ICIS Elections

All members in good standing will have received a link directly to the email on their membership account for the electronic vote.  Only members who are fully paid for the current year (2020 or 2021 membership expiry) are eligible to vote in the election. Please review the information below and vote before the election closing date of May 18, 2020.

If you have not received the voting link, please contact the Secretariat to confirm your membership.

ICIS President-Elect Nominees

The President-Elect position is a six-year term.  The incumbent will serve two years (2020 – 2022) as President-Elect, two years as President (2022 – 2024) and two years as Past-President (2024 – 2026).

Members have one vote for the President-Elect role.

Rachel Barr

Georgetown University

Rachel Barr, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology at Georgetown University and Director of the Georgetown Early Learning Project. Children are remarkable learners but many face challenges. I am primarily interested in how they pick up information so rapidly from the world around them. I have investigated how children bridge the gap between what they learn from media and how they apply that information in the real world and worked with a parenting organization to disseminate the knowledge via Zerotothree’s Screen Sense resources. I have also co-developed an intervention program for incarcerated teen fathers utilizing media. Finally, I am investigating how young children pick up language(s) in bilingual and monolingual homes and how that affects learning in other domains. The first conference I attended was an ICIS meeting in 1996 and enjoyed the meeting ever since. I have been ICIS secretary since 2014 and would be honored to continue to serve as the society president.

Martha Ann Bell

Virginia Tech

A graduate course in Infant Development at University of Tennessee while I was a part-time master’s student and full-time high school teacher was the catalyst for my academic career. That course was my motivation to pursue doctoral work at University of Maryland, where my interests in early development flourished. I attended my first ICIS meeting in 1988 as a graduate student, not missing a meeting since then. For the past 24 years, I have attended ICIS with my Virginia Tech graduate students, presenting our research on cognitive and affective aspects of early brain-behavior development. My service to the congress includes Editor of Infancy from 2008-13, after serving as Associate Editor from 2003-08. As President-Elect, I will work with the executive board and membership to ensure that the rigor of our science, the application of our research, and our international perspective are invaluable resources for families, agencies, and governments.

ICIS Secretary Nominees

The Secretary position is a six-year term from 2020 – 2026.

Members have one vote for the Secretary role.

Alejandrina (Alex) Cristia


I received my PhD in Linguistics from Purdue University in 2009. I then dedicated two postdoctoral fellowships to neuroimaging, one at the Laboratoire des Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique (LSCP) and the other at the Neurobiology of Language department at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Finally, I returned to the LSCP as a permanent researcher with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique on 2012, turning my attention to computational and anthropological methods. I created a team called Language Acquisition Across Cultures in 2018 and became Director of Research in 2019, when I also took on the directorship of the LSCP. Throughout my career, infant cognition has been the central focus of my research, and I have promoted open, collaborative, cumulative, and theoretically-driven science. I would welcome the opportunity to serve as Secretary in order to further these qualities in the field of infant studies.

Maria (Masha) Gartstein

Washington State University

I am a professor in the Washington State University (WSU) Department of Psychology. Born in Moscow, Russia, I expected to spend my life there until my family immigrated to the U.S. This experience contributed to my appreciation of psychology and developmental science. Following these interests, I earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Cincinnati, studying the impact of pediatric chronic illness. My post-doctoral training at the University of Oregon with Dr. Mary Rothbart was dedicated to infant temperament. This experience put me on the path of infancy research, which I have continued ever since. Current research interests focus on biological underpinning of temperament development, temperament as a predictor or subsequent emotional health/maladjustment, and the role of culture. I am excited to bring this experience to ICIS leadership, helping to move infancy research forward. I am passionate about disseminating our work and increasing visibility of infant studies.

Vanessa LoBue

Rutgers University

I am an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director of the Psychology Department at Rutgers University—Newark. I received my B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University and my Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. My research focuses on human behavioral responses to emotionally valenced stimuli—specifically negative or threatening stimuli—and the mechanisms guiding their development of these responses. Further, I’m interested in how early attention biases for threat contribute to maladaptive avoidance behaviors, such as those associated with fear and anxiety, and how cognition contributes the development of adaptive avoidance behaviors, like avoidance of contaminated objects. I have been involved with ICIS since for over 15 years, and took my first leadership role in the society as co-chair of the 2016 program in New Orleans. As secretary, I hope to extend my commitment to the society and bring with me my previous leadership experience and expertise in infant emotional development.

ICIS Member At Large Nominees

There are three positions available for the 2020 – 2026 term for Communication Chair Member at Large, Partnership Chair Member at Large and European Member at Large.  Members will cast one vote for each available position.

ICIS Communication Chair Member at Large

The Communication chair is a newly created board position with the revision to our bylaws.  This role will serve as a member-at-large of the board and will coordinate the Society’s communications activities. Members will cast one vote for the Communication Chair position.

Natalie Hiromi Brito
New York University

I am currently an Assistant Professor of Developmental Psychology at NYU. My research explores how social and cultural contexts shape the trajectory of neurocognitive development, with the goal of better understanding how to best support caregivers and create environments that foster healthy child development. Specifically, I examine links between the home environment and the development of memory, language, and socioemotional skills during infancy. I am passionate about the application and communication of developmental research outside of academia. I have active collaborations with non-profit organizations, parenting groups, and app developers to find creative ways to share scientific knowledge about developmental science with the broader public. I am currently a board member of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology (ISDP), where I have chaired the Communications Committee the past year. I am excited to expand ICIS’s communication and outreach efforts, with a focus on reaching families and individuals from underrepresented minority groups.

