Lab Director

Katherine White

KatherineKatherine White, PhD joined the Psychology Department at the University of Waterloo in 2010, after completing her PhD in Cognitive Science at Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island, USA) and postdoctoral research in the department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester (Rochester, New York, USA). She studies the earliest stages of language development in infants and toddlers.

Post Docs

Amélie Bernard

AmelieAmelie’s research program focuses on learning mechanisms and, more specifically, how statistical regularities are learned and generalized in various domains. As part of the LIDL, she explores the mechanisms by which children cope with new accents, and, in particular, how children generalize accents across speakers. She is also interested in whether bilingual experience might facilitate this type of generalization.

Graduate Students

Emily Shiu

EmilyEmily completed both her Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology with a Japanese Certificate I and her Masters of Applied Science (MASc) in Development and Communication Science at the University of Waterloo. She is currently in the PhD program at Waterloo. Her research interests include adult bilingualism, particularly how external cues or contexts may affect a bilingual's language processing.

Ashley Avarino

AshleyAshley completed her Bachelor of Science Honours (BSc) at McMaster University in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, and recently graduated from the Master of Applied Science (MASc) program at the University of Waterloo. Currently, she is completing her PhD. Her research interests include: audiovisual speech perception, the influence of social factors on                                                                             language learning, and children’s                                                                   language-based inferences about                                                                     people. Some of her favourite things                                                               are: Harry Potter, her dog Gigi,                                                                       summer time, and travelling the                                                                     world with friends and family!     

Leanne Varey

LeanneLeanne completed her Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology at the University of Guelph, and her Master of Arts (MA) in Developmental Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is currently completing her PhD part-time at the University of Waterloo, and her research interests include (1) the early language environment of infants and toddlers (specifically, in naturalistic settings), and (2) the potential impact of siblings on aspects of language development.                                                                   Leanne enjoys working as a staff                                                                     member on a Graduate team at the                                                                 University of Waterloo, going to the                                                               cottage in the summer, and                                                                               spending time with her family and                                                                 two little girls.          

Shaneene Heupel

ShaneeneShaneene completed her Bachelor of Arts (BA) at the University of Waterloo in Psychology and German. She is currently completing her Masters in Psychology at the University of Waterloo. Her research interests include (1) how disfluencies in speech can affect toddlers’ perceptions of speaker knowledge and under what circumstances disfluencies are produced by toddlers (2) how adult listeners process speech produced                                                                   by non-native speakers.

Rachel Benninger

RachelRachel completed her Bachelor of Arts (BA) at the University of Waterloo in Psychology followed by a graduate certificate in the Communicative Disorders Assistant program at Georgian College. She has also completed a diploma in Peace and Conflict Studies and a diploma in Applied Language Studies, both through the University of Waterloo. She is currently enrolled in her Masters of Applied Sciences (MASc) in Developmental and Communication Sciences and plans to pursue a career in Speech-Language Pathology in the future. Her research interests include                                                                         linguistic alignment in children and                                                               the impacts of bilingualism on                                                                         language development and                                                                               rehabilitation.           

Erin Kim

ErinErin completed her Bachelor's degree in Honours Psychology Co-op at the University of Waterloo, and is now completing a one-year Masters in Development and Communication Science. Erin is a member of the Lab for Infant Development and Language where she explores children's perception of accents. She is also interested in investigating which features of                                                                         speech inform listeners' inferences                                                                 of word meaning. In the future, Erin                                                               is hoping to pursue a career in                                                                         speech language pathology!             

Lab Coordinator

Ashley Blayney-Hoffer

AshleyBHAshley in currently in her 4th year in Honours Kinesiology with a minor in psychology. She is very interested in child development and plans to pursue a Master's degree in rehabilitation sciences with a specialization in pediatrics. When not in the lab she is busy at practice as a co-captain on the Varsity Track and Field team.


Honours Thesis Students

Jacky Chen

JackyJacky is currently in his third year of a Bachelor of Science in Honours Psychology. As an Honours Thesis student, Jacky is interested in understanding children's language-based judgments of others and whether bilingual children’s judgments differ from monolingual children's. He hopes to pursue graduate studies in the future.

