Current Research Team Members
Julie Markant - Lab Director
Dr. Julie Markant is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Tulane University. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Child Psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. Prior to coming to Tulane, Julie completed post-doctoral training in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences at Brown University.
As a developmental cognitive neuroscientist, Dr. Markant uses a convergent methods approach to investigate the mechanisms driving attention-memory interactions across development. Her research has used behavioral, eye tracking, genetics, and functional MRI methods to examine 1) the role of selective attention in promoting memory encoding during development, 2) the neural mechanisms underlying attention - memory interactions, and 3) biological correlates of individual differences in attention and learning in infancy.
Claire Noonan - Graduate Student
Claire is a doctoral candidate in the Tulane School Psychology program from Vienna, Virginia. She earned her B.S. in Biological Sciences from Columbia University in 2009 and her M.S. in Developmental Psychology from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2014. Her research interests center around face processing and early social skills during the first year of life, especially to inform prevention, early identification and treatment in the context of maladaptive development. Her career goals include carrying out clinical work and research with early childhood populations. Claire is excited to have matched at the University of Denver with the Right Start for Infant Mental Health team for her psychology pre-doctoral internship, and she will be moving Colorado this summer to continue working with little ones!
Jill King - Graduate Student
Jill is a third year Neuroscience Ph.D. student from Baton Rouge, LA. She received her BS in Biological Sciences and in Psychology from LSU in 2016. During her undergraduate training, she conducted research at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge as part of the Biomedical Imaging Department. As a PhD student, she is interested in understanding how cognitive functions develop in early childhood, and how development intersects with neuroscience across the lifespan. Jill is currently running a study that examines how children (ages 3-5) learn from science based lessons in the presence of varying levels of distraction.
Brianna Keenan- Graduate Student
Brianna is a 2nd year Developmental Psychology PhD student from Tampa, Florida. She received her B.S in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Florida in 2017, where she studied infant face processing using eye-tracking and EEG methods. Brianna is interested in the reciprocal relationship between attention and learning, and how daily experiences influence cognitive development. She is currently recruiting participants for studies examining how infants (6- and 11-month olds) allocate attention to own- and other- race faces, and how reward learning affects visual attention in infancy (9-12-month olds).
Julia Nauman- Research Assistant
Julia is a junior at Tulane pursuing a double major in neuroscience and psychology. Her interest in neuroscience research led her to join Dr. Markant’s lab in the summer of 2017, where she has had the opportunity to learn new skills, gain insight into the research process, and expand her knowledge of neuroscience. Outside of the lab, Julia enjoys exploring New Orleans with her friends, and is a member of several student organizations at Tulane, including the Tulane chapter of the Thomistic Institute, and Tulane University Right to Life. She is also the Community Outreach Executive for the Tulane University Neuroscience Association. After earning her degree from Tulane, she plans to attend graduate school and get a Masters or Ph.D. in neuroscience.
Leah Vaidya- Research Assistant
Leah is a junior at Tulane University from Scottsdale, Arizona. She is pursuing a major in both Chemistry and Mathematics, with a minor in Marine Biology and English. Leah’s passion for working with children prompted her to get involved with Dr. Markant’s developmental psychology lab. In her free time, Leah volunteers at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, and is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Women in Science at Tulane. Leah also works as a summer camp counselor for children with pulmonary disorders. She also has a passion for horses and loves to explore all of the amazing restaurants in New Orleans. After graduating from Tulane, she hopes to pursue a career in either education or medicine.
Savannah McNair- Research Assistant
Savannah is a freshman at Tulane University seeking a degree in both Neuroscience and Psychology. Savannah was raised in East Tennessee, but spent her last two years of high school studying at an international school in San José, Costa Rica. Savannah’s curiosity about the cognitive processes behind learning and memory led her to undertake a lab assistant position at Dr. Markant’s Learning and Development Lab. She is excited to broaden her understanding and passion for Neuroscience and Psychology through her work in the lab, as well as gaining concrete research skills. Outside of class, Savannah is a member of the Tulane Neuroscience Association as well as the Women in Science organization on campus, and volunteers for the Best Buddies International Organization that aims to serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Additionally, she loves to play soccer, and is an adamant believer in the positive impact of time spent in nature. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree at Tulane, she intends to go on to acquire a PhD in Neuroscience, with the goal of eventually working in Neuroscience Research as a career.
Sydney Greenlee- Research Assistant
Sydney Greenlee is a Junior at Tulane University from the Bay Area, studying Neuroscience and Mathematics. Sydney joined Dr. Markant’s lab in the summer of 2019 to explore her curiosity in neural mechanisms and brain development, while also applying her love for math by performing data analysis. Outside of the lab, Sydney enjoys working with children through tutoring and volunteering with Angels’ place, a charity for children with life threatening diseases. She also enjoys listening to live music and playing volleyball. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school with a focus in neurology.
Ellie Young- Research Assistant
Ellie is a junior at Tulane from San Carlos, California. She is pursuing a degree in Neuroscience, and a minor in Public Health. Ellie was drawn to the Learning and Brain Development Lab by her interest in neuroscience and love of working with children. Ellie has worked at Tulane's Academic Learning and Tutoring Center since 2018, and is active in the Phi Sigma Pi Honors Fraternity. After Tulane, Ellie hopes to attend medical school and ultimately work as a pediatrician.
Mary Snellings Inabnett- Research Assistant
Mary is a senior at Tulane University from Monroe, Louisiana majoring in psychology. Her interest in psychology research and passion for working with children led her to join Dr. Markant’s lab. Mary-Snellings is especially interested in the role that selective attention plays in the learning process. Outside of the classroom, Mary is a member of Psi Chi and the Student Hearing Panel, and she serves as president of Alpha Lambda Delta. She also works with Tulane’s Pre-College Programs as a lead counselor, and she has volunteered with Upward Bound, where she tutored high school students. In her free time, Mary loves to read, teach Zumba, and explore New Orleans. Additionally, during the fall 2018 semester, she studied abroad at the University of Amsterdam. After graduation, Mary plans to pursue a PhD in school psychology.
Jessica Davis- Research Assistant
Jessica Davis is a New Orleans native and junior at Tulane University currently pursuing a B.S. in Psychology. Her passion to explore the interdisciplinary field of psychology can be reflected in her many on-campus involvements, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illnesses and the Grand Challenge Scholars Program founded by Dr. Beth Wee. Her interest in neuroscience-related research led her to Dr. Markant’s lab in the summer of 2019. In her free time, she gives her analytic brain a rest by finding solace in visual arts, whether it’s creating her own or observing the art of others. Additionally, she is going to be the art coordinator for NAMI’s upcoming Celebrate Mental Health Festival in the fall semester. After graduation, Jessica plans to earn her Masters in Psychology with Tulane’s 4+1 program with a concentration in Behavioral Health.