University of Edinburgh (2008-2017, for various degrees), Universite Paris-Diderot (2010-2011, year abroad)
PhD, Linguistics and English Language; MSc, Evolution of Language and Cognition; MA, French and English Language; a few GCSEs and A-levels
UCL- Researcher; Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics – Researcher; University of Edinburgh – Tutor; Edinburgh – Bookseller
Postdoctoral researcher, UCL
I’m a researcher that looks at the wonderful world of language. I am also a person who reads a lot, that swims and dances and bakes and does karaoke.
I am a researcher in experimental psychology at UCL, where I work with children and adults to look at how we use information about the world in language learning. Out of work, I like to go to the cinema and read books, and I do a lot of baking (and, consequently, eating). I like to swim, which I mostly do in the swimming pool, but I always enjoy a trip up to Scotland to swim in a cold loch!
My research looks at how language has adapted to be learnt and used by children in language learning and by adults over longer, evolutionary timescales. I focus not just on speech, but how the body might also help us to communicate with each other, and how we can use language to create a link between the things we can see and feel in the real world and the ideas we want to communicate in our heads.
My Typical Day:
I do reading, writing, programming, filming, talking, teaching, marking and eating.
The work I do in my job means I get to practice lots of skills. I have to read a lot of scientific material, to stay up to date on the literature. I get to write papers, so that I can share my research with the scientific community. I design and run experiments, often which involve filming participants doing different language-related tasks. On some days, I travel round London to run experiments with parents and children in people’s homes.
I use the programming language Python to shape and analyse my data, and draw graphs that I can use to show people my results. I also get to do a lot of talking, either in teaching students or giving presentations to other researchers.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
pocket sized researcher
What did you want to be after you left school?
A literary translator
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No. However hard I tried...
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Tell us a joke.
The past, the present and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.