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  Grace Iarocci, Ph.D., R. Psych. is Director of the Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab (ADDL), a Professor of Psychology, and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar. I work closely with government and community agencies in BC to disseminate research information on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and influence policy on ASD and other developmental disabilities.
Research Interests: We explore the ways that processes of attention may interfere or facilitate an individual’s ability to engage in a variety of social experiences ranging from detecting information from eyes and faces to interpreting subtle cues from complex social interactions involving several participants.
For more information on Dr. Iarocci, please click here.

Post-Doctoral Fellow:

Nichole Scheerer, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow at SFU. She received her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from Wilfrid Laurier University. Dr. Scheerer currently teaches Emotion and Motivation at SFU. 
Research Interests: How the brain uses sensory information (e.g., auditory and visual information) during development. More specifically, how differences in the perception of, or attention to, different forms of sensory information may influence development. 

Doctoral Students

  No Photo Krista Johnston, M.A., is a PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program at SFU.
Research Interests: ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders, neurotypical development, mental health in ASD (specifically anxiety and depression), treatment of anxiety in ASD (using modified CBT and group-based approaches), assessment of ASD in the context of epilepsy, the use of technology in intervention, social and emotional functioning and development, and family functioning.
For more information on Krista, please click here.
  Mandeep Gurm is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at SFU.
Research Interests: typical and atypical development, individual differences, working with families, anxiety disorders, parent-child interactions
For more information on Mandeep, please click here.
Vanessa Fong, MSc., is a PhD student in the Experimental Developmental program at SFU. She received her BSc from the University of Toronto and completed her MSc at the University of London. 
Research Interests: ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders, executive functioning, quality of life, and evaluating interventions. 

Masters Students

  Hilary Aime, B.A., Hons is a Masters student in the Clinical Psychology program at SFU. She succesfully defended her Master's thesis, titled Social Learning and Social Motivation: Examining Parent-Child Interactions. 
Research Interests: ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders, social learning in ASD, socialization of attention, cross-cultural methodology.
For more information on Hilary, please click here.
Madelaine Ressel is a second year Master’s student in the Clinical
Psychology program at SFU. She completed her undergraduate training at the University of Ottawa. She has been interested in autism since childhood as she has brothers with ASD. She has also worked as a respite care provider and in social skills programming for adolescents with autism.
Research Interests:  Working with children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disabilities as well as histories of trauma, and their families.
Vivienne Mount is a second year Master's student at SFU. She graduated from
the University of Guelph in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Psychology. Her undergraduate thesis examined emotion socialization and learned helplessness in children. She was a volunteer researchassistant in the Child Self-Regulation Lab at Ryerson University
where she contributed to the Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts™study and the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Families study.
Research Interests: Autism spectrum disorder and the family dynamic.

Honours and Directed Studies Students

Teagan Chambers is currently completing her Honours degree in Psychology where she is examining the relationship between attachment and affect regulation in children diagnosed with ASD. 
Research Interests: Attachment theory, ASD, at-risk children/youth, parent-child interactions. 
Brittni Thompson has  recently graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in psychology from Simon Fraser University. Throughout her years as an undergrad, she volunteered regularly as a research assistant with the Adolescent Health Lab and the Autism and Developmental Disorder Lab. Brittni also worked for the Burnaby School District as an Education Assistant implementing behaviour interventions and helping children enhance their academic and social skills. Brittni hopes to continue working in the field of psychology and is currently applying to graduate programs.
Research Interests: bi-directional relationships between parent and child behaviour or between siblings and understanding the experience of caregivers of people with developmental disabilities.ASD, education, attachment.
Ariel Cheung is currently completing her BA (Hons.) in psychology with Dr. Iarocci. She has volunteered with the ADDL for over two years and has been actively involved with several of our SFU Social Science Camps.
Research Interests: Student's knowledge of ASD, university adjustment for individuals with ASD, social competence, well-being, inclusiveness, and stigma.


Troy Boucher is the Lab Coordinator for the ADDL. He is an undergraduate student pursuing an Honours degree in Psychology. Troy has volunteered with the Edmonton Public School Board where he helped start a music program for children, and currently serves as a peer tutor at Simon Fraser University. Troy is also a member of the SFU Men's Lacrosse Team. Troy works part time in the lab while purusing his B.A., Hons. with Dr. Iarocci
Research interests: Special interests and social development in youth with ASD, anxiety and depression in individuals with ASD, and social attention and perceptual learning.
For more information on Troy, please click here.
  Gisella La Madrid, M.A. is the former Lab manager for the ADDL. She has experience working with children and families facing disabilities and developmental disorders and is currently opening her own private practice as a child & family counsellor.
Research Interests: Developmental disorders such as ASD, ADHD and FASD, family quality of life, family resilience, and family-centred practice.
For more information on Gisella, please click here.

Reyhane Bakhtiari, M.Sc. is the Leading Research Assistant for the ADDL
Research Interests: Positive attitudes towards autism, self/autism awareness in children and adolescents with ASD, comorbid disorders with autism, Learning Disabilities.

Please note that Reyhane will be on maternity leave starting on March 2017.

  Michael MacIsaac is an IT Consultant and Web Developer for the ADDL.
Profile: Michael has been providing computing solutions and web development for the ADDL since January 2010.


  Sarah Hutchison, Ph.D. is the former Lab Manager for the ADDL. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia.  She is conducting her current research out of the Child and Family Research Institute.
Research Interests: development of executive function, childhood obesity, autism, and second language learners.
Elina Birmingham, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at SFU. She is a former post-doctoral student of Dr. Iarocci in the psychology program at SFU.
Research Interests:  Social attention and perception in typical and atypical development
Lab Website:
  Jodi Yager, Ph.D., is a Psychology Consultant. She is a former doctoral student of Dr. Iarocci in the Clinical Psychology program at SFU.
Research Interests: Understanding social competence in children and adolescents with ASD.
  Adrienne Rombough's Photo Adrienne Rombough, Ph.D., is a Psychology Consultant for Compass Clinic (, doing developmental assessments for Sunny Hill and Monarch House. She is a former doctoral student of Dr. Iarocci in the Clinical Psychology program at SFU.
Research Interests: autism, developmental disorders, social attention, gaze following, social competence, typical and atypical human development, social inclusion and family coping. 
  Emily Gardiner, Ph.D., is a former doctoral student of Dr. Iarocci.  She is currently a postdoctoral fellow with BC Children's Hospital and the University of British Columbia Department of Pediatrics.
Research Interests: family quality of life, family-centred practice, cultural sensitivity, executive function, and social developmental processes in children with autism
For more information on Emily, please click here.
  Theo Elfers, Ph.D., is a Psychology Consultant. He is a former doctoral student of Dr. Iarocci in the Clinical Psychology program at SFU.
Research Interests: Development of social cognition, identity, and social competence
  Kimberly Armstrong, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist with the Westcoast Child Development Group and Spectrum Works Consulting. In her clinical work she conducts ASD assessments and provides therapy to adolescents and adults with ASD. She is a former doctoral student of Dr. Iarocci in the Clinical Psychology program at SFU.
Research Interests: interests in ASD, adults with ASD, visual processing, symptom domains
For more information on Kimberly, please click here.
Allison Brennan, Ph.D.  was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Iarocci in 2014-2016.