Meet the team

elenaElena Geangu (principal investigator) I have done all my university degrees at ‘Babes-Bolyai University’ in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. After few years of postdoctoral fellowships around the world and a lectureship at Lancaster University, in October 2017, I took a lectureship in the Department of Psychology at the University of York.

PhD Students

Emma Jackson
I am a first year PhD student being supervised by Dr Elena Geangu here at York. My PhD project examines infants’ emotional expression processing in the context of their own emotional states and temperamental characteristics. I come from Oldham, in Greater Manchester, and read Experimental Psychology at The University of Oxford. I then went on to complete my MRes in Psychology at the University of York. Social developmental research has always interested me, especially given that my first job was as a Nursery Nurse back in Oldham.
Lauren Charters
I completed my Undergraduate degree in BA Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, and I am now starting a PhD in Psychology here. My PhD will be investigating the potential link between interoception (the ability to recognise internal bodily states such as heart activity) and empathy in infants and toddlers, supervised by Dr Elena Geangu. I’m looking forward to meeting lots of participants and learning more about empathy development! My hobbies include going on walks, volunteering, and video games. 

Research Associates

Priscilla Martinez Cedillo

I am a Postdoctoral Researcher working with Dr Elena Geangu and Dr. Quoc Vuong (from University of Newcastle). I was a PhD student at the University of Essex after receiving an MSc from VU Amsterdam. My research investigates how our visual attention is captured during the performance of cognitive tasks. These tasks are designed to measure social attention and cognitive load. At York Developmental Social Neuroscience Lab, I am investigating visual attention and working memory across the lifespan.


Research Assistants

M. Carmen Garcia de Soria

Currently working as a Research Assistant with Dr. Geangu. I completed my bachelor’s degree in Psychology and my MS in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Granada. During this time I also worked with infant’s neuroimaging methods and behavioural data collection. My interests have always been in Developmental Neuroscience, the understanding of our basic brain biology and functions, and how these develop from early childhood to adulthood. I am looking forward to collecting more research experience and developing an academic career.

Nicoleta Gavrila

I am working as RA in the DSN Lab where I am supporting the team with data collection (the part that everyone loves) and data pre-processing. I joined the lab to be able to apply my theoretical and transferable skills and also contribute to the project Welcome Leap 1kD that appealed to me with its goals of improving the health of children through a better understanding of their first 1000 days of life. I am also a Psychology Tutor for Year 1 and 2 students. I have a MSc degree in Development, Disorders and Clinical Practice and extensive experience working with adults and children with developmental disorders and mental health difficulties. I have also worked with children in the Montessori framework and as a volunteer for Save the Children.

Aastha Mishra

I completed my MSc in Development Disorders and Clinical Practice from the University of York and am currently working as a research assistant in the Developmental Neuroscience lab with Dr Elena. I am originally from Kathmandu, Nepal and moved to York in 2020. I have always been interested in child and adolescent psychology and want to learn more about developmental psychology in a clinical and academic based setting.

Emily Clayton

I am currently undertaking a Professional Placement, working as a Research Assistant with Dr. Geangu. I am two years into my BSc Psychology at Newcastle University, and my interest in developmental psychology began when I completed a placement as a teaching assistant in a primary school over 5 years ago. I’m really looking forward to expanding my knowledge and experience in this particular field of psychology, and meeting participants and like minded colleagues whilst working in the lab.

Brigita Ceponyte

I am third year psychology student at Newcastle University currently doing professional placement as a research assistant at Developmental Social Neuroscience lab in York. My interest in developmental psychology sparked when I was volunteering in an orphanage for mentally and physically disabled children in Romania during my gap year after school. At university I also became fascinated by neuroscience. I still find our ability to develop technologies that can measure what is happening inside our brains very exciting. I am looking forward to learning more about the research in developmental neuroscience, both theoretically and practically, as well as meeting like-minded people along the way. 

Daniela Marinova

I’m originally from Bulgaria and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of York. My work and voluntary experience mainly revolve around education, coaching and research. I’m interested in pursuing a career in academia, hence I’m working with Dr Geangu in order to gain further research experience in the field of Developmental Neuroscience.

 Former Lab Members