Jamie Edwards

Chief Tester

Other Titles: Just a guy who makes website stuff
Office: UNC215
Phone: 250.807.8406
Email: jamie.edwards@ubc.ca


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FINDING THE TRUTH in the face of a liar is Dr. Leanne ten Brinke’s specialty.

During her doctoral studies in forensic psychology at UBC Okanagan, Dr. ten Brinke meticulously coded, frame-by-frame, the televised footage of 78 people pleading for the return of a missing loved one. It turns out half of the pleaders were actually responsible for the death of the missing person.

She analyzed speech, body language and emotional facial expressions to determine the behavioural consequences of extremely high-stakes, real-life deception relative to real-life sincere displays.

What Dr. ten Brinke discovered is that genuine emotion is hard to fake, and if you know what to look for, you can find the tell-tale signs.

“Lying is difficult, and controlling all aspects of your behaviour is nearly impossible.”

“Lying is difficult, and controlling all aspects of your behaviour is nearly impossible,” says Dr. ten Brinke, now an assistant professor at UBCO’s Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

“Deceptive pleaders were more likely to express happiness and surprise, where people who are genuinely distressed don’t show these kinds of emotions.”

Since her doctorate, Dr. ten Brinke’s research has studied diverse reactions to liars and truth-tellers that happen even when people aren’t actively trying to detect deception. For example, she finds that people experience more physiological reactions—like sweating or vasoconstriction—when observing lies, while people feel more sympathy for those who express genuine sadness.

From criminal to the everyday

Dr. ten Brinke’s findings have been used to educate legal professionals across Canada and around the world, in the hope of improving lie detection when it matters most. However, lying is not exclusive to criminals. She says spotting the signs of deception could save people from being conned by a shady salesman or being duped by a cheating spouse.

Early in her research career, Dr. ten Brinke studied psychopaths—individuals who are particularly likely to tell lies—and found that these personalities reach far beyond the criminal justice system.

“I was interested in exploring if psychopathic personality traits appear in contexts outside of prison walls, and if there are professions in which psychopaths might thrive.”

To further her research, Dr. ten Brinke spent time at the London Business School, where she examined the effect of inappropriate emotions in corporate apologies on stock market performance. She then joined the Haas School of Business and the Department of Psychology at University of California, Berkeley, where she continued her research on behavioural cues to deception and deception detection.

As an assistant professor at the University of Denver, Dr. ten Brinke researched hedge fund managers with psychopathic tendencies and discovered that they don’t necessarily thrive as investors, ultimately producing lower returns than their less-psychopathic peers.

In 2020, Dr. ten Brinke rejoined UBCO, where she continues her research at the Truth and Trust Lab. There, Dr. ten Brinke and her students use diverse methods—from nonverbal behavioural coding to physiological and neuroendocrine reactions—to understand how trust, affiliation and influence unfold in the real world.

Graduate student Jayme Stewart with Dr. ten Brinke and undergraduate student Chloe Kam.

Graduate student Jayme Stewart with Dr. ten Brinke and undergraduate student Chloe Kam.

Student support

“To anyone considering graduate studies in psychology, I would say consider UBC’s Okanagan campus,” says Dr. ten Brinke, who was the first psychology doctoral student to ever graduate from the campus.

“Undergraduate and graduate students have access to experts in diverse fields, and modern research facilities that allows for close work with peers and professors.”

She is grateful for the advice, mentorship and encouragement from Dr. Paul Davies and other professors in UBCO’s Psychology Department.

“My time at UBCO as a graduate student set me on a path that led to four years at UC Berkeley as postdoctoral fellow, where I broadened my research interests and connected with highly respected researchers in the field. The guidance and support of these mentors has also led me to my current position, where I have the opportunity to lead my own research lab and train future students to conduct psychological science.”

AS A SPOKESPERSON FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS, award-winning writer, activist, novelist and poet Dr. Jeannette Armstrong has always sought to change deeply biased misconceptions related to Aboriginal Peoples.

Dr. Armstrong feels passionately that the best way to accomplish this is through her role as a professor of Indigenous Studies in the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, where she gets to research, develop, educate and inform the minds of the next generation.

“I get excited when students are inspired and new insights occur,” she says.

Whether it’s in the classroom or the community, Dr. Armstrong cherishes the opportunity to enrich students across a wide variety of topics. Her research into Indigenous philosophies and Okanagan Syilx thought and environmental ethics that are coded into Syilx literature has been recognized locally and globally, and she serves as a member of the En’owkin Centre.