Research Assistants

Katie Nielsen

KatieKatie completed a Bachelor of Arts and Science with minors in Psychology and Nutrition & Nutraceutical Sciences from the University of Guelph and is currently completing a postgraduate diploma in Applied Language Studies from the University of Waterloo. She hopes to pursue graduate studies in Speech-Language Pathology.

Gabi Magrath

GabiGabi is completing her fourth year of a Bachelor of Arts in Honours Psychology. As a research assistant in the Lab for Infant Development and Language she is exploring her interest in Developmental Psychology and Linguistics. She hopes to pursue graduate studies in the future.

Mackenzie Vallee

MackenzieMackenzie is currently in her third year of Biomedical Science with a minor in Psychology. She is interested in pursuing a Master of Science in Speech and Language Pathology in the near future. She is very active in the Athletics program and is a member of the Women’s Varsity Volleyball Team.

Olivia Halley

OliviaOlivia is a second year Health Studies Honours (BSc) student in the Faculty of Health. She is currently working as a research assistant in the Child Cognition Lab, Developmental Learning Lab, and the Lab for Infant Development and Language (LIDL) and hopes to pursue a career in pediatrics in the future.

Ivanna Ennet


Ivanna is in her third year of a BSc in Honours Psychology, with aspirations of a career in child development. She is interested in both typical and atypical child development, and hopes to pursue both graduate school and an ECE teaching certification.


Graduate Students

Alex Rett (MASc Student/NSERC USRA Student)

Anita Abeyesekera (MASc student)

Dana Bernier (PhD Student)

Dominique Louer (MASc Student)

Drew Weatherhead (PhD Student)

Nasim Ahmadpour (MASc student/Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Robin Rosentrer (MASc student)

Ragini Suresh (MASc Student/Lab Coordinator/Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Lab Coordinators

Annika Voss (Lab Coordinator/NSERC USRA Student)

Emily McIntosh (Lab Coordinator)

Erin Kim (Lab Coordinator)

Joel Le Forestier (Lab Coordinator)

Melissa Nikkel (Lab Coordinator)

Sarah Doyle (Lab Coordinator)

Shaquille Sealy (Lab Coordinator)

Honours Students

AJ Orena (Honours Student/NSERC USRA Student/Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Bronte Smith (Honours Student)

Carry Derome (Honours Student)

Celine Chui (Honours Student)

Erik Johnson (Honours Student)

Gloria Ip (Honours Student/Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Janey Tso (Honours Student)

Jingeli Ren (Honours Student)

Katelyn Rowe (Honours Student/NSERC USRA Student)

Mary Krupicz (Honours Student)

Nicole Ho (Honours Student/Research Assistant)

Olivia Daub (Honours Student/NSERC USRA Student)

Phoebe Liang (Honours Student)

Richard Holmes (Honours Student/Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Shirley He (Honours Student/NSERC USRA Student)

Taylor Columbus (Honours Student)

Taylor Riemersma (Honours Student/NSERC USRA Student)

Tim Woerle (Honours Student/Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Vibhuti Jethava (Honours Student)

Zack Miller (Honours Student/Undergraduate Research Assistant)


Kas Woodland (NSERC USRA Student/Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Madeline Crichton (NSERC USRA Student)

Jennifer Smith (NSERC USRA Student/Lab Coordinator)

Independent Study Students

Rachel Thorburn (Independent Study/Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Shaneene Heupel (Independent Study/Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Amy Liang (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Amy Xu (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Anielle Lim (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Anum Syeda  (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Ashley Shilliday (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Austin Penner (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Ayah Taji (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Catherine Rocha (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Chloe Whitham (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Elaina Bentz (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Giulia Vintila (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Heather Bunnett-Jones (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Justin Leung (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Kate McLeod (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Katelyn Burden (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Kavita Schaffer (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Kristen Thompson (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Laura Brooks (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Laura Rance (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Peiyao Zhang (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Rachel Yee (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Rebecca Joy Dunk (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Riley Brennan (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Shanan Floto (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Sophie Yung (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Yasaman Keshavarz (Undergraduate Research Assistant)