For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop

Meet the BSL Lab Team!



Dan Berry headshot

Daniel Berry


Daniel is an assistant professor in the Institute of Child Development and the Director of the BSL Lab. He earned an Ed.M. in Quantitative Methods and an Ed.D. in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University. He subsequently trained as a post-doctoral research scientist in the Neuroscience and Education Lab at New York University and served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, prior to joining the ICD faculty.


Lab Coordinator:


Alyssa Varhol headshot

Alyssa Varhol


Before joining BSL as lab coordinator, Alyssa completed her MSc in Psychological Research Methods as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Sheffield (2016). Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, she graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2013 with degrees in Psychology and English, and a minor in Spanish. Alyssa is interested in the ways language, perspective-taking, and cognitive processes develop, interact with each other and contribute to learning outcomes, particularly across individual differences in socioeconomic status and neurological and physiological development.

Post-Doctoral Research Scientist:


Nicole Perry headshot

Nicole Perry


Nicole Perry is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Child Development. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2013. Her research aims to better understand the impact of early caregiving behaviors on the development of biobehavioral emotion regulation processes in infancy and early childhood, and identify the ways in which individual differences in emotion regulation contribute to mental health and social adjustment.

Graduate Students:


Keira Leneman headshot

Keira Leneman


Keira received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Davis in 2011, with minors in Philosophy and Political Science. She is currently a general developmental track Ph.D. student in the Institute of Child Development (ICD). Primary research interests surround understanding how chronic stress early in life impacts the development of physiological and behavioral self-regulation. Specifically, she is interested in investigating mechanisms of chronic stress by exploring physiological stress systems together in real time as flexible, dynamic systems with relations to behavioral measures of self-regulation.

Alyssa Palmer headshot

Alyssa Palmer


Alyssa graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 2016 with a B.S. in Psychology focusing in neuroscience and minors in Biology and Sociology. Her research interests include the effects of childhood adversity on mental health, individual differences contributing to risk and resilience, emotion regulation, physiological reactivity and regulation, parenting, and interventions targeting those processes.

Isabella Stallworthy headshot

Isabella Stallworthy


Isa Stallworthy is a Ph.D. student in the Developmental Psychology program at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development (ICD). After graduating from Middlebury College in 2015 with a B.A. in Neuroscience, she completed a two-year pre-doctoral Social Developmental Neuroscience Fellowship at Emory University. Broadly speaking, she’s interested in the development of social engagement systems in typical populations and in the context of autism. Her current research explores how early social visual engagement, contingent caregiving, and biosocial self-regulation intertwine and set the stage for more complex social interaction in infancy. She’s also interested in the processes by which vulnerabilities, such as poverty, chronic stress, and premature birth, shape early social interaction and self-regulation.

Undergraduate Students:


Imane Ait Daoud headshotImane Ait Daoud


Imane is a senior studying Physiology and Psychology and minoring in neuroscience. She has a great interest in developmental and cognitive psychology and physiological and neurological implications in psychology. It is her hope to pursue a career in research and academia after graduation.

Lexus Aksteter headshotLexus Aksteter


Lexus is currently a senior at the University of Minnesota, majoring in Child Psychology and minoring in Neuroscience. She is planning to pursue a career in research and is moving to California to obtain her Master’s Degree in a similar discipline. Lexus is currently an Undergraduate Research Assistant at the BSL lab. Currently, she is very interested in working with children in a lab setting, specifically focusing in on the physiological responses that occur in stress related environments.

Lexus Aksteter headshotGrace Cardinal


Grace was a visiting RA in the BSL Lab for summer of 2017. She is a senior at the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University in St. Joseph, MN majoring in psychology and minoring in music. She will be applying to graduate programs to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology this fall. Her end goal is to become a child psychologist. Her research interests include behavioral and emotional outcomes of adverse childhood experiences, learning processes, learning disabilities, and child development.

Velma Gesimba headshotVelma Gesimba


Velma is currently a senior at the University of Minnesota, majoring in Child Psychology with a minor in Public Health. She hopes to go to graduate school to receive a Master’s in Public Health with a focus on mothers and children. Her goal is to work for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). She is also interested in working with mothers that consume alcohol and drugs during pregnancy and children who suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome.

Danqui Guo headshotDanqi Guo


Danqi is currently a senior at the University of Minnesota, with a major in psychology and a minor in child psychology. She is interested in studying different patterns of cognitive flexibility in different developmental stages and how they could be influenced by personal experience and the environment. She is working in the BSL Lab to gain more research experience.

Juliana Lillehei headshotJuliana Lillehei


Juliana is a junior at the University of Minnesota majoring in Child Psychology and minoring in Spanish. She assists in the BSL lab to pursue her interests in early self-regulation and learning. After graduation, she intends to pursue a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and work as a clinical psychologist.

Sophie Mazullo headshotSophie Mazullo


Sophie Mazullo is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota majoring in Child Psychology with a minor in Family Social Science. She also plans to pursue a certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has always loved working with children in any way, shape, or form and hopes to someday work in the foster care system.

Evangeline Nguyen headshotEvangeline Nguyen


Evangeline is currently a senior at the University of Minnesota. Majoring in psychology, she is working as a research assistant in the BSL Lab to gain more research experience. After graduation, she hopes to pursue graduate school to become a PA.

Kalliopi Panagi headshotKalliopi Panagi


Kalliopi is currently a junior at the University of Minnesota pursuing a degree in Child Psychology. She is currently working in the BSL lab as a research assistant because she wants to gain some experience doing research. After graduating, she plans to attend graduate school in school psychology.

Aymee Quan


Aymee Quan is a senior and has been working in the BSL Lab since Spring of 2017.