In 2021, Dr. Armstrong was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) in the area of community, culture and global studies. The fellowship of the RSC comprises over 2,000 Canadian scholars, artists and scientists who are peer-elected as the best in their field and have made remarkable contributions in the arts, humanities, sciences and public life.

“I’m extremely passionate about Indigenous research that advances knowledge and will better guide environmental practices,” says Dr. Armstrong. “At UBC’s Okanagan campus, I know that my research directly contributes to the Syilx Okanagan community, as well as other Indigenous communities, in terms of tangible applications in the betterment of cultural revitalization toward positive change.”


Known for her literary work, Dr. Armstrong has written about creativity, education, ecology and Indigenous rights. Slash, which Dr. Armstrong published in 1985, is considered by many as the first novel by a First Nations woman.

Commissioned by the curriculum project for use as part of a Grade 11 study in contemporary history, Dr. Armstrong wanted Slash to connect with and relate to her students.

Slash explores the history of the North American Indian protest movement through the critical perspective of the central character, Tommy Kelasket, who is eventually renamed Slash. In the novel, Tommy encounters intolerance and racism in an assimilationist school system but his family encourages him to be proud of his Okanagan heritage.

Slash positions the reader to walk in the moccasins of an Indigenous Okanagan person, encouraging an Indigenous view of that period rather than the one-sided view available in popular media,” says Dr. Armstrong.

In 2016, Dr. Armstrong was named the first First Nations recipient of the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award, British Columbia’s most prestigious literary honour recognizing local authors. The award recognized Dr. Armstrong’s outstanding contributions to B.C. literature.


One important project Dr. Armstrong has spent several years working towards is the creation of UBC Okanagan’s Bachelor of Nsyilxcn Language Fluency (BNLF)—a first for Canadian universities.

Developed in collaboration with the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and the En’owkin Centre, the program is designed to work closely with community members to provide a comprehensive and high-quality education in Nsyilxcn, while also helping speakers gain a deep understanding of the language, culture and customs of the Syilx Okanagan Nation.

“The idea that there’s only knowledge in English or French is absolutely not true,” says Dr. Armstrong. “Language is identity. Indigenous knowledge systems and an Indigenous paradigm—how we view the world and how we interact—is deeply rooted in language.”

She adds that the transfer of Indigenous ideas and consciousness can only happen through the knowledge systems that are resident in the language.

“We hope to help foster a revitalization of the Nsyilxcn language in our communities and to see it spread across all domains of community life,” she says. “This is an important step in acting on Indigenous peoples’ rights to develop and transmit their languages, knowledge and oral traditions.”

As part of the University of British Columbia’s own response to the TRC’s Calls to Action, in 2019 UBC Okanagan signed a declaration in front of Elders, chiefs and community members from throughout the Syilx Okanagan Nation, on whose unceded territory UBC Okanagan is located.

The declaration formally committed the university to delivering on five recommendations developed by UBCO’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee. One of those five commitments was to develop activities to support the revitalization of Indigenous language fluency; other recommendations included developing and delivering an Indigenous culture orientation program for all faculty and staff; creating a senior advisor role on Indigenous affairs; advancing Indigenous teaching and research; and expanding health and wellness services to better support Aboriginal students.

“To study in your language and your knowledge systems, which many English speakers take for granted, is not there for Indigenous peoples,” Dr. Armstrong says. “UBC Okanagan is at the cutting edge in making that breakthrough — it’s a powerful statement of reconciliation.”

She adds that the declaration signing was not only an important step for UBCO, but especially for students. “For all students of this institution, there is great opportunity to make change happen so we can have a better future for all our people.”


In 2013, Dr. Armstrong was honoured for her work and was appointed a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy. Her chair was renewed for another five-year term in 2018 to further research, document, categorize and analyze Okanagan Syilx oral language literature.

Oral Syilx stories contain a wealth of Indigenous knowledge but much of this knowledge is largely inaccessible because no extensive work to date has been undertaken by a fluent speaker.

As CRC, Dr. Armstrong aims to address existing barriers to research within the Indigenous community by surveying, analysing and categorizing Syilx captikwl (oral story) and smamay (legends) from a variety of published and unpublished collections.

Western conventions have created a cultural blindness to Indigenous methods of knowledge documentation in storytelling. As well, analysis of Syilx culture and language contexts has not been conducted using a combination of Syilx story and Western literary conventions.

