Post-doc opportunity

I am looking for a post-doc research associate to work on my AHRC project ‘Humans and machines: novel methods for testing speaker recognition performance‘. The position is full time for 13 months, based in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science at York. The role involves contributing towards computer game design, running human experiments online and in the lab using the computer game, running analyses through automatic speaker recognition software, phonetic analysis, as well as dissemination and impact activities.

Please consider applying if you have expertise in phonetics, speech science, sociolinguistics, and/or forensic speech science. More information on how to apply can be found here.

AHRC Early Career Grant Success

Carmen Llamas and I have been awarded an AHRC Early Career Grant for our project ‘Humans and machines: novel methods for testing speaker recognition performance’. The project will compare the performance of lay listeners and automatic speaker recognition systems at distinguishing between same- and different-speaker pairs of voices, as well as examining the effect of contextual information on human responses. As part of the project, we will be collaborating with the Digital Creativity Labs to create a computer game to elicit data from our human participants, allowing us to also assess the viability of using games to collect forensic phonetic and linguistic data.

More information on the project can be found here.

Research Priming Fund Success

A group including myself, George Bailey, Amelia Gully, Eleanor Chodroff (Linguistics), Helena Daffern (Electronic Engineering), and Nick Pears (Computer Science) have been awarded Research Priming funding by the University of York to purchase an electromagnetic articulograph and ultrasound. The equipment will be used to explore shared interests in understanding and modelling the vocal tract for a range of different applications. The aim is that the equipment will facilitate collaborative research across departments in the future.

More information can be found here.

IAFPA Funding Success

Jessica Wormald (J P French and University of York) and I have been awarded a grant (£1300) from the International Association of Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics (IAFPA) to create a wiki for descriptions of language varieties that can be used, amongst other things, by forensic speech scientists as a resource when assessing typicality in casework. The wiki will contain systematised information about a range of linguistic variables and signpost users to academic research where it is available.

More information here

PhD Opportunity: Collaboration with Aculab

We are currently looking for a student for a collaborative project between the Forensic Speech Science group at the University of York and Aculab, a commercial company developing state-of-the-art speaker verification and recognition systems. The funding is provided by the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities. The project attempts to systematically integrate linguistic-phonetic and automatic methods of speaker recognition for many applications, not least forensic applications. More information can be found here.

The deadline for initial applications is the 14th December, but potential applicants are encouraged to contact me before this date to express their interest and find out more about the collaboration and the project.

*Note: WRoCAH rules mean that only applicants from the UK and EU are eligible*

Story of Things Podcast – Voice Recognition

Peter French and I have done an episode of the Story of Things podcast on voice recognition. We talk to Penny Spikins about different methods of forensic voice analysis (linguistic-phonetic and automatic), and our AHRC-funded project, Voice and Identity. We also analyse some recordings of Penny’s speech using the different methods to arrive at a forensic conclusion.

You can download the podcast here


NWAV46 Workshop

Jessica Wormald, Erica Gold and I ran a workshop on data- and knowledge-sharing across sociolinguistics and forensic speech science at NWAV46 in Madison, WI, last week. The workshop consisted of a practical session involving the phonetic analysis of forensically realistic recordings, as well as talks by Yvan Rose, Tyler Kendall, and Natalie Schilling.

More information about the workshop can be found here.


Interspeech 2017

The week before last, I was in Stockholm for the 2017 Interspeech conference. I presented a poster with Philip Harrison on work we have done as part of the Voice and Identity project. I also presented an oral presentation on the effects of different definitions of the relevant population in forensic voice comparison. The slides, poster, and proceedings papers are all available on this website.

Philip Harrison and I were panel discussants for the Special Session on Speaker Comparison for Forensic and Investigative Applications III. My 3 minute slide can be found here.


I was also interviewed about forensic phonetics by Sverige Radio. My (very brief) appearance can be found here.