Yulia Kovas


Yulia is a Professor of Genetics and Psychology at Goldsmiths, and a visiting Professor at University of Sussex (UK), New York University in London, Tomsk State University (Russia) and Higher School of Economics (Russia). She also lectures at UCL and King’s College, London and supervises many BSc, MSc, PhD, and Post-graduate students’ research in the UK and abroad. In addition to being the Director of InLab, she co-directs the International Centre for Research in Human Development (ICRHD) at Tomsk State University and the Russian-British Laboratory for Behavioural Genetics at the Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education , Moscow. She leads the genetically informative research into mathematical development in the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) at King’s College, London; and directs the Russian School Twin Registry (RSTR). The goal of her research programme is to provide insights into the development of individual differences in cognitive abilities, emotional and motivational processes and academic achievement. Understanding the origins of variation in these traits will ultimately lead to more personalised educational approaches and to better education for all learners.

Yulia Kovas received her Ph.D. in 2007 from the SGDP Centre, Institute of Psychiatry. Her thesis on Generalist Genes and Mathematics explored the origins of the individual differences in school mathematics. She received a degree in Literature and Linguistics as well as teaching qualifications from the University of St Petersburg, Russia in 1996 and taught children of all ages for 6 years. She received a B.Sc in Psychology from Birkbeck College, University of London in 2003 and an MSc in Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry from the SGDP Centre, King’s College. This eclectic – interdisciplinary and international – educational background has ultimately led to the formation of InLab at Goldsmiths, University of London. The laboratory conducts international, interdisciplinary research into individual differences in cognition, motivation, achievement and other educationally relevant traits – with the aim of providing new knowledge that can be used to improve education. A major focus of the research is on numerical ability, mathematics, spatial ability, as well as creativity – STEAM fields. InLab is one of the founding members of INRiCHD – an International Network for Research in Child Health and Development.

In addition to this research programme, Professor Kovas is also involved in promotion of genetic knowledge and in work that considers implications of genetic research. She is a member of the Council for Ethical, Societal and Legal Implications of Genetic Research in Child Development and Education; and Chair of the Psychology Department Ethics Committee at Goldsmiths. In 2015, InLab and the ICRHD became the founding members of TAGC – The Accessible Genetics Consortium.

Scientific Advisors

Robert Plomin

Robert Plomin is a Professor of Behavioural Genetics at the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. In 1994, he came to the Institute of Psychiatry as MRC Research Professor to establish with Professor Michael Rutter the SGDP Centre. The theme of the Centre and of his research is bringing together genetic and environmental research strategies to study behavioural development. In 1994, Plomin launched the Twins Early Development Study (TEDs) of all twins born in England and Wales in 1994-96, which focuses on developmental problems in cognition and behaviour. During the past decade his research has increasingly turned towards harnessing the power of molecular genetics, especially genome-wide association strategies, to identify genes for psychological traits in order to help understand the developmental interplay between genes and environment. Plomin has published more than 500 papers and is senior author of the major textbook in the field (’Behavioral Genetics,’ Worth Publishers, 5th edition, 2008) as well as author of a dozen other books.

Stephen Petrill

Steve Petrill a Professor at the Department of Human Development and Family Science at the Ohio State University. One of the most important unanswered questions in the reading literature is the changing relationship between oral language, reading fluency, mathematics, mathematics fluency, and reading comprehension during development. A major thrust of Prof Petrill’s research agenda has been the development of a new prospective, longitudinal twin study examining children as they acquire reading and math skills. This study, called the Western Reserve Reading Project (WRRP) involves 450 pairs of MZ and same-sex DZ twins who were recruited in Kindergarten or first grade and assessed via 8 home visits. The study has also examined how these same genetic and environmental influences are associated with other domains such as oral language, motivation, task persistence, and socioemotional adjustment. Recently, the project has received a new grant to examine math cognition, and its relationship with psychometric math performance and earlier reading skills. Professor Petrill has also been moving towards more applied work. In particular, although studies have shown significant mean improvement in response to reading, language, and math interventions, there is also substantial variability in response to instruction. Genetically-sensitive designs may offer a means to not only better understand this variability, but also yield more precisely targeted environmental interventions.

Sergey Malykh

Professor of Psychology, Head of the Developmental Laboratory of Behavioural Genetics at the Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education). At InLab, Professor Malykh consults on all aspects of psychophysiology, behavioural genetics, and cross-cultural investigations. He co-supervises PhD students involved in the Cross-cultural collaborations. As an example of his involvement, he is leading the Kyrgyz component of the large international Cross-Cultural Investigation into Early Precursors of Mathematics, as well as the Russian component of the cross-cultural twin investigation of fluid intelligence. Professor Malykh co-directs with Prof Kovas the Russian-British Laboratory of Behavioural Genetics.