Dr. Armstrong’s work involves analyzing Syilx traditional knowledge to inform and revitalize contemporary Syilx society. She also contributes to local ecological and sustainability practices, and links story knowledge to such areas as Syilx governance, land use and health. Her analysis is being conducted in the Nsyilxcen Okanagan language and includes approvals by fluent language speakers for accuracy of translations.

“Through my research, my goal is to make the Indigenous knowledge of the Syilx Okanagan accessible, while also providing planning and development support within Syilx Okanagan First Nation communities.”

SOMETIMES SCIENCE leads to discoveries that change society. Sometimes societal changes open the door for scientific advancement.

Zach Walsh, Associate Professor of Psychology, studies medicinal cannabis use. He says we are at an historic turning point in the public perception and use of medicinal plants, and our understanding of how to use them to help people suffering from a variety of issues.

Why Psychology?

“We are at an extraordinary intersection of a social-change movement and scientific explosion that will directly affect the lives of people around the globe,” he says. “Canada and British Columbia are leading the way in the acceptance of using cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Canada was among the first countries in the world to have a medical cannabis program.”


Dr. Walsh, who is a registered clinical psychologist and co-director of the Centre for the Advancement of Psychological Science and the Law at UBC’s Okanagan campus, balances his work as a clinical psychologist with his active research program.

“Researching the medicinal use of cannabis allows for a mix of applied and theoretical perspectives, and gives people in the community answers to pressing issues. The place where community engagement and high-quality science mix is a rewarding place to be as a researcher and an educator.”




Since joining UBC Okanagan in 2009, Walsh has supervised students through the Irving K. Barber School Undergraduate Research Award program, which gives undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue innovative and original research.

He also believes in the importance of students working in the community to see the “big picture science” and experience one-on-one contact with practitioners and patient. Students see how research directly affects the lives of people who rely on plant-based medicines.

Walsh’s students have visited local seniors groups to discuss the benefits of medicinal cannabis for ailments such as arthritis, and have presented work at international conferences and to the House of Commons in Ottawa.


“There is so much we don’t know about the use of medicinal plants,” he says. “Refining medicines derived from cannabis and other plants will have a dramatic effect on the health of Canadians and people worldwide. How do we make the best use of these plants and combine them with other therapies to create better outcomes for people who are suffering?”

Walsh believes British Columbia and UBC Okanagan are perfect places to conduct this type of research. “Our campus is small enough that undergraduates can work closely with faculty and senior researchers, and be involved in high-level research at one of the top research universities in the world.

“And, what better place to study an issue like this than in Kelowna, Canada, where tolerance and freedom are valued and celebrated?”

—by Deanna Roberts

BRIGITTE LE NORMAND’s PASSION for history began at an early age. While attending a French elementary school in Montreal, Quebec, it was an in-class experience that made her realize history would be a big part of her future.

“I was 12 years old, and it was the bi-centennial of the French revolution,” says Le Normand. “The teachers at my school made a big deal of it, and I got really engaged in the topic. I read books, wrote a novel and tried to write a play. It really caught my imagination, and the rest is history — so to speak.”

After high school, Le Normand attended McGill University to study French history.

“I was so sure it was the right choice because of my love for the French revolution,” she says. “But interestingly, I became bored with it, and was searching for a different focus, while remaining a history major.”

Le Normand found it while attending The Body of a Woman as a Battlefield in the Bosnian War, a French-language play by Matei Vișniec.

Find out more about History

“It dealt with rape as a weapon of war — and it really caught my attention,” she explains. “I mean, partly because it’s a shocking subject, and one that I felt passionate about, but it was also because of how it related to life in Quebec.”

The relation Le Normand refers to is the turbulent period in Quebec during the 1995 independence referendum.

“I was startled by how quickly friendships could be broken by politics, and how a seemingly stable society could be torn apart so quickly,” she recalls. “In thinking about the breakdown of Yugoslavia, it raised the same kinds of questions for me.”

Le Normand quickly redirected her focus to Yugoslavian history, finishing up her bachelor’s degree to pursue a master’s in Russian and East European studies at the University of Toronto, before a PhD at the University of California Los Angeles.

“I consider myself to have two areas of expertise: one is the history of Eastern Europe and the other is urban history,” she explains.

Le Normand published her first book in 2014 on urban planning in socialist Yugoslavia, focusing on the capital city of Belgrade, and how they tried to reimagine what cities would look like under communism following the Second World War.

