Lab Researchers


Postdoctoral Scholars


Christina Schonberg is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the LCD Lab. They earned a B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University in 2011 and graduated with a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from UCLA in 2018. Christina studies the interaction between early word learning and conceptual development and is working on a joint project between the LCD Lab and the Lupyan Lab (UW-Madison Department of Psychology).


Ellise SuffillEllise Suffill is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the LCD Lab and Lupyan Lab. She moved to UW-Madison after completing her PhD at the University of Edinburgh. Ellise is interested in how children learn concepts and how language helps children categorize objects in the world. She is also interested in how (or whether) people come to have the same concepts as each other.


Graduate Students


Melina KnabeMelina Knabe is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Human Development area of the Department of Educational Psychology. Melina received her B.S. in Neuroscience from Washington and Lee University in 2017. Melina is interested in the effect of language learning history on early word learning and memory development. In addition to studying multilingualism, she intends to investigate individual differences in children’s ability to intentionally forget information. Ultimately, she hopes to apply her work to second language learning in the classroom. Melina is being advised by Dr. Haley Vlach.


Emma LazaroffEmma Lazaroff is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Human Development program in the Department of Educational Psychology. Emma received her B.A. in Psychology from Quinnipiac University and was a lab manager at Boston College prior to pursuing her Ph.D. She is interested in how children use categories to learn about aspects of science and mathematics, as well as how they generalize this knowledge to increasingly complex concepts. In particular, her interests lie in determining how these concepts can be organized to help children most effectively synthesize information. Emma is being advised by Dr. Haley Vlach.


Yi Tong is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Human Development area in the Department of Educational Psychology. Yi received her B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and Psychology from UW-Madison in Fall 2019. Yi’s research interests primarily lie in the study of children’s language learning processes with a focus on educational applications. She is interested in how children’s prior knowledge and experience with language shape their learning and how they use contextual cues to facilitate word learning. Yi is being advised by Dr. Haley Vlach.


EzgiEzgi Melisa Yüksel is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Cognitive Psychology area of the Psychology Department. Ezgi received her B.A. from Middle East Technical University in Psychology and her M.A. in Cognitive Psychology from Bilkent University. Her main interest is how we train learning and memory processes. She is also interested in whether we can change people’s learning strategies to make them better learners.


Lab Manager


Ben BarmoreBen Barmore is the lab manager of the LCD lab. He earned a B.S. in Human Development & Family Studies and Psychology from UW Madison, and plans on attending graduate school in the field of Developmental Psychology or Education. In his free time he enjoys going camping with friends, exploring natural areas around Madison, and cooking.


Undergraduate Research Assistants


Leena Abu-ZahraLeena Abu-Zahra is an undergraduate research assistant in the LCD lab. She is currently a sophomore majoring in neurobiology with the intention of attending medical school for obstetrics and gynecology in the future. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, spending time with friends and family, and traveling.


Perri Cochin is an undergraduate research assistant in the LCD lab. She is currently a Junior Honors student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders major, and is also pursuing a certificate in Education and Educational Services. In her free time she enjoys running, spending time with family and friends, and listening to music.


Clara Haeffner is an undergraduate research assistant in the LCD lab. She is pursuing a degree in Neurobiology, with specific interests in linguistics and psychology. After completing her undergraduate studies she plans on pursuing a graduate degree in Cognitive Science. When she’s not studying, Clara enjoys hiking, cooking, playing guitar, and binge-watching TV with her friends.


Brynn HesselbergBrynn Hesselberg is an undergraduate research assistant in the LCD lab and a junior majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She plans on continuing her education to become a Speech-Language Pathologist or Audiologist. She loves to volunteer with Special Olympics all year round, whether it be working at or participating in their sporting events. In her free time, she loves to hang out with friends and family, make art, and do hot yoga.


Anna KatzAnna Katz is an undergraduate research assistant in the LCD lab. She is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Psychology. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to become a licensed therapist or social worker. Outside of school, Anna loves to do yoga and spend time with her family, friends, and her beloved dog.


Paige Leistner is an undergraduate research assistant in the LCD lab. She is a junior majoring in Human Development & Family Studies and Psychology. She plans on continuing her education in either Cognitive or Developmental Psychology in order to ultimately counsel children or conduct her own research. In her free time she loves spending time with family and friends, exploring Madison, and staying active.


