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Current Members

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 Fellow


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


Graduate Students


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/

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





Lab Coordinator


IMG_0405_2Suzanne Chang, BSc
Suzanne completed her BSc in Pharmacology and did an undergraduate research project under the supervision of Dr. Gregory P. Downey at the University of Toronto. She is currently pursuing her second degree (BA) in Psychology at Western University, with particular interests in Social Psychology pertaining to immigrants/refugees’ acculturation. In addition to her full-time studies, Suzanne practises TUSA meditation and Tai-Chi, as well as volunteering her time working as a lab coordinator in ELSIR.

Email: schan626@uwo.ca


Independent Project Students


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

alex (2)Alexander McArthur
Alex is a third year undergraduate student enrolled in the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and Applied Statistics modules. He joined the Esses lab as an RA in February 2019 and is currently conducting an independent study project under the joint supervision of Dr. Esses and Paolo Palma, focusing on the impact of the Vancouver housing crisis on resident’s attitudes toward immigrants.

Email: amcart9@uwo.ca
Research Assistants


Rosa Chen

Laura Harper

Min Jy Kim

Nethnie Nandadasa

Temitayo Olasehinde

Natalie Sophie Prenevost

Clara Schott

Jie Yi Wang