“It’s really an interesting thing to research,” says Le Normand. “It was a city not driven by a capitalist logic but by the values of socialism, celebrating workers, and placing equality at the heart of urban planning.”

Le Normand’s second book, recently accepted by University of Toronto press, focuses on labour migration.

“Yugoslavia was the only East European socialist state that opened its borders. At the height of the migration,” she says, “there were a million Yugoslavians living and working in Western Europe, and my research is interested in the ties they maintained with Yugoslavia, and exploring that continuing cross-border relationship.”


After a short stint as a professor at one of Indiana University’s branch campuses, Le Normand decided to move her family to the Okanagan.

A self-proclaimed city girl, Le Normand says she’s grown to love the beauty of the region.

“It did take me a while to get acclimated here,” she admits. “But I do find Kelowna is becoming more and more urban — its cultural life has become richer, and its downtown denser and livelier, and I think that’s a positive change. I’ve also really come to appreciate the beautiful natural landscapes and the access to recreation,” she adds.

A mom of three, Le Normand is happy to have found a place where her children can learn and thrive.

“I think what’s really cool about raising kids here is that they’re growing up in a natural place — and really understand where food comes from,” noting her family’s go-to weekend plans include trips to local farms and markets. “It’s important they understand the natural world and our relationship to it.”

Another box that the Okanagan checked for Le Normand was British Columbia’s francophone school board. “It’s really special that I grew up in Quebec speaking French, and I can send my kids to a French speaking school here — it’s something that’s important to me,” she says.


Being Le Normand’s first teaching job in Canada, she wasn’t sure what type of environment she’d be walking into, but says she was pleasantly surprised.

“Teaching here has overall been really positive. I’ve had the opportunity to co-teach with someone outside of my field, Bonar Buffam in sociology, and that was a very interesting experience,” she says. “I find teaching is most enjoyable when you’re learning at the same time.”

Le Normand has also embraced the opportunity to learn from students.

“I find students on this campus are eager to learn, and respectful of one another and faculty. I didn’t always have that experience in my last position.”


Recently appointed the Academic Director of UBC Okanagan’s Public Humanities Hub, Le Normand is looking forward to raising the profile of the discipline.

“The goal of the hub is to highlight and promote research in the public humanities,” she explains. “Put simply, it’s humanities research with the purpose of engaging the public, in which we bring together researchers from different fields to help us understand and address problems.”

Le Normand says the hub will focus on four areas of interest: medical, environmental, and digital humanities, and public history.

“I want the public to know about humanities research going on in the Okanagan and how it can play a role in tackling serious challenges,” she says.

“The humanities are critical to addressing issues like climate change. We’re a tech-driven society that looks to science to solve all our problems, but a lot of these issues have a large human or social dimension to them, and that can’t be ignored.”


Le Normand’s current research focuses on the Eastern European city of Rijeka. In the period between the First World War and the end of the Second World War, Rijeka, formerly known as Fiume, was under the control of Italy, but became part of Yugoslavia following the Second World War.

“I’m fascinated by how this border change impacted every aspect of Rijeka — the people, the culture…it changed its nature,” she says.

Le Normand recently received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to pursue an interdisciplinary research project with geographers, digital humanists and fellow historians, delving deeper into the subject.

While Le Normand’s archival research specifically focuses on Rijeka as a port, she is working with a team of historians, geographers and digital humanists to collect and analyze data on changes in Rijeka, with one of the goals being to develop an app.

“We really want people to engage with Rijeka’s history,” she explains. “Once the app is completed, the public will be able to learn about the city’s past through augmented reality.”

Users will be able to point their phone at buildings or streetscapes and instantly call up media records related to markers the team will document throughout the city.

“We hope people will find it’s a really cool way to learn about the area’s history” she says. “We’ve also created a website where anyone can upload knowledge they may have about Rijeka.”

Information submitted to the website will be used by the team’s digital humanists to develop network graphs that allow people to better understand relationships between different items on the map.

While Le Normand acknowledges that apps aren’t necessarily the first thing that come to mind when thinking of history research, she says being able to share her work with the public in an accessible format motivates her research.

“There’s so much interconnectedness in this world that may not be obvious to the naked eye,” Le Normand says. “Public humanities is all about researching these connections, while sharing and collaborating with the public. I really feel privileged that I get to wake up and do this every day.”