Who are we?

Global Covid Study

We are a group of experts in psychology, neuroscience, education, and criminology.

Below you will find more information on our area of expertise.

Dr Keri Wong (PI)

University College London

Keri is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at University College London. Her research focuses on understanding the developmental causes of social (mis)trust and antisocial behaviour in children and adults in the community. She received her PhD in Social and Developmental Psychology from Newnham College and was the former Betty Behrens Research Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge.

UCL | keriwong.com


Dr Gianluca Esposito

Nanyang Technological University & University of Trento

Gianluca Esposito is a Developmental Neuroscientist and head of the Social and Affective Neuroscience Lab at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). He also holds a joint position as Associate professor of Developmental Science at the University of Trento (Italy). He applies neuroimaging (fMRI; fNIRS, EEG), genetic, and behavioural protocols in the context of infant socio-cognitive development, often comparing typical and atypical trajectories. Furthermore, he experimentally explores caregiver-infant interaction across mammalian species (mice, marmosets and humans), and its implication to psychopathology.

NTU San Lab | ABP Lab | Instagram

Dr Leonardo Bevilacqua

University College London

Leonardo is a Research Associate, Senior Teaching Fellow, and Assistant Psychologist at UCL. He is interested in psychopathology from a developmental perspective – this means investigating what factors across the lifespan contribute to the onset of several mental health problems such as internalising (anxiety and depression) and externalising (hyperactivity and conduct problems) behaviours. To do this, he uses large longitudinal datasets and implement statistical models usually employed in the broader field of psychiatric epidemiology.


Dr Jill Portnoy

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Dr. Jill Portnoy is an assistant professor in the School of Criminology and Justice Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.  She received her Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015.  Her research examines biological risk factors for antisocial behavior, aggression, and psychopathy.   Her primary focus is on psychophysiological and hormonal risk factors for antisocial behavior, as well as interactions between these biological factors and the social environment. This research contributes to the broader field of developmental criminology, as well as into the etiology of crime. While most criminological research is either social or biological, her work contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the development of delinquency that takes into account factors across multiple levels of measurement. Her research has been published in high-ranking journals, such as Criminology

Web |

Better Together Group (BE-TO Group)

Dr Maria Kambouri

University College London

Maria is Associate Professor in education and psychology at the Institute of Education, UCL and has a background in cognitive science with a PhD in experimental psychology at NYU. Her research interests include the use of ICT in education in various contexts and modes (e.g. digital games) to develop teacher skills and to promote literacy, language and numeracy focusing on learners with low basic skill levels and with learning difficulties and disabilities. More recently, her research has been focusing on the learning and teaching processes using digital technologies in mainstream and SEN classrooms aiming to develop new pedagogies and innovative approaches.  Maria has been the Departmental Doctoral Tutor for many years supporting doctoral students through their journeys and has become particularly concerned with investigating and increasing awareness about mental health for students and wellbeing for both staff and students.


Dr Emily Midouhas

University College London

Emily is an Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology at the UCL Institute of Education. She is primarily interested in the role of the social and physical environment in children’s emotional and behavioural problems, cognition and resilience, taking a developmental perspective. She is also interested in the mental health of children with special educational needs, especially those with ADHD and autism. She examines these using quantitative analyses of large-scale longitudinal cohort data.


Research Assistants

Mr Alessandro Carollo

University of Trento

Alessandro Carollo is a student Research Assistant at the Affiliative Behaviour and Physiology Lab, University of Trento. He has also previously completed a summer 2019 internship at the Social & Affective Neuroscience Lab at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His interests lie in investigating the underlying basis of typical and atypical human behaviours.

Ms Reina Kirpalani

University College London

Reina is a penultimate undergraduate student studying Psychology with Education at the UCL Institute of Education. She is interested primarily in social and organisational psychology and is keen on undertaking further academic endeavours. For this study, she is actively recruiting participants from Ghana.

Ms Kyleigh Melville

University College London

Kyleigh is a final year BSc Psychology with Education student at the UCL Institute of Education and President of the UCL Psychology with Education Society. She is writing her dissertation on the impact of autistic traits on reading processes in dyslexia. She will start her MEd in Education and Psychology at Homerton College, University of Cambridge this autumn. She works part-time as an applied behavioural analysis tutor for autistic children in Surrey and Northwest London. For this study, she is recruiting participants from Canada and exploring how virtual environments are helping individuals stay socially connected in lockdown. 

