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Meet Our Team


Principal Investigator


Spencer Evans

Spencer Evans (he/him/his) is an Assistant Professor of Psychology (Clinical/Child) at the University of Miami. He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology, with a minor in Quantitative Methods, at the University of Kansas in 2017. Dr. Evans completed his predoctoral internship at the Medical University of South Carolina, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. His research focuses on irritability and aggressive behavior in children and adolescents, including interests in developmental processes, assessment, and intervention. For years, he has worked with the World Health Organization in their development of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) Mental and Behavioural Disorders. He currently serves on the Executive Board for the Society of Child and Family Policy and Practice (APA Division 37) and as a consultant for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry's Presidential Initiative on outbursts and emotion dysregulation.

Doctoral Students

Ashley Karlovich

Ashley Karlovich (she/her/hers) is a third-year graduate student in the CAB Lab. Ashley graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2019 with bachelors’ degrees in Psychology and Spanish. After graduation, she worked asthe post-baccalaureate Research Associate in the Child and Adolescent Mood and Anxiety Treatment (CAMAT) Program at the University of Miami, where she worked on projects related to transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders in youth. During her work in the CAB Lab, Ashley is broadly interested in exploring the development and assessment of externalizing psychopathology in youth and promoting reliable measurement and assessment practices to inform clinical decision-making. She is also interested in conducting research on parenting behaviors and parental psychopathology in relation to the development of externalizing behaviors in youth.  Outside the lab, Ashley enjoys cooking, going to the beach, traveling, and trying new restaurants in Miami.

Shannon Shaughnessy

Shannon Shaughnessy (she/her/hers) is a second-year graduate student in the CAB lab and a recipient of the University of Miami Dean’s Fellowship. She is originally from Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan in May 2020 with high distinction and a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in international studies. After graduation, she was awarded a two-year Intramural Research Trainee Award with Drs. Melissa Brotman and Ellen Leibenluft at the National Institute of Mental Health. Here, she worked on projects examining the neurocognitive mechanisms of irritability to inform the development of novel therapeutics. Broadly, Shannon is interested in leveraging advanced statistical techniques and longitudinal methods to examine the biological underpinnings of irritability and aggressive behaviors in children. She is particularly interested in the potential of technology, such as ecological momentary assessment, to enhance phenotyping. Shannon is also funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program to investigate how cognitive control deficits may be implicated in the development of irritability. Outside of research, she loves to travel, hike, bake, and spend time with friends and family.


Lab Coordinator

Patricia Gao

Patricia Gao (she/her) is in her third and final undergraduate year at the University of Miami. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in psychology and a minor in biology. Her interest in the effect of early psychological intervention inspired her to participate in research involving youth. She is also interested in the impact of adverse childhood events on behavior and mental health. She plans to attend graduate school to obtain either a PsyD or a Master's degree clinical mental health.

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Research Assistants

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Sakshi Khurana

Sakshi is a first-year doctoral student in the College of Education at DePaul University. She works as a Research Fellow in the Weisz Lab for Youth Mental Health, and as a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Psychology, at Harvard University. Sakshi holds a master’s in clinical psychology from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India, and a master’s in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research interests are preventive mental health care in school settings, and investigating the application of ideas and concepts from Buddhism to design mental health interventions for children and youth. While not engaging in research or teaching, Sakshi enjoys cooking, trying different cuisines, and participating in her Buddhist activities.


Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons (she/her) graduated from UM with Departmental Honors in May 2023 with a B.S. in Psychology and minors in Chemistry and Education. She is currently a first-year master's student at the University of North Florida in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. Kate is still involved in various projects with the CAB Lab. Her primary focus is working with youth populations, with a specific research interest in health behaviors and emotional disorders. 

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Martina Jarrin

Martina Jarrin (she/her/hers) is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Miami. She is on the pre-med track as well as on her way to completing a B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in Biology. Her interest in behavioral neurological disorders in youth and young adults is what motivated her to join in taking part in the CAB Lab's clinical studies. Martina plans to attend medical school and acquire her M.D. with a specialty in behavioral neurology.

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Sophia Ross

Sophia Ross (she/her/hers) is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Miami. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in Psychology with minors in Chemistry and Spanish. Her previous experience volunteering at a respite center for children with intellectual disabilities inspired her interest in mental health and working with children and adolescents. She plans to pursue a career as a psychiatrist, specializing in children and adolescents by attending medical school to obtain her doctorate degree.

Lab Mascot


Jean Louise "Scout" Evans-Jacobs is a Florida native who joined the lab in April 2021. Her research interests include positive behavioral intervention, ADHD, and cute aggression. Outside the lab, she enjoys belly rubs, treats, fetch, and eating virtually anything she finds on the ground. She has no interest in going to graduate school.


Other people we're lucky to know...

Lab Alumni – and Last Known Whereabouts*

Bianca Buza  (Research Assistant, Child Affect & Behavior Lab, University of Miami) - Outpatient Evaluation Intern at the Psychological Consultation Center, MI

Natalie Mastalerz  (Research Assistant, Child Affect & Behavior Lab, University of Miami) - Post-bac research position at Northwell/Zucker Hillside Hospital

Will Riddle (Research Assistant, Child Affect & Behavior Lab, University of Miami) - Clinical Research Coordinator at the Medical College of Wisconsin

Audrey Edelman (Postgraduate Research Assistant) - Clinical Psychology PsyD Program at William James College

Elizabeth Wolock (Research Coordinator & Lab Manager, Weisz Lab, Harvard University) – Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at the University of Florida


Kelsey Callahan (Research Coordinator & Lab Manager, Weisz Lab, Harvard University) – Licensed clinical social worker in Massachusetts


Patricia Garibaldi (Research Coordinator, Weisz Lab, Harvard University) – Residential Counselor at McLean-Franciscan Community Based Acute Treatment; Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine


Grace Cho (Research Coordinator, Weisz Lab, Harvard University) – Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst


Ana Carvalho (Research Coordinator, Weisz Lab, Harvard University) – Social Work AM program (MSW equivalent) at the University of Chicago

Robyn Herbert (Research Assistant & Senior Honors Thesis Student, Roberts Lab, University of Kansas) – Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at Washington State University

Emma Rogers (Research Assistant, Roberts Lab & Fite Lab, University of Kansas) – Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at Ohio University

Maddison Tolliver-Lynn (Research Assistant & Senior Honors Thesis Student, Roberts Lab, University of Kansas) – Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at Oklahoma State University

* Keep us posted! Contact if we should add your name or update your information.

Collaborators, Mentors, & Friends

Jennifer Blossom, University of Maine
Tony Bonadio, University of Connecticut

Jeff Burke, University of Connecticut
John Cooley, Texas Tech University
Paula Fite, University of Kansas
Mandy Jensen-Doss, University of Miami
Joy Gabrielli, University of Florida
Jessica Hamilton, Rutgers University
Sherelle Harmon, University of Miami
Jared Keeley, Virginia Commonwealth University
John Lochman, University of Alabama
Tom Ollendick, Virginia Tech
Sonia Rubens, Santa Clara University
Geoff Reed, World Health Organization & Columbia University
Michael Roberts, University of Kansas
John Weisz, Harvard University
Eric Youngstrom, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Laboratory for Youth Mental Health (PI: John Weisz)
Department of Psychology, Harvard University 
Summer 2018

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