News

Huge thank you to the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the BC Knowledge Development Fund! Thanks to the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the BC Knowledge Development Fund, Dr. Dawson and her team are getting a renovated lab space where they will have access to one-of-a-kind psychophysiology and observation infrastructure. This new space and equipment will allow Dr. Dawson and her team to conduct cutting-edge science to better understand factors […]

CGSHE presents a World Sexual Health Day Lunch & Learn with Dr. Samantha Dawson, CGSHE and UBC Psychology faculty member and Director of the Sexual Well-being (SWELL) Lab at the University of British Columbia. Aligned with WSHD 2022’s theme, Let’s Talk Pleasure, Dr. Dawson will discuss current research on sexual health and pleasure conducted by the SWELL Lab, including the Instagram mythbusting campaign, MisconSEXions! For a link to the recording of the talk click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Jo60posxkc&t=174s

Huge achievement by MA1 student Erin for winning Best Student Poster (2nd Place) and incoming postdoctoral fellow, Inês Tavares, on receiving a Student Research Development Award! MA1 student superstar Erin Fitzpatrick won Best Student Poster (2nd place) at the 48th Annual Meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research in Reykjavík Iceland. Incoming postdoctoral fellow, Inês Tavares, received a Student Research Development Award to support her research on sexual well-being in the transition to parenthood. Congrats to these two rising stars!

SWell Lab takes on the 48th Annual Meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research in Reykjavík Iceland from July 6-9, 2022. All three graduate students did an incredible job presenting some of their latest research! Our Lab Director, Dr. Dawson, presented a poster with student co-authors, Greta and Simone. Their poster was about a brief online intervention for sexual well-being. Newly minted PhD Student, Sonia, presented her Master’s thesis work on validating MouseView, an online alternative […]

Congratulations to Sonia, SWell Lab’s first graduate student, on successfully defending her MA thesis! On June 28th we got to celebrate BIG when SWell Lab’s first graduate student—Sonia Milani—successfully defended her MA thesis entitled: Validation of MouseView.js as an online alternative to eye-tracking in sex research. Not only did Sonia give a stellar presentation, she also demonstrated her wealth of knowledge in the defense component! Well done Sonia, we […]

Huge congratulations to grad student Erin for winning best poster at the Canadian National Perinatal Research Meeting for Perinatal Mental Health! Erin won BEST POSTER for her research on situating sexual education as a missing link in perinatal health care! We are very proud!

SWell Lab Director, Dr. Samantha Dawson, is hosting a perinatal sexual health working group today as part of the Canadian National Perinatal Research Meeting! She is excited to connect with other perinatal mental health researchers and clinicians to share some of our research and hopefully inspire them to start thinking about sexual health in their work!

Two of our star lab members will be presenting at the Canadian National Perinatal Research Meeting! Graduate student Erin Fitzpatrick, and Co-Op student, Gwen Farm will be presenting posters tomorrow, June 2nd, at the Canadian National Perinatal Research Meeting for the Perinatal Mental Health Poster Session! – Erin will be presenting on situating sexual education as a missing link in perinatal health care. – Gwen will be presenting on how self-compassion […]

It’s networking time! The SWell lab had a fantastic time hearing from folks in the field of sexuality in the Lower Mainland! This Friday on May 27, UBC Sexual Health Research hosted the first ever Sexual Health Networking Event! The event featured presentations from folks from the fields of sex therapy, physiotherapy, medicine, and research and offered opportunities to get to connect and know one another! ✨ Our brilliant lab director, Dr. Samantha Dawson, discussed the amazing […]

Our star students are presenting at SSTAR this year! We have one poster, one oral blitz, and one symposium talk on the roster. ✨ Honours student Greta will be giving a 12-minute symposium talk on her investigation into a brief online psychoeducational intervention to bolster sexual well-being. You may be surprised by the results! ✨ Grad student Marta will be presenting a poster at […]

Honours thesis student—Simone Goldberg—was recently recognized for her extraordinary leadership within the Faculty of Arts community. Read more about this recognition here: https://psych.ubc.ca/news/student-leaders-class-of-2022/. Woohoo Simone!!!

