Our Team

LAB DIRECTOR

Alia MartinAlia Martin
Alia Martin is the director of the Infant and Child Cognition Lab and lecturer in Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington. Dr. Martin received her PhD in developmental psychology from Yale University, and her research focuses on how infants and children understand and learn about the social world. Outside the lab and the classroom, she enjoys traveling, reading, exercising, and discovering new restaurants.

LAB MANAGER and PHD STUDENT

Michaela Dresel Squaremichaela-baby
Michaela Dresel is the lab manager of the Infant and Child Cognition Lab and started her PhD in our lab in early 2020. Her research interests lie in how young babies learn that other people can have different motivations, thoughts, and beliefs than they do. In her spare time, Michaela enjoys writing and performing poetry, listening to podcasts, and cross-stitching.

PHD STUDENT

Laura Reception RoomLaura Baby
Laura Anderson started her PhD in our lab in 2018. Her research focuses on what 2- to 7-year-old children understand about knowledge, and how we can use knowledge to better communicate with others. Laura is also interested in learning how we start to help others, and what children think about others’ minds. Outside of the lab, Laura enjoys spending time with friends and family, and being in the sunshine!

INTERN

Maëlle BabyMaëlle Adult
Maëlle Christiaens is an intern in our lab while she currently studies towards a Master’s Degree in Biology, majoring in Neurosciences from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. She aims to one day complete a PhD in Child Cognitive Neurosciences. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, cooking, travelling, and spending time with family and friends.

HONOURS STUDENT

Millie BabyMillie Adult
Millie Jennings is studying towards her Honours in Psychology, working on her thesis in our lab. Originally conducting her undergraduate study at the University of Otago, Millie has just moved to Wellington to begin her post-graduate studies. As a people person, in her spare time she enjoys hosting dinner parties, going on local adventures with her friends and will take any chance she can get to travel.

RESEARCH PROJECT STUDENTS

Jessica Hawthorne SquareJessica_baby
Jessica Hawthorne is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology and Linguistics, as well as minoring in Criminology. She intends to continue with both Psychology and Linguistics at the postgraduate level, looking specifically at how they interrelate. In her free time, she enjoys socializing with friends, reading, watching TV, and spending time with her family.
Kamla ChildKamla Adult
Kamla Waila is currently in her third year of her Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology. Looking forwards, she plans to undergo postgraduate study in psychology at Victoria, leaning more towards a research career. In her spare time, she enjoys to exercise, write and go on walks.
liam_babyLiam Crowley Square
Liam Crowley is currently working on his BA, majoring in Psychology and Philosophy. Liam is aiming towards postgraduate study in Psychology, with the ultimate goal of one day balancing a clinical practice and research career. When he’s not studying, you may find him tending bar at the Southern Cross and slowly but surely teaching himself how to shoot like Curry at Vic’s Rec Centre.

RESEARCH ASSISTANTS

Devon BabyDevon Adult
Devon Rogers is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology and Criminology. She plans to pursue postgraduate study and is interested in clinical and developmental psychology. Outside of the lab, she works as a swimming instructor and enjoys cooking enchiladas and learning aerial silks.
74365765_463356901195048_5784168230029361152_nHeather Coleman Square print
Heather Coleman is in her final year of her Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology. She is interested in developmental and clinical psychology and intends to continue studying psychology at the postgraduate level. In her free time, she enjoys eating good food, spending time with good people, and exploring outdoors.
Jamie Gannaway - Baby PhotoJamie Gannaway Square
Jamie Gannaway is currently working towards a BSc, majoring in Psychology. He has a keen interest in Clinical and Developmental Psychology and intends to continue pursuing psychology at the postgraduate level. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, running, meditating, watching TV/movies, and playing video-games.
Jia AdultJia Baby
Jia Qi Ng is currently working towards a BSc, majoring in Psychology. She is interested in Social, Clinical, and Developmental Psychology, and aims to pursue Psychology at the postgraduate level. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, travelling, learning more about different cultures, and watching TV.
Marcus Baby Photo 16 months colourMarcus Hamilton Square
Marcus Hamilton is currently working towards a GDipSci, majoring in Psychology, but comes from a background in radio and TV production. He is interested in Clinical, Developmental, and Sports Psychology. He intends to continue pursuing psychology at the postgraduate level. In his spare time, he enjoys playing billiards, weight training, and running his own metalworking studio.
Marie-Eve BabyMarie-Eve Adult
Marie-Eve Bernier is from Québec and holds a BA Honours in Psychology from Carleton University, Canada, as well as a Level 3 Diploma in Playwork from City & Guilds, UK. Her previous job was as a nursery teacher in the House of Commons in London. She currently holds an offer for an MSc programme on Infancy and Early Childhood Development at University College London. She loves nursery rhymes and fairy tales.
MaryBeth_BabyMary Beth Neff Portrait
Mary Beth Neff is a contracted researcher with us in our lab. Mary Beth completed her Graduate Diploma in Science (Psychology) at VUW in 2016 after previously earning her Master of Peace and Conflict Research from the University of Basel, Switzerland. In her free time, she enjoys baking Zopf and hiking with her Bernese Mountain dog (Fela).
Sylvia Frances Johnson-Hunter SquareIMG_3828
Sylvia Johnson-Hunter is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Criminology. She intends to pursue postgraduate study in Psychology with a particular interest in clinical and developmental psychology. In her free time, she works as a retail assistant and enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, reading, and watching documentaries.

Alumni