Lambert has received local and national media coverage about her research and book.
Click on the following links to listen or read the interviews.
Home Journal July 2011
The Washington Post June 13, 2011
American Mind September 2011
Kelly Lambert, the Macon and Joan Brock Professor in Psychology at Randolph-Macon
College, is the author of The Lab Rat Chronicles: A Neuroscientist Reveals Life
Lessons from the Planet’s Most Successful Mammals (Perigee Penguin, 2011).
In the book, Lambert delves into the lives of rats and emerges with clues to model
human behavior. A substantial part of the book is about the research that Lambert’s
students have conducted at R-MC.
“Through the years, my students and I have conducted a diverse array of research
projects that have been presented at professional conferences and published in behavioral
neuroscience journals,” says Lambert. “Because the rat brain has all the same structures
and neurochemicals as the human brain, we can learn many central truths about the
nature of behaviors important for maintaining healthy lifestyles from these unassuming
animals. I adopted a Beatrix Potter meets Behavioral Neuroscience approach
for this writing project—an edutainment format that enabled me to describe
the research journeys I have taken with my students and, of course, the R-MC laboratory
rats. As a professor, I am passionate about disseminating neuroscience research
to the general public so people can make more informed decisions about maintaining
their mental health. Although written in a lighthearted manner, the book has a very
serious message — we may benefit from respecting our ancestral roots by engaging
in more physical activity, developing positive social relationships, spending more
time in the presence of nature’s raw elements, and gaining effective flexible coping
strategies to combat the building levels of stress taking over our fast-paced, technologically-advanced
The book was reviewed in the July 3 edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Kirkus Reviews said of the book, “In this jauntily written examination of the lives
of the lowly lab rat, [Lambert] suggests that we would do well to emulate the prodigious
achievements of our mammalian cousins. Rats, Lambert writes, are blue-collar creatures
who owe much of their happiness to an unambiguous work ethic. Deprived of this,
they soon begin to exhibit the same tell-tale signs of anxiety, frustration and
depression now afflicting so many among our cushy Western culture. Unlike humans,
however, the rats studied here are more likely to beat the blues with a spin on
the exercise wheel than by downing a synthetic drug.”
Lambert earned her bachelor’s degree from Samford University and her master’s and
Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. She joined the faculty at R-MC 1989 and is
chair of the department of psychology and
co-director of the Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
program. In 2007, she was awarded the Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Professor
Award and in 2008 she was named Virginia Professor
of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and
the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). She is the president
of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (2009-2011) and is the author
of Lifting Depression: A Neuroscientist’s Hands-On Approach to Activating Your Brain’s
Healing Power (Basic Books, 2008). In addition, the second edition of Clinical
Neuroscience: Psychopathology and the Brain (Oxford University Press,
2010), which Lambert co-wrote with Craig Kinsley, was recently released.