ELLA Team – 2022


Portrait Henderson_Science_Staff_013_highDr. Annette M. E. Henderson

Annette joined the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland as a Lecturer in August 2009. She is now proud to be the Director of this thriving research group! [Read More]


Research Fellows

Florian M. Bednarski



PhD Students

Sina Gibhardt

Sina’s research focuses on the development of prosocial emotions across early childhood. Precisely, how positive emotions motivate children to maintain and repair social relationships, and whether individual differences may be due to factors such as parenting style or temperament. She is currently working on the seventh and eighth phases of ELLa’s long-term cooperation study.



Wan-Ting Yeh (Tina)

Wan-Ting has a background in cognitive neuroscience and is interested in infant and early childhood development. Her current research aims to understand the dynamic flow of parent-infant interactions and the role of social partners in digital interactive contexts.



Yimei Chuah

Yimei’s research investigates how primary school children’s involvement with school gardens can facilitate their social, psychological, and behavioural wellbeing.




Aastha Puri

Aastha is an external collaborator on our DIME project. Her research interests lay in Theory of Mind development and Social Understanding in early childhood. Her PhD focuses on how parental verbal interactions differ in digital versus face-to-face contexts.



 Masters Student

Stephanie Honeywell

Stephanie has recently moved to NZ to pursue her Masters degree with the Early Learning Lab, where she will be focusing on infants’ development of gender identity through the lens of maternal language.


 Honours Students

Stefanie Mah

Stefanie is currently completing her Honours year as part of her Bachelor of Advanced Science degree specialising in Psychology. Her current research explores how parents’ values and expectations of their children’s prosocial behaviours change over time.




Shivani Kershaw

Shivani is currently doing her Honours year as part of the Bachelor of Health Sciences/Bachelor of Advanced Science (Hons) conjoint degree. Having been a Volunteer and Research Assistant for ELLa previously, Shivani is excited to explore her research project which looks at parent and infant gestures in a triadic parent-infant interaction.



Undergraduate Students

Harriet Thomas

Harriet is currently completing the third year of her Bachelor of Advanced Science degree majoring in Psychology. She is interested in cooperative behaviour in childhood and how negative emotions, such as anger, can influence this.



Research Assistants


Kristina Wolsey

Kristina has a Master of Arts in Psychology. She has previously worked on the longitudinal cooperation study (that recently wrapped up in 2022) and a second language learning study. Currently, she is running the new ManyBabies4 study, and assisting the Family Resilience and Wellbeing study at the REACH lab.



Sam Morrisson

After completing her Honours thesis with ELLA in late 2018, Sam is also working on ELLA’s parent-infant interaction study helping to model infant and parent behaviour.




Isabella Pickering

Isabella completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Statistics in 2019 and is currently studying a Master of Health Psychology. She assists ELLa with the Deconstructing Early Communication Study examining and modelling parent-infant interactions across digital and live interactions.


ELLA Volunteers  (as of 19/05/23)                          

Davinia Sivapragas

Gemma Carr

Alvin Wong

Sayali Samant