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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:

  • 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, 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, 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@ontariotechu.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 
Brianna Hughes

Bria recently completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Forensic Psychology here at Ontario Tech University. In her undergraduate thesis, Bria examined the impact of socioeconomic status and adversity on the development of functional brain networks in children. She won an NSERC award to expand this research during her master’s and presented her findings at the Flux 2023 Conference. Bria is currently working towards her master’s in Forensic Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Stojansoki. Her research interests include brain development, intersectionality, adversity and socioeconomic status.


Sarah Kirkpatrick

Sarah is currently in her second year of the Master’s program. She previously completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Forensic Psychology with a minor in Criminology and Justice here at Ontario Tech University. In her undergraduate thesis, Sarah examined public perceptions of wrongfully convicted individuals. She is currently examining public perceptions of consent and sexual assault in heterosexual and homosexual sexual encounters under the supervision of Dr. Karla Emeno and Dr. Shannon Vettor. Her research interests include sexual offending, at-risk youth, and forensic assessment. Sarah hopes to complete her Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology before pursuing a career as a forensic psychologist and expert witness for the Canadian courts.

  


Corina Picco

Corina is a MSc student working under the supervision of Dr. Matthew Shane in the Clinical Affective Neuroscience Laboratory for Discovery and Innovation (CANdi Lab). Corina obtained her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Forensic Psychology at Carleton University. Her current work focuses on substance abuse, psychopathy, and empathy degradation. Corina plans to implement neuroimaging techniques to further examine the intricacies of substance use and psychopathy’s impact on empathy. Her research interests include substance use disorders, psychopathy, antisociality, and neurocognitive dysfunctions.


Sydney Spyksma

Sydney previously completed her Bachaelor of Arts (Honours) here at Ontario Tech University, completing a dual major in Forensic Psychology and Criminology and Justice. During her undergrad, she wrote an undergraduate honours thesis under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Eastwood that examined the efficiacy of a virtually self-administered interview. Her thesis received the Canadian Psychological Association Certificate of Academic Excellence. Sydney is currently a first-year Master's student working under the supervision of Dr. Lindsay Malloy. She plans to study police investigative interviewing practices used for adolescents to aid in the discovery of best practices for this age group.


 

 


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 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology from Carleton University and a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology at Ontario Tech University. Quintan’s current research interests include suspect interviewing, rapport-building and memory.


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.

 

 

 


Cassandre Dion Larivière

Cassandre received her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Applied Psychology from Bishop’s University and a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology from Ontario Tech University. She is currently pursuing her PhD and is working under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Eastwood in the Applied Law Enforcement Research and Training (ALERT) Laboratory. Cassandre’s research examines factors that influence the effectiveness of investigative interviews, such as rapport building and virtual interviews, as well as investigative interviews conducted with older adults.


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: Dr. Karla Emeno.

  


Karli Hamilton

Karli Hamilton completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Acadia University in 2018 and her Master of Science (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. Her research focuses 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 influence willingness to help exonerees. 


Taya Henry

Taya is a third-year PhD student in Forensic Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Kimberley Clow. Taya received an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of British Columbia Okanagan, and a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology from Ontario Tech University. Her master’s research, also supervised by Dr. Clow, focused on the qualitative content of online discussions in response to watching a wrongful conviction media production. Taya’s dissertation research investigates perceptions of jury selection in Canada.

 

 


Funmilola Ogunseye

Funmilola Ogunseye is a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Eastwood. She completed her Master’s in Forensic Psychology at Ontario Tech University and graduated with a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Lagos, Nigeria.

Over the years, she developed an interest in the criminal justice system, specifically in the investigative interviewing field. Her Master’s thesis examined self-reported investigative interviewing practices of police officers in Nigeria. She plans to continue research in that line while also exploring the application of evidence-based investigative interviewing techniques in non-WEIRD countries and psychological detention.


Mari Pullman

Mari is a PhD student working under the supervision of Dr. Karla Emeno. She received a BA (Honours) in Psychology with a Major in Criminology from King's University College at Western University and a MSc in Forensic Psychology at Ontario Tech University. Mari generally studies predictive policing and focuses on integrating some existing methods that aim to predict crime hotspots into a mode that can be utilized in applied spheres (e.g., analysts in law enforcement) in an effort to encourage evidence-based policing.


 Kristina Shatokhina

Kristina Shatokhina is pursuing her PhD at Ontario Tech University; under the supervision of Dr. Leigh Harkins, she investigates multiple-perpetrator sexual offending (MPSOs). More specifically, she aims to explore the group dynamics that exist among the co-accused and the factors that predict offense-related outcomes. Her Master of Science research, 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 who 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. 

