Gina Mireault went to college thinking she’d be a biology major but discovered a passion for quantitative psychological research that led her to a Ph.D. in psychology. While in graduate school, she also learned that she really enjoyed teaching, and at JSC she has been thrilled to combine both of these passions.
As a developmental psychologist, Gina studies emotional development in infants and children, including temper tantrums and childhood bereavement. Her research on childhood parental loss brought her national attention and became the source of much of Hope Edelman’s best-selling book Motherless Daughters.
Gina also offers perspective as a mother; her current research project — humor perception and creation in infants, an area that has serious implications for infant social cognition and emotion regulation — arose from an interaction with one of her own children.
Gina’s research — known as the “laughing babies study” at JSC — continues to capture national and international attention. In addition to multiple peer-reviewed publications and presentations, it has been featured on PBS’s “NOVA ScienceNow,” WebMD, CNN.com, Salon.com, American Baby Magazine and Parenting Magazine, to name a few. JSC student research assistants work alongside Gina gathering data, presenting at national conferences, co-authoring professional papers, and sometimes working as her research assistants during the summer.
In her spare time, Gina is an avid swimmer, runner and yoga practitioner.