Doctoral Students

The School’s PhD program provides research and educational opportunities for students to develop scholarly excellence in the study of human communication.

Click on the names below for an insight into the research topics, interests and background of current SASS doctoral students.

Supervisor:

Dr. Susan Small

Bio:

Ronald is a PhD student at the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences at the University of British Columbia. His research is focused on furthering our understanding on how acoustic stimulus parameters are processed from the cochlea up to the brainstem in infants and adults with normal hearing and hearing loss. In addition, Ronald’s research investigates the estimation of physiological thresholds in infants using both air and bone conducted stimuli.

Research Topic:

Frequency and place specificity of the human auditory brainstem responses to NB CE-Chirp® LS in adults with normal hearing versus cochlear hearing loss.

Research Interests:

Acoustic calibration; The effects of stimulus rates and masking noise on auditory brainstem and steady-state responses; Development or assessment of statistical and/or objective methods of response detection in auditory evoked potentials; Maturation of physiologic thresholds.

Supervisor:

Dr. Susan Small

Bio:

Sylvia obtained her Master’s degree in Audiology at the Western University and worked as a clinical and dispensing audiologist for 8 years before joining SASS PhD program.

Research Topic:

Speech discrimination in infancy

Research Interests:

Cortical auditory evoked potentials, speech evoked auditory brainstem responses,  speech discrimination and perception

Supervisor:

Dr. Tami Howe

Bio:

Katharine is a registered speech-language pathologist and PhD student in speech-language pathology. Before starting her PhD at the UBC SASS, Katharine completed a BA in International Relations, MA in Linguistics, and a MSc in Speech-Language Pathology.

Research Topic:

The met and unmet communication needs of individuals with primary progressive aphasia and their families: A stakeholder consensus

Research Interests:

Dementia-related communication disorders; Primary progressive aphasia and other language-led dementias; Knowledge translation; the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health; Rights-based approaches to communication disability

Supervisor:

Dr. Valter Ciocca

Bio:

Ilse is a PhD candidate at the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences at the University of British Columbia. Previously, she studied electronic engineering at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, where she also completed her Master’s degree in Bioengineering. For her Master’s degree, she investigated how cochlear implant users perceived the timbre (tone colour) of musical instruments.

Research Topic:

Ilse’s current research stems from an interest in understanding how listeners perceive characteristics of voice, and in particular how listeners perceive breathiness. Since the presence of noise in voice is a salient acoustic property of breathiness, she currently investigates how listeners perceive noise in tonal sounds. She also uses computer models of auditory processes to investigate which of these processes may help explain the perception of noise in tonal sounds.

Research Interests:

Perception of voice quality (breathiness); Voice synthesis; Fundamental auditory processes; Computer models of auditory processes; Bayesian statistics.

Supervisor:

Dr. Stacey Skoretz

Bio:

Veronica completed her clinical master’s degree in speech-language pathology at the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, which included a thesis with Dr. Skoretz: “Determining the Feasibility of Assessing Salivary Biomarkers and Swallowing Perception in those with Sjogren’s Syndrome and Healthy Controls”. She has completed training in salivary bioscience at the University of California-Irvine’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research, and has a diploma in linguistics from UBC and a BSc in biological sciences from the University of Alberta.

Research Topic:

Veronica’s doctoral research is focused on volumetric and compositional changes in saliva and how these changes impact swallow physiology and perception in disease and healthy conditions.

Research Interests:

Dysphagia, swallowing, salivary biomarkers, chronic illness, patient perceptions of swallowing, quality of life

Supervisor:

Dr. Stacey Skoretz

Bio:

Ann-Marie is a PhD student at the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, UBC. She received both her B.A. in Psychology and M.Sc. in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Alberta. Ann-Marie has extensive clinical experience in acute care and rehabilitation hospitals in Canada, the UK and Australia, with a particular interest in critical care.

Research Topic:

Ann-Marie is studying the biomechanics of swallowing following tracheostomy and the science behind the implementation of evidence-based practice.