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Rachel's Research

Broadly, my research interests involve the intersection of autism, mental health, and sensory processing. I strive to continuously listen to and learn from autistic voices to inform my work. I also aim to interweave advanced quantitative methods and a strengths-based approach into my work. Finally, I'm passionate about intersectionality and advocacy within autism research.

Research Experiences

Minority Stress & Mental Health

This line of research aims to understand how we can apply the minority stress model to better understand autistic peoples' experiences with camouflaging their autistic traits and the resulting mental health outcomes.


Selective & Disordered Eating

This project is being funded by the Organization for Autism Research Graduate Research Grant. The initial aim was to investigate food preferences and selective eating in autistic adolescents and young adults. The questions of this study included: 1) how can we better define food pickiness?, 2) do autistic adolescents and young adults differ in their food pickiness from their non-autistic peers?, and 3) what might contribute to this relationship? Additional research is being conducted to understand the impact of selective eating on physical health and mental health outcomes, such as anxiety symptoms and disordered eating symptoms.


Receptive Prosody

I'm working as a graduate assistant on an R21 study that aims to determine if autistic and non-autistic adolescents differ in their ability to adapt to differences across speakers' voices. This study builds on prior literature to better understand how linguistic communication works across neurodiverse populations.


Aerobic Exercise Intervention

This research was conducted as my thesis project during my Master's program at Saint Joseph's University in the Cognitive and Behavioral Interventions Research Lab. The study aimed to evaluate the use of aerobic exercise as a supplementary intervention to a play-based speech therapy session for non-speaking or minimally speaking autistic children.



As an undergraduate, I was a volunteer research assistant in the Sachs Lab which focuses on the neurobiological mechanisms contributing to the development of substance use and other mental health disorders. I dedicated my time analyzing brain sections from mice using confocal microscopy.

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