Lab Director

Eva Telzer, Ph.D.

Email: |CV| Publications

Eva TelzerEva Telzer is an Assistant Professor of Psychology. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from UCLA. Her research centers around adolescent development and the role the brain plays during this important transitional period. Her research takes a multimethod approach including the use of fMRI, daily diaries, and diurnal cortisol. She has authored over 100 publications, and has received numerous awards for her work, including a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant, a Jacobs Young Scholars Grant, an SRA Early Career Award, and was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science.  Her research is supported by the NSF and NIH. In her free time she enjoys drawing biological illustrations, hiking with her dog, and reading good books.


Post-Doctoral Fellows


Christy Rogers, Ph.D.

Email: CV

Christy Rogers HollifieldChristy Rogers is a postdoctoral fellow who graduated with her Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of California, Davis. She is interested in the influence of sibling relationships on risk-taking behavior and emotional well-being across adolescence, and how the brain plays a role in these associations. Christy investigates multiple levels of sibling influence using various methods: video-taped interaction observations, questionnaires, and brain activation via fMRI. Christy enjoys camping around North Carolina, swimming in the Atlantic, and having solo dance parties.

Natasha Duell, Ph.D.


Natasha Duell is a postdoctoral fellow at UNC’s Center for Developmental Science. She received her Ph.D. in (developmental) psychology from Temple University under the mentorship of Dr. Larry Steinberg. Natasha is generally interested in the psychological and neural mechanisms undergirding adolescent decision-making and risk taking. Her most recent work explores the construct of positive risk taking in adolescence: what it is, how to measure it, and to what extent it benefits adolescents’ well-being. Additionally, Natasha’s work in this domain explores the shared and unique psychological, social, and neural correlates of positive and negative risk taking.

Graduate Students


Ethan McCormick, M.A.

Email: emccormick | CV

Ethan McCormick received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Arkansas and MA in Psychology from the University of Illinois. He is a fifth-year graduate student in the Developmental Psychology program. He is a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. His primary research interest involves exploring how the brain adapts to its environment in an experience-dependent manner. He is interested in examining this question on two different levels: over the course of learning and skill acquisition, and across development. This line of research contributes to our understanding of how changes in the environment drive mechanisms of neural flexibility and plasticity.

Kathy Do, B.A.


Kathy Do received her B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from UCLA in 2013. Following graduation, she worked as a lab manager for Adriana Galvan at UCLA. She is currently a fourth-year graduate student in Developmental Psychology. Her research examines how interactions between the social environment and the developing brain can redirect adolescents away from risk-taking behaviors toward more prosocial behaviors. This work seeks to leverage our understanding of the developing brain to better inform youth-oriented public policy. Kathy is also engaged in several graduate diversity initiatives and local science outreach programs in order to help increase diversity in, and accessibility to, science.

Nathan Jorgensen, M.S.


Nathan Jorgensen is a first-year graduate student in the Developmental Psychology program. Prior to coming to UNC, he received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Human Development and Family Studies from Brigham Young University. His research examines how cultural values and beliefs influence the developing adolescent brain, with a focus on social information processing. Nathan grew up in Troy, MI. He enjoys running, good music, and being outdoors.


Seh-Joo Kwon, B.S.


Seh-Joo Kwon is a first-year graduate student in the Developmental Psychology program. She is originally from Seoul, Korea, and has lived in 9 countries growing up (fun fact!) She received her B.S. in Biological Sciences and Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University in 2017, and following graduation, she worked as a Research Associate at Dr. Howard Aizenstein’s lab at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Her primary research interest is how social experiences (i.e. peers, family, culture) shape affective development and social reward-processing in adolescents, and how these ultimately affect their behavior and mental health. To study this relationship, she uses biological methodologies including neuroimaging and cortisol.


Research Staff

Karee Jones, B.A.


Karee Jones is the Lab Manager for the DSNLab. He is from Philadelphia, PA, and completed his undergraduate studies at Penn State University Park in 2017 with a B.A. in Psychology. He is primarily (and particularly) fascinated with the mirror neuron system and its role during empathetic and sentence processing. Specifically, he is interested in the neuroscience of social media, the influence social media has on the cognitive and socio-emotional development across the lifespan, and how that influence affects real-world social contexts. In his free time, he likes to play Super Smash Bros., read about random things, and take nature walks. Fun fact: he has the ability to remember people’s birthday forever (without the help of social media)!

Emily Watlington, B.S.


Emily Watlington is a Project Coordinator for Project NeuroTeen. She was born and raised in Houston where she graduated from the University of Houston with a B.S. in Psychology and minors in Anthropology and Quantitative Social Science. Emily plans on pursuing a PhD in Social Neuroscience where she can research the neural correlates of social connection (how and why we connect with others) and social pain (i.e., social rejection, loss of a loved one, loneliness). In her free time, she likes being outdoors, playing with dogs, listening to music, and rooting for the Astros (Go ‘Stros!).

Rosario Villa, B.A.


Rosario Villa is a Project Coordinator for Project NeuroTeen. She graduated from UNC in 2019 with a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology and a minor in Latinx Studies. Rosario plans to pursue a PhD in Child Psychology, specifically relating to the development of minority children. She hopes to bring awareness to underrepresented communities in the field. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, listening to music, enjoying good local restaurants, and catching up on good shows!

Emily Bibby, B.A.


Emily Bibby is a Project Coordinator for Project NeuroTeen as well as the Assistant Lab Manager. She is from Brooklyn, NY and graduated from Binghamton University in 2019 with a B.A. in Psychology and a B.Mus. in Voice Performance. Emily plans on pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology, specifically hoping to study intimate relationships and the misperception of sexual interest. In her free time, she enjoys running and exercising, going to concerts, playing board games, and cooking.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Melissa Burroughs
Kelsey Smith
Lucy McClellan
Maddie Peloff
Hannah Herrick
Oriana Cardarelli

Summer NIDA Intern (2019)

Ayana Culhane


To see where our lab alumni are now, please visit our DSNLab Alumni page!

Eva Telzer