  


Katrina-Ray Villeneuve

Katrina is a Forensic Psychology PhD student working under the supervision of Dr. Amy-May Leach. She completed her Master's of Science in Forensic Psychology at Ontario Tech. Her Master's thesis examined the ability to detect deceit at various thin slice lengths. Currently, Katrina is examining the effects of interviewer/interviewee rapport building and interpreter presence on deception detection.


Lyndsay Woolridge

Lyndsay is a Direct Entry PhD student working under the supervision of Dr. Amy Leach. She completed her master’s degree in linguistics at York University and received her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in linguistics 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 conducted studies related to deception and attributions of arousal and the impact of interpreter use on deception detection during courtroom examinations.

2023

Chelsea Blake, MSc, Dual-Task Interference and Its Influence on Deception Detection and Memory (supervisor: Dr. Amy Leach). 

Carisa Collins, PhD, Understanding Minor Attracted Persons (supervisor: Dr. Leigh Harkins). 

Ramanjot Kalher, MSc, Silenced by the Surname?: South Asian Parents’ Perceptions of Child Sexual Abuse Disclosure and Recantation (supervisor: Dr. Lindsay Malloy). 

Jeffrey Kaplan, PhD, Development of the Interview and Interrogation Assessment Instrument (supervisor: Dr. Amy Leach). 

Annmarie Khairalla, PhD, Examining the Role of Race in Plea Decision-Making for Defense Attorneys and Laypeople (supervisor: Dr. Leigh Harkins and Dr. Brian Cutler). 

Funmilola Ogunseye, MSc, Are we where we should be? Assessing investigative interviewing practices and training of officers in the Force Criminal Investigation Department of the Nigeria Police Force (supervisor: Dr. Joseph Eastwood). 

Mari Pullman, MSc, Mapping the Developmental Trajectories of Chronic Offenders in Canada (supervisor: Dr. Karla Emeno). 

2022

Carina Cardoso, MSc#RodneyReed: A content and thematic analysis of a trending innocence campaign (supervisor: Dr. Kimberley Clow).

Christina Connors, PhD, Toward Assessing and Improving the Protective Efficacy of Canadians’ Interrogation Rights: Misinformation and Caution Comprehension (supervisor: Dr. Joseph Eastwood). 

Laleh Dadgardoust, PhD, Improving Understanding of Rape Proclivity (supervisor: Dr. Leigh Harkins).

Alexandra Grave, MSc, Perceptions of Police Use of Force: The Role of Context-Specific Factors, Police Legitimacy, and Belief in a Just World (supervisor: Dr. Karla Emeno). 

Cassandre Dion Larivière, MSc, The Effects of Rapport Building on Information Disclosure in Virtual Interviews (supervisor: Dr. Joseph Eastwood).

Ana Karen Espinosa Becerra, MSc, Mock Jurors’ Perceptions of Children Testifying via a Language Interpreter (supervisor: Dr. Lindsay Malloy). 

Elizabeth Elliott, PhD, What Lies Beneath: An Examination of the Underlying Components of Deception Detection (supervisor: Dr. Amy Leach).

Jingyuan Sophie Li, MSc, Individuals’ Empathic Responses to Exonerees’ Emotional and Physical Suffering (supervisor: Dr. Kimberley Clow). 

Lillian Rodriguez Steen, PhD, Examining Interview Ground Rules in Formal Interviews with Children (supervisor: Dr. Lindsay Malloy). 

Danielle Rumschik, PhD, An Analysis of Face Matching Accuracy and Related Variables: A Meta-Analysis and Two Follow-Up Studies (supervisor: Dr. Amy Leach). 

Isabelle Simard, PhD, Neural Markers of Antisocial Behaviour in Offenders and their Relationship with Risk-Factors of Offending (supervisor: Dr. Matthew Shane).

Mark Snow, PhD, Negative Emotion and Eyewitness Memory (supervisor: Dr. Joseph Eastwood). 

Katrina Villeneuve, MSc, The Impact of Thin(ner) Slicing on Deception Detection (supervisor: Dr. Amy Leach). 

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).

Taya Henry, MSc, A Content and Thematic Analysis of Reddit Discussions about When They See Us (supervisors: Dr. Kimberley Clow, Dr. Lesley Zannella).

Ryan Lahay, MSc, Measuring Cues to Deception: A Multitrait-Multimethod Analysis (supervisor: Dr. Amy Leach).

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).