People

Great people doing amazing work is what makes NCIL. Here’s who we are:

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Aaron Newman

Lab Director - Aaron is a full Professor in Psychology, Psychiatry, Surgery, and Pediatrics at Dalhousie University. He is a member of the Brain Repair Centre, and is on the Scientific Staff of the QEII Hospital and the IWK Health Centre. CV

Morgan Johnson

Lab Manager, Research Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator - Morgan received her BSc in Neuroscience and is currently working part-time to get her MSc in Science Communication and Public Engagement. As the lab manager, she is responsible for the lab running smoothly! She is also involved in aphasia research and coordinates the undergraduate volunteers who work in the lab.
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Ali Muise-Hennessey

Research Assistant - Ali is currently studying law at Dalhousie, and previously obtained her MSc in NCIL and the RADIANT Neurotechnology training program. She has been involved in several projects, including brain training for adults with hearing loss, and individual differences in language processing.

Alena Galilee

Dr. Alena Galilee holds a Ph.D. in the Developmental Neuroscience, which she earned at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, specializing in social-cognitive neurodevelopment in typical development and in autism. Her PhD research focused on the embodied cognition in typical development, and speech perception and processing in children with autism. She is now investigating neural predictors of children's reading ability using EEG/ERP methods.

Kaitlyn Tagarelli

Dr. Tagarelli received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from Georgetown University. She uses fMRI, ERP, and behavioral methods to study the cognitive neuroscience of language, especially second language acquisition and bilingualism. Part of her postdoctoral work involves collaborating with Copernicus Labs to develop evidence-based educational mobile apps for early literacy and language learning.

Antoine Tremblay

Dr. Tremblay received his PhD in Linguistics from the University of Alberta. He has received funding from SSHRC and Mitacs. The overarching goal of his research is to characterize the spatio-temporal dynamics of brain activity during speech production and comprehension. He is also actively involved in the development of new statistical approaches to analyzing brain imaging data.

Lyam Bailey

MSc Student - Lyam is enrolled in the MSc program in Psychology and Neuroscience. He completed his undergraduate degree in Wales, UK, where he specialised in neuropsychological assessment of cognitive processes in relation to human handedness. Lyam’s current research interests are focussed on exploring individual differences in language processing and potential barriers to new language acquisition, using both EEG and MEG.
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Lisa Beck

MSc Student - Lisa is a MSc thesis student in Dalhousie's Speech-language Pathology program. She previously completed her undergraduate honours thesis in NCIL, which investigated the individual differences in sentence processing uaing MEG. Lisa's thesis work is investigating brain activity in children who are learning to read. She is also involved in research on aphasia treatment, and in delivering the InteRACT intensive aphasia rehab program. 

Emily Jarvis

MSc Student  - Emily completed her undergraduate degree at Mount Allison University. Her MSc thesis work investigates grammar in second language acquisition, using EEG. Upon completion of her MSc she will be training to become a speech-language pathologist at McGill University.

Sean McWhinney

PhD Student - Sean is a PhD student in Psychology and Neuroscience. In his Master's research he used functional neuroimaging to model language processing in the brain for patients with epilepsy. His current research is investigating novel methods to analyze brain imaging data.

Kiera O'Neil

PhD student - Kiera hails from Winnipeg, MB and is currently a student in the RADIANT program. She has worked on short-term second language training studies using the prototype video game LANGA, being developed by Copernicus Studios. Her current work focuses on neuroplasticity in blindness.
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Francesco Usai

PhD Student - Francesco is enrolled in both Psychology/Neuroscience and RADIANT. His main interests span from the basis of language acquisition and processing to the investigation of language disorders, with a special focus on novel and more effective rehabilitation techniques. He will be mainly involved in developing and testing computerized aphasia therapy.

Katie Douglas

Honours Student - Katie is from Regina, Saskatchewan and is working on a project recording EEG from two people engaged in conversation. Katie rows with the Dalhousie Rowing Team, plays oboe with community music groups, sits on the board of directors of the South House Sexual and Gender Resource Centre, and has worked at the Saskatchewan Science Centre.

Zoe Lazar-Kurz

Honours Student - Zoe hails from Toronto, Ontario and worked as a research assistant/project student in the lab. She will be completing her BSc honours project using EEG to investigate semantic processing.

Clara Lownie

Honours Student - Clara is from London, Ontario and is completing her BSc(hons) in Neuroscience. Her research in NCIL focuses on brain activity (EEG) during reading in children and young adults with reading difficulties.

Kathleen Cairns

Honours Student, 2016-17 - Kathleen completed her BSc(hons) in Neuroscience. Her thesis project examined hearing-impaired, older adults' cognitive abilities.

Emily McGuire

MSc Student, 2013-16 -  Emily was a Masters student in the Speech-Language Pathology program. Her research in the NCIL lab focused on how learning ASL may affect how the brain processes both meaningful and non-meaningful gesture. She is now employed as a speech-language pathologist.
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Emily Patrick

MSc Student, 2014-16 -  Emily is from Ottawa, ON and was agraduate student in the psychology/neuroscience program, and in the RADIANT program. Her research focused on the changes that occur in the brain during American Sign Language (ASL) acquisition. She currently works as a Research Assistant at Dalhousie's Brain Repair Centre.
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Erin Dempsey

Undergraduate Student, 2013-15 - Erin conducted an independent research project in the NCIL, investigating the effects of an eight-week meditation course on creative thinking abilities. She is currently in Dalhousie's Clinical Psychology PhD program.

Kelsey Holt

Honours Student, 2015-16 - Привет! Kelsey completed a combined honours thesis in Neuroscience and Russian Studies. Her project examined orthographic interference between the English and Russian languages. In addition to her academics, she is a member of the Dalhousie University Russian Society, women's rugby team, Dalhousie Swing Dance Society, and the campus medical response team. She is now in Dalhousie's Med school.

Jill Bray

Lab Manager, 2009-15 - Jill was responsible for making sure everything ran smoothly in the lab, and worked as Program Coordinator for the RADIANT training program. She was affectionately referred to as the "lab mom".
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Graham Flick

Honours Student, 2014-15 – Graham was an honours student in the Neuroscience program. He worked on an MEG study investigating speech production, and an EEG study of evaluative conditioning in branding and advertising. He currently works as a research assistant at New York University, Abu Dhabi.
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Sreejith Gopalakrishnan

MASc Student, 2014-15 - Sreejith completed his Master's in Computer Scienc. He was interested in the application of machine learning and data mining techniques in neuroscience to predict the language learning performance. He worked as a Research Assistant in the Institute for Big Data Analytics at Dalhousie, as well as completing a Mitacs internship in NCIL. Sreejith now works in industry. 

Ryan Wilson

PhD Student, 2008-15 - Ryan's research interests are focused on improving people's memory ability through training them to ignore irrelevant, information. He is also interested in understanding the underlying neurophysiological processes that are affected by this type of training. He has conducted research in other areas such as aphasia therapy. He currently works as a clinical psychologist in private practice at Inspired Living Medical

Heath Matheson

Grad student & Postdoctoral fellow, 2006-2016 - Heath was a postdoc in Dr. Shannon Johnson's lab, collaborating with NCIL on a project related to face perception in autism. He completed a second postdoc in fMRI with Dr. Sharon Thompson-Schill at the University of Pennsylvania. He now holds a faculty position in Psychology at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Therese Chevalier

PhD, 2009-15 - Therese was a PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program. She worked on a project that compared deaf and normally hearing individuals using DTI to examine structural changes that occur in the brain in response to auditory deprivation. She also worked on a treatment study using TMS as a supplementary treatment for aphasia following stroke. She is currently a clinical neuropsychologist working in Edmonton, AB.
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Katharina Bulles

Exchange Student - Katharina was a third year Psychology BA exchange student from the Maastricht University, the Netherlands. She conducted an independent research project in the NCIL, investigating individual differences in language processing in native English speakers.
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Marie-Elssa Morency

Honours Student, 2013-14 - Marie-Elssa completed her BSc(hons) in Neuroscience. Her thesis involved developing and testing fMRI language mapping paradigms optimized for pediatric populations. Marie-Elssa attended Maastricht University in the Netherlands as an exchange student. She is also an avid photographer and active in the Rotaract Club. Marie-Elssa subsequently completed a Master's degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Toronto.
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Ella Dubinsky

Honours Student, 2013-14 - Ella hails from Cape Breton, NS and completed her BSc(hons) in NCIL. er resaerch investigated individual differences in EEG during sentence processing. She is currently a graduate student studying the cognitive neuroscience of music at Ryerson University.
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Andrea Civitarese

Project Student, 2013-14 - Andrea hails from Calgary, AB and completed her BSc in Neuroscience. She worked on a project to develop and test fMRI language mapping paradigms optimized for pediatric populations. 
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Anne Johnson

Research Assistant, 2009-2014 - Anne has a MSc in Linguistics from the University of Toronto and worked for IBM before coming to NCIL, where she applied her Linguistics training to studies of speech production and becoming adept in EEG and MEG research.
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Amit Bansal

Visiting Graduate Student, 2012-14 - Amit completed his MSc in Population Health at the University of Oslo. He conducted his thesis research at NCIL as a visiting student. He currently works as a medical doctor.

Kate Thompson

PhD Student, 2010-12 - Kate was a PhD student in the experimental program. She completed a comprehensive project investigating the neural correlates of second language acquisition in the lab. Her primary supervisor was Tracy Taylor-Helmick, and her main area of research focused on memory and attention.

Vivian Eng

BSc (hons), 2012-13 - Vivian hails from Malaysia and has completed her BSc(hons) in Psychology at Dal. She subsequently completed a Master's in her home country of Malaysia. When not befuddled by cultural references, she enjoys sci-fi, travelling and a good conversation. Her honours thesis tested LANGA, a set of video games to teach second languages that was developed by Copernicus Studios, Inc..
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Max Hauser

MSc, 2012-13 - Hailing from Belgium, Max was an exchange student from Maastricht University, and worked on an EEG study of second language acquisition using LANGA. He is currently a PhD student in Germany.
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Julia Fuchs

Research Assistant, 2013 - Julia completed her MSc in Psychology at the Saarland University in Germany. Before moving on to a clinical and doctoral training programme she welcomed the work at NCIL to gain practical experience in neuroscientific research methods.
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Amanda Williams

PhD comp student, 2011-13 - Amanda was a PhD student in the experimental psychology program. She worked on a comprehensive project using fMRI to map patterns of language activation across different tasks related to speaking, reading, and listening in children. Her primary supervisor was Dr. Chris Moore, and her main area of study was prosocial development in children. After her PhD Amanda went on to study counselling psychology.
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Emily Jarvis

Research Assistant, 2013  - Emily was a psychology student at Mount Allison University. She was a recipient of a RADIANT Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to work and learn in the lab.

Chris Cowper-Smith

PhD comp student, 2009-12 - Chris conducted an EEG study of cochlear implant recipients. He subsequently participated in the very first RADIANT summer institute in neurotechnology innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship. Following this, he launched is own, now-successful company, Spring Loaded Technology.

Jonathan Fawcett

PhD, 2012 - Jon learned EEG and conducted studies in NCIL including on biological motion and bilingualism. Upon completing his PhD, he did a postdoc at Cabridge University. He is now a professor in Psychology at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. 

Erin Mazerolle

PhD, 2012 - Erin is currently a postdoc with Dr. Bruce Pike at the University of Calgary.

Lauren Dunphy

Graduated Honours Student - 2012 - Lauren was a double honours Psychology and Economics student. After completing a MSc in Psychology at the University of Western Ontario, she returned to Halifax to train as a professional Audiologist.

Lu Han

 Graduated Undergrad Student - 2012  

Lindsay Taylor

Summer Research Assitant (RADIANT SURF fellowship), 2012  

Cassie Taylor

Honours Student, graduated 2012 - Cassie did her Neuroscience honours thesis working on functional connectivity in reading.

Sarah Anschutz

Exchange Student, 2011

Ramz Aziz

Volunteer Student, 2011-2012 - Ramz is now studying law at the University of Toronto.

Hazlin Zaini

Research assistant and lab mom. After leaving NCIL, Hazlin completed her Master's in Engineering from the University of Alberta.

Nicole White

Honours Student, 2009-10. After leaving NCIL, Nicole went to the University of Toronto for a PhD in Psychology.

Emily Nichols

Honours Student, 2009-10. After leaving NCIL, Emily completed a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at Western University.

Janet Green

Honours Student, 2008-09. After graduating from NCIL, Janet obtained a MSc in Psychology from York University then returned to Dalhousie where she worked in the Laboratory for Brain Recovery and Function. She subsequently studied medicine at Dalhousie.

Heather O'Rourke

Honours Student, 2008-09. Heather went on to complete her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

Sarah Massoud

Honours Student, 2008-09

Nathan Smith

Summer research student (NSERC USRA), 2008

Jonathan Dobbelsteyn

Honours Student, 2008-09

Disclaimer: We try to keep this page up to date but it’s sometimes a challenge with so many people! If you should be here and aren’t, make it happen!