of our Forensic Psychology doctoral program working under the supervision of Dr. Lindsay Malloy. The focus of her research is on the child witness and the ground rule portion of investigative interviews with child witnesses. Specifically, Lillian is currently investigating how and when children request clarification within interview settings and how these requests can be bolstered when appropriate. She hopes to use her research to inform policy makers and all those who question or work with children (e.g. researchers, teachers, doctors) on best-practice guidelines for interviewing children.


Danielle Rumschik

Danielle is a first year PhD student from the U.S. currently involved in research on eyewitness memory, face identification, and face matching. Specifically, investigating the ability of individuals to make identifications from surveillance, as well as trained professional’s (e.g. border services agents) ability to make face matching decisions and the factors that affect accuracy in those situations.


Kristina Shatokhina

Kristina Shatokhina is pursuing her Ph.D. at Ontario Tech University, investigating multiple-perpetrator sexual offending (MPSOs) under the supervision of Dr. Leigh Harkins. More specifically, she aims to explore the group dynamics that exist among the co-accused and the factors that predict offense-related outcomes. Her M.Sc., also supervised by Dr. Harkins, focused on applying the Integrated Risk Assessment and Treatment System (IRATS) to the prediction of recidivism and treatment attrition among those that commit sexual offenses. Over the last several years, Kristina has worked and volunteered for organizations including the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) – Forensics Division, and the Salvation Army – Correctional and Justice Services. 


Isabelle Simard

Isabelle received her BSc and her MSc in psychology from the University of Montreal. Her Master’s work investigated the neural correlations of reasoning in autism. She is currently in the Forensic Psychology PhD program and working on establishing neural markers of offending to better understand and predict offending behaviour.

 


Mark Snow

Mark is a third year PhD Candidate in Forensic Psychology at Ontario Tech University. He received his BSc (Hons) in Psychology from Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2016, and his MSc in Forensic Psychology from Ontario Tech University in 2018. He is currently working under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Eastwood in the Applied Law Enforcement Research and Training (ALERT) Laboratory. Mark is also a research affiliate of the Development, Context, and Communication Laboratory directed by Dr. Lindsay Malloy. His research interests are broadly concerned with investigative interviewing and his dissertation focuses on the effects of emotional memory in eyewitness contexts.


Lyndsay Woolridge

Lyndsay is a third-year PhD student in the Forensic Psychology program working under the supervision of Dr. Amy Leach. She completed her master’s degree in Linguistics at York University and received her BA (Hons) in Linguistics and Psychology from Queen’s University.​ Her primary research area focuses on deception detection in non-native English speakers and the implications of observer biases when making veracity judgments in legal settings. As a secondary focus, Lyndsay has also conducted several studies related to deception and attributions of arousal. Currently, she is investigating the impact of interpreter use on deception detection during courtroom examinations.

2021

Korri Bickle, PhD, Youth Correctional Officer Orientation and Opinions on Relationships with Youth (Supervisor: Dr. Carla Cesaroni)

Daniella Filoso, MSc, Parents’ perceptions of their children’s lie telling in the context of sibling relationships, (Supervisor: Dr. Lindsay Malloy)

Rebecca Fisico, MSc, Why Would Someone Send Me That?! Exploring the Prevalence, Contexts, Motivations, and Predictors of Sending Unsolicited Sexual Images (Supervisor: Dr. Leigh Harkins)

Siobhan Green, MSc, Perceptions of Crime Changes, Well-Being, and Personal Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic, (Supervisor: Dr. Karla Emeno)

Lindsay Groat, PhD, Influencing Motivation to Empathize in Individuals with Heightened Psychopathic Traits: Neural and Behavioural Assessment of Empathizing with Others (Supervisor: Dr. Matthew Shane)

Karli Hamilton, MSc, Willingness to Help: How the Portrayal and Perception of a Wrongfully Convicted Individual Affects People’s Willingness to Help Exonerees (Supervisor: Dr. Kimberley Clow)

2020

Renee Bencic, MSc, Impact of Terrorism Awareness Training on Civilian Likelihood to Report Pre-Incident Behaviours (Supervisor: Dr. Karla Emeno; Committee member: Dr. Leigh Harkins)

Sara Caro Arroyave, MSc, School Resource Officers: Interrogation training, developmental knowledge, and questioning practices (Supervisor: Dr. Lindsay; Committee member: Dr. Karla Emeno)

Femi Carrington, MSc, Increasing Experience Sharing Through Regulation Instructions (Supervisor; Dr. Matthew Shane)

Quintan Crough, MSc, (Supervisor:  Dr. Joe Eastwood; Committee member: Dr. Karla Emeno)

Kristina Shatokhina, MSc, Body-Worn Camera Footage in the Courtroom: Recidivism and Treatment Attrition among Persons who Sexually Offend (PSOs): Applying the Integrated Risk Assessment and Treatment System (IRATS) (Supervisor: Dr. Leigh Harkins)

Rangina Wardak, MSc, An Examination of the Effects of BWC Expert Testimony on Perceptions of Police Officer Trustworthiness and Verdicts (Supervisor: Dr. Karla Emeno; Committee member: Dr. Brian Cutler)