Michel Boivin

Michel Boivin holds the Canada Research Chair in Child Development and is currently professor of psychology at the School of Psychology of Université Laval, Québec, Canada. He was previously (2000-05) a senior fellow of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). He leads a research program on the biological, psychological, and social components of child development. He has played a central role in the creation and follow-up of large population-based longitudinal studies of children, including the Quebec Newborn Twin study (600 families of twins followed since birth), and the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, a population-based representative birth cohort of 2000 children and their families from Quebec. He is director at Université Laval of the Research Unit on Children’s Psychosocial Maladjustment (GRIP), an interdisciplinary and inter-university research center investigating risk and protective factors influencing children’s development, and of the Strategic Knowledge Cluster on Early Child Development (SRC-ECD), a pan-canadian consortium for knowledge mobilization on this issue. The SRC-ECD supports the construction of the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, of which he is an editor. Michel Boivin is a member of the Royal Society of Canada.


Gordon Harold

Gordon Harold is Professor and Chair of Developmental Psychopathology and Quantitative Behavioural Genetics in the School of Psychology at the University of Leicester. Originally from Dublin, his primary research interests focus on the role of the family as a context for understanding children’s normal and abnormal psychological development, genetic influences underlying children’s emotional and behavioural development, practice and policy applications of research relating to family influences on children’s development, and the application of statistical modeling techniques to the analysis of longitudinal data. He is presently involved in several ongoing longitudinal projects nationally and internationally (UK, USA, China, New Zealand), including studies examining the interplay between genetic and family environmental factors on children’s mental health, the early origins of childhood aggression and the disruptive behaviour disorders, the early detection and prevention of adolescent depression, the long-term impact of domestic violence on children’s psychological development, and the implementation of effective intervention programs aimed at assisting children in the context of parental separation-divorce and other high-risk contexts (adoption and foster care).
Prior to his present appointment, Gordon held the post of Alexander McMillan Chair and Professor of Psychology at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Having studied and worked at the Institute for Social and Behavioural Development at Iowa State University between 1991-1995, he received his PhD from Cardiff University in 1998, was appointed Lecturer in Psychology the same year and Professor of Psychology in 2008. He holds appointments as Honorary Professor and Affiliate Member of the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University, and is an Affiliate Research Scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center, USA. He has served as an advisor to Government Departments nationally and internationally, including the Home Office, Department for Education, Ministry of Justice, the Welsh Government in the UK and the Office of the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee, New Zealand.


Alice Gregory

Alice Gregory is a Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her work focuses on understanding the aetiology of concurrent and longitudinal associations between sleep disturbances and a range of other phenotypes. She first developed an interest in sleep research as an undergraduate student at Oxford University. Following completion of her degree, she studied in Japan for a year collecting cross-cultural data for her first publication in the field of sleep research. Upon her return she commenced her PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry using epidemiological and twin samples to learn more about the associations between sleep disturbances, anxiety and depression. Alice has published over 100 papers and chapters, mainly focusing on sleep and associated traits.

Gráinne McLoughlin

Dr Gráinne McLoughlin completed her PhD training and initial postdoctoral training in quantitative genetics and EEG at the Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Centre. She completed further postdoctoral training in computational neuroscience at the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience at the University of California San Diego and the Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego. She took up the position of Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience at King’s College London in 2013. Her main research interests include investigation of abnormal brain function in multiple psychiatric disorders, including attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders and psychosis. She is also particularly interested in timing and synchronization of brain function and its impact on attention and behaviour. Dr McLoughlin is the Director of the Spring and Summer EEG School at King’s College London.


Alice Jones

Dr Alice Jones is the Director of the Unit for School and Family Studies, a research unit at Goldsmiths, University of London. She completed her PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London and spent time as a post-doctoral researcher at UCL before joining Goldsmiths. Alice’s main research interest is in the cognitive and affective correlates of behavioural problems, particularly those that impact on a child’s education. Her work takes a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding behavioural difficulties, including neuroimaging, behavioural genetic investigations, as well as neuropsychological and behavioural research.
Most recently, Alice has been working with colleagues in Educational Psychology to develop and evaluate interventions for children showing difficult behaviour in the classroom.

Yu Luo

Yu Luo is an assistant professor at Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Science. She received her Ph.D. in 2011 from the National Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, China. She has a strong interest in behavioural genetics and cognitive neuroscience. Her research includes behavioural genetic studies of self-concept and cognition abilities, and neural imaging studies of face perception. Currently, her work focuses on the genetics and neural correlates of self-esteem.


Jean-Pascal Lemelin

Since 2007, Dr. Jean-Pascal Lemelin is Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychoeducation, University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. He received his PhD (Developmental Psychology)in 2004 from the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivieres (UQTR) and then moved on to Laval University (Quebec City, Canada) where he received a three-year postdoctoral training in behavior genetics and became involved in the Quebec Newborn Twin Study. His current research interests include, among others, the genetic-environmental etiology of individual differences in school readiness and early school achievement and the developmental trajectories of math skills, with a specific focus on their environmental antecedents and consequences for later school achievement. He is currently implementing in Sherbrooke, Canada, an investigation of early number skills in over 100 5-year-old, French-Canadian children. This data collection will contribute to ongoing cross-cultural studies of number and math skills conducted within the InLab.


