I completed my B.A. (Adv) with Honours at the University of Manitoba, researching the development of language, literacy, and social skills under the supervision of Melanie Soderstrom, Richard Kruk, and Melanie Glenwright. I then earned my Ph.D. in Experimental Developmental Psychology at McMaster University, under the supervision of Laurel Trainor, founding Director of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind. My doctoral work focused on musical development in early childhood. Specifically, I investigated how children’s sensitivity to temporal information relates to their ability to synchronize movements, and how perception and synchronization are impacted by age, formal training, and developmental delay.
Currently, I am a Postdoctoral Fellow jointly appointed at the University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. I investigate mental health problems, comorbid health conditions, and sociodemographic risk factors of youth in care and custody as part of a multidisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians, in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Simultaneously, I continue to investigate the social consequences of shared music experience as part of an international group of researchers based out of the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.
This diverse training informs my present lines of investigation: of children with motor skills impairments, of the effects of music participation on empathy and emotional adjustment, and of assessing the needs of youth with mental and physical health problems. I also strive to make research accessible to a wide audience, by teaching and mentoring at the university level, by speaking to the wider public, and by contributing scientific expertise to the arts and education sectors.