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Principal Investigator

Dr. Clare Harrop is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at UNC Chapel Hill. She is a member of the UNC Autism Center and an Investigator at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. She is affiliated with the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities and faculty in the DAHS Office of Research and Scholarship. Dr. Harrop received her BSc. in Psychology from Durham University, her MSc. in Reading, Language and Cognition from the University of York, and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychopathology from the University of Manchester. She completed postdoctoral training at the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment and UNC Chapel Hill. In her spare time, Clare can be found spending time with her family, crafting, or listening to true crime podcasts.

Email:  Twitter: clareharrop85

Lab Manager


Catherine Perry is the full-time postbaccalaureate Lab Manager of the Harrop Lab. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan. Her future goals include obtaining her PhD in Clinical Psychology with a focus on risk and resilience among adolescents facing adversity. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, listening to music, and spending time with her puppy, Dwight.




PhD Students

Jessie Goldblum is a doctoral candidate in Developmental Psychology at UNC Chapel Hill. Jessie splits her time in the Harrop Lab and the Brain and Early Experiences Lab studying the development of early social communication, novel methods for social communication assessment, and disparities in access to services and diagnostics faced by autistic youth. Under the mentorship of Dr. Harrop, Jessie leads the TRAVEL Study, which seeks to validate a virtual and remote eye-tracking screener for young children at risk for social communication problems. Jessie completed her BA in Psychology, Art History, and Italian at Emory University. In her spare time, Jessie enjoys spending time with her loved ones and playing with her two pups, Junior and Tallulah.



Orla Putnam is a second-year doctoral student in the Speech and Hearing Sciences program at UNC and a current LEND trainee. Orla earned a BS in Human Development at the University of California San Diego, where she worked at the UCSD Autism Center studying sex differences using eye-tracking. Orla’s current studies focus on the experiences of autistic women and language use in autistic children. She is particularly interested in masking, communication, and neurodiversity. In her free time, Orla enjoys knitting, reading, and playing with her dog, Lacey.

Email: | Twitter: @OrlaPutnam




Stephanie is a doctoral student in the Occupational Science program at UNC Chapel Hill. She completed her BA in Exercise and Sport Science and Spanish at UNC and her MS in Occupational Therapy at the Medical University of South Carolina. She previously worked as a pediatric occupational therapist in SC before returning to UNC to pursue her PhD. Her interest involve human-animal interaction and how autism assistance dogs can benefit autistic children and their families. In her free time she enjoys riding and competing her horse, Ballenger and spending time with her two golden retrievers, Finnley and Bentley.



Masters Students


Madison Swisher is a second-year student in the Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling MS program at UNC Chapel Hill. Madison graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a BA in Psychology and Anthropology. Her research interests include gender and cultural differences in the early presenting symptoms of Autism in children. She is passionate about equal access to diagnostic and treatment programs and counseling ASD through a neurodiverse strengths-based approach. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing and hiking with her dog Ollie.



Undergraduate Students



Alex Moffitt is a junior from Franklin, North Carolina. She is pursuing a B.A. in Psychology with minors in Social & Economic Justice and Women & Gender Studies. Her goals after undergrad including getting her masters degree and eventually working with victims of human trafficking. In her free time, Alex loves spending time with her nieces and nephews and playing volleyball.






Isa Lucarelli is a senior from Charlotte, North Carolina. She is pursuing a B.A. in Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies. In the future, she plans to get a PhD in Clinical Psychology and continue to work with individuals with autism. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis and spending time with friends and family.






Roshni Ammanamanchi is a junior from Charlotte, North Carolina pursuing a Psychology B.S. major and a Spanish for the Medical Professions minor. After graduating, she plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. In the future, she hopes to become a therapist for children and adolescents and eventually open up her own clinical practice. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and spending time with her cat Ash.





Taylor Niblack is a senior from Shelby, North Carolina double majoring in Human Development and Family Studies and Psychology, as well as completing a minor in Speech and Hearing Sciences. After undergrad at UNC, she hopes to go to graduate school to obtain her master’s and pursue a career as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Taylor would love to work in pediatrics in the hospital or school setting to help children improve their speech and language abilities, as well as their confidence overall. In her free time, she loves to go on runs throughout Chapel Hill and keep up with UNC sports!




Anthony Cerniglia is a junior from Raleigh, North Carolina. He is majoring in Linguistics, as well as completing a minor in Speech and Hearing Sciences. In the future, he hopes to go to graduate school to obtain his master’s and pursue Speech-Language Pathology. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his dog Harley and playing the piano.





Annie Flanagan is a sophomore from Boston, MA. She is pursuing a BAEd. in Human Development & Family Studies as well as a B.A. in Music and a minor in Conflict Management. After undergrad at Carolina, Annie plans to pursue graduate study to continue working with neurodiverse populations. Annie hopes to work in a clinical setting with adolescents while researching. In her free time, Annie enjoys cycling, petting dogs, and cheering on Tar Heel athletics as a member of the Marching Tar Heels.





Lab Alum