Our Research Team

Dr. Petra Hauf - Professor 

Petra received her doctoral degree from Frankfurt University in Germany. She worked at the Max Planck-Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Munich where she started her infant research in the field of action understanding. Since 2006 she has been the head of the Infant Action and Cognition Lab at StFX. Her research focuses on the link between perception and production in cognitive development. She is also interested in how infants acquire physical knowledge and how infants’ motor skills influence how they explore and understand the world around them.

Melissa Howse - Lab manager

Melissa has overseen the IACL’s daily activities and helped in the design and analysis of IACL studies since 2016. She received an MSc in Cognitive and Behavioural Ecology from Memorial University of Newfoundland, where she studied the cognition and behaviour of non-human animals, and conducted research on domestic dog social behaviour. Now working with infants, Melissa is fascinated with how infants rapidly learn to navigate and thrive in their environments. She is always excited to welcome new babies and their caregivers to the lab!

Megan MacGillivray - PhD candidate

Megan will begin a post-doctoral fellow at the IACL in 2019. She has a BSc in Human Kinetics (STFX) and an MSc in Human Kinetics (UBC). She is currently completing her PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences (UBC). Megan’s research background has focused on optimizing mobility for individuals with physical disabilities by applying the fields of rehabilitation, biomechanics, motor learning, and exercise physiology to this complex task. Megan’s academic interests and expertise include wheelchair propulsion, self-management interventions using mHealth for spinal cord injury, and innovations in assistive mobility technology. Her research spans from studying the long-term outcomes of arthrogryposis to training wheelchair skills. Megan will bring her analytical skills and understanding of mobility to the IACL to study the effect of early walking experience on perception and the kinematics of various reaching tasks in infants.


StFX student research assistants and volunteers

We often have student research assistants (RAs) and volunteers in our lab to help with our research activities. Participants may meet some of our friendly student lab members when booking or attending appointments.

Gabrielle Steylen - RA

Gabby joined the lab in May 2018, and is a third-year Human Kinetics student.

Jillian Allan - RA

Jillian joined the lab in December 2018, and is a third-year Health Science student.  Jillian is the vice-president of the Health Society and is heavily involved in the Saint John Ambulance Team on campus. Following the completion of her undergraduate degree, she hopes to pursue a career in medicine.

Rachel Albert - RA

Rachel joined the lab in January 2019, and is a third-year Health Science student.