People

BLAB retreat, Fall 2018


Photo credit:
Zachary T. Kern
Dr. Elika Bergelson
Principal Investigator
  Dr. Bergelson is an Assistant Professor in Duke's Department of Psychology and Neuroscience (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.
  Most recently she was a Research Professor at the University of Rochester's Brain and CogSci Department. Dr. Bergelson's work has been funded by the NSF and NIH; she is most recently the recipient of an NIH Early Independence Award.
  Dr. Bergelson thinks figuring out how babies learn language is just about the coolest question out there.
Photo credit:
Vitaly Bergelson
Dr. Federica Bulgarelli
Postdoctoral Researcher
  Federica recently finished a PhD in Cognitive Psychology and Language Science from Penn State University (personal page). She is interested in how learners figure out what to do with variability stemming from different sources in their environment, such as different speakers or different languages.
   Federica also loves baking and traveling.
Dr. Stephan Meylan
Postdoctoral Researcher
  Stephan (personal page) splits his time between the Bergelson Lab and the Computational Psycholinguistics Lab at MIT working on computational models of language acquisition and language processing.
   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.
Hallie Garrison
Lab Manager
  Hallie graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2013 with a B.A. in Sociology. She moved to Boston to work in childcare for three years, where she developed an interest in infant language acquisition. Hallie likes books, bikes, and beautiful places!
Gladys Baudet
Lab Technician
  Gladys is a French engineer in computer science. After six months in Stockholm studying language engineering and six months in Paris doing computational modeling for language acquisition, she decided to start working abroad for some time.
   Gladys likes to walk, sing, and walk while singing. Sometimes she even sings while walking.
Charlotte Moore
Graduate Student
  Charlotte received a B.A. in psychology and linguistics from the University of Ottawa, and went on to do her Master's in Linguistics at the same university, continuing work she began as an undergrad on speech perception in toddlers. She is currently completing a PhD in developmental psychology at Duke.
  Charlotte is interested in how babies learn the sounds of their language, and how knowledge of those sounds helps them learn their first words. She also loves biking and knitting, and always reads the book before she watches the movie version.
Shannon Dailey
Graduate Student
  Shannon is a PhD student studying developmental psychology. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015 with a major in psychology and a minor in music. She began working with Dr. Bergelson in 2015, first as lab manager on the SEEDLingS team at the University of Rochester, and then as the BLAB manager at Duke. Shannon’s hobbies include cooking, playing music, and complaining about how hot North Carolina is.
Erin Campbell
Graduate Student
  Erin graduated from Towson University in 2018 with a B.A. in speech language pathology, deaf studies, and disability studies. She is currently completing a Ph.D. at Duke in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience.
  Erin wants to better understand language processing and acquisition for children with sensory impairments. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, yoga, smiling (recreationally), and embroidering pictures of bugs.
Meghan Beck
Research Assistant
  Meghan is a sophomore at Northeastern University majoring in neuroscience and minoring in French, and she is currently on co-op as a full-time research assistant. She is interested in the effect language has on perception. In the future, she plans to go the medical school.
  Outside of the lab, Meghan can be found playing volleyball, wishing it would snow, and trying to convince her cats to get along.
Danielle Mayorga-Young
Research Assistant
  Danielle is a junior from Colorado majoring in Neuroscience with minors in French and Chemistry. She is interested in the social and developmental impact learning multiple languages has on infants and children into adulthood.
  Danielle hopes to go to medical school after her undergraduate years at Duke, but while she still has free time, she enjoys cross-country running, reading classic novels, and going to concerts at Red Rocks.
Chandler Richards
Research Assistant
  Chandler is a senior studying Neuroscience with minors in psychology and music. She is interested in neuropsychological disorder and how this relates to childhood development. She is also interested in less traditional forms of psychological treatment, especially music therapy, and the neuroscience behind why those work.
  When she isn't working or studying, Chandler likes to hang out with her dog Eloise, experiment with cooking and baking, or spend time with her friends in Hoof 'n' Horn working on whatever current musical is being put on.
Sarah Yang
Research Assistant
  Sarah is a junior, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Neuroscience and Global Health. She is interested in developmental psychology and how children adapt to and interact with the complex world around them. She hopes to continue her studies in either developmental or clinical psychology as a graduate student.
  Throughout the week, you may find Sarah studying in the library, rehearsing with her dance organization Defining Movement, or teaching Sunday School at her church. She loves flowers, reading, and baking.
Katya Khlystova
Research Assistant
  Katya is a senior at Duke majoring in Chemistry and Linguistics. She is utterly fascinated by the process of language acquisition in children, as well as the cognitive processes underlying this phenomenon, and is hoping to eventually pursue a PhD in the field.
  Outside of class, Katya loves going for hikes with her dog (and marvelling at how quickly he's grown!), dancing, cooking, and learning as much as she can about the world around her.
Hannah Humayun
Research Assistant
  Hannah is a Junior majoring in Psychology with minors in Education and Classical Civilizations. She is interested in learning models and the acquisition of knowledge in young children. In the future, Hannah hopes to attend medical school and become a pediatrician.
  In her free time at Duke, she loves attending RUF, cheering on Duke basketball, and watching super cheesy rom-coms.
Junette Yu
Research Assistant
  Junette is a junior studying Neuroscience & Linguistics and doing a certificate in Marine Science & Conservation Leadership. She is interested in the intersection between multilingualism and the ever-fascinating brain, and also dabbles in learning about cetacean vocalisations. Junette likes travelling, reading, walking and being anywhere near the sea.
Janani Ramadurai
Research Assistant
  Janani Ramadurai is a freshman double majoring in Linguistics and Neuroscience and minoring in Computer Science. She is most interested in understanding how children acquire language and hopes to apply that knowledge to speech therapy in the future.
  In her free time, Janani loves to spend time with her friends and family, read books, and play music.
Alan Leggio
Research Assistant
  Alan is a freshman planning on majoring in linguistics and is particularly interested in language acquisition and how language mediates social interactions. He is also considering a double major or a minor in psychology.
  Outside of school he enjoys learning Norwegian, playing Euphonium in the wind symphony, cooking, and fencing.
Sophie Hurewitz
Research Assistant
  Sophie is a current first-year student at Duke, where she plans to study either Psychology or Neuroscience and pursue the Child Policy Research Certificate. She is extremely interested in how children develop language, as well as how young children learn to communicate with others in conversation. She is also interested in how babies and toddlers with various developmental disabilities acquire language. She is planning on going to medical school to become a pediatrician!
  Sophie also loves working with older children, whether it be through tutoring, mentoring, or being a camp counselor during the summer. Here at Duke, she is also a Baldwin Scholar and an America Reads America Counts tutor. She loves to go to the beach, binge watch TV shows, and is always hungry for a great pizza.
Emma Zhang
High School Research Assistant
  Emma is a senior at the North Carolina School of Science and Math from Davidson, NC. She is hoping to major in Neuroscience and Biology and do research in college. She loves working with children and works at a summer camp every summer as a camp counselor.
  In her free time she likes making music, drawing, making travel plans, taking photos, and adventuring with her friends.
Estelle He
Programming Research Assistant
  Estelle is a sophomore planning to double major in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science. She is interested in the language learning process at the early development stage. At Duke, Estelle is also a member of Duke Robotics Club.
Webster Bei
Programming Research Assistant
  Webster is a junior pursing a double major in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science. He is interested in Mathematics, cognitive science, data science and artificial intelligence. As an enthusiast for consumer electronic products, he hopes to become a part-time journalist for new tech products.

