Research isn't completed in solitary.

Below are some of the individuals who have helped me along the way.

University of california, riverside

From June 2014 to August 2020, I was a member of the Childhood Cognition Lab (CCL) at UC Riverside. During that time I worked with:

PhD Advisor

Rebekah Richert, PhD

Labmates/Collaborators in the CCL

Nicholas Shaman, PhD

Anondah Saide, PhD

Christina Williams, BA

Alisha Conover, MA

Brianna Cabrera, BA

The following individuals have served on my MA and PhD Committees at UC Riverside:

Masters Thesis Committee

Rebekah Richert, PhD (Chair)

Developmental Psychology, UC Riverside

Mary Gauvain, PhD

Developmental Psychology, UC Riverside

Rachel Wu, PhD

Developmental & Cognitive Psychology, UC Riverside

Doctoral Dissertation Committee

Rebekah Richert, PhD (Chair)

Developmental Psychology, UC Riverside


Mary Gauvain, PhD

Developmental Psychology, UC Riverside


Keith Widaman, PhD

Educational Psychology & Quantitative Methods, UC Riverside

Andrew Shtulman, PhD

Psychology & Cognitive Science, Occidental College


A few projects and individuals I currently & previously collaborated with include:

Magic in Mauritius


This study examined how participation in black magic/witchcraft rituals or religious rituals relate to (dis)trust and blame attribution within the Hindu communities of Mauritius. I conducted fieldwork in Mauritius July - August 2018 alongside:

Dimitris Xygalatas, PhD

Cultural & Experimental Anthropologist, University of Connecticut

Director of the field site in Mauritius

Aiyana Willard, PhD

Cultural Evolution Psychologist, Brunel University, London

Explanatory Systems for Biological Illnesses (ESBI)

This set of studies examine my own line of research on causal reasoning and causal explanations. Specifically, using experimental design and structured, qualitative interviews, we examine the causal mechanisms (folk, scientific, religious, supernatural, moral) children and their parents attribute to the causes and treatments of biological illnesses, their reasons for endorsing those causes, and parents’  approaches to explaining the causes of illness to their children. The following individuals assist in either data collection or methodological design or both:

Laura Posada, BA

Role: Paid Field Research Assistant for Data Collection and  Assisted in Methodological Design for Colombia & USA

Study Population & Location: Spanish-Speaking Catholics, Colombia

Child Ages: 4.00 - 6.99-years-old

Dates: August 2017 - Present

Aiyana Willard, PhD

Role: Co-PI; Assisted in Methodological Design for Mauritius

Study Population & Location: Hindus, Mauritius

Child Ages: 7.00 - 10.99-years-old

Dates: August 2018 

Undergraduate research assistants

No research project is completed without the assistance of an army of research assistants (RAs). 

I have supervised (or co-supervised) the following undergraduate RAs since June 2014:

Former RAs

Frances Abalos*

Khwaja Sohaib Ahmad*

Kai Alexander*

Fiorella Atoche Fernandez*

Kassandra Avila*

Timothy Baum*

Youstina Beshay*

Iveth (Gutierrez) Bruner

Alysa Butler*

Rachel Cabrera

Ezra Cabreros

Miriam Chacon

Valita "Minnie" Chailert*

Jasmine Chen*

Ashley Claudio*

Estefani Crisostomo*

Mithila Dastider*

Jiselle de Anda

Elizabeth Desantiago

Roxana Diaz

Haylee Drew*

Matthew Duffy

Keanna Dunn

Sonal Dyavarshetty

Francisca Elizarraraz

Fabian Fantilla*

Saba Faridi

Jessica Florentino*

Dominique Fonseca*

Jessica Garcia

Lydia Ghabour

Cristal Gutierez

Dina Habib*

Tara Haidary*

Merna Hanna*

Jennifer Hernandez*

Insia Hirawala*

Zahra Hirawala*

Paloma Iñiguez

Vedika Iyer

Kitcia Jaramillo*

Shirley Leanos*

RAs in the Childhood Cognition Lab (UC Riverside)

Belen Leon Perez

Amanda Lopez*

Crystal Lopez*

Jack Lopez*

Jennifer Lopez

Neil Lopez*

Anayeli Luna Reyes

Albert Ly*

Yolanda Medina*

Mayra Morales*

Angela Nagtalon*

Nicole Neermann*

Emily Nelson*

Laura Pacheco

Shabri Patel

Maria Peña

Vanessa Peraza

Jake Perez*

Amahyrani Piña

Laura Posada*

Suki Quan

Cassandra Rios

Sipriana Rodela

Mayra Rosas

Alexia Ruiz

Mayra Salas

Daria Simpson*

Teresa Solis*

Susan Soudchantho*

Alysia Thind*

Austen Trainer*

Thao Tran*

Estefania Trevino

Graciela Trujillo

Peter Van*

Tracy Vargas

Randle Villanueva

Emily Weddle

Megan Weimer*

Tekeyah Whitworth

Anthony Zafra*

Jeanette Zazueta*

Current RAs

Explanatory Systems of Illness:

Marlen Gonzalez Duran

Ashley Marin

Roger Morales

Honors Thesis:

Sarah Panameño


Note: * Indicates RA was co-supervised with:

Anondah Saide (2014-2016), Christina Williams (2015-2016), and/or Alisha Conover (2018 - 2019)

RAs in Mauritius - 2018

Charlotte Adelaide Aloise

Leelamrita "Swarna" Anooroop

Houmayrah Jeeawody

Varsha Ramdhunee

Yashila Ramkalam

Nachita Rosun

© 2020 Kirsten A. Lesage. All rights reserved.