Project Team

Principal investigators

Ryan Bennett ( is a phonologist in the Department of Linguistics at UC Santa Cruz. His research is in formal phonology, including the syntax-, morphology-, and phonetics-phonology interfaces.

Máire Ní Chiosáin ( is a phonologist in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at University College Dublin. Her research focuses in particular on the phonology of Irish.

Grant McGuire (, professor of linguistics at UC Santa Cruz, is generally interested in speech perception as it relates to phonetics and phonology. His current research is aimed at perceptual learning, phonetic categorization, and language specific perception.

Jaye Padgett ( is a professor of linguistics at UC Santa Cruz. His work combines formal analysis, usually within Optimality Theory, with experimental methodologies. He is particularly interested in the role of contrast and perceptual distinctiveness in phonetics and phonology.

Current Graduate Research Assistants

Jennifer Bellik ( graduate student at UCSC whose research interests include Turkish phonology and phonetics, and computational approaches to the syntax-prosody interface.

Past Graduate Research Assistants

Dhyana Buckley ( was a graduate student at UCSC, who graduated in 2018. Her research interests include phonetics, computational and corpus linguistics, and developing a semantic approach to improving machine learning.

Nick Van Handel ( is graduate student at UCSC. He is primarily interested in psycholinguistics and phonetics, with a focus on speech perception and perceptual learning.


Current Undergraduate Research Assistants

Donia Merkel
Henry Von Dollen

Previous Undergraduate Research Assistants

Bettina Cheung
Jacob Chemnick
Chloe Claudino
Charlotte Daciolas-Semon
Maxwell Denny
Saralynn Emery
Britt Fadelli
Ben Faiman
Krystal Galdamez
Rachel Jacobson
Abigail Katz
Ethan Kelley
Chris Kyle
Garrett Meyer
Connor McCabe
Conor McClure
Tom McCoy
Nastassja Myer
Eileen O’Neill
Jacob Rabinowitz
Justin Talbott
Serene Tseng
Blake Watkins
Julie Winkler