Dr. Sarah Depaoli (Lab Director)


SSM 312A


Sarah Depaoli – CV

My research interests are largely focused on issues surrounding Bayesian estimation of latent variable models. I have particular interests in estimation issues arising from nonlinear growth patterns over time. I am also interested in improving accuracy of uncovering unobserved (latent) groups of individuals. I am currently working with several students that are involved in research spanning a wide range of methodological topics (e.g., Bayesian estimation, latent class modeling, multilevel structural equation modeling, autocorrelation, nonlinear growth modeling, and class separation).

Recipient of the 2015 Rising Star (Early Career) Award, Association for Psychological Sciences (Quantitative Psychology division).

Recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Dissertation Award, American Psychological Association, Division 5 (Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics).

Elected member of the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology.

For more information about the Quantitative Psychology Ph.D. program at UC Merced, please visit this site.


Patrice Cobb

Graduate Student


Patrice Cobb – CV

Patrice is a doctoral student in quantitative psychology. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Before coming to UC Merced she worked in Neuropsychiatry and Pharmacology laboratories at UC San DIego, investigating schizophrenia and the effects of oxytocin. Her current interests include, but are not limited to, modeling nonlinear data, Bayesian estimation, structural equation modeling and the analysis of neuroimaging data. Academic website is found here.

Sonja Winter

Graduate Student


Sonja Winter – CV

Sonja is a doctoral student in quantitative psychology at University of California, Merced since Fall 2016. She received her B.Sc. in Psychology (2011) and M.Sc. in Developmental Psychology (2013) at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Before joining UC Merced, she worked at the Methods and Statistics department of Utrecht University, focusing on structural equation modeling within a Bayesian framework. Her current interests include Bayesian estimation, structural equation modeling, and analyzing development over time.

Marieke Visser

Marieke Visser – CV

Marieke is a doctoral student in quantitative psychology at University of California, Merced since Fall 2018. Her current research interests include Bayesian estimation and structural equation modeling. Before moving to Merced, she received her B.A. in Psychology from Southwestern University and her M.A. in Psychological Research from Texas State University.

Prospective PhD Students

Are you interested in being a doctoral student in Quantitative Psychology? Members of The Depaoli Lab learn about cutting edge techniques in the field, regularly present at (inter)national conferences, and publish in some of the top Quantitative journals. Contact Dr. Sarah Depaoli to learn more about opportunities to join!


Visiting PhD Students

Sanne Smid, visiting PhD student in 2017 and 2018, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Sanne is a PhD student at the Methodology & Statistics department at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. She is visiting the Depaoli lab for two months in the Fall of 2017. Her research focuses on the use of Bayesian estimation with informative priors in latent growth models with small sample sizes. She is interested in how prior knowledge can be used to compensate for small sample sizes, and her goal is to develop clear guidelines for researchers who use Structural Equation Models and suffer from small data. The supervisors for her PhD project are Dr. Rens van de Schoot and Prof. Dr. Herbert Hoijtink (both from Utrecht University).
In 2012, Sanne received her BSc. in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences and in 2014 her MSc. in Methodology and Statistics of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Utrecht University. Before starting as a PhD student, she worked for 1.5 years as a lecturer at the Methodology & Statistics department at Utrecht University, at which she taught various courses from bachelor to postgraduate level, and assisted in several research projects.

Inge Schrooten, visiting PhD student in 2016, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

  • Applying Bayesian Statistics in Developmental Psychology

PhD Graduates from the Depaoli Lab

June Yang

Yuzhu (June) Yang, PhD in 2018, went on to be a Quantitative Researcher at Gartner, Arlington, VA.

June joined the quantitative psychology doctoral program at UC Merced in Fall 2013. She studied under Dr. Sarah Depaoli, working on latent growth modeling, latent class analysis, and model averaging within the Bayesian framework. Before she moved to Merced, she studied at City University of New York and graduated with an M.S. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. June is originally from China.



John Felt, PhD in 2018, went on to be a postdoctoral fellow at Penn State

John began his doctoral studies in quantitative and health psychology in the Fall of 2013 where he worked under Dr. Sarah Depaoli and Dr. Jitske Tiemensma. He received his B.A. in psychology in 2011 from San Francisco State University and his M.A. in general-experimental psychology in 2013 from CSU-Northridge. His research interests include structural equation modeling, Bayesian estimation, and the interactions between hormones and behavior.


Sarah Scott, 2015 PhD in Health and Quantitative Psychology

Sarah has now entered into a doctoral retraining program in Clinical Psychology.

William Kyle Hamilton

Lab Manager


William Kyle Hamilton – CV

William earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Political Science from the University of California, Merced in 2012 and is now a research assistant at the Health Communications and Interventions Lab where he aids graduate students in running studies on Amazon Mechanical Turk and organizes study materials. William serves as a board member for the UC Merced Alumni Association, as well as a board member for the Merced County Advisory Board on Alcohol and Drug Problems.