Lab Director

Dr. Luke Clark is a global expert on the psychology of gambling. He joined UBC’s Department of Psychology as the inaugural Director of the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC in 2014. Before moving to UBC, he held a tenured appointment in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge.

Dr. Clark’s research examines the cognitive and behavioural basis of gambling, and the relevance of these processes to gambling harm and behavioural addiction. His research is distinctive in considering both the personal risk factors for gambling problems, and the psychological effects of modern gambling products. His work combines in lab and online data collection, behavioural analysis, and measurement of psychophysiological responses, including brain imaging.

He has published over 200 papers in leading peer-reviewed journals in addiction science, cognitive neuroscience, and mental health, and he has given keynote talks at conferences in Australia, Germany, UK, USA and Sweden. His contributions have been recognized by the Scientific Achievement Award from the International Center for Responsible Gaming (2015) and a UBC Killam Research Award (2021). He holds federal funding from NSERC. In 2023, he was appointed Co-Editor-in-Chief at the journal International Gambling Studies.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Charlotte Eben

Charlotte is an experimental psychologist interested in emotional and physiological responses to gambling episodes. She has done her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Frederick Verbruggen and Dr. Joel Billieux at Ghent University in Belgium. During her PhD, she investigated cognitive (control) mechanisms and their role in gambling. She specifically investigated changes in response speed (speed of play) after sub-optimal outcomes such as errors or losses in the broader context of impulsivity. She also had a 1-year postdoc with Dr. Frederick Verbruggen in Ghent before joining the CGR.

Graduate Students

Mario Ferrari

Mario is a PhD student in UBC’s Clinical Psychology program. He attained his MA in Clinical Psychology from UBC in 2017.

Mario’s research interests broadly focus on hormones and gambling. The relationship between hormones and behavior is bidirectional. This means that hormones can affect the way we think and behave, but also that our thoughts and behaviour can influence our hormone levels. The aim of Mario’s research is to identify and examine how contextual elements in gambling games can potentially cause hormone levels to change, and how hormone fluctuations affect the way people gamble.

The overall aim of this research is to help understand how hormones may contribute problematic gambling behaviour.

Xiaolei Deng

Xiaolei is a PhD student in UBC Psychology’s clinical program. He graduated from UBC with an MA in psychology in 2017.

Xiaolei’s research centers on the prediction of problematic gamblers using machine learning algorithms with applications of big data. Xiaolei is interested in using behaviour variables to predict gamblers who are at risks of developing gambling addiction. The machine learning model can serve as a useful benchmark for other measures of problematic gambling and help refine the definition of problematic gamblers.

Xiaolei also hopes that this line of research can provide policy makers with applicable information, leading to better community protection and harm reduction.

Fiza Arshad

Lucas Palmer

Lucas is a PhD student in the Cognitive Area of the Psychology department. He completed in his BA (Hons) at Carelton University.

His research is centered around understanding the structural characteristics of modern technologies that promote addictive behaviours. For example, during his master’s degree he studied how features of online slot machine gambling increased people’s spending behaviour. In another line of research he has studied how engaging with specific features of video games (e.g., loot boxes) promotes conventional gambling behaviour.

Raymond Wu

Raymond is a PhD student in Cognitive Science at UBC. He completed his BSc (Hons) at University of Toronto.

Excessive consumption of activities like gambling and video gaming can place a tremendous burden on life and society. To address this, Raymond's research uses a combination of large-scale survey, behavioural, and physiological data to gain insights into decision-making, digital technology use, and addiction in humans

Hin Fu

Hin is a Masters student in UBC Psychology’s cognitive science program. He had previously completed his B.Sc at McGill University.

His current research focuses on using big data techniques to identify risk factors that predict problem gambling. In this field of study, he analyzes large datasets to uncover patterns and correlations that may provide insights into the factors contributing to problem gambling. This research could have implications for understanding and preventing gambling addiction, as well as informing public health policies and interventions related to gambling behavior.

Lab Assistants

Claudia Fu

Lab Manager

Ellen Flynn

Lab Assistant

Kyle Turner

Lab Assistant

Undergraduate Project Students

Buyang Daffa

WLIURA Research Assistant

Paul Weston

Honours Student (2022-2024)

Adam Chun

Research Assistant

Erika Delorme

Research Assistant
PSYC 240 Student (2022-2023)

Amanda Ding

Research Assistant

Matthew Fetterly

Research Assistant

Anushka Gulani

Research Assistant
Honours Student (2023-2024)

Ana Hernandez

Research Assistant
PSYC 240 Student (2023-2024)

Joy Idrissi

Research Assistant

Jay Joo

Research Assistant
WLIURA Research Assistant (2023-2024)

Velika Kristianto

Research Assistant
Honours Student (2022-2023)

Marshall Martin

Research Assistant (Capilano University)

Harresh Thayakaanthan

Research Assistant