Lab Director - Daniela O'Neill

Daniela O'Neill

All research at the Children's Communication Lab is all conducted under the supervision of professor Daniela O'Neill, who is a professor in Developmental Psychology in the University of Waterloo's Psychology Department. She is also the Founder and Director of the MASc program in Developmental and Communication Science.

Daniela founded the lab (formerly named the University of Waterloo Centre for Child Studies) in 1996. She received her undergraduate BASc degree in Psychology from the University of Toronto in 1989 and her doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Stanford University in 1993. She was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Medical Research Council Cognitive Development Unit in London, England for two years before joining the developmental faculty at the University of Waterloo in 1995.

The research at the centre has been supported by grants awarded to Daniela from the Natural sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and a Premier's Research Excellence award. Daniela is the developer and author of the Language Use Inventory (LUI), a standardized parent-report measure to assess pragmatic language development in children 18 to 47 months of age that is used internationally by clinicians and researchers. (Commercial LUI site at

Contact Daniela at

Twitter: daniela_oneill

CV of Dec. 2022


Other researchers in the lab

Researchers in the lab include postdoctoral visitors, graduate students pursuing a PhD or enrolled in our MASc Developmental Science and Communication program, and undergraduate students who may be conducting their fourth year honours thesis or engaged in research as research assistants. Depending on projects and grant funding, lab members may also include research staff and associates. 

Current students who are part of the lab are:

Elena Hameury (MASc DCS)

Elizabeth Attisano (Postdoctoral researcher working with Dr. Jennifer Yessis and me on MITACS grant).

We are very proud of the success of former alumni of the lab who have gone on to positions at other universities as faculty members (Concordia University; University of Ottawa; Yale University), research positions at various institutions (Harvard University; The Hospital for Sick Children; Ottawa School Board; Waterloo Region District School Board), positions at community and health organizations (Strong Start; Health Nexus Best Start) and in industry (Research in Motion), and continued professional and graduate-level studies in a variety of disciplines (clinical and counselling psychology, divinity, law, medicine, and many students to speech-language pathology) at many different institutions (Dalhousie University; Duke University; McMaster University; Mohawk College; University of Toronto; Queen's University; SUNY-Fredonia; Yale University, Western University, Wilfrid Laurier University).