Biographical Summary

Martha Pelaez is a Frost Professor at the College of Education, Florida International University. She received her Ph. D. in 1992 in Developmental Psychology, winning the International Dissertation Award from the International Society for Infant Studies (ISIS) for her research on “Infant learning to reference maternal emotional expressions.” After completing a postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Miami, School of Medicine, in 1994, she became Assistant Professor of Psychology at FIU. She has supervised students’ doctoral dissertation and master theses, the aches courses in Educational Psychology and Child and Adolescent Development, Applied Behavior Analysis, Single Subject Designs, and directs infant and early childhood research.

Dr. Pelaez has been visiting professor at the University of Nevada-Reno (1997, 2008), University of Oviedo-Spain (2000 & 2001); University of Almería-Spain (1998); National University of Ireland-Maynooth of Cordoba, Spain (2009) where she has taught seminars on child learning and development. She has delivered invited addresses and papers at universities including Harvard University-William James Hall, University of Notre Dame, Trinity College-Dublin; Fordham University-New York, and papers at conferences of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Association for Behavior Analysis (ABA), the Society for Research on Child Development (SRCH) and other societies held in Washington, San Francisco, Atlanta, Nashville, New Orleans, Chicago, Kansas, Seattle, Boston, London, Brighton-UK, Paris, Ameiens-France, Taipei-Taiwan, Yokohoma-Japan, Toronto, Montreal, Venice, Palermo, Seville, Sao Carlos-Brazil, Engelberg, Switzerland, Linköping-Sweden, La Habana-Cuba, and several cities in Mexico.

Martha Pelaez’s research has been supported by NIG and other grant agencies and she has studied mother-infant interactions and early social learning processes, as well as designed applied interventions with children at risk of language delays and developmental and learning problems. Her theoretical contributions include the creation of taxonomy of rule-goverened behavior and a dynamical systems approach to child development with Gary Novak, 2004. She has conducted basic-experimental research on transfer of learning processes and instructional control in collaboration with the National University of Ireland in Maynooth with D. O’Hora and D. Barnes-Holmes (2005, 2008). Dr. Pelaez has published more than 60 articles in refereed journals (including the American Psychologist and the journal of Child Development), co-authored 13 chapters, one textbook on child development (with G. Novak) and several monographs. She is the founder of the Behavior Development Bulletin and has served as its editor since 1990 and in nine editorial board of refereed journals, including The Behavior Analyst.

Dr. Pelaez was the past Program Char for the American Psychological Associations, for Division 25 and past Program Co-Chair for the Association for Behavior Analysis. She was the recipient of the Faculty Research Award, Florida International University, Honorary Degree & Awards Committee, a formal recognition for research excellence. In 2001, she received the National Research Award from the National Council for Teaching and Research in Psychology (Consejo Nacional para la Enseñanza e Investigacíon Psicológica-CNEIP), recognition for excellence in research and teaching in Mexico. In 2003, Dr. Pelaez was awarded Fellowship status by the American Psychological Association (APA) on the basis of evaluated evidence of outstanding and unusual contributions to the field of psychology. In 2005, she was the recipient of the Faculty Service Award, Florida International University, Honorary Degree & Awards Committee.

Dr. Pelaez has served as the Vice-Chair of the Faculty Senate of Florida International Univeristy and as Legislative Liaison with the Florida Legislature. In 2005 and 2006, she Chaired the Advisory Council of Faculty Senates of Florida (ACFS) and was member of numerous program review and search and screen committees. Between 2003 and 2006, she served as a member of the ACC (Articulation Coordinating Committee) of the Florida Department of Education, Chaired the Advisory Council of Faculty Senates (ACFS) representing Florida SUS faculty, and served as member of the Florida Board of Governors.