Come see our star students shine this year at the 24th Annual UBC Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference (PURC)! PURC’s mission is to provide a professional environment for undergraduate researchers to showcase their work, gain experience in presenting at conferences, and contribute to the scientific community. On Friday, Simone will be presenting her research on the impacts of a brief psychoeducational video intervention on body image. On Saturday, Lara will present her research on […]

Three of our star students are presenting their work at this year’s Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference (MURC)! Any UBC undergraduate student who is participating in, or has completed, their own UBC Faculty-supervised research project can apply to present at Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference (MURC). Gwen’s presentation is all about how sexual script flexibility promotes sexual well-being in first-time pregnant couples. It takes place on Saturday, March 19th in the 3:45–5 pm slot. Greta’s […]

Our grad student Erin Fitzpatrick presented her poster March 9th at the WHRI’s Seventh Annual Women’s Health Research Symposium Erin presented on her poster “Let’s talk about sex: A comprehensive evaluation of sexual education in perinatal health care”! The theme of this year’s event, From Cell to Society: Women’s Health Research to Address Shared Global Challenges, will centre on catalyzing women’s health research to address shared global health challenges with an emphasis on the […]

Our own Dr. Samantha Dawson is one of the 10+ expert speakers at the Sexual Health Alliance’s Keeping the Spark Alive online summit! In her talk, Dr. Dawson shared her latest research from the last several years focused on understanding factors that influence couples’ sexuality during the transition to parenthood. Attendees learned about what information expectant and new parent couples want to know regarding changes to their sexuality, how sexuality changes during this transition, whether some individuals or […]

Have some research you’d like to share? We can share it for you!   Done any interesting sex research lately? We’d like to showcase the amazing science you are doing! Fill out this form and we will feature it on our Instagram page @swell.lab: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1bA38U794wEDulWoR8C9r6Z1NWfmh5rQHQWejE8BriKk

Check out what SWell Lab accomplished in our inaugural year! To start the new year, we wanted to recap our inaugural year of research at UBC. (click on the infographic below) Even though research has been more challenging this past year, we’ve been surprisingly productive. A big thank you to our participants for aiding in our research and to our dedicated lab members for all their […]

Our first annual SWell holiday party happened on Friday at Koerner’s Pub at UBC! We enjoyed tacos and burgers, drinks, and a Yankee gift swap, where everyone brought a wrapped sex-related book which we got to open or steal. Some of the juicy titles included The Vagina Bible, Come As You Are, and Sex at Dawn. A couple of people from our team were missing, but a great time […]

Student superstars Marta and Greta took first and third place for best oral presentations! We are over the moon that first-year grad student Marta Kolbuszewska won first place for her talk on postpartum sexual desire and undergraduate Greta Jang won 3rd place for her talk on bolstering sexual well-being through psychoeducation at the WHRC Tri-Cluster Research Day!

It’s research time, again! This time we are presenting our work at the WHRC Tri-Cluster Research Day! Three lab members—Erin, Greta, and Marta—are presenting their latest research tomorrow between 9am and noon as part of the WHRC Tri-cluster research day – The Future of Health. All of their abstracts were selected to be in the top 10, which means they are each giving lightning talks between 10am and 11am. Come check them […]

The SWell lab had an amazing time hearing the latest sexuality science at the annual meeting of the Canadian Sex Research Forum! Five lab members—Erin, Kiarah, Lara, Marta, and Sonia—presented their amazing work including new ways to assess attention, factors affecting perinatal sexual well-being, and myths related to sexuality. Natasha was instrumental in coordinating all of the technology. Dr. Dawson taught people how to make Palomas at the mix and mingle and led a roundtable discussion about […]

Our very own grad student Erin Fitzpatrick was elected to be the new Junior Student Rep for CSRF! Erin will serve for two years (one year as Junior Student Rep and one year as Senior Student Rep) on the CSRF executive council and and will be a voice for CSRF student members to ensure that they are being represented. We are very fortunate to have Erin in our corner!

Our amazing grad student Sonia Milani won her third award in a row this year! We are very pleased to announce that our amazing grad student Sonia Milani has just won her third award in a row this year! She won Best Data Blitz at CSRF 2021 for her 5-minute presentation entitled “Establishing the utility of a novel online paradigm to assess attentional processing of sexual stimuli.” It was all about […]

Warm welcome to Simone and welcome back to Lara! The SWell Lab is excited to have a new honours student join the lab this year—Simone Goldberg—and to welcome back Lara Radovic who is back in the lab to do her 4th year honours thesis! Learn more about Simone here and Lara here.