Ms Kimberly Loke 

University College London

Kimberly is in her second year studying Psychology with Education at UCL. She is looking to pursue a postgraduate degree in clinical psychology and is currently writing for Arts For Mental Health (ARTSMH). For this study, she is assisting with collating past literature as well as publicity material. 

Professor Adrian Raine (Co-I)

University of Pennsylvania

Adrian Raine is the Richard Perry University Professor of Criminology, Psychiatry, and Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the etiology and prevention of antisocial behavior. He has published over 450 papers and given over 400 invited presentations in 29 countries. Awards include an honorary degree from the University of York (UK), and the Lifetime Contributions Award in Psychopathy from the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy.


Dr Nicola Abbott

University College London

Nicola is a Assistant Professor in Social Psychology at University College London. Her research focuses on bullying in schools, with expertise in bystander behaviours as a means of tackling school-based bullying. She received her PhD in Social and Developmental Psychology from the University of Kent. 


Ms Evi Katsapi

University College London

Evi is a Principal Teaching Fellow in Psychology and Special Education at UCL Institute of Education. She is the Programme Director for the BSc Psychology with Education and contributes to a variety of programmes, undergraduate and postgraduate, including Teachers’ Training and National Award for SENCo’s. Evi is interested in the fields of special needs, inclusion and mental health. She has over 20 years’ experience in the design and implementation of home and school interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders, behavioural difficulties and dyslexia. She has been running parents’ workshops and teachers’ training for schools and charities in the UK and Greece.


Dr. Jessica Massonnié

University College London / Birkbeck University

Jessica is interested in how children’s physical and social environment influences their language and cognitive development. Check out her website for more details. 

Mr. Giulio Gabrieli

Nangyang Technological University, Singapore

Giulio is a second-year PhD Student at the Social and Affective Neuroscience Lab (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) interested in Human-Computer Interaction, Machine Learning, and Brain-Computer Interfaces. His research project focuses on the Halo Effect, and more specifically on the cross-cultural generalizability of the effect and on the specificity of children faces.

Dr. Andrea Bizzego

University of Trento

Andrea Bizzego is a post-Doc at the Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Trento, Italy.He is interested in the application of data-science methods to study complex data for psychology and neuroscience.In particular, his research focuses on: the identification of physiological indicators of interpersonal synchrony, the extraction of data patterns using Artificial Intelligence methods and reproducibility of data analysis pipelines.

Mr Vassilis Sideropoulos

University College London

Vassilis Sideropoulos is a Psychology & Human Development Research Technician at UCL Institute of Education. His research interests include smoking behaviour, smoking cessation as well as the computational cognitive neuroscience of learning and memory.


Dr Dora Kokosi

University College London

Dora is a postdoc at UCL. Her research interest focuses on the role of inflammation in the association of socio-economic differences with child cognitive development. Parallel with her doctoral studies, she has worked as a Research Assistant in projects that focus on the prospective relationships between air pollution, child development, inflammation, and psychological distress using large-scale cohort studies. As part of the COVID-19  project, she investigates the well-being and mental health of doctoral students with the UCL ChangeMakers Better Together team.

Dr Jana Brinkert

University College London

Jana is a postdoc at UCL. Her main research interest is in selective attention, cognitive control and mental health. She works with autistic adults and uses EEG to measure underlying differences in people’s brains. As part of the COVID-19  project, she investigates with the UCL ChangeMaker BetterTogether team the well-being of doctoral students.

Ms Laetitia Al Khoury

University College London

Laetitia is a postgraduate student enrolled in the MSc Child Development programme at the Institute of Education. Her research interests include the different variables impacting the onset of personality disorders during childhood; children’s attachment style and its variation across cultures; and the impact of bullying and developing resilience. Through her involvement in this study, she will be examining the relationship between student’s levels of social (mis)trust and mental-well being amidst a pandemic as part of her master’s project.

Ms Ketki “Keya” Prabhu

University College London

Keya is a final year Psychology student at UCL. She is currently writing her dissertation on sibling bereavement and hopes to pursue a master’s in Criminology after graduating. Keya also works part time as an honorary assistant psychologist at St Pancras Hospital where she is part of the Minding The Gap team. For this study, she is actively involved in recruitment and exploring under-represented groups. 

Ms Sammi Lee

University College London

Sammi is a second-year BSc Psychology with Education student at UCL. She is interested in the areas of mental health and Clinical Psychology. She is currently also a counsellor assistant for an online psychological service in China. For this study, she is involved in collating resources to support the study’s participant during the COVID-19 pandemic.