Department of Psychology

Department of


Department of


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Christopher R. Bowie, PHD
Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry
Queen's University

Research Team

Cognition in Psychological Disorders Lab Photo

Lab Director

Christopher Bowie

Christopher Bowie, PhD, C.Psych.

Dr. Bowie is a clinical psychologist and Professor in the departments of psychology and psychiatry at Queen’s University.  He primarily studies neurocognition and functional disability in severe mental disorders like schizophrenia and mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder. Neurocognition refers to the functions of the brain that allow us to perceive and process information and guide our actions. When we talk about attention, memory and problem solving, we are referring to neurocognitive functions. Functional disability refers to difficulties performing in areas of life such as academics, working, living independently, and socializing with others.

Supervised Graduate Students

Michael Grossman

Michael Grossman: Fifth Year PhD Student

Michael graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a B.A. (Honours, Specialization in Psychology) and the University of Toronto with an M.A. in Developmental Psychology and Education. His Master’s thesis focused on implementing a computer-based intervention to foster perspective-taking in the written compositions of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Through working with ASD youth to improve their communication skills, Michael developed an interest in studying theory of mind in clinical populations. Michael will be exploring the mechanisms underlying social cognitive performance in first episode psychosis for his PhD thesis. The overarching goal of this research is to identify relevant treatment targets for improving social cognition and functioning in the early stages of a psychotic illness.

Mike Best

Mike Best, Fourth Year PhD Student

Mike graduated with a B.Sc. (Hon.) in the department of Psychology at Queen’s University and is interested in understanding and improving social functioning for people with psychosis. Mike’s Master’s research examined neurophysiological biases to hearing the speech of someone with schizophrenia, and uncovered an early processing bias that may be related to the social exclusion that many people with schizophrenia face. In addition to his Master’s research, Mike has been involved in research to improve the understanding and measurement of stigmatizing attitudes towards schizophrenia, and he developed a mental health stigma reduction program for student leaders at Queen’s. Currently, Mike is using electroencephalographic (EEG) techniques for two lines of research: 1) to examine neurophysiological changes that occur after people with mental illness engage in a cognitive training program; and 2) to examine the neurophysiological effects that being socially excluded has on people with psychosis.

Melissa Milanovic

Melissa Milanovic: Third Year PhD Student

Melissa graduated from the University of Guelph with a B.Sc. (Hon.) in Psychology and minor in Neuroscience. During her undergraduate studies she conducted a thesis using an animal model to investigate the role of the nicotinic cholinergic system in learning visuospatial associations. Melissa’s Master’s research examined the role of self-efficacy in the deployment of functional skills in everyday life for individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD). In her PhD thesis, Melissa is investigating factors involved in the motivation to engage in cognitive remediation for MDD.

Tanya Tran

Tanya Tran: First Year PhD Student

Tanya completed her B.Sc. (Hon.) in Psychology at Queen’s University. She is interested in studying cognitive-affective processes and how they might go awry in schizophrenia and depression. For her undergraduate thesis, Tanya developed an observational global rating system to evaluate maternal emotion coaching in mother-daughter interactions and examined its role in adolescent emotion regulation and depressive symptomatology. At present, Tanya is using a computer-based implicit learning task to examine how attentional biases for emotional stimuli and reward sensitivity interact with severity of anhedonia in a depressed population. She is looking forward to developing lines of research throughout her graduate studies that may identify or better characterize dysfunctional cognitive-affective processes as risk factors of depression

Stephanie Woolridge: First Year MSc Student

Stephanie graduated with a B.A. (Hon.) in the department of Psychology at Queen’s University with a minor in sociology. She completed her undergraduate Honours thesis in the CPD lab, focusing on attentional bias in depression. In this study, Stephanie developed a novel training paradigm which utilized eye-tracking technology to reduce the commonly held bias in depression to preferentially focus one’s attention on negative information. As a Master’s student, Stephanie plans to continue to study cognitive biases in depression, with a particular interest in treatment-focused research. In the coming years, she hopes to extend her research to explore neurocognitive and social cognitive enhancement in psychosis.

