Principal Investigator

Dr. Ross Profile PictureKathryn M. Ross, Ph.D. M.P.H. | CV

Dr. Ross is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical & Health Psychology and in the Social and Behavioral Sciences program in the College of Public Health and Health Professions. Her research focuses on the prevention and treatment of adult obesity, with particular emphasis on improving the long-term maintenance of weight loss and developing effective behavioral weight management interventions that can be disseminated on a public-health level. Increasingly, she has begun to investigate the integration of newer technology into weight management interventions as a way of lowering cost of treatment delivery and increasing intervention reach. Dr. Ross currently teaches within the Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration in the MPH and PhD in Public Health programs. She advises masters and doctoral students both in the Department of Clinical Psychology and in Public Health.

Research Coordinator

Meena Shankar Presenting at SBM

Meena Shankar, M.S., R.D., C.C.R.C.

Meena Shankar is the Research Coordinator for the Health Promotion Lab in the Department of Clinical and Health psychology. She earned her B.S. and M.S. in Nutrition from the University of Florida and is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Clinical Research Coordinator. Before working in the research setting, Meena was a clinical dietitian assessing nutritional requirements of patients with gastrointestinal diseases, heart disease, and diabetes. She recently finished work on a behavioral weight management study that took place in 14 rural North Florida counties. Outside of work, she enjoys reading and traveling.

Postdoctoral Associates

Chelsea Larsen PHD

Chelsea Carpenter, Ph.D., M.P.H. | CV

Dr. Chelsea Larsen is a first year Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Clinical & Health Psychology in the College of Public Health and Health Professions. She received her Bachelors of Education from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and both her MPH and PhD from the University of South Carolina. Her research centers on the utilization of technology for the dissemination of evidence-based behavior change interventions and how different technologies, specifically wearable devices, smartphones, and online networking platforms, can be used to prevent and treat chronic disease. In particular, she is interested in technology-based interventions focused on physical activity promotion and sedentary behavior reduction. Outside of work, Chelsea enjoys eating good food, cuddling with her cats and traveling to as many places as possible. 

Graduate Students

Abe Eastman at SBM 2018Abe Eastman, M.A. M.S. | CV

Abe Eastman is a fourth year graduate student in the Department of Clinical Health Psychology. He earned his B.A. from Knox College and his M.A, from Boston University. After graduating from BU he continued to work there on a number of projects in the Translational Research Program at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders. Abe then had the opportunity to work at Community Substance Abuse Center Boston. Throughout his academic career Abe has been interested in health promotion and behavior change with a special interest in obesity and physical activity. Abe’s primary research interest is in understanding the psycho-social factors influencing weight regain and designing interventions to mitigate weight regain. In recent years Abe’s interest has turned to examining acceptance based weight loss interventions. In addition, Abe is interested in societal and policy level interventions that can lead to increased utilization of health behaviors (e.g. exercise and proper nutrition) and reduce rates of obesity. When not working on research projects or school, Abe enjoys competing in strongman, spending time with friends, and listening to podcasts.

Andrea Brockmann

Andrea N. Brockmann, M.A. | CV

Andrea Brockmann is a second-year graduate student in the Department of Clinical Health Psychology. She earned her B.S. in psychology from Missouri University of Science and Technology, and her M.A. from Northern Arizona University. During her time at NAU she completed a thesis focused on outcomes in a women’s weight loss program, and was a member of a neuroscience lab examining the interaction between depression and sleep apnea. After graduating from NAU Andrea engaged in clinical work in a rural community health center focused on psychiatric rehabilitation and integrative care. Throughout her academic and clinical journeys she has always been interested in the intersection between physical health and emotional health, specifically in obesity treatment. Andrea’s primary research interests are in developing obesity interventions informed by theory from a multi-disciplinary perspective, with particular interest in physical activity and weight loss maintenance. During her free time she enjoys exercising (from taekwondo to trapeze), cooking/baking, and traveling

Umelo Ugwoaba, M.S. | CV

Umelo Ugwoaba is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Clinical Health Psychology. He is from Seattle and received his Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Washington. As an undergraduate he worked at the Early Childhood Cognition Lab (ECCL), assisting with projects which explored the development of fairness concerns in infancy. At the same time, Umelo worked with the Sports Medicine Department at UW as an athletic training intern, providing injury treatment and rehabilitation services for student-athletes. After graduating, Umelo continued to work at the ECCL while applying for Peace Corps. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Indonesia, he served as an English instructor with secondary projects in leadership and youth development. Umelo’s interests are in health promotion and the development of effective behavioral interventions which lead to improved health outcomes at both the individual and community level. Outside of the classroom and the lab, he enjoys reading, listening to music, and playing sports.

Charlayne Scarlett, PHHP Graduate Student - CHPCharlayne A. Scarlett, M.P.H.| CV

Charlayne Scarlett is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology. She is originally from Toronto, Ontario and received her Honors Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario. More recently Charlayne attended Georgia State University (GSU) School of Public Health in Atlanta where she earned her Master of Public Health. While at GSU Charlayne was a member of the GSU Mindful Living Lab where she assisted with research investigating interventions that used mindfulness to help reduce health risky behaviors and promote healthy lifestyle within underserved communities. Charlayne completed a Master’s thesis examining the insights, experiences and feedback of a diverse group of individuals who took part in an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Addiction Treatment for smoking cessation. Recognizing the ways in which many of the health promotion strategies targeting smoking cessation are also applicable to other health behaviors, Charlayne plans to leverage her previous research experience to investigate mental health interventions designed to prevent and reduce obesity in vulnerable populations. Charlayne believes that physical and mental health are inextricably linked and is interested in the association between obesity and depression. She hopes to investigate treatments for both disorders that incorporate physical activity as a central component. She is also interested in the ways in which discrimination and chronic stress might influence the obesity-depression relationship. During her leisure time, Charlayne enjoys spending quality time in the sun playing and being active with her partner and three children (ages 2, 4 and 6), listening to music/dancing and discovering new dining experiences.

Kelsey M. Arroyo, M.S.| CV

Kelsey Arroyo is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Clinical Health Psychology. She received her B.S. in Psychology from William Smith College in Geneva, NY where she worked on projects examining the relationship between mindfulness, cognitive fusion, and health behaviors as a research assistant. Kelsey also received an M.S. in Health Promotion from the University of Connecticut where she assisted with projects that leveraged mHealth tools and social media to deliver behavioral weight loss interventions. Throughout her academic journey, Kelsey has developed an immense interest in how novel health communication strategies influence health-related knowledge, attitudes, and behavior regarding eating and physical activity. She is also interested in the development of effective behavioral weight loss interventions using such strategies. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys exploring new walking trails and parks, spending time with friends, and ordering takeout from new restaurants.   

Research Assistants

alexandra photo Alexandra McMahon, B.S.

Alexandra McMahon is a first-year graduate student in the College of Public Health and Health Professions. She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology. Her undergraduate studies in Microbiology and Cell Sciences at the University of Florida combined with her graduate studies in Epidemiology, prompted her interest in studying human health and methods of health promotion. Alexandra was previously involved with a research lab in genomics and the Hereditary Cancer Center at Shands. Additionally, Alexandra took part in efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at UF through work with the Screen, Test and Protect Program, a CDC Mask Study and various vaccination clinics in Gainesville. Her academic and practical experiences helped solidify her vision to focus her research efforts on methods to improve patient health through the integration of science and medicine. During her free time, Alexandra enjoys walking and running, spending time with friends and family, and listening to music. 

Lab Alumni

Graduate students: