About Us

Audun Dahl, Principal Investigator

Audun Dahl is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He received his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from UC Berkeley. His research investigates how young children acquire social skills, concerns, and understanding through everyday social interactions.

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Talia Waltzer, Graduate Student

Hi, my name's Talia. I graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Psychology and in Cognitive Science. In Fall 2015, I joined the Early Social Interaction Lab as a ph.D. student. As a researcher, I'm interested in how different people think, reason, and form beliefs - especially moral ones. As a not-just-a-researcher, I'm interested in running around outside (mountaineering, kayaking, and backpacking) and running around other places (learning languages and eating food). Here is a link to my website.

Charles Baxley, Graduate Student

Charles Baxley joined the Early Social Interaction Lab as a doctoral student in Fall 2018. By paying close attention to the everyday experiences of children and adults, Charles is interested in utilizing mixed methods to further understand how people interact with situations involving morality, and how this interaction develops over the lifespan. Outside of research, Charles enjoys the thrill of competing in and watching basketball, as well as spending quality time with his wife, close friends, and family.

Margie Martinez, Graduate Student

Margie joined the Early Social Interaction Lab as a doctoral student in Fall 2019. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Psychology and in French. She is interested in studying parent-child routines and interactions to better understand how prosocial behaviors, such as helping, develop and are socialized early in life. Outside of her research, Margie loves exploring new places, rock climbing, playing games, and making and eating sweets.

Mary Taylor Goeltz, Lab Manager

Mary Taylor Goeltz is the lab manager for Dr. Audun Dahl at ESIL. She received a B.A. in Psychology from Dickinson College in 2018. She is interested in the development of morality throughout early childhood and adolescence, and plans to attend graduate school after her time here at the lab. In her time outside of the lab, M.T. works with kids as an after-school program teacher, hones her baking skills, and watches the sea lions and otters on the pier.  

Anjuli Corzine, Working on Senior Thesis

Anjuli is a fourth year intensive psychology and anthropology double major, and is currently working on her senior thesis project regarding moral reasoning in the context of romantic and sexual relations among young adults. Generally, her research interests broadly revolve around projects that account for complex social and cultural impacts, and topics in clinical psychology. In the near future, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D in Clinical Science. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and reading mystery novels.


Emma Ford, Research Assistant

Hi, my name is Emma and I am a third-year undergrad student studying Psychology and Education. As a research assistant, I have been involved in ESIL’s study about the helping behaviors of 7-9 month olds and am currently helping Charles with research regarding preschooler’s thoughts about conflicts. When I am not doing research, I enjoy backpacking, rock climbing and making French fries with my friends!

Max Wechsler-Azen, Research Assistant

Senior, studying Cognitive Science and working on the Academic Orientations Project. Currently, I am working on a meta-analysis of nuance in evaluative measures and creating a data-base of misconduct records. I am interested in the intersection of moral decision and artificial intelligence and hope to pursue these interests in Graduate School. In my time away from the lab, I enjoy surfing, walking dogs, and playing chess. 

Ari Onga, Research Assistant

Ari is a fourth year undergraduate student studying Psychology and Education. She is involved in the ESIL lab, Anakbayan Organization and Psi Chi on UCSC's campus. After graduation, Ari plans to attend graduate school and earn a Ph.D in Social Psychology and conduct research in educational settings. In her free time, Ari enjoys playing with her dog Zero, rollerblading and spending time with friends.

Haden Dover, Research Assistant

Haden is a 4th year Psychology major, and is currently a Research Assistant at ESIL working on the HI and Religious Norms Studies. He's hoping to go to graduate school after his undergraduate career and do research that will benefit the LGBTQ+ community that he's proud to be apart of! He enjoys video games, baking, and staying active, whether it be swimming, going to the gym, or hiking.

