Research Team

Graduate Assistants

Hannah Lunkenheimer


I am a cross-cultural researcher studying children's understanding and explanatory reasoning regarding significant misfortune (e.g., death, illness, natural disasters). My research focuses on using cognitive, social, and evolutionary theories to explain how beliefs and rituals are cross-culturally recurrent and how those beliefs and rituals impact grief, coping, and psychological well-being over the lifespan.

James Daly

Katie Steele

Lab Manager

Ashley Missimo


I graduated from UT Austin with a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Philosophy. My honor's thesis investigated the links between uncertainty tolerance, creativity, and well-being among school-aged children during the pandemic.

Broadly, my research interests pertain to how individuals create meaning in their lives. In my free time, I like to practice ballet and stream-of-consciousness writing.

Research Assistants


Fall 2023 lab members
  • Aarushi Gupta
  • Aubrey Clayton
  • Alo Flores
  • Amy Kim
  • Emily Myers
  • Harsha Ketavarapu
  • Helen Ding
  • Jacquelyn Olivarez
  • Kaylee Aguillar
  • Mira Bhakta
  • Natalie DeMario
  • Ruba Siddiqi


  • Beth Boerger
  • Louis Bunce
  • Rebecca Dore
  • Jean Dunham
  • Lili Ma
  • Art Markman
  • Amanda Rhoads
  • Ansley Tullos

Former Graduate Students

  • Jenny Nissel
  • Kelsey Kelley
  • Katrina Phelps
  • Marc Bruell
  • Debra Davis
  • Beth Boerger
  • Ansley Tullos
  • Gabriel Lopez-Mobilia
  • Chelsea Cornelius
  • Maliki (Kiki) Ghossainy
  • Brooke Miller

Former Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Hui Li
  • Lili Ma