Lab Director

Maria Gendron, PhD


Dr. Gendron is the Director of the ASCL and an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Yale University.  Dr. Gendron received her B.A and PhD from Boston College in 2006 and 2013, and worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Northeastern University before becoming to Yale. Dr. Gendron’s research agenda focuses on the dynamic influences of social, affective and cultural processes on emotional experience, emotion perception and their downstream consequences for the mind, behavior, and relationships. She adopts a multidisciplinary approach that integrates core concepts and methods from cultural, cognitive, developmental psychology, cultural anthropology, and neuroscience.  She hails from Rhode Island, the littlest state with the biggest heart. Check CV here.


Postdoctoral Researchers

Ka I Ip

Ka is a Susan Nolen-Hoeksema Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale working in the labs of Dr. Maria Gendron and Dr. Dylan Gee. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Science and Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan. His research integrates developmental psychopathology, neuroscience and cultural psychology to understand the development of emotion regulation and related processes (e.g., emotion knowledge). In particular, his research aims to elucidate a) how environments (e.g., early life stress) influence the bio-behavioral mechanisms underlying emotion regulation and risk for psychopathology (i.e., behavioral problems and anxiety) from early childhood to adulthood, and b) socio-cultural factors (e.g., language, cultural contexts and socialization) that shape how emotions are acquired, expressed and regulated across development. You can contact him at 

Kathy Trang

Kathy is an incoming postdoctoral fellow at Yale working in Dr. Gendron’s lab. She received her doctoral training in Biological Anthropology at Emory University. Her research leverages theories and methods from anthropology, public health, and affective neuroscience to understand how trauma exposure becomes biologically embedded and transmitted intergenerationally in low-resourced / humanitarian contexts. Of particular interest to her is how researchers can leverage ambulatory technologies to understand the contextual and psychosocial factors influencing heterogeneity of outcome following trauma / intervention. She currently collaborates with a team at NYU on a longitudinal cohort study of children born to Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Outside of the lab, she enjoys poetry, photography, and video games. 


Graduate Students

Srishti Goel (she/her/hers)

Srishti is a first-year graduate student in the Social Psychology area. She holds an MA in psychology from University of Chicago, where she worked closely with Dr. Daniel Casasanto, exploring how bodily relativity influences our experience and perception of emotional valence. After graduation, she worked on numerous projects at the intersection of emotions and neuroscience at UNC Chapel Hill under the supervision of Dr. Sheridan and Dr. Kristen Lindquist. Srishti is interested in exploring how emotions are constructed, what role does language and culture play in the construction of emotional experiences, and what is the neural basis of this mechanism. In her free time, Srishti loves to travel, read books, and spend time with family and friends, and play various sports occasionally. You can contact her at

Full-Time Research Staff

Hanxiao Lu (she/her/hers)

Hanxiao obtained her BA'19 in neuroscience from Smith College. She works as a post-bac research associate and lab coordinator at ASCL. Before coming to Yale, Hanxiao worked with Dr. Gendron on a cross-cultural study using neuroimaging technique, fNIRS, to understand the cultural effects on the neural correlates of theory of mind. She is passionate about learning and applying machine learning techniques to data-driven research that reveals individual differences and group dynamics in emotion perception and expression. When she is not in the lab, you can find Hanxiao either indulge herself in the mountains and hills, rivers and lakes, cycling, skiing, backpacking and paddling! You can contact her at


Undergraduate Students

Amy Zhang (she/her/hers)

Hailing from Baltimore, MD, Amy is a junior in Berkeley College majoring in Cognitive Science. She is a research assistant who joined the lab in the Spring of 2020, and she is excited to perform research on the varied intersections between culture and emotion, particularly in the context of Eastern societies. Outside of the lab, she works on the Yale Sustainable Food Program's podcast, and enjoys doing karate!


Ciara Ostrander (she/her/hers) 

Ciara is a junior at Yale University in Pauli Murray College from Somers, NY pursuing a BS in psychology and following the pre-med track. Ciara previously volunteered at the neighboring Clark Relationship Lab, where she served as a verbal coder in a study interested in both verbal and non-verbal emotional expressivity in close relationships. Ciara is interested in how emotional expression changes with the developing adolescent brain, and how this impacts their behavior in social settings. Outside of the lab, Ciara plays soccer and frequently visits home to see her Siberian Husky named Brody. 


Eric Kim

Eric is a sophomore at Yale University in Morse College from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. He is pursuing a B.A. in Psychology and joined the Affective Science and Culture Lab as a research assistant in the Summer of 2020. Eric is excited to learn more about emotional experience and psychology in general in the lab setting. Outside of the lab, Eric is a member of the Yale Men's Squash Team, volunteers with Squash Haven, and enjoys travel.


Jocelyn Zhou

Jocelyn is a first-year in Ezra Stiles from Brookline, Massachusetts. She’s a prospective Psychology major and interested in cross-cultural understanding, particularly between the US and China. She started working in the lab as a research assistant in Spring 2020 and is helping with an advice-giving project. Outside of the lab, she’s involved in the Chinese American Student Association, spoken word, and dance. Additionally, she spends her too much of her free time watching dog videos. 