Erica Leverett, Research Assistant

Erica is a 4th year Intensive Psychology major and a Research Assistant, currently helping with a study regarding prosocial behaviors emerging between 6 and 9 months of infancy. Additionally, she has obtained her certification as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) in order to provide behavior therapy for children with a range of developmental disabilities, and she hopes to continue to pursue a career in Behavior Analysis in the future. Outside of the lab, she loves to travel, figure skate, and spend time at the beach.

Zainab Ghadialy, Research Assistant

Zainab Ghadialy is a fourth year Psychology student at UC Santa Cruz joining the Early Social Interaction Lab in Fall 2019 as a research assistant working on coding data for the Religious Norms study. She is interested in learning about child development and plans to attend graduate school to pursue a career working with children. Outside of the lab, Zainab loves painting, playing guitar, spending time with her friends and cooking new dishes.


Corey Zhang, Research Assistant

Corey is a 4th year Intensive Psychology major with a Pre-Med track. He is currently involved with the HI study. His future plans include attending medical school and becoming a child & adolescent psychiatrist. In his free time, he enjoys writing music, reading, and playing video games.

Isabelle Gross, Research Assistant

Isabelle is a recent psychology major graduate from UCSC who is continuing as a research assistant under current graduate student Charles Baxley. She is working on a study looking at harming behaviors in children and people’s interpretations about them and has assisted with transcribing, analyzing, creating a coding scheme for, and coding participant data obtained for this study. Isabelle hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in developmental psychology and is interested in parent-child interactions and moral development. In her free time, she enjoys pruning/grafting her fruit trees, volunteering with the Bonny Doon Volunteer Fire Team, and beekeeping.

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Kelli Haupage, Research Assistant

Kelli is a 3rd year psychology major at UCSC, and a research assistant for the ESIL lab currently working on the Religious Norms study. She hopes to attend graduate school after graduating with her Bachelor's degree from UCSC, and eventually work with children in some capacity. In her free time, Kelli likes to dance, play the ukulele, bake or hang out with her friends.

Bianca Guerrero, Research Assistant

Bianca is a fourth year student at UC Santa Cruz majoring in Cognitive Science with a focus in Philosophy. She joined the Early Social Interaction Lab in Winter 2019 as a research assistant helping with the HI study by working on coding data as well as conducting home visits with participants in this study. Outside of the lab, Bianca spends her time exploring, sculpting, drinking coffee, or is very likely at a flea market searching for vintage goods.

Ali Fitch, Research Assistant

Hello! My name is Ali and I am a fourth year Intensive Psychology major interested in pursuing Social and Clinical Psychology. This is my third quarter as a Research Assistant in the Early Social Interaction Lab working on a study about the emergence of helping behavior in 7-9 month olds. In the future, I hope to pursue a career in Forensic and Criminal Psychology where I can explore criminal behavior and policy. In my free time, I enjoy making ceramics, learning the art of film photography, and making music with friends. 

Kali Kecskemeti, Research Assistant

Kali is a 4th year Psychology major/Education minor and is beginning her first quarter in the ESIL lab! She is currently working as a research assistant on the HI study and looking at helping behaviors in children. She is particularly passionate about working with children in schools to create a better education system in our country. When she is not in lab, she loves to sing, act, paint, and take naps whenever possible. Kali plans to attend graduate school to further her research and passions in psychology and education.

Pari Mulaveesala, Research Assistant

Hi, my name is Pari Mulaveesala and I am a third year undergraduate student at UCSC pursing an intensive psychology degree. As an RA, I am currently involved in the coding and data analysis of the early social interaction lab regarding moral development in infants. It's very intriguing to observe how certain behaviors and experiences can influence pivotal stages of development. I've also been working with children with varying behavioral issues to understand how crucial genetic and environmental stimuli can affect one's path of early development and determine if there are more developmental advantages to some early intervention techniques than others. As a psychology student, I am really interested in observing how different childhood experiences can shape one's perception of themselves and their surroundings. In the future, I am also looking forward to conducting more research on the implications of different socio-cultural beliefs on one's development from childhood to adulthood.