People


Alexis K. Black

Principal Investigator

Dr. Black is interested in how babies see, hear, feel – and learn! – about their worlds. She received her Ph.D. in Linguistics and Cognitive Systems from the University of British Columbia in 2018, where she focused on auditory statistical learning across the lifespan. Alexis then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Haskins Laboratories, where she used a technique called neural decoding to study infant and adult EEG and hemodynamic brain signals. When she’s not in the lab, Alexis is probably either spending time outdoors, cuddling with her family, or reading (with a steaming cup of coffee!).


Carlin Bannister

Research Assistant

Carlin graduated from UBC in May 2020 with a B.Sc. in Behavioural Neuroscience and a minor in Speech Sciences. She is beginning her masters in Speech-Language Pathology at the UBC School of Audiology and Speech Sciences in September 2020. Carlin is interested in language development across the lifespan and using neuroimaging techniques to better understand language processes. Carlin’s interests outside of school include reading, baking, fashion design, and watching football.


Jessa Jeter

Research Assistant

Jessa graduated from Occidental College in May 2020 with a B.A. in Cognitive Science & Group Language, with an emphasis in French and Linguistics. She plans to attend graduate school in Applied Linguistics in Fall 2021. Jessa is interested in language acquisition, language documentation and revitalization, and linguistic theory. Jessa also loves hiking, reading, and taking care of her plants.


Emily Marks

Research Assistant

Emily is from Claremont, California and is in her third year at Occidental College. She is studying psychology and on track to pursue occupational therapy. Emily is interested in language development and the acquisition of different skills. On campus, she is involved in Dance Production and Intervarsity and works at the Child Development Centre. Outside of school Emily enjoys rollerskating, hiking, picnics, and crocheting.


Talia Papa

Lab Coordinator

Talia recently graduated from UBC with a degree in Speech Sciences and Psychology and is planning to continue with her studies to eventually become a speech pathologist. She is particularly interested in the area of language acquisition and loves working with kids and learning about child development. In her free time, Talia enjoys spending time in nature, traveling, reading, and drawing.


Joshua Robins

Lab Coordinator

Joshua finished his undergrad at UBC in Linguistics, with a minor in Russian, and plans to continue his education to become a speech pathologist. He is particularly interested in phonetics and language acquisition, and also enjoys learning about the sociolinguistic side of global language contact. Outside of education, he enjoys travelling, snowboarding, and loves to create electronic music.


Sophia Rusnak

Research Assistant

Sophia is a third year Psychology student at UBC. After she graduates, she hopes to pursue graduate school and eventually work at a non-profit organization. Outside of school, she enjoys acrobatics, traveling, and spending time with animals.

Isabelle Telford

Research Assistant

Isabelle is entering her third year studying Mathematics with a minor in Linguistics at UBC. After completing her degree, she hopes to attend graduate school to find ways to use math to better understand human language. She is especially interested in second language acquisition and bilingualism. Outside of school, Isabelle likes to run, row, play guitar, and travel.

Thalia Hernandez-DePaoli

Research Assistant

Thalia is studying Biology in her third year at UBC and hopes to pursue more education within the neuroscience field. She wishes to incorporate aspects of science and psychology in her degree. Her goal is to attend graduate school or medical school after graduation, with plans to help people in a clinical setting one day. She enjoys dancing flamenco, hiking, and travelling in her free time.