Xinlin Zhou

Dr. Xinlin Zhou is an associate professor at the National Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, China. His research interests focus on the mathematical cognition, including the neural correlates of mathematical cognition from numerosity, numbers, calculation to math reasoning, gender differences in mathematics, and the development of mathematical abilities. The representative publications are in Cognition, Memory & Cognition, Neuroimage, Neuropsychologia, and other journals. His research on the mathematical cognition received the supports from the Natural Science Foundation of China and the program New Century Excellent Talents at Universities.


MSc and Doctoral Students

Elaine White

Elaine White gained a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and an MSc in the Science of Psychology, Genetics and Education at Goldsmiths, University of London. Elaine is interested in child development and education with a particular focus on STEM fields. She is currently conducting her PhD research which includes an investigation into teacher/classroom effects in relation to mathematical achievement cross-culturally in 11-12 year old students. She is also involved in an investigation into potential differences between twin pairs taught by the same or different teacher. Her research combines longitudinal, cross-cultural and quantitative genetics designs. Elaine is also collaborating on several longitudinal projects, which include: the pre-birth cohort study in Tomsk (Russia) and an investigation into the social development of Tomsk kindergarten children. These are part of her role at the Laboratory for Investigations into Biopsychosocial Factors in Child Development, Tomsk State University. She is also collaborating on a study of Italian high school students: the Multi-cohort Investigation into Learning and Educational Success (MILES). Elaine’s keen interest in promoting science communication especially in the field of behavioural genetics has led to her involvement with The Accessible Genetics Consortium (TAGC) which seeks to communicate knowledge in an accessible way and to address its legal and ethical implications – to enable everyone to benefit from genetic discoveries.

Tomasz Bloniewski

Tom is currently working on his doctoral thesis supervised by Professor Yulia Kovas. His research interests are centred around affect and the way it influences cognition. He received his BSc at Birkbeck College where he worked on attentional capacity limits in anxiety. He then progressed to MSc in Science of Psychology, Genetics, and Education at Goldsmiths – his Masters thesis focused on decomposing the genetic and environmental variation in trait anxiety, mathematics anxiety, mathematical abilities, and working memory. He is currently working on a number of projects. Firstly, he is involved in a study that looks at developmental trajectories leading to mathematics anxiety and therefore decrements in mathematical performance in a sample of British twins (TEDS). Secondly, he is involved in a large scale study on anxiety and cognition in a sample of Russian twins (PROGRESS) based at the International Centre for Research in Human Development. He uses an interdisciplinary approach in his research with methods including EEG, quantitative genetics, and longitudinal modelling. In addition to his role as a doctoral researcher, he is involved in science dissemination body – The Accessible Genetics Consortium (TAGC) where he is responsible for event organisation and management. He teaches Psychology to second-year Undergraduate students and advanced statistical methods to Postgraduate students at the Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London. Recently, he has been appointed the Director of Data Analysis module as a part of MSc Human Development: Genetics, Neuroscience, and Psychology.

Robert Chapman

Robert is a PhD student at Goldsmiths, University of London under the supervision of Professor Kovas and Dr Jones. In his research he is looking at how the public engages with genetic and genomic research. Ever since the sequencing of the human genome in 2000 genetics has played an increasing part in everyday life, not just in medical terms but also in relation to psychology, education and society. With the rate of genetic research increasing it is becoming increasingly important that all people are able to engage with genetics in informed and reasoned ways. Robert has worked to develop the International Genetic Literacy and Attitudes Survey – iGLAS (tagc.world/iglas) to help investigate what people know, think and feel about genetics, not only in relation to medicine, but also broader aspects of society, education, law and ethics. To help improve public engagement with genetics Robert was also one of the founding members of The Accessible Genetics Consortium (www.tagc.world).

Teemu Toivainen

Teemu recently completed his Master’s degree in Research Methods in Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London. Supervised by Professor Yulia Kovas, his dissertation investigated average sex differences in non-verbal and verbal abilities over childhood and adolescence. The study utilised a large sample from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) and also examined whether the mentioned differences were influenced by the transfer of prenatal testosterone. Teemu is broadly interested in how intelligence and its subcomponents are related to other cognitive abilities such as creativity and mental resilience. His current research interests include the genetic influence on environmental measures as well as developmental changes over the lifespan. He hopes to begin his PhD in due course.

Emily Smith-Woolley

Emily gained her MSc in the Science of Psychology, Genetics and Education from Goldsmiths, University of London. During her MSc, Emily focused on the developmental associations between arithmetic and phonological processing. In 2015, Emily started a PhD with the Twins Early Development Study based at the Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King’s College London under the supervision of Professor Robert Plomin and Professor Yulia Kovas. At the moment, Emily is looking at the early predictors of later language problems and how these associations are influenced by genes and environments. Another area of her research focuses on looking at the aetiology of associations between pubertal timing and its links to later internalising (depression, anxiety) and externalising (conduct disorder) problems. Parallel to her research, Emily is also involved in science communication activities and has set up a series of video interviews with researchers, she designs and writes part of the annual TEDS newsletter and manages the TEDS Facebook account. She has recently jointly set up The Accessible Genetics Consortium (TAG-C) with the aim to: communicate genetic knowledge in an accessible way and to address its ethical and legal implications – to enable everyone to benefit from genetic discoveries.

