• B.A. Columbia University
  • M.Sc. The University of Edinburgh
  • Ph.D. The University of Chicago

Areas of Expertise

  • Language Development
  • Sign Languages
  • Cognitive Development
  • Number and Langauge
  • Langauge Emergence and Evolution


I joined the faulty in 2020 after spending two years as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Swarthmore College. Prior to that I was a British Academy Newton International Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. I completed my B.A. at Columbia University, my M.Sc. at The University of Edinburgh, and my Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. In my research, I seek to better understand the developing mind by closely examining the structure of language. I also investigate the effects of one’s specific early language environment on language and cognition. I pursue these questions by studying one of the youngest languages known to science: Nicaraguan Sign Language. I also track the emergence of linguistic structure in the individual child during typical language learning in the U.S. In my most recent work, I have also been particularly interested in how words for number are invented (in Nicaraguan Sign Language) and learned (both by deaf children in Nicaragua and by hearing children in the U.S.). I use a range of methodologies in my work, from traditional developmental tabletop paradigms, to motion tracking technology in the field in Nicaragua. I am always eager to chat with students about children, development, language, and number. At Davidson I teach classes in Child Development (PSY 2410), Nature vs. Nurture (PSY 363), Research Methods in Child Development (PSY 315), as well as Language Development. In my teaching I strive to both introduce students to scientific inquiry in the study of development, as well as highlight areas of structural bias within Developmental Psychology and Language Sciences.