Staff, grad student, postdocs, and undergraduate members of the Bergelson lab stand smiling in a classroom with a maze. The image changes to a silly one when the mouse rolls over it.
BLAB end of year celebration, Spring 2024

Dr. Bergelson stands in front of a white wall smiling and wearing a black shirt.
Photo credit:
Zachary T. Kern
Dr. Elika Bergelson
Principal Investigator
Dr. Bergelson is an Associate Professor in Harvard's Psychology Dept. ( personal page ). Dr. Bergelson received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, where she first became interested in infant word-learning, after receiving research training at the University of Maryland as a Baggett Fellow , and a B.A. at NYU in Language and Mind. Her training is in psychology, linguistics, and cognitive science. Before coming to Harvard, she was a postdoc and then research prof at URochester's Brain & CogSci Dept, and then a professor in Duke's Psych & Neuro Dept. Dr. Bergelson's work has been funded by the NSF and NIH; she is the recipient of an NIH Early Independence Award and R01, and an NSF CAREER Award. Dr. Bergelson thinks figuring out how babies learn language is just about the coolest question out there.
Dr.Bergelson, pictured as a two year old, claps in front of a birthday cake
Photo credit:
Vitaly Bergelson
Dr. Hartman wears a bright blue shirt and smiles in front of a brick building.
Dr. Jasenia Hartman
Postdoctoral Researcher
Jasenia finished her PhdD in Neuroscience from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is interested in how infants use social and linguistic cues available on the face to support their learning. Jasenia is an aspiring plant mom and DIY-enthusiast.
Dr. Hartman as toddler standing and grinning in front of a plaid chair in a blue polka-dotted dress
Dr. Meylan smiles up at the camera in bright sunshine wearing a navy sweater
Dr. Stephan Meylan
Postdoctoral Researcher
Stephan splits his time between the Bergelson Lab and the Computational Psycholinguistics Lab at MIT working on computational models of language acquisition and language processing ( personal page ). He recently completed a PhD in the Computational Cognitive Science Lab at UC Berkeley, focusing on how to represent adults’ and children’s abstract knowledge of language with probabilistic graphical models.
Dr. Meylan as a baby, sitting in a high chair looking bemused
Genia faces the camera wearing a dark sweater and glasses.
Genia Lukin
2nd Year Graduate Student
Genia studied psycholinguistics at Tel Aviv University and theoretical Linguistics a Boston University. She is interested in how sensory impairments impact language-learning, and how babies compensate for them. In her spare time, she tries to read all the books, sings classical choir, and has very strong opinions about Mediterranean cuisine.
A sepia-toned portrait of Genia as a young child. She sits on a wooden box wearing a gingham dress.
Kristen stands in front of a stone wall wearing a blue blazer
Kristen Gilyard
2nd Year Graduate Student
Kristen recently graduated from Harvard University with an A.B. in Neuroscience and Mathematics. Kristen wants to acquire more knowledge about how infants learn specifically how infants create semantic representations. Kristen also enjoys reading, knitting, and bird-watching.
Baby Kristen looks at the camera while drinking from a bottle
Lilli sits in a white adirondack chair and smiles while holding a duck on her lap
Lillianna Righter
Lab Manager
Lilli graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.A. in Linguistics in 2020. There, she worked on research looking at infants’ acquisition of long-distance syntactic dependencies and wrote a thesis about early verb learning. She is thrilled to join BLAB and learn more about language development. Lilli loves her ducks, playing D&D, and theater.
Baby Lilli sticks both fingers up her nose while her staticky hair sticks to a balloon
Zhenya looks to the side while standing in front of a whiteboard and wearing a blue and white striped shirt
Zhenya Kalenkovich
Lab Technician
Zhenya graduated from HSE University, Moscow in 2017 with an MSc. in Cognitive Science. After graduating, he was involved in research into phoneme perception, negative sentence processing, and neural correlates of syntactic processing. He joined the lab in November, 2021. He is interested in the Language Development as a major window into cognition in general. At the lab, he performs a variety of programming/technical duties involved in managing and analyzing the corpus and experimental data as well as providing technical support for the researchers in the lab. In his free time, he enjoys bouldering, short hikes, and trying new things.
Baby Zhenya pictured in black and white, looking surprised, sitting on a booster chair and holding a picture book with tigers
Nicole has brown hair and black square glasses. She wears a denim jacket and beams while holding a bouquet of flowers.
