I am a developmental cognitive psychologist, and here, you can find out about my research, teaching, and the UK Cognition & Development Lab!

If you are a UK undergraduate interested in joining my lab,
you can find more information here!

My research is focused on children’s understanding of math concepts. In particular, I’m interested in how children’s familiar, prior knowledge can both help and hinder new learning. How can we leverage students’ knowledge of familiar concepts to help them understand new, difficult concepts? My research has focused on relationships between students’ early whole number concepts and later fraction concepts.

I’m also interested in how people feel about math. Many children and adults are anxious about math or report not liking math or feeling like they “belong” in a math class. Why do students feel anxious? Where do negative attitudes come from? Are some students more likely to have math anxiety and negative beliefs than others? What are the consequences of attitudes and emotions for thinking and learning?

Finally, I want to know how people’s math knowledge and attitudes affect their reasoning about important numbers in the “real world.” During the pandemic, we have been bombarded with information – fatality rates, testing rates, positivity rates, oh my! How do our math skills support, or fail to support, our ability to make sense of this information and use it to make decisions?

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Kentucky and head of the Cognition & Development Lab. I did my PhD in Developmental and Cognitive Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Dr. Martha Alibali in her Cognitive Development and Communication Lab and completed a postdoc with Dr. Clarissa A. Thompson in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Kent State University.

If you are planning to apply to the Psychology graduate program for Fall 2023, please note that I am not accepting a new graduate student in 2023-2024.