Study of Emotions and Eating Disorders (SEED) Lab

Faculty Director

About Us

The SEED lab seeks to improve the lives of those suffering from disordered eating and related psychopathology. Our mission is to:

  1. Conduct innovative research to increase understanding of:
    1. The overlap between eating disorders and comorbid distress, focusing particularly on transdiagnostic, emotion-based mechanisms.
    2. The unique contributors to disordered eating among individuals who are underrepresented in studies but at disproportionate risk for eating disorders.
    3. How social media contributes to disordered eating and related distress.
  2. Prioritize the inclusion of individuals diverse in terms of, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, size, age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and educational attainment in our studies to help address the historical limitations of eating disorders research and improve understanding of disordered eating behavior in diverse groups and at intersectional identities.
  3. Advocate for wider awareness of disordered eating and its associated challenges by disseminating our research findings broadly and by participating in community, national, and international-level initiatives.
  4. Contribute to efforts aimed at reducing barriers to care for those with disordered eating by participating in community, national, and international-level initiatives.


Areas of interest

  • Eating disorders
  • Comorbid behaviors (e.g. overlap between eating disorders, substance use, self-harm, anxiety, depression)
  • Mechanistic relationships between symptoms
  • Shame
  • Impulsigenic traits
  • Emotion regulation



Lab director:

Dr. Heather Davis’s (she/her/hers) research program addresses questions regarding the risks and consequences of disordered eating and related psychopathology. In particular, Dr. Davis is interested in the experience of shame in the context of eating disorders, and the potential for shame to serve as a transdiagnostic mechanism underlying overlap between eating disorders and commonly comorbid problems, such as alcohol use, depression, anxiety, and self-harm. She uses multiple methods to test questions related to this aim, including laboratory, longitudinal, and ecological momentary assessment designs. Dr. Davis's other interests include disordered eating within the context of food insecurity, and the influence of social media in elevating risk for eating disorders.


Graduate students:

Dr. Davis will be recruiting a graduate student for the 2023-2024 academic year. 

Dr. Davis is not currently recruiting undergraduate research assistants for the 2022-2023 academic year.