Biography

I am a developmental cognitive neuroscientist and speech-language pathologist investigating the causes and consequences of individual differences in typical and atypical neural, cognitive development, and academic development. In terms of causes, I study both broad distal influences, such as socioeconomic status, as well as proximal direct influences such as adult-child interaction and educational interventions. I aim to understand how children adapt to their early environments in ways that yield difficulty as well as resilience. In terms of consequences, I am interested in how these individual differences in neurocognitive development affect concurrent and later learning in childhood, aiming to understand how learning environments can be adapted to meet individual children’s needs. I approach this work by integrating methods from cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, education, and speech language pathology. While this research inevitably informs our mechanistic knowledge of neurocognitive development, I also aim for my research to be translational, with impacts on the fields of education, clinical assessment and diagnosis, early intervention, and social policy.

I am currently an Assistant Professor of Human Development at the University of Maryland College Park, and the director of the Language, Experience and Development (LEAD) lab.

Academic Positions

Assistant Professor (2021 –   )
Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology
Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences (by courtesy)
Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
University of Maryland College Park

Postdoctoral Fellow (2020 – 2021)
Department of Psychology
Harvard University
Advisors: Katie A. McLaughlin, PhD & Meredith L. Rowe, EdD

Postdoctoral Fellow (2018 – 2020)
Translational Postdoctoral Training Program in Neurodevelopment
Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Advisors: Charles A. Nelson, III, PhD & John D. E. Gabrieli, PhD

Education

Ph.D., Harvard University & Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2018)
Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology
Advisor: John D. E. Gabrieli, PhD (MIT)
Dissertation: Environmental influences on the neural basis of language and reading development

CCC-SLP, MGH Institute of Health Professions (2015)
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Clinical Fellowship (2017-2018): Diagnostic specialist for Brain, Education, and Mind (BEAM) Research Group

M.Sc. with Distinction, University College London (2012)
Language Sciences, with specialisation in Language Development
Advisor: Valerie Hazan, PhD
Dissertation: Demographic trends and perceptual effects of intra-speaker acoustic variability in consonant production in adolescence

B.A. Summa Cum Laude, University of Pennsylvania (2011)
Psychology with Honors, and Linguistics
Advisor: Daniel Swingley, PhD
Thesis: Longitudinal examination of phonetic specificity development during word recognition, in children with and without chronic otitis media with effusion