Kaili Rimfeld

Kaili gained her BSc in Psychology and MSc in Developmental Psychology from Birkbeck College, University of London. During her MSc studies, Kaili focused on the investigation of whether the DNA variation that causes several genetic disorders is also associated with normal variation in mathematical ability in the general population. In 2013, Kaili received a MRC studentship and began her PhD at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King’s College London. The aim of her PhD research was to increase understanding of the aetiology of individual differences in educational achievement at the end of compulsory schooling and beyond.

Kaili is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at TEDS, her research is focused on the role of gene-environment interplay in educational achievement. She is interested in early predictors of educational achievement, as well as life outcomes associated with it, such as the quality of life and health outcomes. She is currently exploring how different school experiences influence adverse life outcomes, for example depression and anxiety.

Saskia Selzam

Saskia joined InLab during her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London and was supervised by Prof Yulia Kovas in her final year. She is currently doing her PhD with the Twins Early Development Study, at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre under the supervision of Prof Robert Plomin. Saskia is fascinated by the dynamic interplay between genes and the environment. She is especially interested in the genetic contribution to the experience of certain environments, such as socioeconomic status. Another of her areas of focus is the investigation of genetic relatedness between health, health behaviour, personality and intelligence, and how this relates to other life outcomes. She engages in the ongoing projects, such as The Accessible Genetics Consortium (TAG-C).

Gabrielle Garon-Carrier

Gabrielle graduated from her Ph.D. in Psychology at Université Laval, Québec (Canada), in 2016. During her graduated studies, she worked on the onset and developmental course of number knowledge. Her research mainly focuses on the aetiology of the variation in, and covariation between number knowledge and math across development; and on the early family and cognitive predictors of children at risk of later math difficulties. In addition, Gabrielle also worked on the longitudinal project on motivation and school achievement, and conducted several studies on this topic. Working with two longitudinal databases: the Quebec Newborn Twin Studies (QNTS), and the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, her research integrates longitudinal and genetically-sensitive designs. In 2013, Gabrielle completed a research internship as a part of the international student placement supervised by Professor Yulia Kovas in which she contributed to various InLab research projects such as the cross-cultural study on mathematically-relevant cognition conducted by the research groups in the UK and Canada, as well as the academic motivational study conducted across several international twin studies. Since this, she keeps collaborating on several projects, taking part in a genetic cross-cultural study on the association of number line and math abilities, and to a cross-cultural study testing potential teacher effects on achievement and motivation.


International Associate Members

Margherita Malanchini

Margherita Malanchini received a BSc in Psychology from Goldsmiths University of London in 2010 and an MSc in Developmental Sciences from Birkbeck University of London in 2012. Margherita started her PhD at Goldsmiths University of London in October 2013, supervised by Professor Yulia Kovas. Her PhD research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, focused on the non-cognitive side of educational achievement. During her PhD work, Margherita started a longitudinal study: a Multi-cohort Investigation into Learning and Educational Success (MILES) and collaborated at several large-scale projects, including the Twins Early Development Study. After her PhD, Margherita worked as a Postdoctoral researcher at the Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre, King’s College London, where she remains a Research Fellow, mentored by Professor Robert Plomin. Margherita joined the Texas Twin Project at the University of Texas at Austin as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in April 2017, mentored by Dr. Elliot Tucker-Drob and Dr. Paige Harden. Her primary research interests are in the fields of education, cognition and wellbeing, which she approaches combining behavioural genetic and developmental methodologies. The goal of Margherita’s research is to provide knowledge that can inform educational practice and interventions.


Kostas A. Papageorgiou

Dr. Papageorgiou is a Lecturer in Developmental Psychopathology  at Queen’s University Belfast and an Associate Professor in Personality Psychology at Tomsk State University in Russia. Kostas lectures on MSc courses in the School of Psychology at Queen’s and he supervises BSc, MSc, PhD, and Post-Graduate students’ research. He is also the convenor of the course “Interdisciplinary Study of Development I” in the International MSc in Human Development: Genetics, Neuroscience and Psychology at Tomsk State University. Kostas is the Director of the InteRRaCt Lab and an International Associate Member of InLab at Goldsmiths, and the Russian-British Behavioural Genetics Laboratory at the Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education. He is also a member of the committee of the Special Interest Group in Paediatric Psychology of the Psychological Society of Ireland and a member of the International Society for Intelligence Research. In 2011, Kostas was awarded a European Marie Curie Fellowship to pursue a PhD (2011-2015) at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development at Birkbeck University of London. His doctoral thesis “Individual Differences in Infant Visual Attention: Links to Child Temperament, Behaviour and Genetic Variation” explored the genetics of visual attention in the first year of life; and the degree to which individual differences in newborns’ and infants’ visual attention predict variation in temperament, cognition and symptoms of psychopathology in childhood. Kostas uses an interdisciplinary approach in his research, combining methods in cognitive and developmental neuroscience, personality assessment and genetics to study some of the factors that contribute to individual differences in resilience, cognition and academic performance.


