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Lab Director


VE_2017Victoria M. Esses, Ph.D.

Victoria Esses (PhD, University of Toronto) is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Network for Economic and Social Trends and of the Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations at the University of Western Ontario. She is also Principal Investigator of the Pathways to Prosperity Partnership, a national alliance of university, community and government partners dedicated to fostering welcoming communities and promoting the integration of migrants and minorities across Canada. Dr. Esses has conducted research on immigration and cultural diversity for over 20 years. Her research focuses on immigration policy and practice, including public attitudes toward immigration and cultural diversity; promising practices in settlement and integration; factors promoting the settlement and integration of immigrants; and the measurement of community welcome-ability and immigrant outcomes. Victoria has extensive experience conducting research in this area, including invited work for federal, provincial, and municipal governments and for the settlement sector. She has has also served as an Expert Consultant for the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on several occasions.

Email: vesses@uwo.ca

Postdoctoral Fellows


AlinaAlina Sutter, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Alina received her M.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Zurich, Switzerland in 2012, and her Ph.D. from University of Western Ontario in 2017. Broadly, she is interested in researching the relationships between national identity, perceived threat and prejudice, as well as the underlying processes and consequences of the dehumanization of outgroups.

Email: asutter2@uwo.ca


jknausenbergerJudith Knausenberger, Ph.D.

Judith received her diploma in Psychology from the University of Tuebingen, Germany in 2012 and her Ph.D. from the University of Muenster, Germany in 2017. In her research, she focuses on attitudes toward refugee integration, both from the residents’ and the refugees’ perspective.

Email: judith.knausenberger@uni-muenster.de

Graduate Students


AnjanaAnjana Balakrishnan, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. Candidate

Anjana received her B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Toronto – Scarborough Campus in 2013 and received her M.Sc. in Psychology- Personality and Measurement from Western University in 2015. She is a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Psychology and a member of the Migration and Ethnic Relations Program, and is co-supervised by Dr. Victoria Esses and Dr. Don Saklofske. Anjana’s research interests are in the areas of I) immigration antecedents, outcomes, and perceptions, II) biculturalism and intercultural relations, and III) the personality-culture link. Anjana is a member of the Canadian Psychological Association and the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology.

Email: reachanjana.bala@gmail.com


AnjanaPaolo Palma, BSc, MSc, PhD Candidate

Paolo is a PhD student in Social Psychology and the Collaborative Program in Migration and Ethnic Relations at Western University. Presently, Paolo’s research spans two broad areas: (1) attitudes towards immigrants and immigration, and (2) experiences of discrimination. Paolo’s graduate studies are currently being supported through a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, and have been previously funded through a SSHRC CGS-M.

Email: ppalma@uwo.ca
Website: https://palmapa.com/


DSCN0148Bukunsola Adegbembo, B.A. Honors, M.Sc Candidate

Bukunsola received her BA Honors from the University of Prince Edward Island in 2017. Her thesis focused on the use of the N-word in a Canadian context and was presented at the 2016 Science Atlantic Psychology Conference hosted by the Université de Moncton. She is part of the Migration and Ethnic Relations program at Western and is broadly interested in research that relates to migrant and ethnic populations. Within this broad topic, she is looking to conduct research that studies these groups in relation to oppression, prejudice and discrimination under the supervision of Dr. Victoria Esses.

Email: oadegbem@uwo.ca


MBesselink (2)Maria Besselink, B.Sc., M.Sc Candidate

Maria received her BSc in Psychology from the University of Bridgeport in 2019. She is a MSc student in Social Psychology and the Collaborative Program in Migration and Ethnic Relations. Her research interests broadly include; minorities with a focus on issues of ethnic and cultural identity, discrimination, prejudice, and stereotypes as well as, integration of immigrants and racial biases.

Email: mbesseli@uwo.ca

Pathways to Prosperity Partnership


photo copy (1)Communications Manager: Sonali Advani

Email: communications@p2pcanada.ca





sherry-120Finance and Administration Manager: Sherry M. King

Email: admin@p2pcanada.ca




Independent Project Student


angela (2)Angela (Yikun) Zhao
Angela is a student in the honours psychology program entering her final year of undergraduate study. She began as an RA in the Esses Lab in her second year, and moved on to conduct independent research projects under the joint supervision of Dr. Esses and Paolo Palma. Her research focuses on factors impacting attitudes toward refugee claimants on both the individual and group levels.

Email: yzhao747@uwo.ca

Research Assistants


Rosa Chen

Laura Harper

Min Jy Kim

Aranee Mahendiran

Alexander William McArthur

Nethnie Nandadasa

Natalie Sophie Prenevost