Lab Director

Rajka Smiljanic (PI)

Current members

Graduate Students


Kirsten Meemann, LIN

Kirsten is a 5th-year Ph.D. student in Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on speech perception and language processing. In particular, she is interested in the effect of clear speech and different types of noise on speech perception, and in the role of cognitive mechanisms to cope with such noise. In her spare time, she enjoys reading thrillers, listening to podcasts, and running (despite the Texas heat). Email:

Photo (Zhe-chen) (1)

Zhe-Chen Guo, LIN

Zhe-chen Guo is a 3rd-year Ph.D. student in Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. He joined the lab in Fall 2018. His research focuses on prosody and speech perception. Currently, he is interested in how listeners use prosodic information to accomplish speech segmentation and how different listening conditions affect their segmentation performance. In his free time, he enjoys cooking and writing codes for fun.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Madison Rider

Madison is a fourth-year Linguistics and English double major with a UTeach Liberal Arts minor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with family.

Eliana Spradling

Eliana is a third-year Linguistics major with an Ancient Greek minor. In her free time, she enjoys designing, baking, and decorating cakes and other tasty treats.

Lab alumni

Graduate Students & Postdocs

Sarah Ransom-Laud, LIN
Last known position: PhD program, Linguistics, UT

Sandie Keerstock, LIN
Last known position: Visiting Researcher, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri

Steven Alcorn, SPN
Last known position: Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Indiana University at Bloomington

Niamh Kelly, LIN
Last known position: Assistant Professor, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

Cindy Blanco, LIN
Last known position: Learning Scientist, Duolingo

Rachael Gilbert, LIN
Last known position: Principal Data Scientist at Trello

Kristin Van Engen, Postdoc
Last known position: Assistant Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Washington University

Elisa Ferracane, LIN
Last known position: PhD program, Linguistics, UT

Hoyoung Yi, CSD
Last known position: Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Gayatri Rao, PSYCH
Last known position: Assistant Director of Reporting and Analytics, UT

Matthias Sjerps, visiting graduate student
Last known position: Researcher at the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging at the Radboud University Nijmegen

Lauren Ayres, Graduate CSD

Natalia Czimskey, Graduate CSD

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Frida Ballard

In the lab: 2018-2020

Gabby Bio Photo

Gabrielle Shaddock

In the lab: 2018-2020

Meryl Xiong

In the lab: 2019-2020

Alexandra Brown

In the lab: 2019-2020

Riley Pruden

In the lab: 2019-2020


Irene Smith, LIN

Last known position: Environmental Sciences Lab, Applied Research Labs, UT

Luis De La Cruz, LIN, English

Last known position: Teach for America, Roma High School, Rio Grande Valley


Jai Lyn Pena, LIN

Last known position: PhD program, Linguistics, New York University

Kevin Lilley, LIN
Last known position: PhD program, Linguistics, Ohio State University


Sarah Blackshear, LIN

Last known position: Ads Integrity Analyst, Accenture, Austin, TX

Marina Gavino, LIN

Last known position: PhD program, Linguistics, Northwestern University

Image from iOS

Kaylee Kocurek


Olivia Naworol

Liliana Terry, LIN

Last known position: Software Engineering Intern at Microsoft

Hannah Ray, LIN

Lauren Franklin, LIN

Last known position: PhD program, Dept of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences, Brown

Maddie Oakley, French

Last known position: PhD program, Linguistics, Georgetown

Emily Tagtow, LIN

Andrea Manrique, LIN

Last known position: Paralegal at Briggle & Polan , PLLC, Austin, TX.

N. Garcia-Holmes, LIN

Last known position: Assistant for Operations at The University of Texas at Austin

Michelle Dubois, LIN, Dean’s Distinguished Graduate (College of Liberal Arts) 2016.

Last known position: Spanish instructor, Freestyle Language Center, Austin, TX.

Gaby Cook, CSD

Cristabella Trimble-Quiz, LIN

Karen Johnson, CSD

Last known position: Northwest Elementary School, Pflugerville Independent School District

Jose Martinez

Kiki Adams, LIN

Corina Trevino, LIN / CSD Intellectual Entrepreneurship internship program

Aidan Aannestad, LIN

Nicholas Victor, CSD

Samantha Sebastian, LIN

Anais Callejon, LIN

Randall Rouse, LIN

Gabriela Saenz, CSD

Rob Corona, LIN

Lauren Burleson, LIN

Johanna Emily Boardman, LIN

Jasmine Beitz, CSD

Samantha Gordon Danner, LIN

Last known position: PhD program, Linguistics, USC

Lab pictures

UTSoundLab 2019. ExploreUT – March 2, 2019.
UTSoundLab 2017-2018. ExploreUT.
UTSoundLab 2016-2017
UTsoundLab Fall 2010