Summer Mengelkoch


My career in evolutionary psychology began at the University of Minnesota studying under Vlad Griskevicius and Jeffry Simpson. While I had originally planned to study Applied Behavior Analysis,  I found myself drawn to and inspired by evolutionary theory and experimental research. 

After completing my bachelor's degree in Psychology, I came to Texas Christian University to study as a doctoral student under Dr. Sarah E. Hill. I am currently a fifth year PhD student in the psychology department at TCU. In my time here, I have served as the Hill Lab lab manager, worked as a teaching assistant, and mentored a team of brilliant undergraduates. 

My current research interests include:

  • The behavioral consequences of inflammation and immune function

    • (i.e. How does inflammation and immune function affect decision-making? ​Impulsivity? Mating behavior?) 

    • Effects of stress-induced inflammation on decision-making and health-related behaviors 

  • What is inflammation? How should one measure it? How do you interpret the data?​

  • How does one's early life experiences affect one's adult behavior?

  • What are the mechanisms behind ovulatory shift effects?

  • Are attractiveness and immune function related?

  • We have found that those that grow up poor eat in the absence of hunger.

    • What mechanisms are driving this effect?

    • How early do these behavior patterns take root? 

    • Is this pattern cross-cultural, or U.S.-specific?

  • What are the unanticipated behavioral consequences of taking hormonal contraceptives? ​

  • How do different types of hormonal contraceptives impact women?