Jennifer Mortensen, Ph.D., CFLE

Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Science
Photo of Jennifer Mortensen


Jennifer Mortensen earned her M.S. in Human Development and Family Science from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2009 and completed her Ph.D. in Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona in 2015. Within HDFS, her area of specialization includes ecological approaches to understanding wellbeing for families with infants and toddlers. Her research focuses on understanding risk and protective factors as they relate to parent-infant interactions, parental wellbeing, and infant socioemotional development. Her research also examines the role of early care and home visiting settings in fostering wellbeing, especially economic disadvantaged families or infants/toddlers experiencing maltreatment.

Mortensen teaches a variety of HDFS courses at the University of Nevada, Reno related to families, relationships, infant/toddler development, and early childhood education. Jennifer is a Certified Family Life Educator and a committed advocate for family and early care and education policy. She draws motivation and inspiration for this work from her time as an infant/toddler teacher at Early Head Start.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Family Studies & Human Development, University of Arizona
  • M.S., Human Development & Family Studies, University of Nevada Reno
  • B.S., Early Childhood Education, University of Nevada Reno