Janet Frick
University of Georgia

Janet E. Frick, Ph.D., received in 1996; University of Kansas. Postdoc, University of South Carolina, then I joined the Department of Psychology at the University of Georgia in 1997. My Infant Lab at UGA studies visual attention and learning. I have been an active member of ICIS since 1991.

I have been an enthusiastic user of various communication platforms, including social media, throughout my career. I am the founder and administrator of Facebook and Twitter accounts for my academic department (@ugapsychology) and my lab (@ugainfantlab), as well as connecting to others through my personal account (@jfrickuga). I am a strong believer in the importance of communication within organizations, as well as the potential for communication tools (including social media and platforms such as Zoom) to recruit and connect new developmental scientists, make meetings more accessible, and to increase accessibility of our work to policy-makers and the broader scientific community.

Kiley Hamlin
University of British Columbia

I have experience in several areas that would be beneficial to the International Congress for Infant Studies. First, as a founding member of the ManyBabies Governing Board, I am an active participant in efforts to make infancy research more open and reliable. Second, I have been both the program chair and local on-the-ground organizer for various academic conferences. For example, I co-organized the Society for Philosophy and Psychology’s 40th anniversary meeting in Vancouver, I have co-organized several small regional conferences on social cognitive development both as a graduate student and faculty member, and I have co-organized several pre-conferences and workshops at previous ICIS meetings. Third, I have considerable mentoring experience and am passionate about providing students of all career stages opportunities to fulfill their diverse research-related goals. Finally, I have been an Associate Editor at Cognition for several years and feel well-poised to help move the Infancy journal forward.

ICIS Partnership Chair Member at Large

The Partnership chair is a newly created board position with the revision to our bylaws.  This role will serve as a member-at-large of the board and will facilitate relationships with foundations and organizations, with the dual goals of representing the society in the international community of organizations focused on developmental science (e.g. the International Consortium of Developmental Science Societies) and procuring financial support for the congress activities

Koraly Perez-Edgar
Penn State University

Dr. Koraly Pérez-Edgar is the McCourtney Professor of Child Studies at Penn State University.  Her research examines trajectories of early socioemotional development from infancy through adolescence, focusing on early appearing temperament traits and their impact on the ways children respond to, and engage with, their environment. In conducting her work, she has taken a multi-method approach involving direct observation of behavior, cognitive measures, eye-tracking, psychophysiology, and neuroimaging. Her service experience includes heading the developmental psychology program and membership on NIMH study sections, IRB boards, P&T committees, and multiple journal editorial boards.  Dr. Pérez-Edgar is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) and the recipient of numerous awards including a Cattell Fund Sabbatical Award and an NIMH R01 BRAINS Award.  As part of the board, she will engage with associated societies, focusing on increasing rigorous and diverse science to improve our understanding of, and impact on, infant development.

John Spencer
University of East Anglia

I am currently a Professor of Psychology at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK. Prior to arriving in the UK, I was a Professor of Psychology at the University of Iowa and served as the founding Director of the Delta Center. I received a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Indiana University in 1998. I am the recipient of the 2003 Early Research Contributions Award from the Society for Research in Child Development, and the 2006 Robert L. Fantz Memorial Award from the American Psychological Foundation.

I am standing for this post because I have extensive relevant experience. I have hosted multiple international conferences, I have received funding from diverse funding bodies, and I have a good sense of the landscape of developmental science worldwide through my collaborations in the US, Europe, and India.

ICIS European Member at Large

The European member at large position will represent the European region of our international society. 

Members will have one vote for this position.

Nuria Sebastian Galles
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

I received my PhD at the University of Barcelona where I developed most of my career until 2009 when I moved to the University Pompeu Fabra. I have been Visiting Scholar at the Max Plank Institute (Nijmegen), the LSCP-CNRS (Paris), the IRCS at Univ. of Pennsylvania, the ICN at the Univ. College (London) and the University of Chicago (in 2010). In 2016 I was elected corresponding fellow of the British Academy. My research has focused on how bilinguals acquire and process their languages, in particular in infants growing up in bilingual environments.
This election takes place at a moment when nature shows in a brutal way that there are no boundaries between countries, or even continents. In its initial paragraphs ICIS’ bylaws state that “(ICIS) is committed to advancing an understanding of infant learning and development across the globe ….”. If elected, I would like to strengthen the global dimension of the society.

Natasha Kirkham
Birkbeck, University of London

For the past 20 years my research has been focussed on early learning mechanisms, specifically visual statistical learning. Recently, my research has shifted towards learning in naturalistic settings, from understanding how multisensory teaching techniques work across different educational settings, to the role of environmental noise in early attentional development. I have worked in Canada, the United States, and now the United Kingdom. I have collaborators across Europe and North America and have been involved in several training centres that educate early career researchers from around the world. In my current role as programme director for ICIS2020 I have been able to really consider the impact of global research on science and am passionate about international representation in both research and training. My aim as a board member would be to support and promote our international reach, and also bring focus to issues arising in infant development across our global communities.

Gert Westermann
Lancaster University

Gert Westermann is Professor of Developmental Psychology at Lancaster University where he directs the Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarship Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Infant Development and co-directs the ESRC International Centre for Language and Communicative Development. He initiated and helps organize LCICD, one of the major annual European conferences on infant development. He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, has held a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship, and a Lichtenberg Fellowship from the University of Göttingen. He is associate editor of the British Journal of Developmental Psychology and a member of several editorial boards. He received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh after studying in Braunschweig and Austin, TX. He held positions at the Sony Computer Science Lab, Paris; Birkbeck College, London; Oxford Brookes University; and Lancaster University. His work combines experimental and computational methods to study the cognitive and language development in infants.