Current Members

Lab Director

Dr. Yao Zheng

Dr. Zheng is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Alberta in the Developmental Science area. He completed his Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies at Pennsylvania State University in 2014, with a concurrent degree of Master in Applied Statistics. He was a visiting graduate student at Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany (Center for Applied Developmental Science) in 2009 and King’s College London, UK (Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre) in 2013–2014. He further received postdoctoral training in developmental psychopathology and quantitative genetics in Simon Fraser University, Vancouver (Institute for the Reduction of Youth Violence) and Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal (Groupe de recherche sur l’inadaptation psychosociale chez l’enfant [GRIP]) in 2014–2017. Dr. Zheng received his B.S. in Psychology from Yuan Pei Honors College, Peking University in 2008.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Eric Cooke, Ph.D.

Hi everyone! My name is Eric Cooke and I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Adolescent Development Lab. I graduated with my BA in Psychology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 2012 and completed my Ph.D. in Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University in the spring of 2021. My research interests involve examining the effect that childhood maltreatment and early forms of adversity have on behavioral outcomes throughout the life-course. I am also interested in assessing the interplay between genes and environments on developmental outcomes associated with antisocial behavior. My hobbies include sailing, hiking, kayaking, and traveling.

Jingyi Xu, Ph.D.

Hi! My name is Jingyi Xu, I’m a postdoctoral scholar in the Adolescent Development Lab. I received a B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature at Nanjing University, a M.A. in Developmental Psychology at Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Family and Human Development at Arizona State University. In general, my research focuses on the impact of maternal and paternal parenting on children’s and adolescents’ socioemotional development in cross-cultural context. In my free time, I love spending time with my cats and watching movies.

Graduate Students

Zachary Meyer, B.S.

Hello, my name is Zachary Meyer. I am a 1st year graduate student working under the supervision of Dr. Zheng. Born and raised in New England, I graduated with my BS in Psychology at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. My background consists of assessing parent-child interactions through observational research, and independent work examining shared and non-shared environmental influences on sibling behavior. I am interested in the disentanglement of gene-environment interplay in adolescent development utilizing twin studies. Currently I am excited to be working with Dr. Zheng in exploring the links between pubertal development and psychopathology in adolescence. In my downtime, I enjoy playing video games, spending time with my family and learning to play bass.

Hao Zheng, M.S.

Hi, my name is Hao Zheng and I am in the first year of my PhD program. I obtained a B.A. in Special Education at Beijing Normal University and a M.S. in Clinical Psychology at Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Prior to joining in Dr. Zheng’s lab, I have been a psychological teacher in a senior high school for a year. My research interest lies in applying various of latent variables models to explore the possible dynamic relationship between adolescents’ social network and their mental health. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling and photography.

Kehan Li, B.S.

Hi everyone! I’m Kehan Li, a 1st year graduate student working in Dr. Zheng’s Lab. I obtained my BS degree in Psychology at Tsinghua University. My background involves behavior observation to assess preschooler’s creativity, examining undergraduate’s justice belief through experimental research, and exploring the relationship between parental behavior and preadolescent children’s growth mindset. In the Adolescence Development Lab, I am currently interested in identifying risk and protective factors of transition to university life and in adolescents’ problem behavior. During free time, I enjoy sci-fi movies and novels, listening to light music and learning about different cultural customs and ancient myths.

Undergraduate Honours Students

Mike Zhang

Hiya, my name is Mike Zhang and I am a fourth year Honours (science) psychology student.  My research interests focus on adolescent intimate relationships, psychopathology and the impact of different cultures. Under the supervision of Dr. Zheng I will be working on a project that examines the adjustment of first year students to university and how intimate relationships (or the lack of) can impact this. Outside of school, I enjoy volunteering, playing indie games (current favourite being Hollow Knight) and exploring the great outdoors.

Jerry Wu

Hello, my name is Jerry Wu and I’m a fourth year psychology honours student under the supervision of Dr. Yao Zheng. I am interested in the reciprocal links between personality/discrimination and acculturation, and my research complements the College Daily Life Study. Currently I’m working on a project exploring local and international students’ transition to university, as well as their daily inter-ethnic contact. Besides research activities, I’m also a big fun of card games and board games. In my spare time, I enjoy playing the werewolf game with my friends.