Members of the SEA Lab (Fall 2023)
Kathryn L. Humphreys, Ph.D., Ed.M. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. She directs the Stress and Early Adversity (SEA) Laboratory. Dr. Humphreys attended Vanderbilt as an undergraduate, earned a master’s in Risk and Prevention at the Harvard, and obtained a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the UCLA. Dr. Humphreys completed her clinical internship and clinical postdoctoral fellowship in Infant Mental Health at the Tulane. She completed an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford. Dr. Humphreys’s ultimate goal is to promote healthy development through supporting families during what is often a challenging time. She has three children of her own, who inspire her daily.
Kaylin Hill, Ph.D. is a Research Assistant Professor supported by an NIMH K23 award. Kaylin’s research utilizes multiple methods, including psychophysiology, behavioral measures, and self-report/structured interviews, to examine cognitive and affective processes. Kaylin is most interested in assessing intergenerational risk factors and the rigor of commonly used methods to support early identification and intervention for mood disorders. Kaylin graduated summa cum laude from Butler University, earned her Ph.D. from Purdue University, and completed her clinical internship at the University of Notre Dame. Outside the lab, Kaylin enjoys adventuring and spending time with her family.
Post Doctoral Fellows:
Lauren Bailes, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the SEA Lab in the Department of Psychology and Human Development. She studied Psychological Sciences at Western Kentucky University and received a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Lauren’s research focuses on children’s social and emotional development during infancy, toddlerhood, and early childhood. Her graduate work focused on caregivers' early interactions with infants as predictors of toddlers’ emotion expression. Outside of the lab, Lauren enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews and traveling.
Whitney Barnett, Ph.D., MPH is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the SEA Lab in the Department of Psychology and Human Development. Her current research interests are understanding the impact of maltreatment in early life on child outcomes and implementing evidence-based approaches to support parents and children to prevent maltreatment. Whitney graduated with an honors degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and earned her Masters in Public Health and her Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Outside of the lab, Whitney enjoys spending time outside with her husband and two children, Madison and Jackson.
Julia Garon-Bissonnette, Ph.D. completed her graduate work in Psychology at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. Her work focused on the developmental mechanisms involved in the intergenerational transmission of trauma, mainly reflective functioning. Julia’s research focuses on how parental and child individual, interpersonal, and psychosocial risk and protective factors interact in understanding infant behavioral and socioemotional development. Outside the lab, she enjoys backcountry skiing, cycling, reading and spending time with her family and friends.
Sarah Bouthillier is our latest addition to the SEA Lab team! Sarah earned her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Psychology from Belmont University in 2023 and now serves as the CARE Project Coordinator. Her research interests lie in exploring the intersections of attachment styles, relationships, and behaviors across the lifespan. Beyond her academic pursuits, Sarah is a passionate coffee connoisseur and loves to cook. During weekends, you’ll often find her exploring new restaurants and spending quality time with friends!
Juelle Ford graduated from the University of California, Riverside in 2022 with a B.S. in Psychology. Juelle is a project coordinator in the lab. Her research interests include early life adversity and the implications exposure to trauma may have on later risk-taking behaviors. Outside of the lab, Juelle enjoys cooking, hiking, and spending time with her family.
Abby Blum is a Clinical Science Ph.D. student. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2020 with a B.A. in Psychology and Creative Writing. Her research interests include caregiver–child attachment and infant mental health. Outside the lab, Abby enjoys exploring new cities, hiking, and novels.
Yanbin Niu is a doctoral student in the Developmental Science program. She received her masters in Developmental Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University in 2020. Prior to joining the SEA Lab, Yanbin worked as a research assistant at the Teachers College, Columbia University and a research technician at the Florida International University. She is interested in studying brain plasticity, including how the brain changes in response to experiences. Outside of the lab, Yanbin enjoys spending time with her family.
Hannah Piersiak is a Clinical Science Ph.D. student. She received her M.Ed. in Child Studies from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody School of Education in 2020. Before completing her master’s degree, she received a B.A. in Psychology from Colby College in 2017. Her research interests include the developmental outcomes associated with different early life experiences and protective factors that can promote resilience in children and families. Outside of the lab, Hannah enjoys being outdoors, running, and watching sports.
Sanjana Ravi is a doctoral student in the Clinical Science program. She graduated from University of Washington in 2018 with a double degree in Psychology and Early Childhood and Family Studies. Prior to joining the SEA Lab, Sanjana worked as a research coordinator in the Child Development Lab at the University of Maryland. She is interested in studying parenting of young children, as well as identifying how to promote healthy development/protect against the development of psychopathology. Outside of the lab, Sanjana is an avid CrossFitter. She loves trying new restaurants and cafes as well as watching vlogs on YouTube.
Collaborating Graduate Students:
Emilia Cárdenas is a doctoral student in the Clinical Science area. Emilia graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2016 with a dual degree in Psychology and Art. Emilia then worked as a research coordinator in the Lab for Affective and Translational Neuroscience at McLean Hospital for two years. Emilia is interested in advancing translational neuroscience to promote resilience in vulnerable children and families. When Emilia is not in the lab, she enjoys listening to albums from start to finish (as the artists intended), cooking new recipes, and taking long walks around Nashville.
Traveria Evans is a student in the Child Studies master’s program. She is on the Applied track with a specialization in Poverty and Intervention. She graduated from Fisk University in 2020 with a degree in English. She is interested trauma informed care practices and implementation in urban schools. Outside of the lab she enjoys reading, talking walks, and watching The Bachelorette with her roomie.
McKenzie Greene is a student in the Child Studies master’s program. She graduated from Butler University in 2021 with a degree in Health Sciences. She is interested in researching the impacts of maltreatment on children and interventions for non-traditional familial dynamics. Outside of the lab she enjoys being outdoors, reading, and exploring trendy thrift stores.
Katia Jarufe is a student in the Applied Child Studies master’s program. She graduated from Purdue University in 2023 with a degree in Human Services and a minor in Management. She is interested in researching the behavioral development of children and the correlation it has with the time they spend with their parents/caregivers; as well as interventions that promote positive parent-child relationships. Outside of the lab she enjoys visiting new restaurants, going to the park, baking, and spending time with family and friends.
Jada Ledgister is a student in the Child Studies master’s program. She graduated from Lee University in 2023 with her B.A. in Psychology. She is interested in researching the impacts of maltreatment on children, psychopathology, and resilience. Outside the lab, she enjoys cooking, caring for her plants, and checking out new coffee shops.
Micaela Macfarlane is a student in the Child Studies master’s program. She graduated from Southern Virginia University in 2021 with a degree in Psychology. She is interested in researching the impacts of maltreatment on children, brain plasticity, and interventions that promote resilience in maltreated children and their families. Outside of the lab she enjoys basketball and yoga, being outdoors, and reading.