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Principal Investigator

Dr. Cara Palmer is the director of the Sleep and Development Lab. Dr. Palmer joined the MSU faculty as an assistant professor in Psychology in 2018. Prior to coming to MSU, Dr. Palmer completed her doctoral training in Life-Span Developmental Psychology at West Virginia University in 2014, and a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Child Psychology at the University of Houston from 2014-2017. In 2017, she was promoted to research faculty at the University of Houston within the Department of Psychology and the Texas Institute of Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics. Dr. Palmer has received numerous awards and grants for her research from organizations including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Sleep Research Society, and the World Sleep Society.

When not in the lab or the classroom, Dr. Palmer loves to travel, cook (and eat!) new foods, and stay active by running or hiking the beautiful mountains in Montana with her husband and Newfoundland dog.



Graduate Student

I am a fourth-year graduate student, originally hailing from Richmond, Virginia. I moved to Montana in 2012 after graduating from James Madison University. My research interests include sleep, emotion regulation, and executive function. I am particularly interested in the relationships between cognitive factors (e.g. selective attention, rumination) and sleep, emotion regulation, and other mental health outcomes. Outside of school you can find me hiking, skiing, napping, or pouring craft beer at my side job!

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Graduate Student

Dagny (she/her/hers) is a 2nd year graduate student and the current coordinator for the Sleep and Development Lab. Dagny grew up for most of my life in the small town of Salmon, Idaho where she has been a whitewater river guide for the past 12 years. Dagny has been a guide on the Middlefork of the Salmon, which is Shoshone-Bannock tribal land, and it is her favorite place in the entire world. If you can't find her there you can find her very busy with a nose in a book, community building, or project managing somewhere. Dagny's current research focus is looking at the intersection of sleep as it relates to positive psychology constructs such as mindfulness and self-compassion. When Dagny isn't working you can be sure to find her with a paintbrush, on a dancefloor, or cooking good food for good friends.

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Research Assistant

Growing up in Bozeman, I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else for school! I am a sophomore majoring in both criminology and psychology. After my undergraduate, I plan to pursue a PhD in
graduate school with a focus in forensic psychology (the criminal mind is so fascinating!) I am aiming for a career in behavior analysis or research in neurocriminology. Outside of classes I
love to play tennis, travel, and sketch.



Research Assistant

I'm a junior studying cell biology and neuroscience, and after I graduate, I hope to attend medical school, with the goal of coming back to practice here in Montana.  My hometown is Billings, Montana, and I love being close to family and being able to spend time at the family cabin on the Boulder River.  When I'm not busy with school work, I can be found curled up with a good book and my three cats, or better yet, at the cabin with a book and my cats :)

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Research Assistant

I am a junior studying Applied Psychology with a minor in Human Development. I am eager to further my knowledge with a Master's degree in Counseling. I moved to Bozeman from Wolf Point, Montana and transitioned from an elementary education major to a career path for counseling. I love working with children; therefore, I remain enthusiastic to be a mental health professional for them in the future! My hobbies include songwriting, playing instruments, and adoring cats. I look forward to being on the team, and can't wait to meet more people through that process!



Research Assistant

I am currently a Junior at MSU studying Cell Biology and Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology. After I finish my undergrad, I plan to continue attending school whether that be grad school or medical school. I am passionate about the human brain and I hope to contribute to our evolving understanding of neuroscience in the future. I am originally from Cheyenne, WY, but I have fallen in love with Bozeman and now call it home. Outside of school, I love hiking, drinking tea, and spending time with my friends and family.