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

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


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 temperaments. 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.

 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.