Maddie Masters

Maddie Masters is a research assistant in the LCD Lab and a junior majoring in Human Development and Family Studies. After graduation, she plans to attend a Physician Assistant program and specialize in pediatrics. In her free time she enjoys hanging out at the terrace, spending time with family, and volunteering at the Children’s Hospital.


Malery PeatMalery Peat is an undergraduate research assistant in the LCD lab and a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She plans on attending graduate school for Speech-Language Pathology with the ultimate goal of working with NICU patients with swallowing disorders. She has always loved working with children and is excited to continue to do so in the future. In her free time, she loves to explore Madison, discover new music, and spend time with family and friends.


Natalie SchaffhauserNatalie Schaffhauser is an undergraduate research assistant majoring in Psychology. She has a special interest in Education and the Criminal Justice System. She hopes to attend graduate school for Clinical or School Psychology and one day conduct her own research. She enjoys hiking, hanging out with friends and family, and spending time at the lake in her free time.


Elena ValentynElena Valentyn is a research assistant in the LCD lab and is a current sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is studying Neurobiology and is receiving certificates in the Health & Humanities and in Integrated Studies in Science, Engineering, and Society. She plans to attend medical school and become a pediatric neurologist. In her free time, she loves reading, running, and hanging with family and friends.


Karlie VolkKarlie Volk is an undergraduate research assistant in the LCD lab. She is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Rehabilitation Psychology. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to pursue a career in school psychology. In her free time, Karlie enjoys Badger sports, spending time with family and friends, and being active.


Amy Wang
Amy Wang is an undergraduate research assistant in the LCD Lab. She is currently a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Psychology and Education Studies. In the future, she plans to attend graduate school for Educational Psychology or Cognitive Psychology. She enjoys interacting with young children and has been working in a daycare part-time for the past two summers. Outside of studying, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, drinking coffee, and trying out new food.


Natalie WormanNatalie Worman is an undergraduate research assistant in the LCD lab. She is interested in Occupational Therapy and plans to major in Spanish and Biology. Outside of studying and spending time with family, Natalie enjoys working with kids, doing ceramics, running, kayaking, and other outdoor activities.


Lab Alumni


Sophia Africano
Violet Allscheid
Carly Babino
Amanda Babler
Emma Backlund
Rachel Beletti
Lauren Belfer
Emily Bero
Molly Bodziak
Maddie Bohrnstedt
Catherine Bredemann
Ashley Carfagno
Kayla Conklin
Adam Cook
Phoebe Crumpton
Courtney Cullen
Elizabeth Duchow
Katherine Dunne
Taylor Dworak
Karissa Ebert
Brooke Effinger
Brittany Fahres
April Feng
Katie Fischer
Emily Fradin
Britney Fredrick
Emma Fricke
Nicole Fugate
Maggie Gallagher
Hannah Georgeson
Annie Grabowski
Ellie Grant
Jessie Handler
Rebecca Herrmann
Alexis Hosch
Kayla Hui
Natalie Jacobson
Meghan Kappelman
Chris Karuza
Emily Katz
Megan Kaul
Nikki Key
Jichan Kim
Rebecca Kish
Nicole Klans
Mariah Klingeisen
Alanna Koritzinsky
Aaron Kremsreiter
Carla Kraft
Melissa LaMeer
Sarah Langer
Jenna Langmeier
Lauren Lennon
Kimberly Lieberman
Raizel Lieberman
Kylie Lowen
Frances Madden-Gardeniers
Ana Masad
Madeline McDonnell
Samantha McGarvey
Stephanie Meder
Madison Mellen
Natalie Mickola
Hailey Miller
Hilary Miller
Tyra Mills
Jordan Minick
Natalie Miselem
Nena Nakum
Nigel Noll
Tayler Nowak
Bethany Patrick
Lexi Peterson
Aly Pfaff
Nicole Pierick
Francesca Przlomski
Molly Pugh
Tinea Reuter
Caitlin Rhoten
Jessica Riegert
Melissa Rosenfeld
Dorie Ross
Marissa Saffrin
Annie Salcedo
Chloe Santiago
Hailey Sawtelle
Hailey Scandin
Maddie Schebil
Lauren Schilling
Lindsay Schoff
Jamie Seward
Tess Shinbaum
Nathan Simon
Kayla Siok
Erika Smithrud
Paige Sprague
Ada Terman
Ben Thomas
Emily Utic
Aly Verson
Matthew Walczak
Ellen Weber
Sarah Weber
McKenna Wenzel
Laura Wintheiser
Rachael Wooten
Carly Wunrow
Amber Wyman
Allie Yingst
Wenqui Zhou