Elizabeth Nilsen

Dr. Elizabeth Nilsen

Lab Director

I am an Associate Professor with the Clinical Division of the Psychology Department at the University of Waterloo. My students and I investigate how children learn to communicate and interact successfully with other individuals.

Janel Silva

Janel Silva

Lab Coordinator

Janel is the Lab Coordinator of the Cognitive Development Lab, and graduated from the University of Waterloo with a BA in Honours Psychology. In her 4th year, she conducted an honours thesis investigating the social consequences of errors in communicative perspective taking in adult populations.

Photo of Sarah Bacso

Sarah Bacso

Graduate Student

Sarah is in her fourth year of the MA/PhD program in Clinical Psychology. She is interested in studying the cognitive factors which influence children's ability to communicate effectively. For her master's research, she examined children's ability to clarify their messages once they have been misunderstood by a listener.

Alanna Valcke

Alanna Valcke

Graduate Student

Alanna will be starting her third year of the MA/PhD program in Clinical Psychology in the Fall of 2017. Her most recent research project explored the influences of children's sharing behaviours.

Celina Bowman-Smith

Celina Bowman-Smith

Honours Student

Celina is an undergraduate student in Honours Psychology at the University of Waterloo. She's interested in the role of temperamental styles on interpretation and willingness to use verbal irony. She is also interested in how ownership affects children's predictions of ownership.

Shanan Floto

Shanan Floto

Honours Student

Shanan is in her fourth year in the Joint Honours Psychology and Biology undergraduate program at the University of Waterloo. She is currently working on an honours thesis investigating the role of shyness in the relationship between children's executive functioning and communicative abilities.

Randal Gillis

Randall Gillis

Alumni

Randall successfully defended her dissertation investigating children’s use of verbal/nonverbal cues to determine speaker reliability in June 2015. She is currently completing her residency training and will then pursue work as a clinical psychologist in Vancouver, BC.

Vanessa Huyder

Vanessa Huyder

Alumni

Vanessa successfully defended her dissertation in November 2014. Her research focused on the behavioural and cognitive traits that impacted children’s cooperative behaviours. Once she completes her residency training she will work as a clinical psychologist in London, ON.

Tracy Mewhort-Buist

Tracy Mewhort-Buist

Alumni

Tracy graduated from the University of Waterloo's Clinical Pyschology Ph.D. program and has successfully defended her dissertation which investigated the influence of shyness on children's interpretation of figurative language. Tracy is currently working as a clinical psychologist.

Current studies

We are currently running studies for children aged, 7-8 years. View our current studies page for more information.

Cognitive Development Lab logo.