Lab Members

Lab Photo Spring 2019

Our Previous Spring 2019 Lab Team!


Amy in bonnetAmy & Abbey










Dr. Amy Needham, Principal Investigator

Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Amy Needham’s research has explored many questions in our three main areas of study. One question that has been of interest to her for a number of years is how infants find boundaries around objects. Her current questions particularly focus on perceptual and motor learning in infancy.

Email : Telephone: (615) 322-8380



 IMG_3352  IMG_4626

Lauren Malachowski, Doctoral Student

Davidson College, B.S., 2016 (Psychology)

I’m a first year Ph.D. student in the Developmental Psychology program. I’m currently involved in research that explores the role of early experiences with toys on later cognitive and problem-solving skills. In future research, I hope to explore how everyday experiences in early life might influence development.


IMG_2113 IMG_4627

Jasmyne Yeldell, Master’s Student & Lab Manager

University of Miami, 2018, B.S. (Biology)

My name is Jasmyne Yeldell, and I am a first year graduate student in the International Education Policy & Management program from Fort Washington, Maryland. My plan is to get my PhD and research the structure of STEM education in the United States compared to other countries to improve not only STEM education stateside, but facilitate a learning exchange between other countries and us to improve STEM education everywhere. In addition, I want to create immersive STEM curricula designed for the elementary and middle school space.

As of now, I am working as a lab manager in the Infant Development Lab. I love this position! It absolutely makes my day to see the smiling faces of all of the infants that come in to work with us! In addition to working in the lab, I enjoy dancing, aerial yoga, painting, and exploring Nashville. I love working with children and I’m excited for what this year in the lab will bring 🙂



Katie Swift, Junior Lab Manager

Vanderbilt University ’19

My name is Katie Swift and I am the Junior Lab Manager. I am a recent Vanderbilt graduate, and I majored in Child Studies and minored in Special Education. I am interested in working with infants and children because I plan to go into Child and Family Social work. Right now, I nanny for a 2 year old and love working with kids! I am excited to work in the lab to help research and better understand infants!


IMG_1361IMG_1195 2

Savannah Diamond

Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2020 

I’m a senior pre-med student with a special interest in developmental pediatrics. I am double majoring in Cognitive Studies and Child Development. I love working with children, and have nannied and been a camp counselor since high school. This will be my third year as a lab RA and I can’t wait for another great year in baby lab!

laura green 1laura green 2

Laura Green

Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2020

I’m a senior majoring in Child Studies and minoring in Human and Organizational Development, as well as working on an honors thesis. I am particularly interested in early intervention for children with disabilities and am on a pre-occupational therapy track. I am excited to assist in the Infant Learning Lab and continue learning about the development of babies.

IMG_0406 IMG_0070

Isabell Plotsker 

Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2022

My name is Isabell Plotsker, and I am a sophomore double majoring in Law, History, and Society + HOD with a minor in Child Development with the hopes of becoming a lawyer specializing in child and family advocacy! I am particularly interested in research because of how much we are constantly learning that can help us better love and support the little ones. I love working with kids/babies and cant wait to learn more this semester!



 IMG_2257 2

Julia Winschel

Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2020

I am a senior pre-med student majoring in Medicine, Health, and Society and minoring in Studio Art from Fairfield, Connecticut. I am particularly interested in the emotional development of infants and children and I hope to go to medical school to become a child and adolescent psychiatrist. I love children and can’t wait to have some of my own someday. I am so excited to be a part of the lab this year so that I can continue working with and learning about infants!



IMG_4624 Screen Shot 2020-01-21 at 11.57.21 AM

Evy Mattson

Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2023

I am a freshman majoring in Child Development from Cincinnati, Ohio. Since I was little, my dream has been to be a mom, and I have always loved working with children. I work at a summer camp with 18-month-olds during the summer and have nannied for the past two years. I am so excited to work in the Infant Learning Lab this semester and to learn more about babies and their interactions with their environments

IMG_1035    DSC_0367

Stella Owings

Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2022

I am a sophomore studying Child Development and Psychology. I am specifically interested in the countless effects parents and families have on their children’s development. I love working with kids and have been nannying and babysitting for the past three years. I am beyond excited to continue learning about children’s development through a different lens in the Infant Learning Lab!

微信图片_20200109202250 微信图片_20200109202301

Melody Li

Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2022

I am a sophomore majoring in Child Development and Computer Science. I am especially interested in parenting styles with the hopes of offering parents professional training in the future. I feel so excited to be a part of the lab and learn more about babies this semester!



IMG-0037 IMG-1660

Jacob Wade

Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2020

Hi, I’m Jacob Wade and I’m a senior at Vanderbilt University majoring in Child Development and Minoring in Jewish Studies. I grew up all over Louisiana, so even though I Anchor Down now, I’m still a big LSU fan. I currently work at the Vanderbilt Child and Family Care center and my dream job is to be a child speech pathologist.