Maja Rodic

Maja was awarded her PhD in 2015 from Goldsmiths, University of London, supervised by Professor Yulia Kovas. The principle goal of her PhD research was to increase the knowledge of the links between early (untaught) numerical development and later (taught) mathematical skills, using cross-cultural and genetically informative designs. Maja has worked as a Research Assistant of Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith and colleagues at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD), Birkbeck College where she was involved in studies which compared children across two genetic disorders, Down and Williams syndrome on numerical ability and face processing. She is currently a post doctoral research fellow at University of Sussex working on an evaluation of the AdOpt parenting programme, specifically designed for adoptive parents to help promote parenting techniques and supports that address particular difficulties adopted children may experience.


Maria Grazia Tosto

Maria is a researcher at InLab, Goldsmiths College, University of London and visiting researcher at the institute of Psychiatry, King’s College-London. She is interested in individual differences in learning and cognition, with particular focus on numerical and mathematical abilities. She combines experimental and quantitative genetic approaches with cross-cultural and longitudinal designs to understand why some people are “maths smart”, whereas others struggle with mathematics. Maria has contributed to the development of an online instrument assessing mathematical and cognitive abilities and that is currently used in UK and several other countries, including Russia, Kyrgyzia, US, and Canada. At InLab she is leading the Number Sense Projects, including cross-cultural research into the origins of the Number Sense. She collaborates on the twins and cross-cultural investigations, and oversees the management and collection of the data. She also mentors InLab students’ projects, and teaches on Behavioural Genetics and MSc in Psychology, Genetics, and Education courses.
After receiving a BSc in Psychology from Birkbeck University of London, she completed an MSc in Cognitive Neuropsychology and Neuroscience at UCL investigating the neural correlates of priming on social cognition and memory. Maria received her PhD in 2012 from Goldsmiths College. During her PhD she conducted the first genetically sensitive investigation into the Number Sense.


Corina Greven

Corina Greven is a psychologist and behavioural geneticist. She works as a senior researcher at the Donders Institute for Brain Cognition and Behaviour, Radboudumc, and the Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry University Cluster in the Netherlands. She is also a visiting researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London, UK. Corina has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from University College London, UK (2007), and an MSc (2008) and PhD (December 2011) in Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry from the IoPPN. Corina specialises in the genetic and neurobiological underpinnings of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). She also works on a mindfulness intervention project for youth with ADHD and their parents (the MindChamp project). Corina is a researcher on the NeuroIMAGE project, the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) , and the MiND project. In InLab, she advises on all aspects of studying ADHD in an educationally-relevant context.


Claire Haworth

Claire Haworth is a Lecturer and Research Fellow at the Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King’s College London, and Deputy Director of the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS). Her research includes the first behavioural genetic analysis of school science performance, as well as multivariate investigations of the links between different cognitive and learning abilities and disabilities. She is particularly interested in positive outcomes from high cognitive ability through wellbeing and human flourishing, and in combining genetically sensitive approaches with intervention designs. In InLab, Claire provides advice on twin aspects of the research and she collaborates on twin projects.


Darya Gaysina

Darya Gaysina is an Investigator Scientist at the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing. Darya has an MSc in Biology (Honours) from the Bashkir State University (Russia), and a PhD in Human Genetics from the Institute of Biochemistry and Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences. Darya’s thesis focused on molecular-genetic aspects of human aggressive behaviour. After completing her PhD Darya became a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Biochemistry and Genetics (2004), and then a Postdoctoral Researcher at the MRC SGDP Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London (2007), with her research focused on molecular-genetic investigation of psychiatric phenotypes. Darya joined the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing in July 2008, and she is also an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London. Her current major area of interest is association of mental health with physical health and cognitive function. She applies an integrative life-course approach to study the mechanisms, both genetic and social, underlying this association. Darya maintains a strong interest in behavioural genetics. In InLab, she is leading the Study of association of common genetic variants in chromosomal abnormalities with variation in mathematical and spatial ability. Darya is leading the research into the molecular underpinnings of emotional problems in children at the Russian-British Laboratory of Behavioural Genetics.


Tatiana Tikhomirova

Tatiana Tikhomirova received her Ph.D. in 2002 from the Russian Academy of Science. She received a Masters Degree in Pedagogic sciences from the Moscow State Pedagogical Training University in 1995. Tatiana Tikhomirova has been a researcher at the Laboratory of Psychology and Psychophysiology of Creativity at the Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, since January, 2002, and at the Developmental Behavioural Genetics Laboratory at the Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, since October, 2010. The current focus of her research is on problems of environmental determination of abilities and the role of family and educational surroundings in intellectual and creative development. Dr Tikhomirova is an author of more than 40 scientific works published in Russian and international journals. Dr Tikhomirova supervises many BSc and MSc, and PhD students’ research. Dr Tatiana Tikhomirova is InLab’s leading research consultant in Russia and is leading research into the environmental influences on development of individual differences in cognition and learning at the Russian-British Laboratory of Behavioural Genetics. Dr Tikhomirova is a member of the Bureau of Coordination of Science and Education Affairs at the Science, Technology, and Education Council of the President of the Russian Federation. One of the primary goals of the council is support for innovation-oriented studies.


