Our people

Our people

Men and women in a group with the Child Language Lab banner

Lab Members

Professor Katherine Demuth 

Distinguished Professor Katherine Demuth

Katherine Demuth is a Professor in Linguistics and at the Centre for Language Sciences (CLaS) at Macquarie University, and a Director of the Child Language Lab. She is also a member of the Centre of Excellence for Cognition and its Disorders (CCD). Demuth's research focuses on Language Acquisition, including studies of both perception and production. She is especially interested in the development of phonological, morphological and syntactic representations, in both typically developing and language-impaired children and L2 learners. Much of her work is crosslinguistic, using insights from the structure of different languages to better understand the mechanisms underlying the process of language acquisition. She was awarded an ARC Laureate Fellowship 2013 for research on child language acquisition, one of 17 awards for science in Australia.

See publications.

Titia Benders

Dr Titia Benders

Titia Benders is a Lecturer in Linguistics and Deputy Director of the Child Language Lab at Macquarie University. She is also a member of the Macquarie University Phonetics Lab, the Centre for Language Sciences (CLaS) and the Centre of Excellence for Cognition and its Disorders (CCD). Benders investigates developing phonological representations at the interface between perception, production, and input. Her main interest is in language acquisition by children between 6 months and 6 years of age, who acquire one or more languages, without or with hearing loss. A second line of research concerns the linguistic and emotional properties of infant-directed speech by parents (i.e., both mothers and fathers). Benders' work has a strong methodological angle, employing techniques from phonetics, developmental and mathematical psychology, as well as recent statistical insights.

Nan Xu 

Dr Nan Xu Rattanasone

Nan Xu Rattanasone is a postdoctoral research fellow working on several projects including Professor Katherine Demuth's ARC Laureate Fellowship funded project on 'Neural and behavioural evidence for children's learning of grammatical morphology’, the HEARing Cooperative Research Centre and NHMRC project (at the National Acoustics Laboratory) examining language development for children with hearing loss. She is also the Deputy Director of the Child Language Lab, a member of the Macquarie University Centre for Language Sciences (CLaS) and the Centre of Excellence for Cognition and its Disorders (CCD). Her research focuses on Language Acquisition in children (monolingual, bilingual and those with hearing loss) and adult second language learners. She is interested in early bilingual development in pre-schoolers: how children acquire multiple languages, how they develop language competency, and the implications of bilingualism for school readiness.

Laurence Bruggeman 

Dr Laurence Bruggeman (Honorary Lab member)

After seven years as a research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Laurence went on to complete her PhD at the MARCS Institute in 2016, working with Anne Cutler, Michael Tyler and Mirjam Broersma. She then moved to the Child Language Lab at Macquarie University, where she was a postdoctoral fellow in Katherine Demuth’s Child Language Lab and an associate investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD) from 2016 to 2018. In 2018, Laurence returned to MARCS as a postdoctoral fellow in spoken-language processing with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL). She is also an Honorary postdoctoral fellow at Macquarie University.

Felicity Cox 

Associate Professor Felicity Cox

Professor Felicity Cox is a member of the Centre for Language Sciences in the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University. In 2018 she was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship for the project Multicultural Australian English: The New Voice of Sydney and an ARC Discovery project grant with Professor Jonathan Harrington (IPS Munich) for the project Child Language, Community Diversity and the Emergence of Sound Change. She is the Department's Director of Undergraduate Studies and convenor of the Bachelor of Speech Hearing and Language Sciences program. She has 30 years’ experience in teaching and research in phonetics and phonology and is regarded as one of the foremost authorities on the Australian English accent.

Ben Davies 

Dr Ben Davies

Ben graduated with a PhD in Linguistics from Macquarie University in 2018. His PhD thesis 'Children's Gradual Acquisition of Singular and Plural' explored some of the factors that potentially affect young children’s understanding of the marking of nominal number in English.

Thembi Dube 

Dr Thembi Dube

Sithembinkosi 'Thembi' holds a PhD in Linguistics from Macquarie University. Her doctoral research used electroencephalography (EEG) technology to investigate how the brains of monolingual and bilingual children process English grammatical markers.

Jason Hollowell 

Professor Jason Hollowell (Visiting Fellow '18-'19, Musashi University, Tokyo, Japan)

Jason is a visiting fellow from Musashi University, Tokyo. Over the past 10 years he has shifted his research interests from the field of Second Language Acquisition to First Language Acquisition, with a focus on language acquisition and cognitive development in children with profound hearing loss who use cochlear implants. He is especially interested in critical/sensitive periods and the developmental impact of sensory deficits in pre-lingual deaf children.

