I’m a Lecturer in Language and Communicative Development at the University of Manchester, UK, based in the Child Study Centre. I’m having a smashing time learning and teaching about language as a member of the ESRC International Centre for Language and Communicative Development (LuCiD), a network of language scientists investigating the myriad factors which affect typical and atypical language development. I also research babies’ and toddlers’ curiosity-driven learning when wearing my ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellow hat (always at a jaunty angle). [UPDATE: my fancy hat expires in December 2018. I am trying to find a new hat. They are in surprisingly short supply.]
Previously, at Lancaster University, UK, I had an equally smashing time working at Lancaster Babylab with Professor Gert Westermann investigating curiosity-driven infant categorisation and the effects of environmental variability on two-year-old children’s word learning, again as part of LuCiD. I also examined school-age children’s acquisition of the English locative alternation using a connectionist model of sentence production as a postdoc with Professor Ben Ambridge and Dr Franklin Chang at the University of Liverpool Child Language Study Centre. This was also entirely smashing.
In the distant mists of time (2012) I completed my PhD in Psychology with Dr Jessica Horst at the WORD Lab at the University of Sussex, where I developed a Dynamic Neural Field model of early word learning and conducted a series of empirical studies examining the interaction between category structure and language acquisition. This was double smashing, especially the bit with robots.
I also enjoy moonlighting (collaborating, I think they call it) with colleagues at Plymouth University, UK and the University of Sussex, using computational and robotic methods to explore embodied aspects of word learning.
Below is me, explaining my raison d’etre.