Dr. Cristina Atance

Dr. Cristina Atance is the Director of the Childhood Cognition and Learning Laboratory and is a Full Professor of Psychology at the University of Ottawa. She is also a Co-Director of a new and innovative research lab/space – the University of Ottawa “Living Lab” – at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa. Dr. Atance completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Toronto in 1996 and received her PhD from the University of Waterloo in 2001. She then completed a two-year post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Washington before returning to Canada in 2003 to begin a faculty position at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Atance has broad research interests within the domain of cognitive development/children’s thinking but is especially intrigued by their memory and thought about the future, and their perspective-taking and executive functioning skills. Her research has been funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and the Government of Ontario.

Dr. Robert Coplan

Dr. Robert Coplan’s general research interests are in the areas of children’s socio-emotional functioning and developmental psychopathology. In particular, he is interested in the development of shyness, social withdrawal, and social anxiety in childhood. Dr. Coplan’s most recent research projects have focused on: (1) the costs and benefits of solitude in childhood, adolescence, and emerging adulthood; (2) the challenges faced by shy and anxious children at school; and (3) the meaning and implications of social withdrawal across different cultures.

Dr. Hélène Deacon

Dr. Hélène Deacon is a Killam Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Dalhousie University, where she directs the Language and Literacy Lab. She completed her PhD as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford in 2004. She is internationally regarded as an expert in children’s reading development. Dr. Deacon is interested in understanding how children learn to read, specifically how they use their oral language skills to support the transition to skilled reading. In this research, she works with children and adults from across Canada and around the world. She believes it is vital that we understand how children learn to read in English, as well as in other languages, including those growing up bilingually. She has served as an Associate Editor with Scientific Studies of Reading, the top international reading journal, and she is currently on the editorial board for 4 international journals. She also served as board member and visiting professor for many international organisations, including the Language Sciences Initiative at UBC, MacQuarrie University in Australia and the University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. She publishes widely, with more than 80 papers to date in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Deacon’s research is funded by Canadian national grants from SSHRC and NSERC, in addition to extensive local and international contracts and grants. She also mentors research students across multiple disciplines, including education, psychology, and health. Her research has won extensive recognition across fields, including from the National Academy of Education, the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathology and the United Kingdom Literacy Association.

Dr. Susan Graham

Dr. Susan Graham’s research program examines child development during the infancy and preschool years with specific focus on delineating the interactive trajectories of early language, cognitive, and social-cognitive development. Dr. Graham examines how young children form and use concepts to organize their words. She also examines how children become effective communicators, taking other speakers’ perspectives and emotions into account. She is currently the Director of the Owerko Centre for Neurodevelopment and Child Mental Health and the Scientific Director of the Azrieli Accelerator at UCalgary.

Dr. Heather Henderson

Dr. Heather Henderson is a Professor and the Chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo. She is the Director of the Social Development Lab where she and her students study (a) the role of early temperament on children’s social and emotional functioning and (b) affective and cognitive influences on self-regulation. She uses observational and physiological measures to understand the interplay of within-child and social-contextual factors on children’s behavior. Dr. Henderson is an Associate Editor at Developmental Science and Social Development and a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. She is the recipient of numerous awards for outstanding teaching and mentoring at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Dr. Jo-Anne LeFevre

Dr. LeFevre is also the Director of the Organized Research Unit, Centre for Applied Cognitive Research. Her research interests are in cognitive development and cognition, focusing on individual differences and developmental differences in mathematics. Topics she is currently pursuing in the area of numerical cognition include (a) the types of mental codes are used to solve arithmetic problems, (b) the role of working memory in mental arithmetic, and (c) the development of of early numeracy skills in preschool and kindergarten children. Applied questions, such as “What should parents do at home to help their children learn about reading and arithmetic?” or “Why do some people find arithmetic harder than other people?” help to frame and focus her basic research.

Dr. Andrea A.N. MacLeod

Dr. Andrea A.N. MacLeod is a Professor and was most recently the Chair of the Communication Sciences and Disorders department at the University of Alberta. She earned her clinical degree in speech-langauge pathology at the University of Vermont, and her PhD in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Washington. She began her academic career in Québec where she was an assistant professor at Université Laval before moving to Université de Montréal. She held a Canadian Research Chair in Bilingual Acquisition and Communication Disorders, and has received major grants as a principal investigator from organizations such as CIHR, SSHRC and the US National Science Foundation to study speech and language development in bilingual children. Her SSHRC Insight and Partnership Engage grants focus on working with local stakeholders to better understand the language development of multilingual children. The goal of this research is to support early language development of children who are refugees and immigrants, and to train clinicians and educators in providing support for these children and their families.

Dr. Marlene M. Moretti

Dr. Marlene M. Moretti is a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) and Professor of Psychology at Simon Fraser University, previous Senior Research Chair with Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2009-2014), and an Honorary Professor at the University of Orebro in Sweden. For over 25 years she has collaborated with provincial and federal government stakeholders, researchers and families across Canada and Sweden to promote adolescent mental health. She lectures nationally and internationally on the importance of attachment security as a protective factor in promoting social and emotional wellbeing. Understanding the pressing need to translate attachment theory and research into practice, she led the development and evaluation of the Connect Program, an attachment based parenting program, designed for broad implementation, high sustainability and demonstrated to promote mental health and well being in teens and their families. Recognized for its effectiveness and innovation, Connect has been evaluated and implemented across Canada and Sweden and has received the British Columbia’s Premier’s Award for Innovation in 2015. Her research interests include 1) the etiology and developmental course of pre-teen and teen mental health and behavioural problems, particularly aggression, violence and antisocial behaviour; 2) The importance of attachment relationships in buffering youth from adversity; 3) The development, dissemination and evaluation of interventions to promote health and reduce risk among youth, most notably the Connect© program.

Dr. Mark Sabbagh

Dr. Mark Sabbagh research interest include theory of mind, social learning, executive functioning, and conceptual change in preschool aged children. Also: Theory of mind and social functioning in adults.

Dr. Sandra Wiebe

Dr. Sandra Wiebe examines how children develop the ability to regulate their behaviour, attention, cognition, and emotions, how these abilities emerge and develop in the infant, toddler, and preschool years, how changes in behaviour relate to brain development, and what factors put children at risk for developing problems with self-regulation. She uses methods drawn from Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, including game-like tasks adapted from adult neuropsychological tests and behavioral neuroscience measures, sometimes in conjunction with neuroimaging methods like event-related potentials (ERPs), in which small ongoing changes in voltage at the scalp that reflects underlying brain activity are recorded. In addition, Dr. Wiebe is interested in how contextual and genetic factors (nature and nurture) interact to influence children’s developing self-regulatory skills, including prenatal risk factors such as smoking during pregnancy, postnatal factors such as physical activity, and genetic factors related to the dopamine system.