Collegiate Affiliation

Emily Willoughby is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the behavior genetics lab of Dr. James J. Lee. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 2021 in the personality, individual differences and behavior genetics program area of psychology.

Emily's research focuses on exploring the genetic and cognitive causes of human intelligence in addition to its associated outcomes. Her current projects include several experimental studies of reaction time, working memory and attention; an adoption study of attitudes about free will and determinism; and biological annotation of a GWAS on mathematical ability. In addition to research at the UMN, she continues to work part time as a professional scientific illustrator and writer who specializes in research-based representations of prehistoric animals. She has recently published her second book, Drawing and Painting Dinosaurs, released in May 2022 in the US. Emily Willoughby's scientific illustration work can be found in the here.

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • Doctor of Philosophy: Psychology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, 2021
  • Master of Arts: Psychology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, 2019
  • Bachelor of Arts: Biology, Thomas Edison University, 2012


  • intelligence
  • cognitive and biological psychology
  • behavior genetics
  • individual differences
  • scientific illustration