people

People 

Michaela Karam
[email protected]
Lab Manager
Hello! I’m a recent graduate with majors in Global Health and Psychology from UofT, and will begin medical school in August. I’m particularly interested in brain function and dysfunction in the developing, adult, and aging brain. In my free time, I love to travel, obsess over my dog, and discover the best food spots in Toronto!

 

Samantha Gualtieri
[email protected]
Website
Post-Doctoral Fellow
I received my PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Waterloo. I am broadly interested in children’s learning and decision-making. My PhD work examined how young children integrate different pieces of information in their decisions, and how individual differences in children contribute to the strategies they use when making decisions.

Keela Thomson
[email protected]
Post-Doctoral Fellow
I received a joint PhD in Psychology and Social and Decision Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University. I study cognitive psychology with a focus on intelligence and decision-making. At the moment I am attempting to reconcile the notion of the positive manifold – that a single factor ‘general g’ underlies all individual differences in intelligence – with emerging evidence from dual systems approaches that Type 1 (procedural, implicit) cognition appears uncorrelated with g.

Johnny Dubois
[email protected]
@Johnny_Dubois_
Graduate Student, Psychology
I graduated from Brandon University in Brandon, Manitoba, with a BSc (hons) in Psychology, working with Dr. Nicholas Watier on mindfulness and cognition. Prior to grad school I worked as a research assistant at Pine River Institute, a residential treatment center for youth with addiction, near Shelburne, ON. My PhD work focuses on exploring developmental changes in implicit/non-declarative memory, and the neural correlates of these processes.

Tess Forest
[email protected]
@tessforest
Graduate Student, Psychology
Hello! I’m Tess, a PhD student in the LAND lab. I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and completed my undergraduate degree in Cognitive Systems and Linguistics at the University of British Columbia. I also spent some time working at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at the Max Plank Institute for Psycholinguistics, in the Netherlands. I’m interested in how language learning mechanisms operate, their development over time, and how that contributes to differences in language learning abilities between adults and children. In my free time I like to cook, knit, and spend time outside… either running, backpacking, skiing, or canoeing!

Erika Wharton-Shukster
[email protected]
@whartonshumthin
Graduate Student, Psychology
I recently completed my Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Toronto. Previously, I had the pleasure of working as study coordinator in a neuroimaging lab studying functional neurosurgery at the Toronto Western Hospital. As someone who finds children as fascinating as they are entertaining, I’m excited to study their learning! Specifically, I’m hoping to investigate the mechanisms behind how children process and remember information differently than adults and across development. Outside the lab, I play drums in two bands, write music, and compulsively add to my plant collection.

Alexandra Decker
[email protected]
Graduate Student, Psychology
Lexi is a fourth year PhD student in the psychology program at U of T, and is co-supervised by Amy Finn and Katherine Duncan. Before joining the lab, she received her BA in psychology from McGill University, and her MA in psychology under the supervision of Don Mabbott at the Hospital for Sick Children. Her current research focuses on understanding why certain experiences are remembered better than others, and how the neural processes that support memory change across development.

Mishel Alexandrovsky
[email protected]
Mini-Thesis Student, Psychology Research Specialist, Linguistics Minor, Buddhism Psychology and Mental Health Minor
I am a third-year student at UofT, broadly interested in computational models of intelligent thinking, including predictive encoding, and their integration with our understanding of the spectrum of human cognition. In the lab, I’m doing research on children’s perception of time. I also work with autistic children. I also enjoy planning and getting tattoos and piercings.

Valeria Khudiakova
[email protected]
Mini-Thesis Student, Psychology Research Specialist
Hi, my name is Valeria, and I’m in my third year specializing in Psychology Research at U of T. My main research interest is the social aspects of autism, especially impression management in autistic women, autistic community connectedness, and how autistic people perceive stigma. I’m excited to be doing my mini thesis at the LAND Lab this semester – my mini thesis centres around repetition seeking in typical and atypical development. In my spare time, I enjoy cuddling with my dog Lola, coming up with obscure research questions, and making spreadsheets!

Akshita Srivastava
[email protected]
Work Study Student, Psychology and Neuroscience
Hi! I’m a second-year undergraduate student, double majoring in psychology and neuroscience. Previously, I’ve worked in a variety of roles with children who have learning disabilities, and am therefore very interested in studying the development of memory, language acquisition, and other cognitive skills. In my spare time, I love baking, reading, and painting!

Wujiamei (Grace) Sun
[email protected]
UTEA Program Student, Psychology and Cognitive Science
Hello, I am currently a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto specializing in psychology and major in cognitive science. I have volunteered with children for many years. I am interested in cognitive development and memory development. In my spare time, I love to travel, watch movies, and drink bubble tea with my friends.

Valerie Nguyen
[email protected]
Work Study Student, Neuroscience and Psychology
Hi everyone! My name’s Val and I’m a third-year undergraduate at UofT majoring in neuroscience and psychology. I’m broadly interested in studying the development of memory throughout childhood and am super excited to be working with the LAND lab. Outside of the lab, I enjoy baking, reading, and hanging out with my friends!

Zahra Abolghasem
[email protected]
Volunteer Research Assistant, Psychology
I am a fourth year undergraduate student who is in the Psychology Research Specialist Program at the University of Toronto. I am broadly interested in investigating how learning and memory change from childhood to adulthood. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking/baking, hiking, and doing yoga!

