I am broadly interested in acoustic communication, learning biases, and comparisons of human language with other animal communication systems. My work in linguistics (Linguistics Program, Graduate Center, CUNY) has focused on trying to understand how typological asymmetries arise and how linguistic, cognitive, and physical biases may shape language during the processes of transmission and learning.
I have recently begun to expand my research to non-human species by investigating avian vocal learning. As part of the Lahti Lab (Department of Biology, Queens College, CUNY), I am analyzing some of the late Dr. Paul Mundinger’s unpublished data on heterospecific song learning in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). As a member of the Budgie Lab (Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna), I am now looking into various aspects of song production and acoustic perception in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). In particular, I am exploring the complex structure of their learned “warble” song, how they pair physical movement with vocalizations, and how they perceive suprasegemental features of human language.