MASSIVE Congratulations to Dr. Samantha Dawson who was recognized as one of 32 exceptional BC-based health researchers as 2021 Scholar award recipients! This award will protect Dr. Dawson’s research time for the next five years. Read about the work this award is supporting here.

The SWell Lab is thrilled to have Yana Svatko join the team! Our lab is growing and thrilled to welcome Yana Svatko to the team. Yana is a UBC graduate who has been researching various aspects of human sexuality since 2017. Welcome Yana! Learn more about our newest team member here!

A warm welcome to two new graduate students in the SWell Lab—Erin and Marta! The SWell Lab is very excited to welcome two new graduate students to the lab all the way from Halifax and Ottawa! Also, HUGE congratulations to both Erin and Marta for being awarded prestigious and highly competitive Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships. Read more about Erin here and Marta […]

Amazing presentations by Anthony, Kiarah, and Sonia at the WHRI Sexual Health Day Research Conference! In honour of World Sexual Health Day, three of our amazing lab members—Anthony, Kiarah, and Sonia— presented some of our latest sexuality science as part of the WHRI Sexual Health Day Research conference. For full details see here. Check out the talks here!

Celebration time for Sonia Milani! Sonia received the 2021 Student Research Development Award from the International Academy of Sex Research! This SRDA ($1000 USD) will be used for a validation study of a new online alternative to eye-tracking called MouseView. Congrats Sonia!

Our VERY FIRST Swell Lab publication is out, led by our VERY FIRST graduate student Sonia Milani!  In this invited review, we summarized the current science examining links between attentional processing of sexual stimuli and sexual function in women. The literature suggests that women with and without sexual dysfunction are similar, in that both groups tend to look more at sexual images compared to non-sexual images. Interestingly, women with and without sexual […]

Congratulations to undergraduate student Anthony Yuen who was recently awarded a competitive Summer Student Research Program Award from UBC Faculty of Medicine. Anthony will be working with Dr. David Moore on the following project: “Attitudes of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBM) towards methamphetamine use and relation to reducing methamphetamine use in three Canadian cities”.

BIG BIG BIG CONGRATULATIONS to graduate student, Sonia Milani, who recently received the prestigious MAP Education & Research Foundation’s Sexual Tipping Point Award. This award was presented at the recent Society for Sex Therapy and Research conference in recognition of Sonia’s excellent talk entitled “It’s better to focus on the positive: Links between attention to sexual cues during sex and sexual desire among expectant parents”. The award recognizes cutting-edge research that is most consistent with the Foundation’s Biomedical-Psychosocial […]

New Research: How does common dyadic coping—how couples jointly cope with a shared stressor like a baby—relate to how new parent couples manage worries and concerns about their sexuality postpartum? Dr. Dawson and her colleagues at Dalhousie University recently published a study to answer this question. Tutelman, P. R., Dawson, S. J., Schwenck, G. C., & Rosen, N. O. (in press). A Longitudinal Examination of Common Dyadic Coping and Sexual Distress in New Parent Couples during the Transition to Parenthood. Family Process.   New parents often experience significant changes to their sexual relationships following the birth of a baby, such as having […]

A warm welcome to our awesome new lab members who have recently joined us as work learn students or volunteers. Welcome Tianqi, Lior, Ellen, Stephanie, and Natasha! Learn more about our new members here. We are so excited to have you join our team!

Congratulations to our honours student Lara Radovic on her recent A+ honours thesis! Lara has secured two fantastic research positions for the summer. The first is a summer studentship at the BC Children’s Hospital Provincial Eating Disorders program. The second is as a research assistant in the Perinatal Anxiety Research Lab! Go Lara!

Huge congratulations to Dr. Samantha Dawson who received a NSERC Discovery Grant with an Early Career Supplement and Discovery Launch Supplement! This funding will be used for cutting edge sexuality science examining attentional mechanisms underlying gendered sexual response over the next 5 years.

Lab manager, Leor Elizur, spoke on a podcast! SWell Lab Manager, Leor Elizur, was recently featured on a UBC Equity and Diversity Podcast, Love in Public, to talk about her UBC journal club Intersectional Perspectives in Psychology which focuses on intersectional research in the field of psychology and the importance of incorporating social justice into research. To learn more about the journal club, […]

Congratulations to Dr. Dawson! Dr. Dawson was recently awarded a SSHRC Explore Grant to conduct a study examining factors associated with couples’ daily well-being in pregnancy. She was also awarded an Arts Undergraduate Research Award to support the social media knowledge translation initiative—MisconSEXions.