Melinda Kinney

Melinda Kinney: First Year MSc Student

Melinda completed her B.Sc. (Hon.) at the University of Toronto as a psychology specialist and was drawn to the work of the CPD lab through serving as a clinical interventionist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. There, she facilitated Cognitive Remediation and a novel brain stimulation technique on a study that aims to prevent cognitive decline among individuals with mild cognitive impairment and a history of depression. Previously, Melinda was involved in research at Northwestern University that examined the trajectory of client change in psychotherapy, and post-secondary curriculum design research at the Michener Institute for Education. Melinda hopes to further our understanding of cognitive processes in mood disorders and their impact on other areas of functioning, as well as ways to optimize the use of cognitive remediation with this population.


Clinical Research Associate

Tammy Vanrooy


Tammy Vanrooy

After graduating from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario with a B.A. Criminology (Hons.) with a concentration in Law in 2001, Tammy worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist with Addictions and Mental Health Services - KFL&A in Kingston, Ontario from 2001-2016.  She has a wealth of experience in vocational program development, direct client service delivery, and community outreach.  Tammy was responsible for the assessment of client needs and developing individualized plans to assist with their psychosocial and vocational rehabilitation, and community integration.

As a mental health professional, Tammy has worked with a broad range of community partners, mental health service providers, educational institutions, hospitals, employers, and other supports within the community to improve client care.  She continues to foster greater collaboration amongst mental health professionals and community partners to advance community and national mental health initiatives and to promote research that will lead to innovation and the development of leading-edge best practices aimed at improving mental health care.

Tel: 613-533-6000 x78478 Email:

Undergraduate Research Assistants & Lab Students

Tessa Rootenberg

Tessa Rootenberg is a second year undergraduate student in the Biology-Psychology Specialization program. Some of her interests include the genetic and biological correlates to mental illness, as well as the role that epigenetics plays in psychopathology. Tessa is excited to contribute to the research efforts taking place in the CPD lab, while gaining exposure and insight into psychotic disorders.


Sidney Lichtenstein

Sidney Lichtenstein is in his second year of a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in the Biology and Psychology Specialization. He volunteers as a Research Assistant with the CPD lab and hopes to continue to explore his interests in neuroscience, behavior and cognitive psychology.


Jessie Eriksen is in her final year of her B.A in psychology. She is excited to be carrying out her undergraduate honours thesis in the CPD Lab! Jessie has completed a lab course as well as worked in the lab as a cognitive assessor. Some of her research interests include the neurodevelopmental component of schizophrenia and neurocognitive functioning in psychosis.


Lilian Laferriere is a fourth year BSc student in psychology looking forward to starting her honors thesis in the fall. Lilian is proud to be a 'lifer' at the CPD lab after spending two summers here on SWEP and completing two directed labs during her third year. She is looking forward to continuing her role as an assessor for various studies, and is interested in learning more about treatment methods for improving cognition in psychosis.


Mandy Hagen is in her fourth and final year of a BSc. in Psychology. After a year of volunteer lab work and a summer in the CPD Lab, she is looking forward to completing her undergrad honour's thesis. She has active research interests in the impact of psychological factors, such as dysfunctional attitudes, self-schemas, and resilience, in neurocognitive and everyday functioning. Additionally, she is interested in how these factors might affect the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of unipolar depression. Lastly, she hopes to further understand the risk and prevention of relapse.

Andrew Whiteman is currently in his third year of his B.A in psychology and is excited to continue volunteering as a Research Assistant within the CPD lab. Some of his research interests include studying cognitive impairment in mental disorders, identifying modern risk factors in mental health and further understanding the relationship between mirror neuron activity and socio-emotional functioning in schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Andrew looks forward to learning more about the effectiveness of different treatment methods on cognitive impairment and building upon his experiences within the field.

Ella van Beers

Ella van Beers is in her fourth year of her BSc. majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology. She is excited to  continue her volunteer work as a research assistant and assessor in the CPD lab. Some of her research interests include social and biological factors influencing the onset of psychosis. She is also interested in the impact of pharmacological intervention on cognition in mood disorders.


Gillian MacFarlane

Gillian MacFarlane is in her third year of her B.A in Psychology and Health Studies. She is excited to complete directed lab courses throughout the upcoming school year, as well as continue volunteering as a Research Assistant within the CPD lab! Her research interests include emotion processing and cognition in bipolar disorder. Gillian is looking forward to continuing her research in the lab, and hopes to learn more about the mechanisms of cognitive impairment in mental disorders, as well as treatment methods for improving cognition and daily functioning.

