Meet Our Team

Core Team

Dr. Sarah J. Macoun, Ph.D.

Dr. Macoun is a Registered Psychologist and 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. 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 the training and supervision of new psychologists. As the primary investigator, Dr. Macoun is responsible for directly overseeing all aspects of the lab.

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.

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.
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.

John Sheehan, M.Sc.

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). 

Shelley Masters

 Shelley is in her fifth and final year of her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She joined the Child Development lab last spring, and is currently conducting an independent study on pediatric cognitive rehabilitation. Her research interests include remote intervention methods for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, executive function in Autism Spectrum disorder, and serious games. In her free time, Shelley enjoys hiking and volunteering with Vancouver Island Health Authority. Following graduation, she hopes to pursue a graduate degree in School Psychology.

Phil Brunet

Phil is CN-UVic’s technology lead and a master’s student in the clinical neuropsychology program at the University of Victoria. Phil has a background in technology startups and software project management. His current research examines cognitive rehabilitation in children receiving proton radiation therapy for brain tumours.

Sunny Guo

Sunny is a master’s student in the CN-UVIC lab and Clinical Neuropsychology program at the University of Victoria. Sunny is involved in interacting with schools and families as part of the Dino Island project and is the student lead for the lab’s SSHRC-funded study that assesses the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the psychosocial functioning of children with disabilities.

Jess Silverman

Jess is currently the study coordinator for the Dino Island Parent Intervention project with the CN-UVic lab. Jess completed a B.A. Specialization in Sociology from Western University in 2020 and is now pursuing a second degree in Psychology. She is currently completing her honours thesis investigating the feasibility of implementing the Dino Island program for children recovering from Cerebral Malaria in Malawi, Africa. Her goal is to pursue clinical psychology working with children with neurodevelopmental disorders with a focus on family-based interventions.

Tessa Chomistek

Tessa is a master’s student in the CN-UVic lab and Clinical Neuropsychology program at the University of Victoria. She completed her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology at the University of Calgary where she investigated cognitive and psychosocial outcomes amongst survivors of pediatric brain tumour. Tessa’s research interests include cognitive and social functioning, pediatric rehabilitation, and cancer related outcomes. She is passionate about expanding her understanding of child experiences through research to better inform her future clinical practice. Outside of academia Tessa enjoys playing the piano and ukulele, sailing, and camping.

Research Assistants


          • Bree McElvaine

          • Dilly Cooner

          • Ella Ryan

          • Sofia Leone

          • Stephanie Howe


          • Laura Devonshire

          • Lily Giakoumakis

          • Megan Robertson

          • Tessa Chomistek

          • Tristan Rendell


          • Emily Mair

          • Jessica Klein

          • Rachel Krahn

          • Shona Reid

Organizational Partners

Family Partners

                                            • Michelle Wan

                                            • Benji Wan

                                            • Dacey Doyle

              • Lynda Moore

              • Jesse Moore

              • Gunjan Seth