Congrats to Greta Jang who recently received a Quinn Undergraduate Research Assistantship Award!!! This competitive award will support Greta as she works on a number of different projects in the lab. We are thrilled that we get to continue to have Greta as a valued member of the SWell team this summer.

Congratulations to Leor Elizur! The SWell Lab Manager, Leor Elizur, will be starting an MA in Counselling Psychology at UBC in the fall of 2021. Congrats, Leor!

SWell Lab Director—Dr. Dawson—recently chatted with Gloria Macarenko about sex and relationships during COVID on CBC Vancouver Radio. Check it out here: https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-46-on-the-coast/clip/15824347-lovelines-sex-covid-19

Congratulations to Priyam Joshi! We are excited to announce that SWell Lab Research Assistant—Priyam Joshi—has accepted a position in the dual degree (Master of Public Health in Health Promotion and Behaviour and a PhD in Community Psychology) program at Georgia State University to start in the fall of 2021. We will be sad to see her go, but are […]

New Research: Ever wonder if people have certain sexual interests and never act on them or even participate in certain sexual activities even when they aren’t interested in them? Dr. Dawson and her colleagues at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre and Queen’s University recently published a study to answer this question. Seto, M. C., Curry, S., Dawson, S. J., Bradford, J., & Chivers, M. L. (in press). Concordance of Paraphilic Interests and Behaviors. Journal of Sex Research. In this study, we sampled 1036 men and women and asked them about their sexual interest in 13 different paraphilias (e.g., sadism, masochism, pedophilia), as well as whether or […]

New Research: Do postpartum depressive symptoms and postpartum sexual concerns influence one another? Dr. Dawson and her colleagues at Dalhousie University recently published a study to answer this question. Dawson, S. J., Strickland, N, & Rosen, N. O. (in press). Longitudinal Associations between Depressive Symptoms and Postpartum Sexual Concerns Among First-time Parent Couples. Journal of Sex Research. Many new parents experience novel concerns about their sexuality after they have a baby, including worries about the effects of labor and delivery on their sex lives, […]

New Funding Dr. Dawson receives a UBC Hampton Emerging Scholar Grant to fund an exciting new study that will examine how to bolster sexual well-being through a brief psychoeducational intervention.

First Lab Get-Together! The SWell Lab had our first social distanced get-together. Here is our amazing team!

New Research: Sexual well-being often changes over the course of romantic relationships and can differ between romantic partners, but are these changes unique to the transition to parenthood or do all couples experience these declines? Dr. Dawson and her colleagues at Dalhousie University and York University recently published a study to answer these questions. Schwenck, G. C., Dawson, S. J., Muise, A., & Rosen, N. O. (in press). A Comparison of the Sexual Well-Being of New Parents With Community Couples. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. In this paper we compared the sexual well-being—sexual frequency, sexual satisfaction, sexual desire, sexual distress—of first-time mothers and their partners (n = 99) to a […]

New Research: What do changes to couples’ sexual well-being look like during the transition to parenthood? And does this look the same for everyone? Dr. Dawson and her colleagues at Dalhousie University and the University of Toronto recently published a study to answer these questions. Rosen, N. O.,* Dawson, S. J.,* Leonhardt, N. D., Vannier, S. A., & Impett, E. A. (in press). Trajectories of sexual well-being among couples in the transition to parenthood. Journal of Family Psychology. * denotes shared first-authorship. In this paper, we sampled 203 first-time parent couples and sought to establish unique classes of trajectories at the […]

A warm welcome to SWell Lab’s first graduate student, Sonia Milani! The SWell Lab is very excited to welcome our very first graduate student, Sonia Milani, to the lab! Also HUGE congratulations to Sonia for being awarded a prestigious and highly competitive Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, a UBC Graduate Entrance Scholarship, and a tuition award for her MA. Read […]

Dr. Samantha Dawson is ready to tackle important sexual health questions and make an impact After a cross country academic journey, Dr. Samantha Dawson joins UBC Psychology as assistant professor in the clinical area. Dr. Dawson’s research focuses on informing better sexual health education and developing interventions for individuals and couples. As the field of sexuality research is still growing, she is interested in exploring this topic further and making an impact. […]