Rebecca Holt 

Rebecca Holt (PhD student)

Rebecca is a current PhD candidate in the Department of Linguistics and a member of the Child Language Lab at Macquarie University. Her doctoral research investigates factors influencing sentence processing among children with and without hearing impairment. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Advanced) (Honours) from the University of Sydney and a Master of Research from Macquarie University and is a member of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders.

Jae Hyun-Kim 

Dr Jae-Hyun Kim

Jae is a Lecturer in the Master of Speech and Language Pathology (MSLP) program. Most of his research and teaching concerns speech and language development and disorders in children. He is particularly interested in speech and language disorders in bilingual children; and improving our assessment and treatment practices for children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. He is also interested in service access and experience for migrants with communication disorders; and contributing knowledge to providing equitable speech-language pathology services for people with communication disorders. He is also a member of the Child Language Lab (CLL) and Centre for Language Sciences (CLaS) at Macquarie University. Externally, he currently serves as the Editor for the Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology and an Associate Editor for Speech, Language and Hearing.

Carmen Kung 

Dr Carmen Kung

Carmen is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Child Language Lab. Her previous work focused on the perception and production of prosody and the neural correlates underlying prosodic processing. Her current research expands on her previous work to further explore how prosody influences semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic processing, using various techniques (e.g., eye-tracking, EEG, MEG and behavioural measures) and in various populations, e.g., monolinguals (L1), second-language (L2) learners, and hearing-impaired populations.

Kyoji Iwamoto 

Kyoji Iwamoto (Visiting PhD student '18-'19 , Waseda University, Japan)

Kyoji is a Visiting scholar from Waseda University and will be based at the Child Language Lab for 9 months. He is interested in the relationship between children’s development of speech rate processing and language-specific phonological systems. While at Macquarie, Kyoji will specifically be examining Australian English-speaking children’s development of lexical stress, or ‘rhythm’. He has almost finished all his testing, but is still seeking 12.5-13-year-old participants whose parents speak only Australian English at home.

Chi Lo 

Chi Lo (PhD student)

Chi completed a Diploma in Music Industry (Technical Production) and spent 5 years as an audio engineer working on large-scale shows such as Sydney Festival. Moving away from entertainment, he completed a Bachelor of Speech and Hearing Sciences in 2013; presented collaborative research work with the National Acoustic Laboratories to Parliament House; and received the Jury Prize for Best Presentation and Paper at the Australasian Conference for Undergraduate Research at ANU. In 2015 he completed a Master of Research (Linguistics), and has recently submitted his PhD at Macquarie University. His primary area of interest is the provision of training as a complementary means of (re)habilitation for individuals with a hearing impairment, with a focus on exploring the connection between music and language.

Julien Millasseau 

Julien Millasseau (PhD student)

Julien is a current PhD candidate in the Department of Linguistics and a member of the Child Language Lab at Macquarie University. His doctoral research is investigating the acquisition of acoustic cues to English voicing contrasts by normal hearing children and children with hearing loss.

Isabel OKeeffe 

Dr Isabel O'Keeffe (Lab Coordinator)

Isabel is the Lab Coordinator (part-time) for the Child Language Lab. She provides research support to the lab, including the recruitment of participants (information on current opportunities for children aged 0-18 is on the participant section of our web page and she is always keen to hear from people who are interested in participating in studies!). Isabel has training in both linguistics and musicology and a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Melbourne. Her thesis examined the public dance-song traditions of Indigenous communities in western Arnhem Land and she continues to work with these communities documenting languages and songs as a part-time Research Associate at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (University of Sydney)

Michael Proctor 

Dr Michael Proctor

Michael investigates speech production and perception, and phonological organization in human language. He uses MRI, electromagnetic articulography (EMA), ultrasound, eye-tracking, and other technologies to investigate how speech sounds are made and processed, and how language is acquired and used by adults, children, second language learners, and disordered populations.

Ping Tang 

Ping Tang

Ping recently completed his PhD in the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University. His PhD thesis 'Children's Acquisition of Mandarin Tones in Context' passed at the end of 2018. Along with Nan Xu Rattanasone, he was recently awarded the Dr Li Sze Lim Mobility Scholarship, which will allow him to build on his PhD research and test more children with earlier cochlear implantation in China (see more information about this project in the Macquarie University Lighthouse article).

