Dr. Mark J. Huff
Principal Investigator

Research Team

Graduate Students

Nicholas Maxwell

Nick is a second year Ph.D. student at the University of Southern Mississippi and is working under the guidance of Dr. Mark Huff. Prior to his arrival at Southern Miss, Nick earned his MS in Experimental Psychology at Missouri State University. He also holds a BA degree in psychology from Mississippi State University. Broadly speaking, he is interested in metacognition, associative memory, and data science.

Kendal Smith

Kendal Smith is a fourth year PhD candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi working under the mentorship of Dr. Mark Huff. Kendal has met the requirements for a Master of Arts degree in the Brain and Behavior program with an emphasis in marine mammal cognition and behavior. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Psychology and a minor in Biology. Kendal’s broad research interest include test expectancy effects on memory, animal cognition and behavior, comparative cognition, and disease salience.

Seth Ault

Seth is a first year Ph.D student at the University of Southern Mississippi and is working under the guidance of Dr. Mark Huff. Prior to his arrival at Southern Miss, Seth completed his Bachelor of Science from Dixie State University. Seth's research interests involve educational applications of Cognitive Psychology, with particular interest in the spacing effect.  

Undergraduate Honors Students

Laura Pazos

Laura recently received her B.S. from USM in Biological Sciences in May 2019. Under the guidance of Dr. Huff, she completed her honors thesis research on disease salience. Laura is currently pursuing other avenues of research in the lab, and she plans to attend grad school in Fall 2020 in Experimental Psychology. 

Landry Smith

“Landry is a Psychology major with minors in Chemistry and Biology. He is a SPUR Award recipient and is completing his honors thesis under Dr. Huff. His thesis explores the impact of expectancy effects on memory performance within the Levels-of-Processing framework. Landry is currently involved in Psychology Scholars, Psi Chi, Phi Kappa Phi, EagleTHON, Honors College Leadership Council, and Sigma Nu Fraternity. After graduation, Landry plans to enroll in a medical program to become a physician.”

Jessica Runnels

Jessica is a Psychology major and Biology minor. She is also an Honors student researching for her thesis under the advisement of Dr. Huff. She is a member Psychology Club and Psi Chi and plans to pursue a PhD Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Clinical Neuropsychology. 

Emily Cates

Emily is a junior Psychology major and Biology minor at The University of Southern Mississippi. She is also a Resident Assistant and a founding member of the USM chapter of Campus Ministry International. After completing her BS in Psychology, Emily plans to continue her education and attend graduate school.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Anie Mitchell

Anie is a sophomore majoring in Psychology and minoring in Premed at the University of Southern Mississippi. She is also a Golden Eagle Welcome Week Crew Leader, Lambda Sigma member, RUF member, and TRIAD AmeriCorps member. After she graduates, she plans to attend medical school.

Holly Estopinal

Holly is a senior Psychology major at The University of Southern Mississippi and a SPUR Award recipient. She is a Senior Resident Assistant with the Department of Residence Life and a member of Psychology Scholars. After graduation, Holly plans to enroll in a Clinical Mental Health Counseling Masters Program.

Kyla Cosentino

Kyla is a Psychology major and begins her second year in the lab. She plans on completing her Bachelor's of Science degree and enrolling in a graduate school program.

Katie Hayford

Katie is in her last year as an Undergrad and will be receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in May 2020.  She hopes to continue at Southern Miss in the Counseling Psychology program to receive her Master's, where she will work with struggling children and adolescents.  This is her first year in the research lab. 

Kayla Carr

Kayla is a senior who is from Birmingham, Alabama and is majoring in Psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. Kayla is currently involved in the chapter of Delta Delta Delta fraternity for women and loves to volunteer and do community service work. After graduation in the spring, Kayla plans on going to Grad School to get her masters, then going on to pursue her PsyD.

Jacob Namias

Jacob is a senior Psychology major.  It is his second year at USM transferring from Pearl River Community College.  He was a member of the honors college there and is currently a member of Phi Theta Kappa and Psi Chi.   After graduation, Jacob plans to enroll to a graduate program to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Lab Alum

Undergraduate Researchers


   Anastasia Peach (BS, 2017)

   Alyssa Di Mauro (BS, 2018)

   Ashley Wood (BS, 2019)

Graduate Researchers


   Matthew Gretz (MA, 2019)


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