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Who We Are


The ESDL is comprised of a team of highly trained researchers who are experts in the field of

child development.


Meet Our Faculty, Staff, and Students

Dr. Chris Moore

ESDL Director

Dean of Science

I was trained in the United Kingdom and moved to Canada in 1985 as one of ‘Thatcher’s orphans.’ Apart from a 2-year stop at the University of Toronto where I was a Canada Research Chair in Social Cognitive Development, I have been at Dalhousie University since 1988. My longstanding research focus has been the development of children’s social understanding. I have made empirical and theoretical contributions to the study of infant joint attention, children’s mental term use and understanding, and children’s future oriented decision-making. You can read more about my research interests here
Robin Curtis
Experimental PhD Student
I hold a BA in Psychology from Middlebury College, an MA in Asian Studies from the University of British Columbia, and am currently pursuing my PhD in Experimental Psychology at Dalhousie. My research interests are diverse, but generally revolve around morality and prosocial behavior. Previously, I have completed field work investigating generosity and cheating behavior among Christians and Buddhists in southern China. I have also recently conducted textual research on the virtue of ren or benevolence in ancient Chinese culture. Currently, I am investigating the development of moral foundations in children. I have found the ESDL community to be an extremely welcoming and supportive community.


Mya Dockrill

Honours Student & RA

I am a 4th year BSc Honours student in the ESDL. My passion for working with children started at a young age, through my roles as a camp counselor and dance teacher. I joined the ESDL team in my 3rd year because of this passion. I am currently doing my Honours project on the topic of cooperation with Dr. Corbit and am working as an RA on a project with Dr. Moore. The research experience that I have gained in the ESDL will carry with me for the rest of my career. I hope to do a master’s in developmental or school psychology where I can continue to work with children. I feel privileged to be a part of the ESDL!
Kyle Cameron
I am currently in my second year at Dalhousie University majoring in Psychology. I am currently still a full-time member of the Royal Canadian Navy as a Weapons Engineer Technician; once I complete my honours, I plan on enrolling in a Clinical Psychology program here at Dalhousie. I am very excited to be able to contribute to ESDL in any way possible.
Stephanie Hartlin

ESDL Manager

I completed my Masters of Science in Experimental Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Moore in 2009 and have worked as the ESDL manager since 2015. I enjoy working with the wonderful researchers, students, and staff of the Early Social Development Lab as well as the amazing families who make our research possible!
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Erin Dempsey
Clinical PhD Student
I am a fifth year graduate student working toward a PhD in Clinical Psychology. I have a BA in Philosophy from the University of King’s College, and a BA in Psychology from Dalhousie University. My primary research focus is on moral judgement and emotion among autistic and neurotypical individuals . I have researched this area using qualitative and quantitative methods. My PhD dissertation will be a culmination of this work. My clinical interest lies in using psychodynamic interventions with children and adults to encourage the experience of avoided emotions to reduce anxiety and other mental health difficulties. 
Dr. John Corbit

Post Doc

After having completed a BSc in Psychology at Dalhousie University, I went on to Concordia University to complete an MA, investigating infants’ early understanding of social categories. Most recently, I completed a PhD in Developmental Psychology at Simon Fraser University where my dissertation research focused on the role of collaboration in the development of fairness within the context of resource allocation. My research interests focus on the development of prosocial behavior, with a specific interest in fairness and the forms of social experience that foster prosocial development. The ultimate goal of this work is to understand how social experience shapes immediate exchanges as well as constructs a morality based on a strong concern for fairness. I have tremendous respect for the work that has been coming out of the ESDL and am excited to be joining the team as a post doc.
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Lydia Muyingo
Clinical PhD Student
I am a 4th year PhD student in Clinical Psychology. I have a Honours B.A. in Psychology from the University of Ottawa. My dissertation research is on immigrant alcohol use. I'm happy to be completing a comprehensive project with the ESDL on sensitivity to moral foundations and sibling-ship. Clinically, I am training to be a child psychologist and have experience working with children and adolescents in community mental health and impatient settings.
Dr. Vivian Li


I am a PhD student from Beijing Normal University, China. Currently, I am a visiting graduate at ESDL. My research interest is moral development, children's fairness decision in the social interaction. I am especially interested in the culture effect on children's moral development. Now I participate in the investigation of moral foundations in children with Chinese backgrounds. I really like and enjoy working and studying here. Everyone in ESDL is awesome and kind.

Dr. Fatemeh Keshvari


I am a PhD Candidate at Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. I joined the ESDL as a visiting researcher to collaborate with Dr. Chris Moore and his wonderful team. My research interests are Morality and Prosocial Behavior and their underlying mechanisms with a focus on the motivating factors in prosocial behavior in children and adults. It is a long joyful journey I have embarked on here at Dalhousie with an extraordinary, supportive and brilliant group. 
Abigail Green
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Alicia Reil
I am currently in my third year at Dalhousie University and am majoring in Neuroscience.  I am from Toronto where I have spent a lot of time coaching and tutoring children.  I am excited to be able to contribute what I can to the Early Social Development Lab and learn lots along the way. 
I am a third year Neuroscience student here at Dalhousie University. I have always had a passion for science and working with children. Being a part of the ESDL team has allowed me to combine these passions and has taught me so much along the way. I plan on pursuing a career in health care and am excited to continue contributing to the amazing research happening within this lab!
Sarah Peverill

Clinical PhD Student

I am in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at Dalhousie. I completed my BSc (Hons) at Mount Allison University, where I worked with Dr. Nancy Garon on self-regulation, executive function, and delay of gratification in preschoolers. I am interested in both the development and improvement of self-control in children. My clinical interests are similar to my research interests, and also include children with autism spectrum disorders.
Hayley MacDougall
Honours Student

I am a 4th year BSc Psychology major at Dalhousie University completing my honours in the ESDL this year. I completed the Integrated Science Program (DISP) in my first year at Dal and was exposed to research very early. This triggered my interest in getting involved with the ESDL, first as a volunteer, then an independent research student, and now an honours student! I have always loved working with children and have grown a particular interest in developmental and social psychology throughout my studies and opportunities in the ESDL. 
Mackenzie Moore
Research Assistant
I am a 4th year psychology student at Dalhousie currently working on my honours project in the Mood, Anxiety, and Addiction Co-morbidity lab! I'm currently assisting with research on guilt in the context of classical origins, literature, philosophy, religion, and the law. My research interests are primarily in abnormal and forensic psychology and I am planning to enrol in a clinical PhD program in the next few years!
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Ramez Michail
I am currently a 4th year neuroscience student here at Dalhousie university! I am planning on pursuing medicine here at Dalhousie.  I have been involved with the ESDL lab for 1 year now and I’m excited to remain a part of this lab!
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