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

grad-4-1Emma 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.

Research Assistants


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.

Postgraduate Research Assistants

 Former Lab Members

Jennifer SouthPalomares 03 (1)

Jennifer South-Palomares
My research explores social judgements in highly variable naturalistic everyday face images and in averaged face-like images. I am currently working on a project with Dr Elena Geangu examining infancy precursors for empathy development, with EEG, psychophysiology and behavioural measurements. I am also collaborating on two cross-disciplinary projects applying machine learning to rs-fMRI data for Parkinson’s disease drug treatment and early stage (pre-motor) diagnosis. I have cross-disciplinary expertise in person perception, neuroscience, and clinical psychology and have applied machine learning to biomedical brain imaging data.
Photo JessicaJessica Vergeer
I have received both of my bachelor degrees at the Radboud University Nijmegen, in the Netherlands. I have studied Developmental and Educational Sciences and I have received my teaching degree for primary schools. I am currently studying for an MSc in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of York, where I also recently joined the Developmental Social Neuroscience Lab as a research assistant.
imageKloe Fico
I recently obtained a degree in Physics from Aberystwyth University, where I gained a passion for working with children whilst making science accessible to the little ones. My interests range from cognitive science and neuroscience to cognitive development and education. I am currently working towards the completion of an MSc in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, with the ultimate goal of becoming as a cognitive neuroscientist focusing on infant research. I am also working as a teaching assistant and maths tutor at Fishergate Primary School.  I will soon start researching how infants process emotions from non-verbal vocalizations.
IMG_20190124_215411613Katherine Fitzakerley
I am currently enjoying an MSc in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of York. Before this I studied a three-year course in Psychology at the University of Derby. I aim to undertake a PhD in the future, but plan to take some time out of education before this.