Graduate Students


Cansu Yılmaz 



Before joining Dr. Lewis:

Cansu was pursuing her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Bilkent University in Turkey.

Projects under the guidance of Dr. Lewis:

Cansu is engaged in her senior thesis under the supervision of Dr. Lewis. Her work idenifies the relationship between physical attractiveness and personality from an evolutionary perspective.

Cansu assists with experimental design and is afforded the opportunity to independently generate her own set of research ideas. Throughout her endeavors, she has gained an increased breadth of knowledge over the scientific method and Evolutionary Psychology.

Post-Work since Dr. Lewis:

In the future, Cansu hopes to earn a master’s degree in Psychology and investigate personality disorders and relationship difficulties.

Ekin Demirci


Before joining Dr. Lewis:

Ekin was pursuing her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Bilkent University in Turkey. She discovered her interest in Evolutionary Psychology and after taking a Individual Differences and Personality class where Dr. David Lewis was an instructor.

Projects under the guidance of Dr. Lewis:

Ekin is engaged in her senior thesis under the supervision of Zeynep Tuzun. In the mean time she had a chance to work with Dr.David Lewis in several studies.

Post-Work since Dr. Lewis:

In the future, Ekin hopes to earn a master’s degree in Evolutionary Psychology.


Jonathon Flores


Website: JonathonFlores.com

Before joining Dr. Lewis:

Jonathon was the Department Head of Video/Editing at The University of St. Thomas. He was also a television host for a current-events program “The Inside Feed” and provided field work for a number of TV stations. 

Academic honors include the Duke University Talent Award in Mathematics for scoring above the 99 percentile in the nation. 

Projects under the guidance of Dr. Lewis:

Under the mentorship of David, Jonathon was involved in an internship program with the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium. 

Studies of research include: female anti-rape adaptations, neuroticism and its functions within relationships, and lumbar lordosis. Jonathon assisted David with data analysis, project creation and revisions. Tasks included literary reviews and background research to help build a foundation to approach proposed hypothesizes. 

Post-Work since Dr. Lewis:

Jonathon was the Project Coordinator for “The Risky Business Study” which deals with genetics, hormones and their influence in dangerous adolescent behavior. He was also employed by UT as an IT Specialist for IT Services.

Jonathon now holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology, with a minor under Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. Jonathon is actively engaging towards attending Medical School to earn a Medical Degree. He's focused on helping the community and individuals by continuing to follow a path of science where he can utilize the scientific method to hypothesize and test new solutions to questions involving the human body and mental health.



Mentees


Sarah Akunebu


Before joining Dr. Lewis:

Sarah pursued her undergraduate degree in Psychology at UT-Austin and graduated in May 2010.

Projects under the guidance of Dr. Lewis:

Under the mentorship of David, Sarah became an intern with the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium in Spring 2010. For David's dissertation research on sexual jealousy, Sarah trained and mentored current and new research assistants; coordinated participant study sessions; collaborated on research methods, design, and development; conducted literature reviews; edited research manuscripts; and various other tasks.

Post-Work since Dr. Lewis:

Sarah is currently pursuing her master's degree in counseling psychology at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. Though she still incorporates her knowledge of research into her course work and hopes to continue to do so in the future, she plans to become a licensed marriage and family therapist. She plans to work with couples who are thinking about obtaining a divorce or are transitioning through that life stage.


Meagan Bluestein

Before joining Dr. Lewis:

Meagan was an undergraduate researcher at the University of Texas pursuing B.A.s in Psychology and Anthropology. Honors include membership in Psi Chi and the Psychology Departmental Honors Program. 

Projects under the guidance of Dr. Lewis:

Under the mentorship of David, Meagan was involved in an internship program with the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium. David is also Meagan’s advisor for her Honors research project that involves people’s abilities to detect violations in social relations. 

Meagan has assisted David with project creation, manuscript editing, table and figure creation for manuscripts, reviewing literature, data analysis and organization, and various tasks.

Post-Work since Dr. Lewis:

In the future, Meagan hopes to earn a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Psychology and investigate individual differences in resiliency, mate retention tactics, mating strategies, cheater detection mechanisms, and cooperation and competition among social groups.


Kaitlyn Flynn


Before joining Dr. Lewis:

I began pursuing my B.A. in Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin in 2007. In fall 2009, I took Buss' Evolutionary Psychology class, where David was my TA. I thoroughly enjoyed the class and decided to become one of David's Research Assistants in spring 2010. Prior to joining the lab, my only research experience was designing and running two small, simple experiments in a lower-level Psychology course. I was not familiar with the in-depth knowledge required to produce research at the graduate student level.

Projects under the guidance of Dr. Lewis:

While working in David's lab, I was exposed to a wide range of research opportunities. I participated in research design, processed data, and contributed to and edited a paper for publication. David mentored me to increase my knowledge of empirical research and how to design experiments in the field of Evolutionary Psychology. As a college senior, the work was difficult, and often required long hours. Working in David's lab is where I learned the most about how to be analytical and produce effective research. Beyond the lessons in research, David was a great mentor and friend. David cultivated a hard-working but fun atmosphere, and I became close to all my lab mates and formed lasting friendships.