Nicole Calderon
Research Assistant
Nicole is an undergraduate at Harvard College from Miami, FL studying Psychology and Education. She is interested in early language development, how language is taught, and finding out how young learners can be best supported in their growth! In her free time, she loves latin dancing, cooking, and crochet.
A close up of baby Nicole, with a matching lavender sweater and beret.
Ethan Chaves
Research Assistant
Ethan is a sophomore from Charlton, MA concentrating in Music and Psychology (Cognitive Science track), as well as a dual-degree student at the New England Conservatory of Music. In his free time he enjoys hiking to find petroglyphs and watching old films.
Stephanie smiles on the street in front of a castle landmark. She has shoulder length black hair and wears a white lace dress.
Stephanie Zaragoza
Research Assistant
Stephanie is currently a junior psychology student at Harvard. She is interested in clinical psychology, but also in developmental psych and learning disorders. In her free time, she enjoys showing pictures of her dog Coco and listening to music.
Pre-school age Stephanie stands in front of a garden with a short dark bob and a beautiful white frilly dress.
Grace smiles on a rooftop in Europe. She has shoulder length brown hair, blue eyes, and wears a puffy green jacket with a black and white scarf.
Grace Benkelman
Research Assistant
Grace is a Harvard undergraduate from Montana studying Psychology and Linguistics. She is interested in various topics in social psychology and psycholinguistics. She loves to hike, run, rock climb, and be outside in her free time!
Young Grace dances very seriously in a dark room, wearing a bright orange dress with yellow hibiscus print.
Sarah has dark brown hair and a bright smile. She kneels in front of a hibiscus bush as if putting one of the flowers in her hair, wearing a sweatshirt and jeans in a sunny tropical climate.
Sarah Latzke
Research Assistant
Sarah is a junior undergraduate student at Harvard College from Columbus, Ohio studying Psychology and Linguistics. She is interested in clinical and developmental psychology, and she has a particular curiosity for how first and second languages are acquired. In her spare time, Sarah loves to sing and travel the world with her a cappella group, the Radcliffe Pitches.
An infant with a pained expression lays on a purple floral pillow, while a disembodied adult hand spoon feeds her.

Lab Alumni (Where they are now)

  • Dr. Charles Davis, Postdoctoral Researcher, 2022-2023
  • Dr. Erin Campbell, PhD student, 2018-2023 (Postdoctoral researcher at Boston University with Naomi Caselli and Amy Lieberman)
  • Hallie Garrison, research associate, 2017-2023
  • George Romero '24, research assistant, 2022-2023
  • Samantha Chaney '24, research assistant, 2022-2023
  • Isabella Liu '24, research assistant, 2022-2023
  • Daisja Honorable '25, research assistant, 2022-2023
  • Mary Kate Merenich '25, research assistant, 2022-2023
  • Serena Raj '25, research assistant, 2022-2023
  • Anika Pawlak '25, research assistant, 2022-2023
  • Malini Narula '23, research assistant, 2022
  • Dr. Federica Bulgarelli, Postdoctoral Researcher, 2018-2022 (Assistant Professor of Psychology and Learning and Instruction, University at Buffalo)
  • Jessica Steil, visiting scholar, 2022 (PhD candidate at the University of Tübingen)
  • Dr. Shannon Dailey '22, PhD student, 2017-2022 (Post-doctoral Associate at Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University)
  • Jingxuan Liu '22, research assistant, 2019-2022 (PhD student, Columbia Business School)
  • Olivia Leggio '22, research assistant, 2019-2022 (Programmer, Neurology Department at UNC)
  • Jasmine Pflepsen '22, research assistant, 2020-2022 (Learning Support research assistant, American Institute for Research)
  • Taylor Horowitz '22, research assistant, 2020-2022 (Clinical Research Coordinator, Cohen Children's Hospital)
  • Sophie Barry '22, research assistant, 2021-2022 (Digital marketing, Michael Kors)
  • Kyra Lewis '23, research assistant, 2020-2022
  • Janani Ramadurai '21, research assistant, 2019-2021 (Linguistics Master's student at UNC)
  • Madi Yancy '22, research assistant, 2019-2022 (English teaching assistant in Spain)
  • Natalie Chou '23, research assistant, 2021-2022
  • Mihika Rajvanshi '23, research assistant, 2020-2022
  • Janis Zhu '24, research assistant, 2021
