Core Lab Team

CORE Lab Team

Dr. John D. Coley

Dr. John D. Coley

Lab Director | Principal Investigator

Dr. Coley is Professor of Psychology and Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences at Northeastern University, and Director of the CORE Lab. He is interested in the basic cognitive processes underlying how people organize and use their knowledge of the world, how those processes develop and change over time, and how differences in culture and experience lead to differences in the organization and use of knowledge. He is also committed to cross-disciplinary translational research, and to exploring the concrete consequences of conceptual organization and reasoning in areas like science education, social conflict, and ecological awareness. Dr. Coley sees his lab as an environment in which smart, motivated, people have the opportunity to work together while learning about research, exploring these issues in lots of different ways, making genuine contributions to cognitive science, and having fun along the way.

Catie Nielson

Catie Nielson

Doctoral Candidate, 6th year

Catie is a sixth-year doctoral student focusing on human-centered thinking and science learning. In particular, she is interested in how our intuitive ideas about humans color the way that we learn about and care for the more-than-human world. She is also fascinated by how our human-centric biases impact how we think about neuroscience and the relationship between mind and brain across species. Catie has a passion for teaching, mentoring over 70 undergraduate research assistants over the past 4+ years and teaching research methods courses for two summers. She joined the CORE lab in 2020, after completing her Master’s at Northeastern studying emotion and physiology, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Brigham Young University.

Favorite Secondary Character: Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter)

Emma Pitt

Emma Pitt

Doctoral Candidate, 4th year

Emma is a fourth-year doctoral student in the CORE lab. Her research interests broadly include the ways that people conceptualize and interact with social groups, and the factors that shape social reasoning. She is also interested in how humans relate to the world around them, including how humans relate to nature and non-human animals. When Emma is not in the lab, she is either skiing or wishing she was skiing.

Favorite Secondary Character: Elizabeth Swann (Pirates of the Caribbean franchise)

Contact Emma

Joan Kim

Joan Kim

Doctoral Candidate, 3rd year

After graduating from Tufts University, Joan spent some time at a cardiovascular imaging lab before transitioning back to psychology with the CORE Lab. She is currently interested in how people think about the natural world/systems and climate change. Her hope is that she can develop interventions in fighting climate change by encouraging people to think about themselves as part of the natural world and rethinking the psychological distance between the self and climate change disasters. In her free time, she likes to bake and dance.

Favorite Secondary Character: Troy (Community)

Krissy Kilgallen

Krissy Kilgallen

Doctoral Candidate, 1st year

Krissy is a first year doctoral student in the CORE lab. She is interested in how humans conceptualize and model themselves in the broader systems of the natural world. She hopes to use a cross-cultural approach, meaning that rather than privileging western perspectives as human universals, her research seeks to explore the diversity of human sense making in its relational, interdependent, sociocultural context. She further asks what the implications are of different conceptualizations of human-nature relationships and self-construal/identity on how we interact with the social-ecological systems we are embedded in. One avenue she is currently exploring examines the role of systems thinking and metacognition on our ability to detect intuitive misconceptions about the natural world. to In her free time, she likes to take long, meandering walks and have equally long and meandering conversations.

Favorite Childhood Book: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Subina Shrestha

Subina Shrestha

Doctoral Candidate, 1st year

Subina is a first-year doctoral student in the CORE lab. Her research interest includes studying the connection between intentions and actions in terms of environment protection and preservation. She is passionate about teaching, learning about society and cultures. Her goal is to discover policy level solutions to promote pro- environmental attitude and behaviors. Her hobbies are reading, watching movies and drawing.

Favorite Childhood Book: The Kite Runner

 

Daria Healey

Daria Healey

Lab Manager

Daria serves as Lab Manager for the CORE Lab. She received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Sociology from Boston College in 2021, before transitioning to Northeastern University, where she received her master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy in 2023. Daria is primarily interested in exploring perceptions of social-ecological systems through mental modeling, with applications for understanding implications of climate change, coastal adaptation strategy, and the benefits of place-based climate education.

Favorite Childhood Book: Percy Jackson and the Olympians series

Alegra Germain

Alegra Germain

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Human-Wildlife Conflict, Influences of Climate Change on Wildlife Behavior and Biological Adaptations, Urban Green Spaces

Favorite Childhood Book: The Percy Jackson series

Diya Patel

Diya Patel

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Child and Adolescent Development, Cognitive Psychology, and Clinical Psychology

Favorite Childhood Book: Ivy + Bean

Ella Hanley

Ella Hanley

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Behavioral Neuroscience, Neurological Diseases and Disorders, Learning and Cognition, Disparities in Public Health

Favorite Childhood Book: Magic Tree House: Blizzard of the Blue Moon

 
Eva Pintucci

Eva Pintucci

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Social Essentialism, Biomedical Anthropology, Social Determinants of Health, and Behavioral Immunology

Favorite Childhood Book: The Little House
Isabella Pineiro

Isabella Pineiro

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Cognitive Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Social Psychology, and Ecological Cognition

Favorite Childhood Book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Jamie Stump

Jamie Stump

Co-Op, Research Assistant

Research Interests: Cognitive Psychology, Child and Adolescent Development, Motivational Factors across Cultures

Favorite Childhood Book: Junie B. Jones

Jessica Holstein

Jessica Holstein

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Cognitive Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Ecological Cognition

 
Favorite Childhood Book: The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan
Krishna Vasiraju

Krishna Vasiraju

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Child and Adolescent Development, Mental Health, and Clinical Psychology.

 
Favorite Childhood Book: Wonder
Lauren Voso

Lauren Voso

Research Assistant

Research interests: Ecological Cognition, Gender-Related Differences in Environmental Thinking, Biology Education

Favorite Secondary Character: Flounder (The Little Mermaid)

Lily Turino

Lily Turino

Co-Op, Research Assistant

Research Interests: Cognitive Psychology, Coupled Human-Natural Systems, Environmental Justice

Favorite Childhood Book: Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Mrinalee Reddy

Mrinalee Reddy

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Developmental Psychology, Hypothetical Scenario Formulation, Classroom Learning, Wildlife Conservation, Morality, and Environmental Attitudes

Favorite Childhood Book: Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild or The Adventure Series by Enid Blyton

Calvin Neff

Calvin Neff

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Fish Conservation, Fish Habitats, Environmentalism

Favorite Childhood Book: Artemis Fowl