Fatos Selita

Fatos Selita

Fatos Selita is a Barrister of England and Wales and a New York Attorney. He is a Director the IBL Consultancy which provides business and legal consultancy in international business matters. Fatos lectures on a variety of legal subjects and delivers expert training on advocacy and public speaking. Fatos collaborates with InLab on issues related to legal implications of genetic research in education (see an example here). He is a member of the Council on Ethical, Societal and Legal Implications of Genetic Research in Psychology and Education at the Institute of Genetic, Neurobiological and Social Foundations of Child Development at Tomsk State University, where he leads several policy-making and knowledge transfer projects. Fatos also co-directs AIR – intensive short interdisciplinary Summer and Winter courses run at Goldsmiths by InLab in collaboration with IBL.


Ziada Ayorech

Ziada completed her BSc (Hons) in Behavioural Neuroscience in Montreal, Canada. After that she moved to King’s College London where she completed an MSc in Mental Health Studies. During her MSc, Ziada was first introduced to the notion of personalised medicine which laid the foundation for her interest in personalised education. To pursue these interests, Ziada began a PhD studying the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) sample under the supervision of Professor Robert Plomin. Her current research is focused on individual differences in media use and the relation between these differences and social and psychological outcomes in early adulthood. She is also interested in the extent to which genes and environments influence social mobility and the role of general intelligence in social status change between generations. Ziada is particularly excited about the new stage of TEDS as the twins enter ‘emerging adulthood’. This unique developmental period offers an unprecedented opportunity for her to explore the genetic and environmental antecedents of psychosocial adjustment over the course of her studies.


Jessica Charlesworth

Jessica is a designer, futures thinker and researcher with experience working for both public and private sector organisations to explore the future implications of their field. She explores ways of using design to understand, unravel and provoke rich interactions between people, technology, products and services. Since graduating from Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art, Jessica has run her own practice conducting design research initiatives and generating speculative design projects, often collaborating with scientists and other futurists, designers and academics. With this interdisciplinary approach she explores alternative futures that new technologies and science may hold. Projects include investigating the social and psychological implications of personal genomics, depicting the future of obesity in the UK for Foresight GOS, designing service experiences for online virtual worlds and coordinating academic research blogs about the future of group communication and the future of security and safe living. She has recently exhibited ‘Citizen Evolution’ at the MAKVienna in Austria and conducted experiential scenarios at ‘The Future of Persuasion Conference’ for the Institute for the Future in San Francisco. She has also conducted workshops and run studio teaching projects at the Glasgow School of Art, the Royal College of Art, Lancaster University and the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest. Jessica is also known as a design researcher and strategist having run numerous projects and workshops for leading design research and service design consultancies including SeymourPowellForesight, Sense Worldwide and Engine Service Design.


Julia Pascal

Julia Pascal is the artistic director of Pascal Theatre Company. Pascal Theatre Company has worked on drama production for over 25 years. Productions have been seen in the major London fringe theatres including showings at The British Library, The Imperial War Museum, The Purcell Room, the Lyric, Riverside Studios, The Drill Hall as well as in community centres and Swiss Cottage Library. Much of their current programme concentrates on youth drama projects at London community centres. Julia Pascal is known as a writer, journalist and producer of surprising and innovative work. Among the journals she has written for are The New Scientist, The New Statesman, The Observer, The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Jewish Chronicle and The Independent. For the BBC she has freelanced as an arts commentator. Pascal was a NESTA Fellow and had a Leverhulme Scholarship to be Writer in Residence at the Wiener Library. Her prose was published by Virago in the volume Truth, Dare or Promise and her plays are published by Oberon Books and Faber. Her TV writing gained Royal Television Society and BAFTA Awards. Julia Pascal is involved in science communication, including the current project with DrYulia Kovas to communicate genetic science to general audiences through innovative theatre performance.


Bonamy Oliver

Bonamy Oliver was awarded her Ph.D. in 2006 from the SGDP Centre, Institute of Psychiatry; her thesis focused on individual differences in oral and school-based written language abilities within a behavioural genetic context. She published one of the first genetically-informed reports of mathematics abilities in 2004. She has diverse experience in interdisciplinary research affording her a collaborative research career centred on environmental influences on individual differences in a breadth of outcomes, including socially- and educationally-relevant phenotypes. She is particularly interested in family and school environments. Dr Oliver has had a lead role on several aspects of the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) at the SGDP Centre since its launch in 1995, and continues to do so, particularly in environmental influence within a genetically-sensitive design. She has worked extensively on the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) examining interparental conflict, social cognitions and early environmental risk configurations important for achievement, cognitive abilities, social understanding, and behaviour. She specializes in developmental science, and will offer InLab expertise and teaching in developmental research methods and statistics, as well as mentorship for students.


Kou Murayama

Kou Murayama studied educational psychology and received his Ph.D. in 2006 from the University of Tokyo. He continued his career as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (focusing on psychometrics) and the University of Rochester (focusing on social and personality psychology). He is currently working at the University of Munich as an Alexander von Humboldt research fellow. His work centers on human motivation and incorporates a variety of perspectives such as educational psychology, social/personality psychology, and neuroscience, and utilizes a wide range of methodologies,including large sample surveys, behavioral experiments, behavioral genetics, computer simulation, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).


