Research Fellow

Alecia Moser
Alecia joined ELLA in 2020 as coordinator of Deconstructing Digitally Mediated Early Communication. Her 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.




Dr. Jess Aitken
Jess joined ELLA in February 2019 as coordinator of the Origins of Cooperative Action Study. During her time in the lab, Jess helped with data collection for the 6th, 7th, and 8th visits of this extensive project. She has loved getting to know our participant families and watching the children grow and develop over the past three years. Jess’s research interests lay in the area of social and moral development. After seven years conducting research in the field of developmental psychology, she has recently accepted a role managing a research project with Greenpeace Aotearoa.



PhD Students



Dr. Sina Gibhardt
Sina finished her research on infants cooperative behavior in 2023 and is now a research fellow in Leipzig, Germany.





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




Dr. Nichole Breeland
Nichole’s research has focused on constructing an infant “cooperative phenotype” by identifying associations between two-year-olds’ cooperative understanding, ability, motivation, and social behaviours. Her favourite part about conducting research at ELLA has been creating cooperative games for studies and playing them with the participants and families. Nichole has accepted a position as a User Research Scientist at Exponent, an engineering and scientific consulting firm in Phoenix, Arizona, where she will conduct usability testing for products such as virtual reality headsets.



Dr. Hedieh Tavazo
Hedieh’s research interests lie in parent-child interactions and how those from different cultural backgrounds engage with their children. In particular, she has studied the approaches New Zealand and Iranian parents use to teach their children during cooperative and non-cooperative tasks.





Dr. Rachel Low

Dr. Rachel Low is currently a Lecturer in Quantitative Social Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand. Her research looks at emotion regulation in the context of close personal relationships. One of her current projects examines family resilience and well-being and how conflict affects successful family functioning.




Dr Sweta Anantharaman (PhD, 2017).

Dr Sweta Anantharaman is currently a visiting fellow at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Studies, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and visiting faculty at SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, India. Her current research focuses on studying embodied cognition and their outcomes on student learning.






Dr Ying Wang (PhD, 2016).

Dr. Ying Wang is currently a Lecturer at AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand. Her research focuses on how children understand fairness and resource distribution.






Masters Students

Shirley Chen (2023)
Keryn Williams (2023)
Bianca Taites (2023)
Simran Kaur (MSc, 2022)
Debbie Kwan (MSc, 2021)
Brian Croxford (MSc, 2021)
Livia MacPhedran (MSc, 2020)
Solyneth Hak (MSc, 2020)
Claudia Allen (MSc, 2018)
Inge Meinhardt (MSc, 2016)
Cindy Chong (MSc, 2016)
Ivan Bryce (MSc, 2015)
Fifi Zheng (MSc, 2015)
Lynda Crisford (MA, 2014)
Janine Lodge-Osborn (MA, 2012)
Ashleigh Saunders (MSc, 2011)
Jessica Scott (MSc, 2010)

Research Assistants

Isabella Pickering (Research Assistant)
Sam Morrison (Research Assistant)
Tara Deobhakta (Research Assistant, 2021-2023)
Miffy Christensen (Research Assistant, 2019-2023)
Livia MacPhedran (Research Assistant, 2019-2021)
Laura Stanley (Research Assistant, 2016-2017)
Victoria Newport (Research Assistant, 2016-2017)
Chloe Moore (Lab Manager and Research Assistant, 2015-2018)
Cindy Chong (Research Assistant, 2017)
Josie Adams (Lab Manager and Research Assistant, 2014-2015)

Honours Students

Shivani Kershaw (Honours, 2023)
Stefanie Mah (Honours, 2023)
Camden Goodale (Honours, 2022)
Maddy Mossman (Honours, 2022)
Morgan Solecki (Honours, 2022)
Shirley Chen (Honours, 2021)
Yimei Chuah (Honours, 2021)
Simran Kaur (Honours, 2020)
Anna Elisara (Honours, 2021)
Samantha Hancock-Gibb (Honours, 2020)
Miffy Christensen (Honours, 2019)
Mariam Karihy (Honours, 2018)
Sam Morriss (Honours, 2018)
Beth Graham (Honours, 2018)
Alexandra Bijl-Brown (Honours, 2017)
Agnes Teo (Honours, 2017)
Caitlin McRae (Honours, 2017)
Kelly Zhong (Honours, 2015)
Nikki Brighouse (Honours, 2015)
Chloe Moore (Honours, 2014)
Rebecca Westcott (Honours, 2013)
Biddy Macnamara (Honours, 2012)
Siying Liu (Honours, 2012)
Lisa Neilsen (Honours, 2011)
Karishma Bakshi (Honours, 2010)
Aqeela Mowjood (Honours, 2010)

Undergraduate Students

Harriet Thomas (2023)
Stefanie Mah (2022)
Frances Cook (Bachelor of Arts, 2021)
Rachael Buckley (2021)

Summer Scholarships

Harriet Thomas (Summer Scholar, 2022/2023)
Juliette Vukets (Summer Scholar, 2022/2023)
Ruby Verma (Summer Scholar 2019/2020)
Rebecca Pearce (Summer Scholar, 2019/2020)
Alice Logan (Summer Scholar, 2016/2017)
Julia Dawe (Summer Scholar, 2016/2017)
Pascal Kethers (Summer Scholar, 2016/2017)
Meera Patel (Summer Scholar, 2018/19)
Briana Boele van Hensbroek (Summer Scholar, 2018/19)
Manuri Ranasinghe (Summer Scholar, 2017/18)
Moya McCarthy-Allen (Summer Scholar, 2017/18)
Sarah Gamman (Summer Scholar, 2014/15 and Research Assistant, 2016)
Jade Crawford (Summer Scholar, 2014/15)
Ivy Hunter (Summer Scholar, 2015/16)
Julia Plank (Summer Scholar, 2015/16)
Felicity Johnston (Summer Scholar, 2013/14)
Goldie Hamilton (Summer Scholar, 2013/14)
Josephine Orejana (Summer Scholar, 2012/13)
Madhawee Fernando (Summer Scholar, 2012/13)
Luisa Silailai (Summer Scholar, 2011/12)
Joan Leung (Summer Scholar, 2011/12)
Vanessa Schell (Summer Scholar, 2011/12)

Visiting Students

Laura Neumann (visiting Masters student from The University of Leipzig, 2019)
Sina Gibhardt (visiting Masters student from The University of Leipzig, 2019)
Shelbie Willems (Intern from University of Arizona, 2017)
Gökhan Gönül (Visiting Graduate Student, 2015 / 2016)