Elise Tobin 

Elise Tobin (MRes student)

Elise is currently undertaking her Masters of Research in Linguistics, investigating the acoustic properties of infant-directed speech produced by Australian English-speaking fathers. Her current research is concerned with the linguistic and emotional features of infant-directed speech. Other research interests include the perception and production of affective speech, and the role of prosody in communication.

Ivan Yuen 

Dr Ivan Yuen

Ivan is a postdoctoral research fellow in Katherine Demuth's Child Language Lab. His research focuses on understanding how the complexity of children's seemingly easy achievement of speaking unfolds, specifically the planning processes underlying their speech in increasingly complex social interactions and conversations.


Nyaradzai Marunda
Lab Coordinator '16-'18

Fabia Andronos
Research Assistant '16-'18

Tamara Schembri
PhD candidate '15-'17

Sujal Pokharel
MRes candidate '16-'17

Nay San
MRes candidate '16-'17

Qandeel Hussain
PhD candidate '13-'17

Amy Hanna
Research Assistant '16-'17

Pragati Mandikal Vasuki
PhD candidate '13-'17

Elaine Schmidt
Postdoctoral Research Fellow '15-'17

Hui Chen
PhD candidate '13-'16

Alyssa Dyball
MRes candidate '15-'16

Katherine Revius
Lab Coordinator '14-'16

Kiri Mealings
PhD candidate '13-'16

Simon Gonzalez
PhD candidate '13-'16

David Rosson
Research Assistant '14-'15

Amit German
Research Assistant '14-'15

Joann Tang
Volunteer '12-'15

Mili Mathew
Research Associate '13-'14

Katya Tomas
PhD candidate

Gretel Macdonald
MRes candidate '13-'14

Samantha Bentink
Research Assistant '10-'14

Jill Thorson
PhD student '09-14

Farrah Alameddine
Masters of Research candidate '11-'13

Dr Susan Lin
Postdoctoral Research Fellow '11-'13

Bronwyn Eley
Undergraduate '11-'13

Kelly Miles
PhD candidate '10-'13

Clara Kliman-Silver
Student '08-'09

Heidi Jiang
Student '08-'09

Melanie Cabral
Lab Manager '08-'09

Karen Evans
Lab Manager '08-'09

Melissa Lopez
Student '07-'09

Elana Kreiger-Benson
Student '07-'09

Miranda Sinnott-Armstrong
Student '07-'09

Jeremy Kuhn
Student '08-'09

Sara Weschler
Student '08-'09

Dustin Foley
Student '08-'09

Matt Vitorla
Student '07-'09

Alissa Cerny
Student '07-'08

Melissa Kline
Student '06-'08

Erin Conwell
Student '03-'08

Liz McCullough
Lab Manager '06-'07

David Ellis
Student '03-'07 

Matt Adamo
Lab Manager '05-'06

Jenny Culbertson
Lab Manager '04-'05

Margaret Kehoe
'01-'05 Associate Editor
Journal of Child Language

Amanda Beaucage
Lab Manager '03-'04

Rachel Theodore 
Postdoctoral Research Fellow '02-'04

Cecilia Kirk
Postdoctoral Research Fellow '02-'04

Jae Yung Song 
Postdoctoral Research Fellow '02-'04
PhD candidate '97-'02

Manuela Barcelos
Lab Manager '01-'03

Yvan Rose
Postdoctoral Research Fellow '01-'02


Meghan Patrolia
Visitor '08-'09
University of Michigan

Matt Masapollo
Visitor '08-'09
University of Michigan

Eon-Suk Ko
Visitor '06-'08
SUNY Buffalo

Christelle Dodane
Visitor '06
University of Montpellier

Claartje Levelt
Visitor '05-'06
Leiden University

Annie Tremblay
Visitor '05
University of Illinois

Chloe Marshall 
Visitor '05
City University, UK

Isabelle Darcy
Visitor '05
Postdoc, University of Potsdam

Sandile Gxilishe 
Visitor '04-'05
University of Cape Town

Christophe dos Santos
Visitor '03
Postdoc, University of Nijmegen

Francina Moloi
Visitor '00
National University of Lesotho

Malillo Machobane 
Visitor '00
National University of Lesotho

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