Vjaceslav Karolis

Slava received his first degree in Educational Psychology from Daugavpils University, Latvia, in 2000. Same year he moved to London and worked in construction. In 2006 he returned to academia and obtained MSc in Cognitive Neropsychology from Birkbeck Colledge in 2007. From 2007 till now he is a PhD student in the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL
(due to obtain the degree in May 2012). His scientific interests concern the cognitive study of number, in particular, methodological aspects in the study of the subjective scale for numerical representations, the use of spatial models to solve numerical tasks, and the origin of spatial numerical interactions. More recent interests also include the models of
event anticipation.


Elena Gindina

Elena Gindina received her Ph.D. in 2005 from the Russian Academy of Education. She received a Masters Degree in Psychology from the Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2000. Elena Gindina has been a researcher at the Developmental Behavioural Genetics Laboratory at the Psychological Institute of Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, since 2002. The current focus of her research is on environmental and genetic factors in etiology of emotional and behavioral problems in children. Dr Gindina is an author of more than 35 scientific works published in Russian and international journals. In 2006 she was awarded the Russian Academy of Education Gold Medal for young scientists.


Elena Esipenko

Elena has received her Master’s degree in Biology in 2007. She then received her PhD from Tomsk State University (TSU) in 2010. She is currently working as a Senior Researcher at the Laboratory for Cognitive Investigations and Behavioral Genetics based at TSU. Her research interests are focused around broadly understood cognitive processes, psychophysiology and how these relate to behavioral genetics. She is currently involved in investigations of mathematical anxiety as well as spatial abilities.


Victoria Ismatullina

Victoria received her PhD in 2013 at the Developmental Behavioral Genetics Laboratory of the Psychological Institute of Russian Academy of Education (PI RAE) in Moscow. Her thesis focused on individual differences in planning abilities in adolescents. She currently holds a Senior Researcher position at PI RAE . Her scientific interests include the role of genes and environments in the individual differences in general cognitive abilities and executive functions. She is also interested in developmental and clinical psychology with a particular emphasis on problems associated with cognitive deficits in children. She is a collaborator on the cross-cultural project on spatial abilities.


Wei Wei

Wei Wei is a PhD candidate at National Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, supervised by Prof. Xinlin Zhou. She focuses on the development of children’s early numerical abilities and the behavioural manifestation and biological bases for the gender differences in mathematics. Currently she is working on a cross-cultural study of children’s numerical abilities in China and U.K. She is responsible for the data collection at Beijing, data analysis and manuscript drafting. In summer 2011 Wei Wei has spent 1 month in London, working with other InLab members on cross-cultural projects.


Ekaterina Cooper

Ekaterina graduated from St. Petersburg State University with MSc in Health Psychology in 2012. In Russia, as part of her BSc in Psychology, she developed the programme ‘Learning to communicate effectively’ for adolescents aged 12 – 14 years, aimed at correction of alexithymia through the development of emotional intelligence. The programme was officially implemented with adolescents in several schools in St. Petersburg . She has worked at the Centre for Psychological and Social Support for Children where she led psychological intervention programmes, training and workshops for children and their parents. She was also responsible for screening children’s cognitive ability in schools and kindergartens. In InLab Ekaterina contributes to different projects, with particular focus on the UK-Russia cross-cultural investigations into identification of the true environmental factors involved in variation in motivation, ability, and achievement.


Elena Leone

Elena is currently in the final year of the BSc in Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London. She chose to collaborate within InLab to follow her interest in the genetic and environmental factors contributing to psychopathology. This is reflected in the nature of her final year project, which is aimed at investigating how a biogenetic portrayal of depression might contribute to stigma towards depressed individuals. She also contributes to the development of the Multi-Cohort Investigation into Learning and Educational Success, which helped her to gain valuable insight on how to build a study from the roots up, as well as how to cooperate within a research team.


Giulia Pannini

Giulia is currently a 3rd year BSc Psychology student at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research interests are centered around understanding individual differences, particularly in cognitive abilities. Her 3rd year project focuses on the testosterone hypothesis, and it explores the effects of testosterone on spatial ability and overall cognitive performance. Being member of InLab has helped her to gain direct experience of how psychological research is conducted. She helps with many ongoing projects such as the teacher effect project and the Multi-Cohort Investigation into Learning and Educational Success.


Ilya Zakharov

Ilya is working on his PhD in Moscow State University and Russian Academy of Education. He received a Masters Degree in Psychology from the Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2012. Ilya is a researcher at the Developmental Behavioural Genetics Laboratory at the Psychological Institute of Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, since 2013. His scientific interests include the problems of gene-environment interactions in variety of phenotypes, but mostly cognitive abilities and intelligence and their psychophysiological correlates. In Russia he is actively involved in popularization of science with public lectures about neuroscience and behavioural genetics.


Ivan Voronin

Ivan Voronin graduated from Department of Psychology of Lomonosov Moscow State University with a specialist degree. He is currently a PhD student at the Laboratory for Cognitive investigations and Behaviour Genetics at Tomsk State University. He is also working at the Laboratory of Developmental Behaviour Genetics of Psychological Institute of Russian Academy of Education, Moscow. Ivan is involved in the research on the sources of individual differences in various cognitive and non-cognitive human characteristics such as intelligence, specific cognitive functions, academic achievement, and personality traits. The goal of this PhD research is to estimate cross-cultural differences in genetic and environmental sources of individual differences of intelligence. Ivan’s focus of scientific interest are statistical methods of data analysis as well as bioinformatics. In the UK, Ivan is involved in the longitudinal twin study of the relationship between reading achievement and motivation.