Calvin Solomon 

Calvin is a junior at Yale University in Jonathan Edwards College pursuing a BS in psychology with an interest in applying human behavior and emotion to marketing and advertising. Born in Los Angeles California, and raised on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Calvin has spent the past three summers working in marketing at Butterfly Network, a cutting edge biotech company making an intelligent handheld ultrasound device of the future. In the lab, Calvin is eager to examine cultural variations in emotion and how knowledge of such differences can be harnessed in a global commercial setting. Outside of the lab Calvin is an avid photographer who enjoys both tennis and playing the piano. 


Jenni Dueñas (she/her/hers)

Jenni is a junior from Salt Lake City, Utah pursuing a B.S. in psychology. Since December 2019, she has been working in the Affective Science and Culture Lab as a research assistant. She is interested in cultural-clinical psychology and is currently assisting with a study regarding culture and mental state preferences. When she is not in the ASCL, you can find Jenni at another lab at the Connecticut Mental Health Center researching borderline personality disorder. Outside of any lab, she likes to express herself by sketching or playing the ukulele. 


Leila Jackson (she/her/hers)

Leila is a junior at Yale University in Saybrook College from Queens, NY. Leila is pursuing a BA in Psychology and a BA in English. She joined Affective Science and Culture Lab as a research assistant in the Spring of 2020. She is interested in how emotional regulation and expression varies amongst cultures. Outside of the lab, Leila writes for the Yale Daily News, volunteers with Yale Splash, and enjoys watching horror films. 


Visiting Scholars

Aditi Kodipady (she/her/hers) 

Aditi worked as a research assistant at the Affective Science and Culture Lab between 2018-20. While at ASCL, she completed her senior thesis, a cross-cultural study of the interaction between cultural values and emotional granularity in India and the USA, under the mentorship of Dr. Gendron. She is now the Lab Coordinator of the Morality Lab at Boston College. Her research interests include moral emotions and the nature of bicultural individuals’ emotional experiences in their different cultural contexts. 


Nicholas Peters

Niko studies Psychology as an undergraduate at Gonzaga University. He works as a remote research assistant at ASCL. Before coming to the lab, Niko had a summer internship at Yale in 2019 under Laurie Santos and Yarrow Dunham. During this internship, Niko met Professor Gendron and liked the research she does. He now helps out on various projects, like her work on cross-cultural perceptions of facial expressions. He has strong interests in researching neurodiversity across cultures, specifically how neurodiversity occurs in group dynamics and individual differences. Outside of the office, Niko enjoys writing, learning new skills, and getting in a good Netflix binge or two. 


Walt Li

Walt is a Psychology major from Carleton College, MN. Intrigued by the socialization aspect of emotion, he joined ASCL in the summer of 2020 to explore cross-cultural differences in mental state inference and to inspect the ambiguous nature of affect labeling. Outside of psychology, he is pursuing minors in philosophy and vocal performance. He works as a naturalist in training at his school and is a semi-avid photographer. 


Yifan Yang

Yifan Yang finished her bachelor's degree in the University of Texas at Austin with a double major in psychology and Japanese, and she will begin her master program in mental health counseling at Columbia University soon. Yifan previously worked as an English research assistant in a human development research lab during her undergraduate studies. Currently she is working as a remote research assistant at ASCL. Her research interest focuses on how sociocultural factors contribute to the health outcomes of vulnerable groups and how related policies can be implemented to narrow down health disparities in society. Outside the lab, Yifan is the vocal of a student band "PepperSalt" who loves singing, playing the piano, and laughing! 

Shivant Krishnan

Shivant  is a high school senior from Millstone, New Jersey who is deeply interested in behavioral economics and psychology. After attending the Yale Young Global Scholars program in 2019, he became fascinated by the research of the ASCL and has since been further exploring his interest in the social sciences. Outside of the lab, Shivant enjoys jazz music and sports photography. 


Maggie Chen 

Maggie is a freshman at the University of Toronto and has worked remotely with ASCL for two summers. She is interested in how varying factors shape the nuances of emotion within different people, and she is always eager to learn more about the intersect between the brain, behaviour, and machine learning. During her spare time you can find her playing volleyball, following YouTube DIY videos, or painting on any surface within her sight! 



Undergraduate Research Assistants

Justin Lobe (Thesis student, Class of 2020)

Lotta Keller (Thesis student, Class of 2020)

Jazzy Fisher (Thesis student, Class of 2020)

Davi Silva (Thesis student, Class of 2020)

Ale Estrada (Thesis student, Class of 2019)

Alex Wang

Sammy Grob


Visiting Scholars

Alessandra Yu (Pomona College, UCL)

Yi Lu (Peking University)

Courtney Franco (Umass at Dartmouth)

Maggie Chen (York House School in Vancouver, Canada)

Sylvia Lam (University of Hong Kong)

Joy Wang (High school student)

Ryan Xie (class of 2024 at Yale)

Desman Wilson (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Jac Guerra (Brandeis University)