Denise Arefhaghi
[email protected]
Volunteer Research Assistant, Psychology and Sociology
Howdy! My name is Denise and I’m a recent graduate from the University of Toronto. I am broadly interested in the developmental trajectory of morality in children. In my spare time I enjoy reading, poetry, hiking, and creating playlists for specific feelings and moments in my life.

Yi Lin (Elaine) Wang
[email protected]
USRA Program Student, Psychology and Neurology
Hello everyone! I am a third-year student at UofT studying psychology and neuroscience! I am generally interested in how neurological development gives rise to changes in cognition and behavior. Specifically, I love learning about how children learn and how educational policies can better motivate children in their academic careers! In my free time, I enjoy walking my dog, painting, cooking and watching movies!

Rowan Danton
[email protected]
Work Study Student, Psychology and Human Biology
Hi! I am a second-year student at UofT studying Physiology with a double minor in Psychology and Human Biology. I have a background in youth development and in the future I would love to research learning with a focus on neurodivergence. Outside the lab, I love cycling around Toronto, thrifting and trying out new recipes.

Mei Yang
[email protected]
Volunteer Research Assistant, Psychology and Sociology
Hello! I’m a third-year Psychology student at UofT. My main research interest centers on the
effect of adversity on children’s cognitive development, with a specific focus on children’s self-regulation and decision-making abilities. I’m particularly intrigued by the concept of resilience, or how adversity differentially impacts children’s social and cognitive development. I’ve worked as a volunteer teacher with children coming from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, and developed a general passion for children’s education. In my non-academic side of life, I enjoy playing the piano, writing, reading, and playing video games.

Insiya Samji
[email protected]ronto.ca
Summer Research Opportunities Program Student, Mental Health Studies and Neuroscience
Hey! My name is Insiya, and I am a third-year undergraduate student doing a double major in Mental health studies and Neuroscience at UofT. Overall, my research interests lie in neuropsychology. Specifically in learning processes, memory, perception, personality, and behaviour across development. Aside from my academic life, I binge read fiction novels, play soccer, and hang out with my family (including my cat Leo) and friends!

Justine Vorvis
[email protected]
Graduate Student, Psychology
Hi! I just completed my undergraduate degree in the Psychology Research Specialist and Neuroscience Major programs at U of T, and am excited to begin PhD studies with Dr. Amy Finn and Dr. Donald Mabbott this fall. I am broadly interested in research with the potential to inform educational practice and policy. Recently, I’ve been especially curious as to how prior learning and performance shape subsequent learning, and how cognitive and neural development vary based on contextual factors like income. Outside of the lab, I love to sing, play piano, draw, bake, and spend time biking and running outdoors!

Alumni – Post-docs and Students 


Yaelan Jung
 CV
 Website
[email protected]
Postdoctoral Researcher, Princeton University
Yaelan is a postdoc working with Dr. Lauren Emberson at Princeton University. Before coming to Princeton, she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, working with Dr. Dirk Bernhardt-Walther and Dr. Amy Finn. Her research is focused on high-level vision and how top-down factors (e.g., tasks, attention, and learning) interact with visual perception. She also asks how this interaction occurs in the developing brain. She uses fMRI and other behavioral measures to investigate these questions.

Andrew Bauer
Lead Data Scientist, FICO

Alumni – Research Assistants 

Victoria Antinucci

Megha Banka

Andrew Bauer

Yifan Bai

Gwyneth Campbell

Victoria Colaluca

Elizabeth Chan

Marina Charalampopoulou

Heidi Cheng

Hannah Cho

Kath Choi

Audreymoore David

Carissa DeMarinis

Francesca Di Perna

Hailey den Elzen

Arshee Faizullah

Priscilla Fung

Voula Giannoulis

Luosha Ha

Alyssa Ho

Natalie Holtby

      Tri Quang Huynh

      Minju Kang

Lavania Jeganathan

Tuana Tia Kant

Ribhav Kapoor

Parandis Kazemi

Mashal Khan

Erin Kim

Jaehee Kim

Jiin Kim

Ahskan Kiyomarsi

Danielle Lim

Angelina Lui

Kiara Lu

Henrique Matulis

Maria Mazaharally

Shannon Meikle

Asha Mohamed

Kanza Naveed

Ed Ntiri

Nika Zahedi Neysiani

Emily Onyshko

Kay Otsubo

Alyssa Payne

      Theresa Pham

      Remsha Rana

Maryam Refai

Alex Sahar

Adnan Shahid

Chana Sharrington

Chuyun Shen

Inayat Singh

Christa Shi

Sabrina Szkolmowski

Marlie Tandoc

Karima Tasnuva

Tiffany Teng

Clarissa Wang

Ophelia Wang

Aria Wills

Katrina Wugalter

Qianwen Xu

Yvette Xie

Jordan Yang

Noel Yuen

Harry Zhu

Gloria Rebello

Jialin Song

Maeve Beckwith-Jamieson

Lama Alomrani

Luis Andres Vazquez

Collaborating Post-docs and Students 

Kevin Himberger
Honey Lab

Collaborators 

Dirk Bernhardt-Walther

Angela Duckworth

Katherine Duncan

Mark D’Esposito

Marc Ettlinger

Keisuke Fukuda

John Gabrieli

Brian Galla

Carla L Hudson Kam

Priya Kalra

Taraz Lee

Julia Leonard

Michael Mack

Allyson Mackey

Jennifer Minas

Tyler Perrachione

Meg Schlichting

Zeynep Saygin

Shelbie Sutherland

Margaret Sheridan

Zhenghan Qi