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Lab Staff

Lab Director

Melanie Soderstrom

Melanie Soderstrom, Associate Professor

Dr. Soderstrom has been doing research and teaching in infant speech perception and early grammatical development for more than ten years. She came to the University of Manitoba in 2008 from a research position at Brown University. She teaches Child Development, as well as upper level courses on development, language acquisition, and related topics.


Lab Coordinators

Laurisa Adams

Laurisa Adams

Laurisa joined the lab in spring of 2015 as a volunteer, and is currently the Perceptual Studies Lab Coordinator. She is graduating this fall with an advanced degree in Linguistics and a minor in Psychology. She will be applying for a Masters program in Communication Sciences Disorders for Speech-Language Pathology.

Graduate Students

Karmen McDivitt

Karmen McDivitt

Karmen is a PhD student in our clinical psychology program. Her dissertation work examines the language environment of infants born to young mothers.

Brenna Henrikson

Brenna Henrikson

Brenna is a masters student in the Clinical Psychology program and has been with the lab since September 2015. Her research examines how preterm infants process certain speech sound pairings in comparison to full term infants.


Research Assistants

Kelsey Dyck

Kelsey Dyck

Kelsey is working on her B.A. in Linguistics. She is currently doing an Undergraduate Research Award in the lab examining infants' preferences for infant-directed speech (the ManyBabies project). Upon completion of her bachelors degree she will be going on to graduate school for speech-language pathology.


Lab Alumni

Jacquelyn Klassen

Jacquelyn Klassen

Jacquelyn worked as a research assistant in our lab starting in May 2014, and was joint lab coordinator 2015-2016. She conducted her honours project in our lab, examining the perception of vowels in bilingual infants. She is currently in the School Psychology Masters program in our department.

Alex Holt

Alex Holt

Alex was joint lab coordinator 2015-2016. She conducted her honours project in our lab, examining the language environment of infants born to adolescent mothers.She is currently in the School Psychology Masters program in our department.

Robin O'Hagan

Robin O'Hagan

Robin was our perceptual studies coordinator in 2014-2015. She recently graduated from the Communicative Disorders Assistance program at Lambton College in Sarnia, ON, and will be starting a job as an Audiology Assistant at Boundary Trails Health Centre in August 2016.

Elizabeth Grauer

Elizabeth Grauer

Elizabeth was the Daycare Study Coordinator at the lab from Spring 2014 to Summer 2015. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of British Columbia.

Jona Frohlich

Jona Frohlich

Jona completed her Honours degree and worked as a research assistant in the lab from 2014-2015. Her research looked at the similarities between parents and daycare teachers on perceptions of children's vocabulary development. She is now pursuing an MA in School and Clinical Child Psychology at the University of Alberta.

Dana Bernier

Dana Bernier

Dana completed her Masters in the lab in 2013. She is currently in a PhD program at the University of Waterloo, working with Dr. Katherine White. She is continuing to collaborate on studies in the lab.

Lindsay Bacala

Lindsay Bacala

Lindsay was with the lab for several years as perceptual studies coordinator. She left to pursue a graduate program in social work at the University of North Dakota.

Janani Geeganage

Janani Geeganage

Janani worked as perceptual studies coordinator in 2013-2014. She left to pursue a graduate program in social work at the University of North Dakota.

Jamie MacDonald

Jamie MacDonald

Jamie MacDonald completed her honours thesis in the lab and was the daycare study coordinator in 2013-2014.

Melissa Reimchen

Melissa Reimchen

Melissa graduated from the University of Lethbridge with an honours degree in psychology. She completed her Masters with the lab in the summer of 2013. She was recently accepted to a counselling program at Athabasca University.

Melissa Wong

Melissa Wong

Melissa Wong graduated from UBC with a BA in psychology and joined the lab as a graduate student in the Fall of 2009. She successfully defended her Master's thesis on syntactic dependencies in August 2011.

Madeleine Simon

Madeleine Simon

Maddy served as the daycare study coordinator from the spring of 2012 until the summer of 2013. She is now a graduate student at the University of Toronto.

Anne Marie Heard

Anne Marie Heard

Anne worked in the lab on our studies looking at infants' grammatical knowledge with summer internships from MICH and NSERC. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree at McGill University.

Michelle Donato

Michelle Donato

Michelle worked in the lab on our study examining infants' perception of the Vowel Length Effect, on a summer internship from the departmental PURE award. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Toronto.

Joanna Bhaskaran

Joanna Bhaskaran

Joanna completed her honours degree in 2011 with a project on syntactic dependencies. She then entered the graduate clinical psychology program here at UofM.

Kelsey Wittebolle

Kelsey Wittebolle

Kelsey's honours project in 2011 resulted in a publication with the lab. She was later accepted to the counselling psychology program at McGill University.

Alexis Kozak

Alexis Kozak

Alexis graduated with honours in 2011, and continued her research in the lab looking at infants' perception of their father's and other men's voices. She is currently at the Speech-Language Pathology program at Western University.


Recent Collaborators

Alex Cristia

Alex Cristia

Dr. Cristia received her PhD from Purdue University and worked at the Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen before joining the French National Center for Scientific Research. She is interested in how infants growing up in different places learn from their caregivers' speech.

Amanda Seidl

Amanda Seidl

Dr. Seidl is an Associate Professor in the Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences department at Purdue University. She studies individual variability in infant measures and their predictive value in diagnosing language disorders and delays and how interaction within the caregiver-child dyad may aid in language learning.

Eon-Suk Ko

Eon-Suk Ko

Dr. Eon-Suk Ko is a linguist specializing in phonology, phonetics, child language acquisition and corpus linguistics. Her recent research in language acquisition includes the perception and production of language-specific phonotatic patterns and the developmental aspects of prosody in mother-child speech. Dr. Ko is at Seoul National University.

James Morgan

James Morgan

Dr. James Morgan is a reknowned researcher in infant speech perception. He is especially well known for his early work in formal models of acquisition, and later work in many topics in infant speech perception, including phonological bootstrapping, phoneme perception, statistical learning, and perception of infant-directed speech. He was Dr. Soderstrom's mentor during her postdoctoral years at Brown University.

Katherine White

Katherine White

Dr. Katherine White completed her BA in Psychology and French from Cornell University before completing her PhD in Cognitive Science at Brown University. Her research includes Infant speech perception, phonological development, lexical representation and spoken word recognition. Dr. White is an Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo.