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Amanda M. Dettmer, PhD

Associate Research Scientist



Amanda M. Dettmer, PhD, is an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Child Study Center, where she leads the Human and Animal Integrated Research (HAIR) Lab. She is a comparative psychologist and behavioral neuroscientist with over 20 years of experience studying nonhuman primate models of child health and development. Dr. Dettmer is also an experienced science communicator, and is assisting with the development of an integrated child health communications strategy between the Child Study Center and the Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Dettmer's research program examines the impact of early life factors and individual differences on health across the lifespan. For this research, she relies primarily on nonhuman primates as translational models for human child development, employing multidisciplinary approaches including ethology, neuroendocrinology, immunology, and epigenetics. For more on this research, refer to Dr. Dettmer's complete Google Scholar profile. Dr. Dettmer also works with human populations. She currently serves as a member of the Hartford City Council Universal Basic Income (UBI) Task Force, which is developing a pilot UBI program set to begin in mid-2022.

Dr. Dettmer was the 2017-18 American Psychological Association (APA) Executive Branch Science Fellow, during which she worked at the National Center for Education Research at the Institute of Education Sciences, the independent research arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Dettmer also served as the Chair of the Governing Council of Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter School in Frederick, MD from 2016-18. In this position, she oversaw the governance of the school and maintained strong relationships with and regular reporting to the local county board of education. Consequently, Dr. Dettmer maintains an active interest in education research, and a second, burgeoning line of research examines how the classroom environment impacts long-term stress and social and academic outcomes in children. She serves as the APA Division 6 representative (Society for Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology) to the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education. Dr. Dettmer is the President-Elect of APA Division 6 for 2021-22.

Before her fellowship, Dr. Dettmer worked as a senior postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at NIH. There she led several research programs aimed at identifying the causes and consequences of long-term stress in nonhuman primate models of child development. Dr. Dettmer previously served on the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Committee on Animals in Research, and is an editor for Speaking of Research. She served as Executive Secretary of the American Society of Primatologists from 2016-18.

Dr. Dettmer earned her BS in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, and her MS (2007) and PhD (2009) in behavioral neuroscience from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Education & Training

  • APA Executive Branch Science Fellow
    Institute of Education Sciences (2018)
  • Senior Postdoctoral Fellow
    National Institutes of Health (2017)
  • Postdoctoral Scholar
    University of Pittsburgh (2012)
  • PhD
    University of Massachusetts Amherst, Neuroscience & Behavior (2009)
  • MS
    University of Massachusetts Amherst, Neuroscience & Behavior (2007)
  • BS
    University of Washington, Zoology (2001)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Yale Child Study Center Junior Faculty Development Research Award ($13,400)Yale Child Study Center2021
Yale Child Study Center Junior Faculty Development Career Training Award ($4,971)Yale Child Study Center2020
Yale Child Study Center Junior Faculty Development Research Award ($14,820)Yale Child Study Center2019, 2021
Executive Branch Science FellowshipAmerican Psychological Association2017
Finalist, NICHD Fellows Mentor of the Year AwardNICHD2016
Early Career Policy AmbassadorSociety for Neuroscience2016
Legacy Award ($10,000 Interdisciplinary Research Grant)American Society of Primatologists2015

Professional Service

Hartford City Council UBI Task Force, Hartford City CouncilHartford City Council UBI Task Force2021 - Present
Yale Child Study CenterEquity & Inclusion Committee2020 - Present
Yale Child Study CenterAssociates Planning Committee2018 - Present
Yale Child Study CenterNetworking & Outreach Committee2018 - Present
Society for NeuroscienceCommittee on Animals in Research2016 - 2019
American Psychological Association Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education (CPSE)APA Division 6 (SBNCP) Representative2016 - Present
Society for Behavioral Neuroscience & Comparative PsychologyPresident-Elect 2021-22, Program Co-Chair for 2018 Annual APA Convention2016 - Present
Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter SchoolChair, Governing Council2016 - 2017
Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter SchoolChair, Education Committee2015
NICHDInstitutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC)2014 - 2016
International Society for Developmental PsychobiologyMedia Committee2014 - 2016
Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF)Judge2012 - Present
Be a 6th Grade Mentor ProgramPittsburgh, PA Public Schools2009 - 2010
Peer ReviewerActa Zoologica Bulgarica, American Journal of Human Biology, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, American Journal of Primatology, Animal Behaviour, Animal Cognition, Annals of Epidemiology, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Behavioral Ecology, BMC Pediatrics, Brain Behavior and Immunity, British Journal of Developmental Psychology, Canadian Journal of Zoology, Child Development, Current Zoology, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychobiology, Experimental Results, Frontiers in Psychology, Frontiers in Psychiatry, Infant Behavior and Development, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (JAALAS), Journal of Comparative Psychology Microbiome, Physiology & Behavior, PLoS One, Psychological Bulletin, Psychoneuroendocrinology2009 - Present
American Society of PrimatologistsExecutive Secretary, 2016-2018; Chair, Education Committee, 2012-2016 Member, Education Committee, 2009-2012 Member, Program Committee, 2007-20102007 - 2018

Departments & Organizations