Post-Work since Dr. Lewis:

After working in David's lab, I pursued my Master's of Education in Counselor Education at the University of Texas at Austin. I have no doubt that my experience in David's lab gave me an advantage on my graduate school application, and helped me gain acceptance. In the program, I utilized my research skills through my Research Method and Design class and in writing my Master's Report. My experience working with David put me ahead of my peers, as I had a deeper understanding of searching for and utilizing research papers and conducting my own research. Since graduating with my Master's, I began a full-time job at UT Austin, where I still utilize research-based approaches I learned from David to my daily work.


Mareike Janiak


Before joining Dr. Lewis

Mareike began her undergraduate studies at Austin Community College in 2007 before transferring to the University of Texas in early 2009. Before joining the lab Mareike was chosen to act as a Supplemental Instruction Leader at Austin Community College and worked as a research assistant in the lab of Dr. Gosling at the UT psychology department.

Projects under the guidance of Dr. Lewis:

Through the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Mareike joined the Evolutionary Psychology lab under David Lewis in 2010. She helped develop methods and research design, assisted with editing grant proposals and manuscripts, ordered research supplies, coordinated study sessions and collected samples from study participants.

Mareike also conducted the genetic lab work necessary for David’s dissertation research, including DNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis, and preparing samples for fragment analysis.

With the assistance of the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Travel Grant, Mareike was able to attend the annual conference of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society in Eugene, Oregon.

Post-work since Dr. Lewis:

Mareike is currently pursuing her PhD in Evolutionary Anthropology at Rutgers University under Dr. Robert Scott. Her research interests are focused around the dietary ecologies and dietary adaptations of primates, both human and non-human. Specifically, her work will explore the evolution of digestive enzymes by comparing variation in the genes coding for proteolytic enzymes in two sympatric new world monkey species. One species, Alouatta palliata, feeds on large amounts of foliage, while the other, Ateles geoffroyi, is highly frugivorous. A comparative study of these two species will elucidate how differences in diet act as a selective force on enzymes in the digestive system.

To support her preliminary lab and field work Mareike received the 2013 Zellnick Award from the Center of Human Evolutionary Studies.


Eric Russell 


Before joining Dr. Lewis:

Eric graduated Summa cum Laude with thesis honors from Texas Christian University with a major in Psychology and minor in Nutrition minor. Eric became fascinated with Evolutionary Psychology under Dr. Sarah Hill, and his initial research projects involved exploring different types of friendship, mate choice copying, and cheater detection. 

Projects under the guidance of Dr. Lewis:

Eric was a Visiting Researcher in the Buss Lab at the University of Texas at Austin, where he worked closely with David. Along with collaborating with David on their joint interests in understanding friendship from an evolutionary perspective, Eric assisted David with research projects that required literature review, survey development, data analysis, and the generation of ecologically valid stimuli in Photoshop.

Post-Work since Dr. Lewis:

Eric is now pursuing his Ph.D in Evolutionary Psychology at UT Arlington. His current research includes exploring the relationship between gay and straight individuals; different types of friendship; and physical attractiveness from an evolutionary perspective. 


Publications (Click to Download) 

Russell, E. M., DelPriore, D. J., Butterfield, M. E., & Hill, S. E. (2013). Friends with benefits, but without the sex: Straight women and gay men exchange trustworthy mating advice. Evolutionary Psychology, 11, 132-147.


Barış Sevi


Before joining Dr. Lewis:

Barış was pursuing his degree in Psychology at Bilkent University in Turkey, and was an exchange student in the University of Oklahoma.

Projects under the guidance of Dr. Lewis:

Barış worked on several studies in the lab of Dr. Lewis. He also worked on his independent projects under the supervision of Dr. Lewis. His work was about religion in the academic environment, and group behavior with emphasis on coalitional psychology. Currently Barış is engaged in her senior thesis about the effects of physical features on attractiveness.

Post-Work since Dr. Lewis:

In the future, Barış hopes to earn a PhD degree in Social Psychology.



Kaitlin Throgmorton



Before joining Dr. Lewis:

When Kaitlin joined David’s lab, she was in her senior year at the University of Texas at Austin. She discovered her interest in Evolutionary Psychology after taking a Research and Statistics class where Jamie Cloud acted as the teaching assistant.

Projects under the guidance of Dr. Lewis:

Kaitlin participated as an intern in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium with David acting as her mentor. Kaitlin oversaw the organization of data collection in David’s dissertation study and has assisted with many facets of research, from protocol write up to manuscript review to hypothesis creation. Kaitlin also attended the Human Behavior and Evolution Society conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico as part of her internship.

Post-Work since Dr. Lewis:

Kaitlin graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas, majoring in psychology and minoring in French. She is currently enrolled at the University of Houston, pursuing her Masters of Social Work. She is interested in working with adolescents and young adults with mood disorders. Her research interests include mate violence, psychopathy and the efficacy of treatment without the use of psychopharmaceuticals in young adults.




Darwin