Affiliates and Alumni

Lab Affiliates

Karen Jesney

Dr. Karen Jesney

Karen Jesney is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Carleton University in Ottawa.  She received her PhD in 2011 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her current research focuses on how gradient models of phonological grammar can be learned, and and how accurately these models predict the behaviour of children and of adults.

Dr. Ashley Farris-Trimble

Associate Professor (SFU Linguistics). Ashley uses experimental methods, primarily eye-tracking in the visual world paradigm, to examine the intersection of phonology and word recognition. Her research focuses on understanding how phonological processes impact word recognition in first-language acquisition, second-language acquisition, artificial language learning, and long-term speakers of a language. Additional research interests include lexical representations, weighted-constraint-based theories of phonology, and phonological processing in special populations, especially individuals with cochlear implants. Ashley is a Co-PI on two SSHRC Insight Grants with AMT.

Michael Becker

Dr. Michael Becker

Michael Becker is a phonologist whose main focus is on word formation processes and how they are learned by children, adults, and computers. He is also interested in the documentation, analysis, and preservation of endangered languages.

Dr. Claire Moore-Cantwell

Claire is a phonologist specializing in phonological variation, constraint-based models of phonology, learning algorithms, and the interface of phonology and psycholinguistics, especially speech processing and the structure of the lexicon.  She received her PhD from UMass Amherst in 2016, and since then, has taught at Yale and UConn.  From 2018-2019, she worked on Dr. Anne-Michelle Tessier’s SSHRC Insight Grant, studying early L2 acquisition of English. She is now an assistant professor in the linguistics department at UCLA.

Rennie Pasquinelli

Rennie Pasquinelli

Rennie is a PhD student in the department of Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins University. She is interested in linguistic and cognitive development, especially in atypical populations. At Hopkins, she is working on a project about tense acquisition in children with Williams syndrome. Anne-Michelle was Rennie’s undergraduate thesis co-advisor at the University of Michigan, and together they worked on a neuroimaging project investigating prosodic processing in children and adults. In her free time, Rennie likes to read and bake!

Gloria Mellesmoen

Gloria Mellesmoen is a PhD Candidate in the UBC Department of Linguistics who studies non-concatenative morphology. Her main research focus is reduplication in Salish languages and she is also interested in questions related to First Nations languages and heritage language acquisition in a Canadian context.

Dr. Marie-Eve Bouchard

Marie-Eve Bouchard is a sociolinguist in the Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies at UBC. She received her PhD in 2017 from New York University. In the past few years, her main research projects investigated the variety of Portuguese spoken in São Tomé and Príncipe and among the Santomean diaspora in Portugal. Now, her new research projects focus on different varieties of Canadian French. Marie-Eve is interested in language attitudes and ideologies, language contact, language variation and change, identity, and migration, among many other things.

Lab Alumni

Wendy AmoakoWendy Amoako

Wendy completed her B.A in Linguistics and Sociology from the University of Ghana (2015) and her M.A. in Linguistics from the University of British Columbia (2020). In the fall of 2020 she began her Ph. D. In Rehabilitation Science at the University of Alberta. Her primary areas of research include phonology, child language acquisition and speech disorders. Her M.A thesis focused on phonological development in typically developing children learning to speak Akan (a Kwa language) spoken in her home country, Ghana. She is also interested in clinical application of child data and is working on developing a culturally appropriate tool for clinical assessment of child phonology in Akan. Wendy speaks two languages Akan  (Native) and English (L2).

Alexander Angsongna

Alex is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia. He received his BA in Linguistics and English from the University of Ghana and his MA in Linguistics from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Alex’s main research is on morphology/phonology. Some topics he focuses on within this broader area include : ATR harmony, rounding, lengthening, diphthongization, tonal polarity and number marking. Alex’s other research interests include the syntax-semantics of complex constructions such as serial verb constructions (SVCs), double object constructions (DOCs), multi-verb constructions (MVCs) and multi-aspectual constructions (MACs).

Lauren Denusik

Lauren Denusik finished her undergraduate honours degree in Speech Sciences with a Minor in Commerce in 2020. She completed her honours thesis with Dr. Tessier focusing on children’s perception of foreign accented speech. She is currently in graduate school at the University of Western Ontario where she will be completing the professional qualifications to practice as a registered Speech-Language Pathologist (MCISc), while also earning a PhD in Speech and Language Science. Her research interest is on supporting the speech development in children with autism. When she is not busy with school or research she enjoys going for runs (occasionally while wearing a tutu)

Edward Ho Hon Leung

Edward is a fifth-year BA student at the University of British Columbia. He is double majoring in Speech Sciences and Psychology. His current research focuses on the perception of child-directed speech, particularly in tonal languages. He is running a pilot study to identify what features could be perceived from Cantonese child-directed speech and whether those are helpful for learning. He is also interested in exploring learning theories and language development through experimental approaches. Outside of Linguistics and Psychology, he enjoys listening to music and playing basketball.

Roger Lo

Roger received his PhD in Linguistics in 2022 from UBC. His research focuses on understanding speech production and perception through corpus studies, experiments, and modeling. He is also interested in quantitative analysis and information visualization, and hopes that intersecting quantitative approaches with linguistics will bring out more insight into human language. Outside linguistics, he enjoys calligraphy, food, and, of course, learning languages.

Starr Sandoval

Starr is a PhD student in the UBC Department of Linguistics. She researches semantics and language variation from theoretical and experimental perspectives. You can check out her work here. She was involved in a project on the acquisition of French Liaison with Anne-Michelle. Outside of linguistics, she enjoys photography and spending time with her cats.

Renée Wong

Renée (BA Speech Sciences, 2023) volunteered in the lab’s project on on child-directed speech in Cantonese. Outside of academia, Renée enjoys cooking all sorts of foods and baking desserts.


Oscar (July 2020-March 2022) was a very, very good lab member, remembered very fondly for his adorable contribution to Zoom meetings and general joie de vivre.