Dr. Sandra Trehub, Music Development Lab Director (publications) 

Dr. Trehub received her doctoral degree in psychology from McGill University and has been at the University of Toronto Mississauga for many years. Although most of her research is conducted at the University of Toronto Mississauga, she also travels extensively to observe parents’ musical interactions with infants in different cultures. 



Laura Cirelli, Post-Doctoral Fellow (ResearchGate profile)

Laura Cirelli’s research focuses on how engaging in musical activities can be a social and an emotional experience for infants. She is specifically interested in how infants direct prosociality toward musical partners, and how infant directed singing can influence the parent-infant relationship. Before coming to the Music Development Lab, Laura completed her PhD in Psychology at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, where she studied infant rhythm perception and how synchronous movement with others encourages infant helpfulness.


Inge Alferink, Post-Doctoral Fellow

Inge Alferink is a post-doctoral fellow working with Sandra Trehub. Her current research focuses on topics as diverse as matching voices and faces within and across languages to the early singing abilities of toddlers. Before coming to the University of Toronto, Inge pursued a BA in English, Literature, and Culture as well as an MA in Applied Linguistics from the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in the Netherlands. She did her doctoral work at the Radboud University in Nijmegen focusing on convergence in bilingual speech and gesture. In her spare time, Inge likes to sing as well as explore her new surroundings. 



Mathieu R. Saindon, Ph.D. Student

Mathieu Saindon is in the final stages of his doctoral research under the supervision of Sandra Trehub and Glenn Schellenberg. His research focuses on children’s ability to distinguish questions from statements on the basis of intonation alone (i.e., rising vs. falling pitch contours). Prior to his graduate studies at the University of Toronto, Mathieu obtained Bachelors' degrees in Music (Piano Performance, Composition) and Psychology from the University of Ottawa and a diploma in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto (ARCT). In his spare time, Mathieu plays with his baby daughter.



Michael  Weiss, Ph.D. Student (ResearchGate profile)

Michael Weiss is pursuing his doctoral studies in psychology under the supervision of Sandra Trehub and Glenn Schellenberg. His research examines adults’ and children’s memory for melodies. To date, Michael has found that children and adults remember vocal melodies better than instrumental melodies. He is currently attempting to pinpoint the factors that make vocal melodies so memorable. Before coming to the University of Toronto, Michael studied Psychology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. In his spare time, Michael records music and does science outreach.

Research Assistants

Zuzanna Jurewicz, who has received an Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology from University of Toronto, is currently the senior research assistant. 


Sampling of Previous Lab Members

Beste Kalender, a former graduate student, is an award-winning mezzo-soprano currently performing with the Calgary Opera.

Anna Volkova (Ph.D. 2012), who studied melody and emotion recognition in young children with cochlear implants, is currently living in New York.

Judy Plantinga, former postdoctoral fellow, is an instructor at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Takayuki Nakata, former postdoctoral fellow, is Associate Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Future University Hakodate in Japan.

Mayumi Adachi, former postdoctoral fellow, is Professor of Psychology at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan.

Tara Vongpaisal (Ph.D. 2009), who studied music perception and voice identification in deaf children and adolescents with cochlear implants, is Assistant Professor of Psychology at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.

Tali Shenfield (Ph.D. 2004), who studied word learning in infants, is a clinical child psychologist in private practice.

Erin Hannon is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Tonya Bergeson-Dana (Ph.D. 2002), who studied mothers’ speech and singing to infants, is Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Indiana University School of Medicine.

Bruce Morton (Ph.D. 2002), who studied children’s perception of emotion in speech, is Associate Professor of Psychology, Western University.

Marianne Fallon (Ph.D. 2001), who studied children’s perception of speech in noise, is Associate Professor of Psychological Science, Central Connecticut State University.