Our Team & Contributors

Principle Investigator Sarah J. Macoun, Ph.D.


Dr. Macoun is a Registered Psychologist and PhD level Pediatric Neuropsychologist, with a faculty appointment in the University of Victoria Psychology Department. Dr. Macoun has extensive experience working with children with neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly those with attention and self-regulation problems, including children with ASD, ADHD, FASD, and Learning Disorders. She has clinical and research expertise with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders and with rehabilitation of attention, executive function, and regulation difficulties. Prior to her appointment at the University of Victoria, Dr. Macoun worked as a practicing psychologist within schools and has over 15 years of practical experience working with children and their families, school teams, and community teams/agencies. She continues to engage in consultation with families, schools and community agencies/professionals, and is heavily involved in training and supervision of new psychologists. Her research is applied with a primary focus on practical applications in real-world contexts. As the primary investigator and team lead, Dr. Macoun is responsible for directly overseeing all aspects of this project.

Yaewon Kim, M.Sc.


Yaewon is a first year PhD student in in the Clinical – Neuropsychology program at the University of Victoria. She is primarily involved with testing and data management for our ongoing studies on Dino Island. The overarching theme of Yaewon’s research interests is the development and assessment of executive function and self-regulation in children with and without neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). She is particularly interested in using a multi-method approach that incorporates different types of assessment tools, including parent/teacher questionnaires, behavioral performance measures, and neuroimaging techniques. Yaewon’s ultimate career goal is to become a community-engaged scholar in academia, striving towards knowledge mobilization.

John Sheehan, M.Sc.<br />


John is a senior PhD student in the Child Development Lab and is the Dino Island lead on parent intervention delivery training and fidelity monitoring for the Dino Island project and is currently a doctoral student in the clinical neuropsychology program at the University of Victoria. After completing his undergraduate at the University of Utah, his Master’s thesis at UVic focused on the development of preschool assessment measures for executive functioning. For his dissertation, John is investigating the impact of the Dino Island intervention program on cognitive and behavioral flexibility in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. For fun, John enjoys exploring Vancouver Island with his wife and three children, playing music (violin), and winter sports (hocky and skiing). 

Emma Cobby<br />


Emma is a fifth year psychology major and currently in her second year working in the lab. She has been volunteering with autistic children for 4 years now and is very excited to be involved with this research and what it may bring in the future! 

Buse Bedir, M.Sc.


Buse is a second-year PhD student in the Neuropsychology stream of the University of Victoria Clinical Psychology Program. Buse previously completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and M.Sc. at the University of Victoria. Buse’s master’s thesis involved adapting Dino Island to a typically developing preschool population to understand whether the intervention could be used with young preschoolers. Buse hopes to use Dino Island with preschoolers from lower socio-economic backgrounds as a preventative training tool in the future. She also has strong interests in working with individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Jessi Lewis, M.Sc.

Jessi is the study coordinator for Dino Island projects and a doctoral student in the clinical neuropsychology program at the University of Victoria. She completed her Master’s thesis on the cognitive contributors to reading difficulties in Autism Spectrum Disorder and is interested in assessment and intervention within the school setting. Jessi has many years of experience working with children in school, home, and research settings and is looking forward to working as a pediatric clinical neuropsychologist in the future. In her free time, Jessi enjoys running, reading, and watching all Michigan sports.

Meghan Crane

Meghan is a fifth-year undergraduate student working towards a BSc in Psychology and a minor in Health and Society. She joined the Child Development Lab as a research assistant in 2018 and has been involved with various aspects of the Dino Island project. She is currently writing an honours thesis under the supervision of Dr. Macoun and John Sheehan, which focuses on cognitive rehabilitation of attention and executive function challenges in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, using a parent-delivery model of Dino Island. 

Sofia Leone


Sofia is an undergraduate student at UVic completing a B.A. degree in Psychology with a minor in Applied Ethics. She is interested in working with children at risk, and hopes to pursue a career in Pediatric Clinical Psychology.

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