• Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • B.A. Lenoir-Rhyne College

Areas of Expertise

  • Addiction


My primary line of research focuses on the behavioral effects of opioids and cocaine, and identifying the variables contributing to differences in drug sensitivity across individuals. My research has shown that these variables can be biological (characteristics of the user), pharmacological (characteristics of the drug), and/or environmental (characteristics of the setting and situation in which the drug is administered). In my laboratory, students use animal models to examine potential behavioral and pharmacological interventions that may serve to reduce drug self-administration.

In addition to my research and teaching, I am active in several professional organizations. I am past president of the International Study Group Investigating Drugs as Reinforcers (ISGIDAR) and the Division of Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse of the American Psychological Association. I also serve on the board of directors of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, and I am a standing member of the NIH study section, Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology.

My research is funded primarily through the National Institute on Drug Abuse and I have authored and co-authored multiple research publications, including some with Davidson College students. View my list of publications.


  • PSY 101 General Psychology
  • PSY 282 Learning
  • PSY 284 Drugs and Behavior
  • PSY 302 Psychological Research: Behavioral Pharmacology
  • PSY 361 Clinical Psychopharmacology

Professional Affiliations

  • American Psychological Association
  • American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • College on the Problems of Drug Dependence
  • International Study Group Investigating Drugs as Reinforcers
  • Society for Neuroscience