Fall 2019

Spring 2019

Fall 2018

Spring 2018

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.

Jill King - Graduate Student

Jill is a fifth 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 visual factors of the online remote learning environment influence student's attention and learning.


Brianna Hunter- Graduate Student

Brianna is a fourth year Developmental Psychology PhD candidate from Tampa, Florida. She received her B.S in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Florida in 2017 and her M.S. in Psychological Science from Tulane University in 2o19. Brianna is interested in the reciprocal relationship between attention and learning, and how daily experiences influence cognitive development. Her recent studies examine how infants and children allocate attention to different types of faces and objects ranging in familiarity and reward value.

Taylor Marcus - Graduate Student

Taylor is a first-year Neuroscience Ph.D. student from Charlotte, North Carolina. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a BS in Biological Sciences and Psychology. As an undergraduate she assisted research projects for the School Psychology department, focusing on learning and behavior of at-risk children. She also worked on a genetics project in an Ecology lab, sequencing the genomes of tree species in Panama. After college, Taylor worked for Tulane as a Clinical Research Coordinator for two years in the Epidemiology Department in the Translational Science Institute. 


Maria Kinsey - Graduate Student

Maria is a first-year Neuroscience Ph.D. student from Shreveport, Louisiana. She graduated from Rhodes College with a BS in Neuroscience and minors in both Chemistry and English. She has previously worked at the Evangle Christian Academy’s Center for Autism in Shreveport, with Scribe America as a medical scribe at Baptist Hospital ER in Memphis, and in the developmental neurobiology lab of Dr. Xinwei Cao. Her research interests include child development, behavior, and neuroendocrinology.


Ellie Young- Research Assistant

Ellie is a senior 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.

Savannah McNair- Research Assistant

Savannah is a junior 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. 

Daisy Ellis- Research Assistant

Daisy is a junior at Tulane University majoring in both public health and childhood education and psychology with a minor in math. She is particularly interested in maternal-child relationships and the influence of the environment on learning. This and her love of working with children led her to Dr. Markant's lab, where she is excited to broaden her understanding of psychology and the research process. In her free time, Daisy sings in the TU Tones a capella group. She also volunteers with Circle K club and Early Learning Focus at after school centers around New Orleans. She is from Boulder, Colorado.

Allie Silver- Research Assistant

Allie is a sophomore at Tulane University from Scottsdale, Arizona. She is majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Allie’s interest in early brain development and cognitive processing led her to join Dr. Markant’s lab in the Fall of 2020. She is excited to develop a strong foundation of key neurological concepts as well as of the research process. In her free time, Allie is a member of the Phi Delta Epsilon Fraternity pre-medical chapter at Tulane and loves to participate in her sorority’s monthly philanthropic and social events. After graduation, Allie plans to attend medical school and specialize as a psychiatrist. 

Roumina Adab- Research Assistant

Roumina is a junior at Tulane University majoring in neuroscience with a minor in psychology. As a first-generation immigrant, she is interested in trauma and learned behavior in refugee and first-generation immigrant children, which drew her to Dr. Markant’s lab. Roumina is also a volunteer at Ochsner Medical Center and is pursuing a CNA license. After graduating, she hopes to attend medical school and work in the field of psychiatry. She is from right outside Washington D.C.


Sam Spirt- Research Assistant

Sam is a Sophomore at Tulane from Dresher, PA (outside of Philadelphia). She is a Psychology major with minors in Sociology and Liberal Arts Management. Sam has always been interested in human behavior and development, and is very passionate about working with kids, sparked by her experience as a babysitter and overnight camp counselor. These interests and her desire to gain foundational research experience led her to working in Dr. Markant's lab. In her free time, Sam enjoys getting involved in her sorority, taking walks in Audubon Park, and volunteering with kids in local New Orleans schools.


Fiona McDermut- Research Assistant

Fiona a sophomore at Tulane University from Tenafly, NJ majoring in Psychology with a secondary major in Sociology. At Tulane, she is a part of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, and she also volunteers for the non-profit organization Covaid. Her interests in expanding her research experience and learning more about child psychology led her to join Dr. Markant's lab. Her future goal is to attend a PhD program for clinical psychology and later become a clinician.


Lab Alumni

Graduate Students

Claire Noonan, PhD

As the first doctoral student in the Learning and Brain Development Lab, Claire earned her PhD in School Psychology from Tulane University in 2020. She earned her BA in Biological Sciences from Columbia University in 2009 and her MS 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. Claire completed her pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship in Infant Mental Health at the University of Denver Internship Consortium through the Mental Health Center of Denver. Following graduation, she will be a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Irving Harris Program in Child Development and Infant Mental Health at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. Her career goals include carrying out clinical work and research with early childhood populations. She will forever cherish her time as a member of the Learning and Brain Development Lab.


Undergraduate Research Assistants

Sydney Greenlee

Mary Snellings Inabnett

Jessica Davis

Emilee Saxon

Kimberly Cortez

Jacqueline Kandalaft

Rachel Aber

Caitlin Strozewski

Maya Vasishth

Christina Attia

Dara Tucker

Honors Students

Julia Nauman

Leah Vaidya

Kaitlyn Tholen

Monica Heller

Matt Coleman

Alyssa Cruse

Lab Managers

Brittany Justin

Kelsey Offen