Lab Alumni

  • Natasha Derezinski-Choo, research assistant, 2016-2018
  • Micaela Brewington, research assistant, 2016-2018
  • Naseem Dillman-Hasso, summer research intern, 2018
  • Natasha Vernooij, summer research intern, 2018
  • Ellie Breitfeld, summer research intern, 2018
  • Savanna Groft, research assistant, 2016-2018
  • Erich Hess, high school research assistant, 2018
  • Andrei Amatuni, lab technician, 2015-2018
  • Afua Ansah, research assistant, 2016-2018
  • Angela Tawfik, research assistant, 2017-2018
  • Reena Jasani, research assistant, 2016-2017
  • Alexis Aberman, high school research assistant, 2017
  • Maia Donald, high school research assistant, 2017
  • Kelsey Shelofsky, research assistant, 2017
  • Claire Patrick, high school research assistant, 2017
  • Dr. Catherine Laing, postdoctoral researcher, 2016-2017
  • Emmaline Drew, graduate practicum student, 2017
  • Hannah Ballock, research assistant and independent study student, 2016-2017
  • Ryan Bloom, programming research assistant, 2017
  • Nick Groszewski, programming research assistant, 2017
  • Liwen Zhang, programming research assistant, 2016-2017
  • Cristopher Alvarado, high school research assistant, 2016

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