  • Dr. Charlotte Moore '21, PhD student, 2016-2021 (Post-doctoral researcher with Dr. Krista Byers-Heinlein at Concordia University)
  • Dr. Carla Fernandez, Postdoctoral Researcher, 2019-2021
  • Crismely Fermin, Visiting summer ICIS intern, 2021
  • Isha Mahadeshwar, High school summer intern, 2021
  • Lauren Mitchell '22, research assistant, 2019-2020
  • Justin Kim '22, research assistant, 2021
  • Sebastian Sanchez '22, research assistant, 2021
  • Sarp Uner, Lab Technician, 2019-2021 (Data Science Master's student at Vanderbilt)
  • Halden Levin, high school research assistant, 2020
  • Junette Yu '20, research assistant, 2020
  • Aahnix Bathurst, Project Manager, 2019-2020
  • Irene Tang, Lab Manager, 2019-2020 (PhD Student at University of Chicago in Linguistics)
  • Sarah Yang '20, research assistant, 2018-2020 (Senior Clinical Research Specialist, Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development)
  • Jessica Marlow '20, research assistant, 2019-2020 (Master's of Science student in Global Health at National Taiwan University)
  • Sophie Hurewitz '22, research assistant, 2019-2020
  • Georgia Price '22, research assistant, 2019
  • Gladys Baudet, lab technician, 2018-2019 (AI Engineer at AnotherBrain)
  • Estelle He '20, programming research assistant, 2016-2019
  • Webster Bei '20, programming research assistant, 2016-2019
  • Meghan Beck, co-op visiting research assistant, 2019 (research assistant Co-op at Institute of Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering)
  • Danielle Mayorga-Young '19, research assistant, 2017-2019 (Clinical Research Specialist at Duke)
  • Chandler Richards '19, research assistant, 2017-2019 (IRTA Research Assistant at NIMH-SFIM)
  • Katya Khlystova '19, research assistant, 2017-2019 (Ph.D. candidate at UCLA)
  • Emma Zhang, NCSSM high school research assistant, 2018 (Undergraduate at UNC)
  • Natasha Derezinski-Choo '18, research assistant, 2016-2018 (Fullbright recipient, "Many Medicines and Many Languages: The Sociolinguistic Underpinnings of Medical Pluralism.")
  • Micaela Brewington, research assistant, 2016-2018 (Public Health Analyst at RTI International)
  • Naseem Dillman-Hasso, summer research intern, 2018 (Lab Manager of the Perception Lab at Carleton College)
  • Natasha Vernooij, summer research intern, 2018 (Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan; Studying multilingual cognition)
  • Ellie Breitfeld, summer research intern, 2018 (Psychology Ph.D. candidate at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s)
  • Savanna Groft, research assistant, 2016-2018 (Clinical Medical Interpreter at Duke)
  • Erich Hess, high school research assistant, 2018 (Undergraduate at UNC)
  • Andrei Amatuni, lab technician, 2015-2018 (Ph.D. candiate at Indiana University in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences)
  • Afua Ansah, research assistant, 2016-2018 (Ohio-Illinois District Youth Assistant Secretary, Presbyterian Church of Ghana)
  • Angela Tawfik, research assistant, 2017-2018 (Senior Research Fellow at Duke University)
  • Reena Jasani, research assistant, 2016-2017 (Medical Student at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School)
  • Alexis Aberman, high school research assistant, 2017 (Undergraduate at Cornell University)
  • Maia Donald, high school research assistant, 2017 (Undergraduate at Barnard College)
  • Kelsey Shelofsky, research assistant, 2017 (Clinical Research Coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dept. of Neurology)
  • Claire Patrick, high school research assistant, 2017
  • Dr. Catherine Laing, postdoctoral researcher, 2016-2017 (Lecturer in the Centre for Language and Communication Research at Cardiff University, Wales)
  • Emmaline Drew, graduate practicum student, 2017 (Doctoral student in cognitive psychology at Duke University)
  • Hannah Ballock, research assistant and independent study student, 2016-2017
  • Ryan Bloom, programming research assistant, 2017 (Associate Consultant / Software Engineer at
  • Nick Groszewski, programming research assistant, 2017 (Senior Associate Data Engineer at Capital One)
  • Liwen Zhang, programming research assistant, 2016-2017 (Data Scientist at GM Financial)
  • Cristopher Alvarado, high school research assistant, 2016 (Undergraduate at Swarthmore College)

If you are interested in joining our lab, see here!