Tweety Language Development Lab

Department of Psychology

Current Lab Members:

Dr. LouAnn Gerken, Director of the Tweety Lab
Dr. Gerken

Dr. Gerken, the director of the Tweety Lab, is a professor of psychology and linguistics. She is also the associate editor of Language Learning and Development. Her main interest is language acquisition and, more specifically, infants' and children's sensitivity to linguistic structure. She is also interested in how language is represented in the mind and the relation between linguistic grammars and language behaviors like comprehension and production.

Email Dr. Gerken

Megan Figueroa, Doctoral Student
Megan F

Megan received her BA and MA in English linguistics from Arizona State University in 2010 and 2012 and her MA in Linguistics from the University of Arizona in 2015. She is currently a doctoral candidate in linguistics at the University of Arizona. Her research interests include the acquisition of morphosyntax in monolingual and bilingual children with and without language impairment. She will defend her dissertation: "Who breaked the rule? Rethinking English past tense overregularizations" in the Spring of 2018. In her free time, she enjoys reading young adult novels, spending time with her dog, pretending to be a foodie, and cross-stitching nonsense.

Email Megan! or check out her personal homepage here!
Neida Ahmad, Lab Manager

Neida graduated from the University of Arizona with a BS in Psychology and a BA in Linguistics and Spanish in 2017. She is currently assisting with the 9-month, 11-month, and 20-month studies. Neida is primarily in charge of handling the administrative needs of the lab, and also works as a Lab Manager for Dr. Jeff Stone's Self & Attitudes Lab. She plans to begin her PhD in Language, Reading, and Culture (Education) in the Fall semester of 2018. In her spare time, Neida likes to read, paint, and watch TV.

Email Neida!

Joleen Kuzdas, Undergraduate research assistant

Joleen is currently completing her final year as an undergraduate. She is double-majoring in Psychology, and Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. She plans to go on to be a Speech-Language Pathologist.

Email Joleen!

Mira Nathan, Undergraduate research assistant

Mira is an undergraduate double-majoring in Neuroscience and Speech, Language, and Hearing sciences.

Previous Lab Members:

Sarah Bosch, former undergraduate research assistant

Carolyn Quam, PhD, former Post-Doctoral Fellow

Lauren Clough, former undergraduate research assistant

Celeste Gallegos, former undergraduate research assistant

Alisa Wang, former undergraduate research assistant

Kara Hawthorne, PhD, former doctoral student

Andréa Davis, PhD, former doctoral student

Sara Knight, former Lab Manager/Research Coordinator

Kimberly Golisch,
former undergraduate research assistant

Jeannette Bell,
former undergraduate research assistant

Michelle Gernon, former undergraduate research assistant

Lark Yildirim,
former undergraduate research assistant

Devin McGrane,
former undergraduate research assistant

Erin Huff, former undergraduate research assistant

Omar Aujani,
former undergraduate research assistant

Nicole Szivek,
former undergraduate research assistant

Kelly McGinn
former undergraduate research assistant

Jessica Brittain, former undergraduate research assistant

Kailey Alyssa Tucker, former undergraduate research assistant

Colin Dawson, PhD., 
former doctoral student

Colin completed his dissertation in Fall of 2010 under the guidance of Dr. LouAnn Gerken. Colin is beginning a doctoral program in statistics and still collaborates with the Tweety Lab on various projects.

 Juliet Minton, former lab manager

Evelyn Jaramillo, former undergraduate research assistant

Peter Richtsmeier, post-doc

Peter completed his dissertation August 2008 under the guidance of Drs. LouAnn Gerken and Diana Ohala at the University of Arizona, and is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at Purdue University in the Goffman Laboratory, directed by Dr. Lisa Goffman. Peter and Lisa are figuring out how his research on phonological learning can be translated into clinically relevant studies targeting children with Specific Language Impairment.

Claire Fischer, former undergraduate researcher

Frances Balcomb, post-doc

Frances is a post-doc, with a Ph.D in Psychology and a M.S. in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Arizona. Her primary interest is in how infants and young children are able to be such great learners, specifically how young children actively behave to maximize their learning efficiently, including using various strategies like selective attention. She is currently engaged in research at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Nikki Pikaard, former undergraduate researcher

Alex J. Bollt, former undergraduate researcher

Arwen Bruner, former undergraduate researcher

Other Researchers Associated with the Tweety Lab:

Dr. Rebecca Gomez, Director of the Tigger Lab at the University of Arizona

Dr. Mary Peterson, Director of the Visual Perception Lab at the University of Arizona

Chewie Mon, Member of the Visual Perception Lab

Dr. Tania Zamuner, Infant researcher at the University of British Columbia and the Netherlands

Dr. Jessica Maye, Assistant Professor at Northwestern University

Dr. Allyson Carter, Acquiring Editor at the UA Press