Meet our team

Meet our Team

Our research group includes talented students, staff, and faculty, working together on a range of projects in the roles of research assistants, project managers, co-investigators, and principal investigators.

Our Director

Dr. Kaitlyn McLachlan, C. Psych. (she/her)

Dr. McLachlan is an Associate Professor in the Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (CCAP) program in Psychology at the University of Guelph. She is a member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario. She is also a Research Lead in Justice with the Canada FASD Research Network. Outside of the lab Kaitlyn is a busy mom and loves to run and adventure.

Graduate Lab Members

Martina Faitakis, MSc, MA

Martina is a PhD student in the PLAN lab. She previously completed a Master of Science in Applied Forensic Psychology at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, NS. Her research focuses on understanding fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in criminal legal settings, specifically screening and identifying FASD in criminal legal contexts. Clinically, she hopes to work with youth and adolescents with complex forensic and/or mental health needs. In her free time, Martina enjoys being active and spending as much time as she can outside. She also appreciates the odd true crime doc-series or podcast.

Sarah Moss, MSc

Sarah is a MA student in the PLAN lab. Her research and clinical interests include understanding the sexual offending trajectories for vulnerable individuals who are at-risk of becoming or remaining involved within the criminal justice system. Recently, this has evolved to include examining how sexuality is understood in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders, including fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). She is on lifelong journey to identify and maintain hobbies.

Melissa Grubb, MA

Melissa is a PhD student in the PLAN Lab. Her research interests include understanding the cognitive abilities and academic performance of youth with neurodevelopmental disorders, including fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). She is particularly interested in the study of eye movement control and how oculomotor abnormalities may be used as a marker for identifying neurodevelopmental impairment. Melissa is also passionate about working clinically with children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders. Outside of the lab, Melissa enjoys playing board games and aspires to spend more time rock climbing and canoeing.

Ariella Golden, BA

Ariella is an MA student in the PLAN lab whose research interests include cognitive and socioemotional development in children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disabilities, such as FASD, as well as their experiences in the education system. Ariella is also passionate about work with children and adolescents aimed at developing their self-efficacy and sense of well-being. Beyond research and clinical endeavors, Ariella loves hiking, music, traveling, and second-hand bookstores. 

Pamela Gallego, MA

Pam is a MA student in the PLAN lab. She completed a Master of Arts in Developmental and Cognitive Processes at York University in Toronto and worked at the Centre of Mind and Brain at University of California – Davis doing neuroimaging and eye tracking research with children with Fragile X Syndrome. More recently, Pam worked as a full-time Psychometrist at Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation – Hamilton Health Science, assessing children and youth with various developmental disorders. Pam was also part of the FASD diagnostic team, in collaboration with the Aboriginal Health Centre – Hamilton. Her research interests include biomarkers that can 25help with the screening and the early diagnosis of FASD. In her free time Pam enjoys spending time with her family.

Chantel Ritter, MSc (she/her)

Chantel is a PhD student in the PLAN lab, who completed her Master of Science in School and Applied Child Psychology at the University of Calgary. Chantel’s research interests include the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders, with particular focus in the criminal justice system context. Chantel is passionate about research and clinical practice with children and youth that have experienced trauma, and/or have neurodevelopmental disorders, and complex forensic or mental health or needs. Chantel is currently completing her clinical psychology residency at Reach Out Centre for Kids. Outside of the lab, Chantel enjoys plants, hiking, crafting, and spending time with loved ones.

Image of Katelyn Mullally

Katelyn Mullally, MA (she/her)

Katelyn is a PhD student in the PLAN Lab. Katelyn’s research interests include legal decision making, understanding youth’s psycholegal abilities, and understanding risk factors for adverse outcomes among justice-involved youth, including youth with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Katelyn is also passionate about working clinically with justice-involved youth. Outside of the lab, Katelyn enjoys crafting, taking care of her plants, and playing board games.

Undergraduate Lab Members

Gursimran Mann (she/her)

Gursimran is an undergraduate student at the University of Guelph pursuing an honours degree in psychology with a minor in neuroscience. As a research assistant and honours thesis student, she contributed to various research projects with the PLAN lab and the Hospital for Sick Children. Her research focus is identifying and addressing the complex forensic and/or mental health needs of children and youth who have experienced trauma and/or have neurodevelopmental disorders. Outside of research, Gursimran is passionate about volunteering, spending time with loved ones and furry friends, creative writing, reading and puzzles.

Oriana Caisse

Oriana is an aspiring undergraduate researcher with a passion for understanding the impact of addictions, traumatic experiences, and other mental health difficulties on the lives of adolescents and adults. She is currently pursuing an honours degree at the University of Guelph. Throughout her academic career, Oriana has assisted in research projects investigating the strengths and protective factors of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), as well as projects investigating the relationship between intrinsic motivational factors and reading outcomes in children. Outside of research, Oriana loves exploring new places and experiencing diverse cultures and cuisines. 

Research Staff

Emma Jewell, MSW, RSW (she/her)

Emma is a research assistant with the PLAN lab. She completed her undergraduate degree and thesis at the University of Guelph before her Master of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. Emma is passionate about conducting research that connects to practice and policy in the context of the criminal legal system. Outside of work, Emma enjoys volunteering, cooking, going on walks, and spending time with friends and family. 


Undergraduate Students

Jessica Pun

Ariella Golden

Kimberley Tirkalas

Bianka Dunleavy

Emma Jewell

Rebecca Gillett

Lucinda Barrett

Dalia Ahmed

Graduate Students

Interested in learning more about our team or potentially joining the lab?

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