Research Team

Carey Demichelis

Carey completed her PhD in Applied Psychology and Human Development and the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on situations in which young people and their families resist or refuse forms of life-saving biomedical treatment for a variety of cultural, religious, and political reasons. These cases raise pressing questions about young people’s capacity to make their own medical decisions, about who is empowered to determine the “best interests” of a medically fragile child, and about the limits of multicultural accommodation within the liberal institutions of settler states. Carey completed her MA in Social Science at the University of Chicago, where she studied Comparative Human Development. She completed her BA at the University of Colorado where she majored in Psychology, Philosophy, and Religious Studies.

Research Interests: Ethics of Childhood; Relational Autonomy; “The Best Interests of the Child”; Subjectivity and Resistance; Identity Development; Constructions of Childhood; Ethical Reasoning; Pediatric Bioethics; Child Development; Medical Anthropology; Ethnography; Case Study; Critical Discourse Analysis.

Larisa Lam

For more than 15 years, Larisa Lam has worked with children in recreation, education, research, and social service. Larisa is a PhD Candidate in Developmental Psychology at the University of Toronto with her research focussing on children’s well-being at school. Larisa asks children how they feel about school – the good and the bad. She hopes to influence the way institutions like school can best support children. Larisa also holds a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from the University of Guelph, a Master of Arts Degree in Child Study and Education from the University of Toronto, a graduate certificate in Mental Health and Addictions from Durham College and is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. Since 2012, Larisa has worked in teaching and research positions within the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study and the Toronto District School Board. Larisa is also highly involved with the Robertson Program for Inquiry-based Teaching in Mathematics and Science through investigating best practices in math and science, developing resources for teachers, and coordinating program projects.

Research Interests: child, adolescent, and human development;  parent-child and teacher-child relationships; qualitative methodology; life-span adaptation;  well-being

 Sasha Reid

Sasha Reid is an interdisciplinary social science researcher. Sasha’s research is transdisciplinary and explores several areas including lifespan developmental psychology, human developmental science, mental health law, and sociolegal studies. Sasha received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto (UofT). Sasha also hold two master’s degrees. The first is in Applied Psychology and Human Development (UofT), with a specialization in education, multimodal research, and child and youth development. The second is in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies (UofT), wherein she specialized in mental health, ethics, and law. Sasha am also a graduate of the Collaborative Doctoral Program in Human Development at the Fraser Mustard Institute, where she gained advanced training in multiple research methods, including longitudinal studies. Sasha is currently working as an instructor at the University of Calgary where she teaches in both the Psychology and Sociology departments.

Research Interests: child and adolescent development, developmental psychopathology, criminology, sociolegal studies, mixed method and multimethod analysis.

Erica Killick 

Erica Killick is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto. She received her MA at the University of Toronto in Child Study and Education as well as an Ontario Teaching Certificate through the Ontario College of Teachers. Erica is also a registered ECE with the Ontario College of Early Childhood Educators and has worked in early years settings in Taiwan and Ontario. Erica also worked as an elementary school teacher in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan throughout the years of 2003 – 2014. Erica’s research interests include yoga education for children and contemplative practices in childhood. She is currently working on her PhD dissertation which explores how children in preschool experience yoga from the point of view of the child.

Research Interests: Children’s experience of a yoga program; an awareness of childhood in the context of contemplative practices

Rachel Monahan

Rachel is in the third year of her PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education at OISE, University of Toronto. Her research explores children’s relationship with fantastical worlds. Within this, Rachel’s work engages with questions about children’s autonomy in a culture of adult supervision, about belonging, and about the politics of inclusion and identity. Rachel completed her MA at the University of Toronto in Child Study and Education and her BA at York University where she studied Psychology. She is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers, the College of Early Childhood Educators, and has several years of experience educating young children.

Research Interests: Fantasy; relational development; critical theory, psychoanalysis; sociology of childhood; interpretive methodologies.

Megan Mueller 

Megan Mueller is a first year Masters Student in Developmental Psychology and Education at OISE, University of Toronto. Megan completed her undergraduate degree at McMaster University, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, with a specialization in Mental Health She is interested in studying different stressors and events throughout a child’s life, that impact development. Currently, Megan is investigating the impact that head trauma has on the mental health developing athletes.

Research Interests: child and adolescent development, mental health, neurotrauma, mixed method and multimethod analysis

Eunice Lee

For more than 17 years, Eunice has worked in educational, therapeutic, and research settings supporting children and adolescents 0-18 years of age.  She is a Registered Social Worker with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and French from the University of Michigan, dual Master’s degrees in Social Work and Special Education from Columbia University and Bank Street College of Education, and a certificate in Infant Mental Health from the Hospital for Sick Children.  In addition to her role as a clinician, Eunice has worked a presenter, program evaluator, and project manager for provincially-funded initiatives and non-profit organizations. She currently works as a Professional Development Specialist in Clinical Research at the Hospital for Sick Children and continues to provide mentorship to professionals pursuing their certification in DIR Floortime.  

Nicole Larsen 

Nicole is in the third year of her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and Education at OISE, University of Toronto. Her work focuses on children’s social-emotional development, and how teachers support these skills in their classrooms. Nicole has a Master of Arts in Child Study and Education from the University of Toronto, and an Honors Bachelor Degree with a specialization in Political Science and a secondary major in Social Justice and Peace Studies. She is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers and an occasional teacher for the Toronto District School Board. Nicole currently holds the Joseph Bombardier Canada Graduate Doctoral Scholarship and has previously held the Ontario Graduate Scholarship. She also contributes to projects in promoting children’s mental health through the George Hull Centre.

Kadria Simons Ghafari

Kadria Simons Ghafari has worked in both Canadian and international educational settings for over 15 years. Currently in her third year of a PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education at OISE, University of Toronto, Kadria also holds a Master’s degree in Child Study and Education, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hispanic Studies, and is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. She has presented her research—both applied and experimental—at numerous conferences and has won several awards, including SSHRC and OGS. Kadria’s research has been featured in The New York Times, National Geographic, Scientific American, and The Globe and Mail.