Lab Members

UMKids Lab 2015
Principal Investigator: Daniel Messinger, Ph.D.Daniel Messinger, Ph.D.
Dr. Messinger is an interdisciplinary developmental psychologist, and the author of over 120 scientific publications appearing in journals such as PLoS ONE, Developmental Science, and Molecular Autism. He is dedicated to mentoring the next generation of scientists; and has served as primary advisor for 16 doctoral students (including one NSF Fellow and two NIH Fellows), and four postdocs. Dr. Messinger serves as Coordinator of the Developmental Psychology Program at the University of Miami, and loves talking to prospective developmental graduate students. He has experience leading longitudinal research initiatives funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Institute of Education Sciences. Dr. Messinger investigates the temporal dynamics of communication to understand how infants and children’s social, emotional, and language development. He uses machine learning to paint an objective picture of children’s interaction and employs computational models to make sense of the resulting big behavioral data.
Graduate Student: Amy AhnAmy Ahn
Amy joined our lab in 2017. She graduated with honors from Cornell University with a B.S. in human development and a concentration in social and personality development. She is joint-mentored by Dr. Daniel Messinger and Dr. Elizabeth Simpson, and is interested in leveraging objective measurements to understand typical and atypical socio-emotional development, including ASD.
Graduate Student: Jacquelyn MoffittJacquelyn Moffitt
Jacquelyn Moffitt is a second year graduate student who studies the social-emotional development of children with developmental disabilities, particularly autism. Jacquelyn is particularly interested in understanding the family contexts in which children grow, and the potential for family-based interventions.
Graduate Student: Samantha MitsvenSamantha Mitsven
Samantha joined the doctoral program in Developmental Psychology at the University of Miami in 2017. She graduated with honors and received her B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University. In her work, Samantha utilizes objective measurements of children’s movement and vocalizations within preschool classrooms to understand the mechanisms by which social interactions with teachers and peers promote language development in children with and without developmental delays and disabilities.
Programmer & Tech Lead: Laura VitaleLaura Vitale
Laura Vitale is a Software Engineer with a minor in Psychology (Florida International University). She integrates various technologies for data acquisition, processing, management and analysis of children behavior and development.
Lab Coordinator: Aurora AdamsAurora Adams
Aurora is from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and graduated from Middlebury College. She earned her MA in Linguistic Theory and Typology from the University of Kentucky. Aurora coordinates and collects data for the Language and Interaction study, a joint project between Dr. Daniel Messinger and Dr. Lynn Perry.
University of MiamiDepartment of PsychologyARTC