Laboratory Personnel


Julia Buckner, Ph.D.Julia Buckner is a Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at LSU and the Director of LSU's Anxiety and Addictive Behaviors Laboratory & Clinic. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at LSU-Health Sciences Center and a Visiting Professor at the London South Bank University School of Applied Sciences. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist. Dr. Buckner's program of research primarily focuses on: (1) delineation of causal and maintaining factors implicated in substance use disorders and co-occurring anxiety-substance use disorders; and (2) development and evaluation of empirically-informed treatment and prevention protocols for substance use disorders, including treatment for co-occurring anxiety-substance use disorders. Dr. Buckner has had over 150 publications and she has utilized a variety of methodological procedures in her research, including ecological momentary assessment, affect and craving induction paradigms, attentional processing paradigms, technology-based interventions, and randomized clinical trials. She has been involved in several NIH grants as PI, co-PI, consultant, and sponsor and is currently Project Director on a graduate education training grant from the US Department of Health & Human Services' HRSA. She has also received awards from organizations such as the American Psychological Association, College on Problems of Drug Dependence, Anxiety Disorders Association of America, and Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Addictive Behaviors & Anxiety Disorders Special Interest Groups.

Graduate Students

Katherine Walukevich-Dienst, M.A.

Katherine Walukevich-Dienst received a dual Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Public Relations from Syracuse University in 2014. Katherine's primary research interests include identifying malleable psychosocial factors related to substance use, with an emphasis on cognitive, social, and context-specific differences in use, and applying this knowledge to developing personalized, evidence-based treatments. Katherine is in her fourth year in the Clinical Psychology program. She will complete her predoctoral internship at the University of Washington-Psychiatry in Seattle, WA.

Mara Lewis, B.S.Mara Lewis received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Northeastern University in Boston in 2015. Her research interests include identifying causal and maintenance psychosocial factors related to the etiology and maintenance of anxiety and substance use disorders, and the development of treatment and prevention programs for these disorders. Mara is in her fourth year in the Clinical Psychology program.


  Nina Glover received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of
  Houston in 2018. Her research interests include examining the causality of comorbid
  substance use and emotional psychopathology, particularly within racially diverse
  populations, identifying barriers to treatment for the aforementioned populations, and
  improving quality and access to mental health care and resources for underserved
  communities. Nina is in her first year in the Clinical Psychology program.


  Paige Morris received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Temple University
  in 2017. Her research interests include identifying psychosocial factors, such as
  motivational and context-specific differences in substance use that predict problem
  severity and treatment outcomes, especially among e-cigarette and cannabis users.
  Paige is in her first year in the Clinical Psychology program.


Kimberlye Dean, Ph.D.
Clinical Research Fellow
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Predoctoral Internship: VA Boston Healthcare System, Substance Abuse Division, Boston MA
Dissertation: The Impact of Experimentally-Induced Perceived Discrimination on Substance Use and Related Problems

Anthony Ecker, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine
Investigator, Behavioral Health & Implementation Core, Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
Predoctoral Internship: VA Connecticut Healthcare Service, West Haven
Dissertation: The Impact of Experimentally Manipulated Post-Event Processing on the Relationship between Social Anxiety and Cannabis Craving and Use

Sonia Shah Blauvelt, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Private Practice
Predoctoral Internship: Medical College of Georgia/Charlie Norwood Veteran's Affairs Medical Center
Dissertation: Personalized Normative Feedback for College Student Condom Use

Emily Jeffries, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist
Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital
Predoctoral Internship: VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
Dissertation: Hatha Yoga as an Aid to Smoking Cessation for Smokers with Anxiety and/or Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial