Lab Members

Dr. Tanya MacGillivray

Lab Director

I study early social-cognitive development in children living in diverse social contexts. My research has three primary objectives. First, I examine current theories spanning psychology, anthropology and education to determine whether they are Western-biased or generalizable to other contexts. Second, I examine how the first seven years of life impact the developing mind. My past research has demonstrated a remarkable number of similarities across diverse contexts, such as early parenting behaviours. Yet, we also find striking differences in parental socialization goals and behaviour depending on context. Third, I aim to involve communities in the research process with the goal of having citizen-led research objectives. I have served as one of six international council members and advisories on the UK’s Board of Directors for Child and Family Blog and as Associate Editor for the Journal of Adversity and Resilience Science (AARS).

Graduate Students

Yitong Wang, MA

Second-year Ph.D student

Early prosocial development cross culture: Focusing on the role of parents in children’s early prosocial development from a cross-cultural perspective.

Motor development cross culture: Investigating the relationship between early parenting practices and infants’ locomotion proficiency in their natural settings 

Srujana Duggirala, MA

 I am a second-year Ph.D. student in the Developmental Area at Simon Fraser University. I am working under the supervision of Dr. Tanya MacGillivray. My current research areas are exploring the mechanisms underlying a culture-specific self-concept and understanding the contrasting sleep arrangements of infants in different parts of the world. Knowledge translation is another key area of my interest. Beyond academic pursuits, I engage in activities such as meditating, knitting, and learning new languages

Zahra Halavani

I am currently in my second year of the M.A. program in developmental psychology, actively engaged in research at the Culture and Development Lab since 2022. My research revolves around exploring parent-infant interactions across diverse cultural contexts. Beyond academia, I find solace in practicing yoga and exploring new destinations during my free time.  

Hilary Aime, MA

PhD Student, Child-Clinical Stream
Camouflaging among children: Investigating informant discrepancies between parent- and teacher-reported autistic characteristics.

Curriculum Vitae

Honour Students

Aislynn Sharrock

I am a fourth year Psychology student with a minor in Gerontology. I am currently completing my honours project in the Culture and Development Lab, with hopes of continuing my studies at graduate school in the coming years.

Erika Binder

I am a student-athlete here at SFU, majoring in Psychology and a double minor in Counselling & Human development and Learning & Developmental Disabilities. When I’m done with my undergrad, I hope to continue my studies at graduate school. In my spare time, I like to play disc golf, spend time with friends, and make ice cream!

Lab Members

Nicole Poynton

I am in my last year at SFU pursuing a psychology major and learning and developmental disabilities minor. I am currently the lab manager and a research assistant in the Culture and Development lab.

Madeline Hallson

I am a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology at SFU. Having the opportunity to volunteer in Dr. MacGillivray’s Culture and Development Lab provides me with valuable experience and insights into infant-directed behaviour and cultural diversity. I am looking forward to future opportunities post-graduation which may include pursuing graduate studies.

Megan Simpson

I am a second-year psychology student with the intentions of graduating with a BA in psychology with honours. After my undergrad, I hope to attend graduate school in pursuit of a Master’s and PhD in psychology. 

Johnny Tari

Field Lab Manager

Lab Alumni

Graduate and Post Doctoral Students

Gülce Ozker, MA

My research interest is “Social networks in urban and rural communities in Canada: Examining child and family wellbeing and resilience”

Senay Cebioglu, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Human Behaviour, Ecology and Culture
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Sheina Lew-Levy, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher, Durham University

Curriculum Vitae

Andrea Smit, PhD

User Experience Researcher
Google via Adecco

Additional Lab Member Alumni

Alana Pace

Aleksandra Partyka

John Corbit, Ph. D., St. Francis Xavier University