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, PhD

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. 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 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, PhD

Kathy 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

Zhimeng Li (she/her/hers)

Zhimeng is a first-year graduate student in the Social Psychology area at Yale. She obtained a BA with double majors in Psychology and Comparative Literature from Cornell University. Before joining ASCL, she worked at the Affect & Cognition Lab with Dr. Adam Anderson on projects exploring the neurological underpinning of affective and cognitive judgment of affect valence. Zhimeng is interested in how people make inferences about the emotional and mental state of themselves and others, and how these mechanisms may vary across individuals and cultures. Outside of the lab, she's an avid reader, an amateur writer, and a constantly-in-starter-mode language learner. You can contact her at

Eva Liu (she/her/hers)

Eva (Yuchen) Liu is a first-year graduate student in the Social Psychology area. She was born in New York, and grew up in Qingdao, China (where Tsingtao beer originated!). She graduated with a double major in Business Psychology and Cognitive Science (specialization in language and culture) from the University of California, San Diego. Her research interest lies at the intersection of culture and emotion, where she hopes to use a multi-disciplinary approach to understand the various ways in which people, across and within cultures, experience and perceive emotions. She is also interested in understanding the underlying factors, mechanisms, and downstream consequences of emotion acculturation. During her spare time, you will usually find her at the gym, trying diverse cuisines, or create novel and healthy dishes at her kitchen. You can contact her at

Undergraduate Students

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.


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. 


April Azusada(she/her/hers)

April is from Palmdale, CA and is currently living in New York, NY attending Columbia University to obtain her MSW. April is working as a remote research assistant at ASCL and her research interests include how variation in cultural upbringing affect the ways different groups seek mental health support and methods of stress management. Outside of the lab, April worked as a previous individual and group counselor for youth immigrants and will soon be working at Mount Sinai West Hospital’s Stroke Service Department this Fall. During her free time, you can find her strolling around Central Park, singing along to her ukulele, or trying new restaurants around the city!  


Gamze Kazakoglu (she/her/hers)

Gamze Kazakoglu is a first-year at Pauli Murray, planning to major in psychology and comparative literature. She was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. There, she interned at several pedagogical services institutions and got involved in behavioral psychology research projects on gender norms, cooperation, culture, team spirit in companies. She also had a chance to pursue her interest in emotions by co-authoring a research paper on emotional labor of white-collar workers in Turkey. During her spare time, you can find her going for walks by nature or listening to her jumbled Spotify playlists.  


Leda Blaires Ciotti (she/her/hers)

Leda is a sophomore in Jonathan Edwards College from Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. Leda is pursuing a B.S. in Psychology and considering a double major in Anthropology. She joined the ASCL as a research assistant in the summer of 2021. Leda is excited to learn more about how culture affects emotional perception and expression, as well as about social emotional learning and its impacts on young children’s development. During her free time, Leda enjoys listening to music and discovering new artists, going for walks in nature, and learning about different cultures.  


Dana Branstetter (she/her/hers)

Dana is a senior in Grace Hopper college from southeastern Indiana pursuing a B.A. in psychology. She joined the lab as a volunteer research assistant in the spring of 2021 and is interested in how cultural and other various contexts can lead to similarities and differences between cultures and groups. Outside of the lab, Dana is a member of the Yale Women's Golf Team and enjoys playing flute in the Yale Precision Marching Band.

Visiting Scholars

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


Liu Di 

Di is a sophomore at Beijing Normal University pursuing a BS in psychology. She will be working for ASC Lab as a research assistant in the Summer of 2021. She is interested in how language influences human’s processing of emotional information. When she’s not working in ASCL, you can also find Di at another lab at Beijing Normal University studying how our linguistic concepts develops. Outside the lab, Di is a maker of science fictions, a marathon runner, a music lover and also an amateur song writer.


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! 


Kavie Yu (she/her/hers)

Kavie graduated from Carleton College with a BA’20 in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. She is intrigued to investigate how socio-cultural factors shape how emotions are expressed and regulated across human development, learning and applying data-driven techniques in research design, and conducting statistical analysis. Outside of the lab, she works as a part-time Data Analyst at a tech start-up and engages clients in storytelling through panoramic data visualization. Additionally, she is an avid cat-sitter who loves to share unique GIFs of two fluffy cats.  



Undergraduate Research Assistants

Amy Zhang (Thesis student, Class of 2021)

Jenni Dueñas (Thesis student, Class of 2021)

Calvin Solomon (Thesis student, Class of 2022)

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)

Aditi Kodipady (Thesis student, Class of 2020)

Ale Estrada (Thesis student, Class of 2019)

Alex Wang (Thesis student, Class of 2019)

Ciara Ostrander

Sammy Grob

Joceyln Zhou 


Visiting Scholars

Walt Li (Carleton College)

Alessandra Yu (PhD at Mt.Sinai)

Yi Lu (Peking University)

Nicholas Peter (Gonzaga 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)