Dr. Deborah J. Olson

Office: Memorial 230K
Email: deb.olson@minotstateu.edu
Phone: 701-858-4258

Graduate School Seminar

Dr. Olson received a B.S. with a double major, Psychology and Zoology, from North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND in 1981. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Psychology from University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1986 and 1989.  

Dr. Olson’s research interests began as an undergraduate research assistant with Dr. William Maki.  The research focused on factors affecting memory in pigeons.  She completed two independent, undergraduate research projects.  One project focused on classical conditioning and pigeons.  The second project focused on spatial memory in pigeons and a publication of the research.  Her mentor in graduate school was Dr. Alan Kamil.  Her master’s research focused blue jay’s ability to detect the presence of a cryptic prey item, a moth.  Her dissertation  examined how spatial memory in birds, members of the corvid family, has been affected by their ecological dependence on stored food. Dr. Olson’s current research continues to focus on memory and food with a switch to people. The current research examines how exposure to different smells can change the desire for various types of food.