Our Team

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 COORDINATOR

Mary Beth NeffMary Beth Neff Portrait
Mary Beth Neff is the manager of the Infant and Child Cognition 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. She aspires to pursue a PhD in Psychology and in her free time she enjoys baking Zopf and hiking with her Bernese Mountain dog, Fela.

PHD STUDENTS

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Claudie Peloquin completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Québec University of Montreal, Canada in 2015. She recently moved to New Zealand to earn her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Jason Low and Dr. Alia Martin at VUW. Her research focuses on children’s Theory of Mind and perspective taking abilities. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the outdoors, traveling, and skiing!
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Laura Anderson completed her BSc with Honours in Psychology in 2017 and is our lab’s newest PhD candidate. Her research focuses on biculturalism and children’s perspective taking abilities. She loves working with children and hopes to work in the field when her studies are completed. In her free time, she loves to play music, volleyball, and read.

HONOURS STUDENTS

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Maddy Fahey completed her Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology at Otago University and is now working towards a BSc with Honours here at Victoria. She intends to pursue post-graduate studies with the goal of working in the developmental psychology field. In her spare time, Maddy enjoys a good fitness class, brunch, and spending time with her friends.

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Sherlyn Singh has completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and is currently working towards a BSc with Honours. She intends on pursuing post-graduate study in Psychology with the ultimate goal of a later career in Child Psychology. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing, reading crime/mystery novels, crafts and watching psychological thrillers.

RESEARCH PROJECT STUDENTS

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Ashleigh Dixon recently completed her BSc majoring in Psychology and Theatre in 2017. In the future, she is considering pursuing postgraduate study, in either psychology or theatre. One day she hopes to work in a job that allows her to incorporate both of her majors and involves working with children. In her spare time, Ashleigh enjoys reading, acting, and watching movies, preferably anything related to Disney or Harry Potter.
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Ella Macaskill is currently in her final year of a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and Education. Her future aspirations include pursuing postgraduate study in psychology and entering clinical practice. Ella is particularly interested in youth mental wellbeing and developmental disorders. In her free time, she enjoys playing the guitar, drinking coffee, and taking her dog on bush walks.
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Michaela Dresel is currently working on her BA, majoring in Psychology, with minors in Theatre and New Zealand Sign Language. Her current goal after graduating is to continue with postgraduate work in developmental psychology, with a particular focus on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In her spare time, she enjoys writing and performing poetry, baking, watching Disney movies, and reading.

RESEARCH ASSISTANTS

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Abbey Hooper is currently studying for a Bachelor of Science, with a double major in biology and psychology. She is planning to complete a post-graduate degree in audiology and aspires to be a pediatric audiologist. In her spare time, Abbey enjoys exercising, catching up with friends and exploring Wellington.
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Annalise Wynn is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Psychology and International Relations. She intends to pursue postgraduate study in Psychology. In her spare time, she loves a good byo, going running, and exploring Welly.
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Caitlin Heesterman is currently working towards a BSc majoring in Psychology and French. She plans on continuing her studies post graduate and is interested in clinical, forensic or developmental psychology. In her spare time, she enjoys tramping, photography, visiting cafes, and collecting house plants.
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Hannah Doyle is a study abroad student from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in the United States.  She is working towards her Bachelor of Arts in psychology with an emphasis on Autism Spectrum Disorders and Childhood and Adolescent studies. Outside of her studies, Hannah enjoys running and cooking with good company.
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Harini Meiyappan is currently in the 3rd year of her conjoint Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws (BSc/LLB) degree. Her future aspirations include pursuing a career in civil litigation whilst studying towards becoming a clinical psychologist.In her free time, she enjoys reading comics, tramping, exploring Wellington city, listening to music, watching movies, and singing.
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Jackson Enright is currently working towards a BA majoring in Psychology and French. In the future, he is aiming to complete a postgraduate degree and then enter clinical practice.  In his spare time, he enjoys reading, running, traveling, and going to the movies.

Alumni