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

Alecia Moser

Alecia’s research interests lay in the area of cognitive development in infancy and early childhood, and she has been primarily interested in investigating infant’s visual attention and learning from screen media. Her current research examines parent-infant interactions across digital and live interactive contexts.


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.



Caitlin McRae

Caitlin’s research aims to investigate family coparenting following conflict and how children develop resilience and emotional well-being in these contexts.




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 Students

Shirley Chen

Shirley has recently completed her Honours degree with the Early Learning Lab. Following a fruitful year at the lab, she will continue with a masters research project exploring developmental changes in children’s perceptions and expectations of fairness. Shirley is incredibly excited for the year ahead, particularly getting involved in the data collection process!


Keryn Williams

Keryn is currently doing her masters in Psychology. Keryn’s research project is focused on understanding emotion regulation strategies employed by 4-5-year-olds in individual and social contexts.


Bianca Maria Taites

Bianca has recently completed her Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in Psychology from AUT where her dissertation focus was on family risk factors and childhood psychological outcomes. This year, Bianca is thrilled to be a part of ELLA where she will work on her Masters thesis focusing on children’s prosocial behaviour.


 Honours Students

Camden Goodale

Camden completed her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and minoring in Human Geography at the University of Otago in 2021. She is currently doing her Honours at the University of Auckland and working with the ELLA lab this year. Camden is interested in understanding toddler peer cooperation on tasks.


Maddy Mossman

Maddy completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Bachelor of Arts in English at UOA in 2021. She is now completing her honours degree with support from ELLA. Maddy is interested in studying the development of affiliative behaviours in children.


Morgan Solecki

Morgan completed her Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology in 2021 and is currently completing her honours research project in the Early Learning Lab. Her main interests are in the fields of parenting and how children learn. Outside of the lab Morgan enjoys playing netball, baking, and embroidery.


Diana Fusha

Diana completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 2021. She is currently working on her Honours degree with research derived from the ELLA Lab. Diana’s interests lie in the relatively new area of technoference. Specifically, I will explore how screen technologies interfere with parent-infant interactions and the subsequent influence on parental warmth and infants’ development.


Undergraduate Students

Stefanie Mah

Stefanie is currently completing the third year of her Bachelor of Advanced Science degree specialising in Psychology. She is interested in the development of prosocial behaviours across early childhood and how factors such as emotion regulation may influence these behaviours




Research Assistants

Tara Deobhakta

Tara completed her Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Health Sciences degree majoring in Psychology and Population Health in early 2022. Her broad interests are in human behaviour, and how and why people react to certain situations in the way they do. Outside of the lab, Tara enjoys performing arts and dance.


Kristina Wolsey

Kristina completed her Honours in Psychology in 2016 and her Masters of Psychology in Applied Behavioural Analysis in 2019. She assists in the Early Learning Lab by helping to run our cooperation and second-language learning studies.



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 07/05/21)                          

Tara Deobhakta

Shivani Kershaw

Jo Cheetham Gan

Paula Alontave

Konrad Schutte

Daniel Zhu