I joined the University of Alberta in 2009, as a member of the Developmental Science area in Psychology. After receiving my B.A. (Honours) in Psychology from the University of Winnipeg, I went on to complete a Ph.D at the University of Minnesota's Institute of Child Development, minoring in Neuroscience, and several postdoctoral research positions at Southern Illinois University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
My research examines how children develop the ability to regulate their behaviour, attention, cognition, and emotions, how these abilities emerge and develop in the infant, toddler, and preschool years, how changes in behaviour relate to brain development, and what factors put children at risk for developing problems with self-regulation. To study these questions, I use methods drawn from Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, including game-like tasks adapted from adult neuropsychological tests and behavioral neuroscience measures, sometimes in conjunction with neuroimaging methods like event-related potentials (ERPs), in which small ongoing changes in voltage at the scalp that reflects underlying brain activity are recorded. In addition, I am interested in how contextual and genetic factors (nature and nurture) interact to influence children's developing self-regulatory skills, including prenatal risk factors such as smoking during pregnancy, postnatal factors such as physical activity, and genetic factors related to the dopamine system.
I regularly teach PSYCO 531 (Design and Analysis in Psychological Research I), PSYCO 323 (Infant & Child Development), and Special Topics seminars (PSYCO 421/622) on Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and the Lifespan Development of Executive Function. I also supervise students in individual research through the Psychology and Neuroscience Honours programs, PSYCO 299 (Research Opportunities in Psychology), and PSYCO 396/398/496/498 (Independent Study).
Biological, cognitive and social aspects of psychological development during the period from infancy to childhood. Prerequisite: PSYCO 223. [Faculty of Arts]Winter Term 2022
An in-depth review and analysis of research in an area of human development. Prerequisites: STAT 141 or 151 or 161 or SCI 151, and PSYCO 323 or PSYCO 327 or PSYCO 329. Note: Consult with the Department for the specific topic offered each year and any additional prerequisites. [Faculty of Science]Winter Term 2022
[Faculty of Arts]Winter Term 2022