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By Our Team, June 4, 2018

Our research team is made up of 9 research laboratories from 5 educational institutions in Quebec. Each laboratory includes a professor and several graduate and undergraduate students. Most of our blog posts, and the associated publications, are contributed by students pursuing their research education under the supervision of one of team’s professors.

The team is led by John Lydon (McGill University), an award winning senior scientist who has an international profile based on his outstanding publication record, and is also a gifted teacher and mentor. Lydon has studied issues of identity and social relationships throughout his 30-year career. Early in his career Lydon won the Young Investigator Award in the field of Close Relationships from the Society for Experimental Social Psychology. He has gone on to publish over 80 articles and chapters in prestigious outlets (yielding over 4000 citations; Google Scholar), and his consistently high level of research productivity has earned him grant support to a total of over $7.5 million as principal or co-investigator across his career. His work has been covered by the CBC, NPR, and the New York Times, among other outlets. He also has made significant contributions to the field through his leadership, whether during his term as Action Editor for a leading social psychology journal, Personality and Social Psychology Review, or his current position on the editorial board of the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Recognition for his research and leadership led him to be named a Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science, and elected an executive member of our field’s leading organization, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

Donald Taylor (McGill University), our previous team leader, is an emeritus professor and maintains an active and productive laboratory. Throughout his career he has published 12 influential books, over 180 articles and chapters, and dozens of magazine articles and scientific reports on the topic of collective identity. He has consulted with governments and government agencies on issues of identity and social relations, whether as consultant to the Southern African Migration Project (CIDA) in South Africa and Zimbabwe, or to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, or in his work as consultant to the Kativik School Board (Nunavik, Quebec). Taylor recently received the highest honour McGill bestows on a faculty member, the McGill Medal for exceptional contributions to his discipline, to the university and to society at large.

Roxane de la Sablonnière (Université de Montréal) studies the identity implications for people confronting dramatic social and political change. Young people generally are coping with the impact of globalization, and newcomers to Québec face a number of identity challenges. Because of her statistics expertise and field research with Aboriginal people, de la Sablonnière is a magnet for research oriented students and is the one we all consult to ensure we maintain the gold standard in terms of statistical procedures.

Mark Baldwin’s (McGill University) research focuses on personal identity. His pioneering work on “relational schemas” (Baldwin, 1992, which has been cited over 1700 times) and his edited book Interpersonal Cognition (Baldwin, 2005) together made the case that personal identity is deeply grounded in interpersonal experience. He has extensive experience with knowledge transfer: Baldwin and Dandeneau’s research on self-esteem building videogames has been licensed to the spinoff company Mindhabits Inc., which brought the award-winning game to market as a successful web-based and mobile-phone application.

Stephane Dandeneau (Université du Québec à Montréal) represents the new generation of researchers with his integrative qualitative and quantitative approaches to studying identity. He has developed a unique set of research skills to investigate the socio-cognitive and socio-ecological processes of social resilience. Having trained under our team for his PhD and subsequently within a multi-disciplinary team at the transcultural psychiatry centre, Dandeneau brings his strong technical training in addition to his personal knowledge of the Aboriginal context, being Aboriginal himself.

Jennifer Bartz (McGill University) completed her PhD with our group and then was awarded a Post-doctoral fellowship in social neuroscience, at the Seaver Autism Center at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. After a subsequent four-year Assistant Professor position there in the Department of Psychiatry she returned to Montreal and a position in the Psychology department at McGill University where she recently was granted tenure. Her research expertise is in the areas of affiliation, attachment, empathy, stress and social neuroscience (with a focus on the hormone oxytocin). She is a Fellow of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, and winner of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology – Autism Speaks Young Investigator Award.

Julie Caouette’s (John Abbott College) interest in collective identity first developed when she was a fieldworker in Africa, as a member, organiser and participant of a humanitarian aid project in Sénégal, West Africa in 1995-1996. She then turned her attention to issues of collective identity among marginalised groups in Canada, initially with a focus on Aboriginal peoples and more recently on multicultural youth. She completed her PhD within our team and then after postdoctoral training took a full-time position at John Abbott College. She recently received a significant grant from SSHRC to study pathways to radicalization among multicultural youth in Canada.

Lauren Human (McGill University) was recently awarded a Canada Research Chair in Social Perception and Expression to support her work on interpersonal identity. In 2015, she was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science. Her work examines the causes and consequences of accurate social perception and expression. Her work also typically examines the role of biases, such as positivity and assumed similarity, alongside accuracy. Worth noting, her background also includes extensive training in statistical methods including the modelling of dyadic processes – which will prove invaluable in our team’s research into links between identity and social context.

Maya Yampolsky (Université Laval) completed her PhD at the Université du Québec à Montréal, and after a postdoctoral fellowship at York University studying social identity at the collective and close relationship levels, recently began as Assistant Professor at Université Laval. In her collaborative work with de la Sablonnière, she was instrumental in designing and validating the Multicultural Identity Integration Scale. She is fluent in French and English, with a working knowledge of both Japanese and Yiddish, and she has examined multiculturalism and collective identity with a range of populations including Jewish Israelis, immigrants to Canada, and fans of Japanese animation.