Lauren Harper is in her third year of her B.A. in psychology and volunteers as a Research Assistant in the CPD lab. She is looking forward to returning to the lab to continue researching the effectiveness of cognitive treatments for schizophrenia and further exploring the cognitive implications of psychosis.

Kyra McGovern is in her second year of her BA in Psychology at Queen's University. She is interested in how severe cognitive disorders can effect criminal behaviour. She is excited to learn and contribute to the research in this field with the CPD lab.

Erica Zilli is a second year undergraduate student of a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in a Psychology major, Life Sciences minor, and a certificate in business. Some of her interests include studying relationships between visual processing and cognitive psychology. She is looking forward to contributing to the research being done in the CPD lab as a Research Assistant, and to gaining more insight into neuroscience and cognition. 

Caroline Uchida is in her second year of her B.A. in Psychology and is excited to contribute to the CPD Lab.  She volunteers as a Research Assistant and takes a keen interest in Clinical and Forensic Psychology, as well as the fundamentals in Psychopathology.  Caroline is thrilled to be a part of the CPD Lab team and to learn more about psychological disorders.

Natasha Barich is in her second year of a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Psychology, and is very excited to begin volunteering as a Research Assistant within the CPD lab. Some of her research interests include the genetic and environmental predispositions influencing the onset of psychosis, cognitive implications of psychosis, as well as looking at the treatment methods for improving cognition in psychosis. Natasha looks forward to gaining knowledge, experience, and assisting with research efforts within the CPD lab.

Talia Leibovitz is in her fourth year of a B.Sc. in Psychology. She is very excited to work in the CPD Lab as a volunteer Research Assistant and looks forward to contributing to the research on cognitive treatments for Psychotic disorders. Some of her research interests include developing more effective, efficient and accessible treatments aimed at increasing cognitive and everyday functioning for people with Psychotic Disorders. She is also interested in the neurophysiology of Schizophrenia and Major Depressive Disorder.

Lab Alumni

Graduate Students:

Maya Gupta

Maya Gupta, PhD, 2016

Maya completed her MSc in the CPD lab while studying cognition and functioning in treatment resistant depression. For her PhD, she examined the role of family functioning on recovery in early psychosis. After completing her doctoral residency program at St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton, Maya took a position as psychologist with the PEPP Early Psychosis Intervention program in London, ON.

Katherine Holshausen

Katherine Holshausen, PhD, 2017

Katherine is recent graduate student from the Clinical Psychology program. For her Master’s thesis, Katherine and Dr. Bowie developed and evaluated a treatment for thought disorder entitled Structured Therapy for the Enhancement of Purposeful Speech (STEPS). For her doctoral thesis, Katherine focused on humor appreciation and its relation to depressive symptomatology among individuals with unipolar depression. She completed her post-doctoral residency at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. Katherine is now a clinical psychologist (in supervised practice) at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton working in the Borderline Personality Disorders Clinic where she works as a clinician providing Standard Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, engages in program evaluation, and does research in trauma, emotion dysregulation, and psychosis.

Research Assistants:

Emma Bassett, Shannon Xavier, Stephanie Taillefer, Nathalie Cote, Sarah Bacon, Maeve Wickham, Kaely Boyd, Mike Levi. Bailey Stewart, Morgan Todd, Melissa Rajala, Teal Mackintosh, Lisa Gou, Lauren David, Laura Stefanik, Sam Yoon, Garret Duncan, Theresa Russell, Sarah Crowe, Clare Cullen, Shelley Grady, Hanneke Smallenbroek, Erin Meiklejohn, Sarah Oullette, Kasley Killam, Michelle McCowan, Graham Hutchings, Rebecca Hansford, Cindy Law, Lexy Schimmel, Kirsten Poole, Kaitlin Wood, Emilie Brent, Kate Jackson, Jenny Rigby, Morgan Sherrer, Sandra Krause, Lauren Bawks, Jessica Barr, Jenn Thunem, Dan Gale, Heather Brooks, Sasha Usyatynsky, Vanessa Montemarano, Chelsea Wood-Ross, Rebecca Ferguson, Alex Wolfer, Garret Cree, Alex Martin, Mariana Borsuk-Gudz, Marnie Cornett, Jordana Waserman