Freya Whittaker


Bio

I am a graduate student in the BEAVERS Lab. I am originally from New Hampshire, and I received my Bachelor of Arts from Dickinson College with honors in Psychology and French & Francophone Studies in 2021.

As an undergraduate I assisted in two psychology labs, one evaluating a program designed to reduce the impacts of caregivers’ Substance Use Disorders on children, and the other studying the physical and mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on young adults. While studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, I conducted research on the relationship between food insecurity and mental health outcomes in the Danish welfare state. I also independently conducted a study on the relationship between stress, social support, and substance use behaviors in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. These early research experiences contributed to my broad interests in studying stress, substance use, and mental and physical health disparities.

After graduating from Dickinson, I worked as a clinical research assistant in Shannon Wiltsey Stirman’s FAST Lab at Stanford University/ the National Center for PTSD studying PTSD treatment implementation and dissemination before joining the BEAVERS Lab.

My research interests lie in investigating how various substances—including food—can manage negative affect and the physiological stress response, and how this may relate to unhealthy patterns of consumption. More broadly, I am passionate about pursuing research questions aimed at understanding and reducing both mental and physical health disparities.

Education

Oregon State University | Corvallis, OR

Ph.D. in Health Psychology | Expected June 2028

Dickinson College | Carlisle, PA

B.A. in Psychology | May 2021
B.A. in French | May 2021

Interests

  • Addiction and stress reactivity research
  • Neuroimaging
  • Food (researching, cooking, and consuming)
  • Hiking, running, and talking about New England

Freya Whittaker


Bio

I am a graduate student in the BEAVERS Lab. I am originally from New Hampshire, and I received my Bachelor of Arts from Dickinson College with honors in Psychology and French & Francophone Studies in 2021.

As an undergraduate I assisted in two psychology labs, one evaluating a program designed to reduce the impacts of caregivers’ Substance Use Disorders on children, and the other studying the physical and mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on young adults. While studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, I conducted research on the relationship between food insecurity and mental health outcomes in the Danish welfare state. I also independently conducted a study on the relationship between stress, social support, and substance use behaviors in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. These early research experiences contributed to my broad interests in studying stress, substance use, and mental and physical health disparities.

After graduating from Dickinson, I worked as a clinical research assistant in Shannon Wiltsey Stirman’s FAST Lab at Stanford University/ the National Center for PTSD studying PTSD treatment implementation and dissemination before joining the BEAVERS Lab.

My research interests lie in investigating how various substances—including food—can manage negative affect and the physiological stress response, and how this may relate to unhealthy patterns of consumption. More broadly, I am passionate about pursuing research questions aimed at understanding and reducing both mental and physical health disparities.

Education

Oregon State University | Corvallis, OR

Ph.D. in Health Psychology | Expected June 2028

Dickinson College | Carlisle, PA

B.A. in Psychology | May 2021
B.A. in French | May 2021

Interests

  • Addiction and stress reactivity research
  • Neuroimaging
  • Food (researching, cooking, and consuming)
  • Hiking, running, and talking about New England