Personal profile

Personal Statement

I am a Reader in Speech and Language Therapy with a research interest in exploring typical and atypical speech production processes across the life span.

My current research focuses on dysarthria, describing its acoustic properties and determining its impact on communication in children and adults with motor disorders. I am also interested in understanding how speech changes as children grow, and how older age affects speech production processes.

I gained my PhD on intonation in foreign accent syndrome from the University of Strathclyde. A subsequent British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship enabled me to extend my work in this field and investigate intonation and prosody in children with cerebral palsy.

My work is funded by the British Academy, the Economic and Social Research Council, and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.

Ongoing projects include:

  • ESRC funded research on how children‘s speech changes as they grow (Variability in Child Speech - VariCS) with Dr Joanne Cleland, Dr David Young (University of Strathclyde) and Prof Jane Stuart-Smith (University of Glasgow)
  • ESRC funded research into the role of cognition and speech in older adults’ communication patterns (PhD student: Laura Manderson; with Dr Louise Brown Nicholls and Prof Anja Lowit, University of Strathclyde)

Expertise & Capabilities

  • Motor speech disorders in adults and children 
  • Typical speech production across the life span
  • Speech development in multilingual children
  • Acoustic analyses for the assessment of motor speech disorders

Research Interests

My research focuses on dysarthria in children and adults. I am interested in understanding the underlying nature of their speech problems, how these problems manifest, and how current treatment approaches target these difficulties. I harness the power of detailed acoustic analyses to aid the understanding of these aspects. My goal is to undertake research that advances our theoretical understanding of speech disorders and drives clinical practices, which can improve well-being, social and communication participation for those affected by motor speech disorders.

While my main focus is on describing patterns of disordered speech, I am also interested in exploring speech processes in typical speech across the life span, with a particular focus on determining variability in typical speech patterns and what these can tell us about disordered speech.

PhD and MPhil students

  • Amy Smith, PhD candidate: Measuring Variability in Child Speech Using Instrumental Articulatory Techniques
  • Laura Manderson, PhD candidate: Ageing and communication: Understanding the roles of cognition, speech production, and social participation
  • (completed) Manali Sharma, MPhil: Comprehension and Production of passive constructions in bilingual aphasia (Hindi and English)
  • (completed) Charya Jayasri Udara Bandara Kapurupastha Bandarage, MPhil: Quantifying undifferentiated lingual gestures of children with velar fronting problem using ultrasound tongue imaging

I am happy to supervise students with research interests involving any area of motor speech disorders.


Teaching Interests

I teach on the BSc Hons Speech and Language Pathology undergraduate programme and supervise MPhil and PhD students.

My undergraduate teaching covers the following areas:

  • Psycholinguistics
  • Neurology and Paediatrics (Module lead)
  • Childhood Dysarthria – Assessment and Intervention
  • Multilingualism
  • Research Investigation

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, The dimensions of intonation in neurogenic foreign accent syndrome: A typological perspective, UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE

Award Date: 1 Jan 2011

Master of Arts, Focus marking in non-fluent aphasia, University of Potsdam

Award Date: 1 Jan 2006


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