Tatiana Kolienko

Tatiana Kolienko is a consultant of the Information and Methods Centre of the Department of Education, Primorsky Region of St Petersburg. Tatiana is also a Senior Category geography teacher at the specialist language school No 43, St Petersburg. In InLab, Tatiana Kolienko is the Project Coordinator of the primary and secondary school data collection for St Petersburg region. Tatiana also provides consultation on ethnographic, socio-demographic, and educational/curricula aspects of cross-cultural investigations.


Irina Voronina

Irina graduated from the Department of Psychology of Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2012 with a specialist degree (BSc and MSc). That year she also started working at the Laboratory of Developmental Behaviour Genetics of the Psychological Institute, Russian Academy of Education, Moscow. In 2015, she started her PhD at the same laboratory, under the supervision of Professor Sergey Malykh and Professor Yulia Kovas. Irina is involved in the longitudinal genetically informative study of early child development (supervised by Professor Gordon Harold and Professor Michel Boivin). Her research interests are focused on early precursors of cognitive abilities and social skills later in life.


Sofia Mironets

Sofia studies at the Siberian State Medical University and majors in pathophysiological diagnostics and psychotherapy. Since 2014 Sofia has been assisting at the Laboratory for Cognitive Investigations and Behavioral Genetics at Tomsk State University (Russia). Here she works with EEG and behavioural data on the project on mathematical anxiety, trait anxiety and cognitive abilities in a sample of Russian twins. Her research interests include broadly understood brain functions, psychophysiological correlates, connectivity, and individual development.


Tatiana Dolgoroukova

Tatiana will graduate from Siberian State Medical University in 2017 with the specialist degree (BSс and MSc) in Clinical Psychology. She specialises in psychopathological diagnostics and psychotherapy. The topic of her diploma is “EEG Correlates of Trait and Mathematical Anxiety during Lexical and Mathematical Tasks”.  This study is being conducted at the
International Laboratory for Cognitive Investigations and Behavioural Genetics
where Tatiana works as a lab assistant. In addition to her work on psychopathology and EEG, she studies gestalt psychotherapy where she gets an opportunity to work with families and children. She helps the patients in understanding their feelings and developing coping strategies. Tatiana is also involved in the Study of Individual Differences in Human Cognitive Abilities as well as Students’ Understanding of Bullying Behaviours. Recently, Tatiana has been appointed class assistant on a new MSc program –
Human Development: Genetics, Neuroscience, and Psychology
. Here she assists in modules such as Aetiology of Developmental Problems, Cognitive Technologies, and Neuroscience and Cognitive Science.

BSc and Placement Students

Janine Khuc

Janine is a BSc student at Goldsmiths University of London. Her research- interests are centred around factors that contribute to brain plasticity throughout the lifespan especially in context of learning. Working within InLab has given her invaluable insight into how interdisciplinary approaches allow a more facetted understanding of the complex interactions between genetic, psychological, educational and neuroscientific factors on learning. The multidisciplinary approach is reflected in her final year project, which investigates the neural correlates of performance monitoring in math anxiety, which hopefully will lead to a better understanding of emotional difficulties math anxious individuals experience. Within InLab she learned to work within a research team and to manage large datasets, involving data entry and collection as well as higher order analysis, contributing to ongoing projects such as the Multi-Cohort Investigation into Learning and Educational Success, and the Teacher and Classroom effect in Learning.

Ruta Adamone

Ruta is currently studying for a BSc Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has a strong interest in individual differences and how factors such as genetics, personality and intelligence can predict educational achievement and quality of life. Within InLab she is currently helping with the study investigating teacher effect in relation to mathematical achievement, and in the multi-cohort investigation into learning and educational success.


Frederike Reutter

Frederike is a BSc Psychology student at the University of Mannheim, Germany. She is particularly interested in the interaction of social environment with genetic predisposition and the effects this has on personality, motivation, and achievement. She joined InLab as a placement student and stayed with the lab for January and February 2016. She was heavily involved in a number of on-going projects including the EEG investigations into mathematical anxiety, aetiology of spatial ability and spatial anxiety, as well as the teacher and classroom effects on learning. She has worked with samples such as the Twins Early Development Study and Russian School Twin Registry. Working at InLab gave her the unique opportunity to learn how to manage large datasets, review articles, generate statistical results, compile and re-organise data, and work as a part on a large international team.


Isabella Badini

Isabella is a BSc Psychology student at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has a strong interest in the interplay between genetics and environment in regards to learning, educational achievement and motivation. She is interested in understanding how the knowledge about genetics can improve educational techniques, especially for children with learning or behavioural difficulties. Moreover, she is interested in research on creativity and its relationship with intelligence and academic achievement. Isabella is also involved in a pilot study looking at predictors of online CBT for insomnia outcome and influence on.