Current Lab Members

Rachel I. Mayberry, PhD
Professor and Director of the Laboratory for Multimodal Language Development

Marla Hatrak, Ph.D., Lab Manager
Marla Hatrak serves as the lab manager. She received her B.A. in English from Gallaudet University, her MS degree in early childhood studies, and Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Leadership, and Management. Her research experience includes working closely with Ursula Bellgui and Ed Klima on groundbreaking sign language research at the Salk Institute of Biological Sciences.

Deniz Ilkbasaran, Ph.D., Assistant Project Scientist
I have been an assistant project scientist at the Mayberry Lab since 2021. My B.A. was in Psychology (Koc University), where I worked with Dr. Asli Ozyurek on the documentation of Turkish Sign Language (TID). I received my M.A. in Educational Technology (Concordia University), with a thesis on the collaborative design of an ASL board game for deaf children with hearing families. My Ph.D. was in Communication at UC San Diego, advised by Dr. Carol Padden. My dissertation was on the technologically mediated communicative practices of deaf youth in Turkey, with an emphasis on their literacies and mobilities. My research interests include deaf cultures, deaf education, instructional design, and sign language planning and policy.

Austin Roth, Research Statistician

Before joining the lab I received my BSE in Biomedical Engineering at Arizona State University where my research focused on epileptic seizure prediction using EEG and theoretical models of anesthesia using micro electrode arrays. My research in the Mayberry lab focuses on syntactic processing of ASL using MEG and fMRI, with an emphasis on studying late learners of language.


Matt Zaslansky
I am a Ph.D candidate in the Linguistics department with a Specialization in Anthropogeny at CARTA. My primary empirical focus is in the inflectional systems of Georgian Sign Language (GESL) and Azerbaijani Sign Language (AzSL). I am specifically interested in the typology of inflectional morphology and in the role that morphological blocking plays in lexical organization. In my dissertation I develop a crossmodal typology of blocking and overabundance (i.e. morphological synonymy). My work has a diachronic orientation, focusing on the evolutionary history of blocking effects in language.

Tory Sampson
I am a PhD candidate in Linguistics and in the Cognitive Science Interdisciplinary Degree program. My dissertation focuses on the historical grammaticalization of a copular sign, SELF, in American Sign Language (ASL) from the 1850's to present time. Currently, I use experimental linguistics approaches to address the syntax/semantics interface regarding the copular function of SELF. In doing so, I hope to further consolidate sign languages into the typological study of grammaticalization.

Rachel Miles
I received my BA in Spanish and International Studies from Washington University in St. Louis and my MA in Special Education from Webster University. I became interested in sign languages and spent 5 years working for SIL on language development projects with Deaf communities in various countries in Asia. In my current research, I am interested in late first language acquisition: both the language acquisition process and eventual linguistic outcomes. I aim to explore these areas crosslinguistically to determine if there is a common pattern of language ability for late first language learners across a variety of sign languages.

Shai Nielson
Before coming to UCSD, I received Bachelors in both Linguistics and English with a minor in Professional Writing at the University of California, Davis and worked as a Postbaccalaureate Intern in the Cognitive Neurolinguistics Lab at the Center for Mind and Brain at UCD. Now as a PhD Student here in the Interdisciplinary Joint Degree program between Linguistics and Cognitive Science, my research focuses on the phonology and neurolinguistics of American Sign Language. Specifically, I am interested in better understanding how phonology is acquired, developed, and processed when ASL is acquired as a first language after early childhood, and I am also looking at phonological typology across multiple sign languages.

Semra Ozdemir
I am a second-year graduate student in the Linguistics department. I received my BA in Translation and Interpreting Studies and my MA in Linguistics at Bogazici University. My research centers around the effects of delayed exposure to a first language on language comprehension and production later in life. In my previous research, I studied late L1 learners of Turkish Sign Language and their production of agreement morphology. Recently, my focus has shifted towards the production/comprehension of event structure and negative constructions in American Sign Languag.

...and Lab Alumni

Ph.D. Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows

Nina Feygl Semushina, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Chicago, Goldin Meadow Laboratory

Jeffrey Sardina, Undergraduate Researcher
Ph.D. Student, Trinity College Dublin, Knowledge Engineering and Artificial Intelligence

Qi Cheng, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, University of Washington, Department of Linguistics

Beatrijs Wille, Ph.D., Post-doctoral Fellow
Post-doctoral Fellow, Ghent University, Belgium, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy

Anne Therese Fredericksen, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Fellow, University of California, Irvine

Hope Morgan, Ph.D.
Post-doc/Marie Curie Fellow, Leiden University

Agnes Villwock, Ph.D., Post-doctoral Fellow
Assistant Professor, Humboldt University, Berlin

William Matchin, Ph.D., Post-doctoral Fellow
Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina

Tristan Davenport, Ph.D., Post-doctoral Fellow

Mara Greeen, Ph.D., Post-doctoral Fellow
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Barnard University

Amy Lieberman, Ph.D., Research Scientist
Assistant Professor, School of Education, Boston University

Naja Ferjan Ramirez, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, University of Washington

Matt Hall, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, UMass, Dartmouth

Kathryn Davidson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics, Harvard University

Alex Del Guidice
Senior Computational Linguist, Amplify Learning, Brooklyn, New York

Nathalie Bélanger, Ph.D.
Network Director and Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging

Daphne Ducharme, Ph.D., Post Doctoral Fellow
Associate Professor, School of Rehabilitation Science, University of Ottawa

Paula Marentette, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Alberta

Charlene Chamberlain, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Alberta

Christie Yoshinaga-Itano, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Science, University of Colorado, Boulder

Masters, Honors Theses, Lab Managers

Pamela Witcher, Lab Manager
Drucilla Ronchen, Research Assistant
Patricia Viens, Research Assistant
Meghan Zvaigzne, M.Sc. (Ph.D. Department of Psychology, McGill University)
Sydelle Garfinkle, M.Sc.
Andrea Gates, M.Sc.
Lisa Hargraves, M.Sc.
Bonita Squires, Research Assistant (Ph.D. School of Human Communication Disorders, Dalhousie University)
Pauline Huang, Honours Thesis
Hena Kazmi, Research Assistant
Danielle Ross, M.Sc. (Ph.D. University of Rochester) Center for Disease Control
Gayle DeDe, Research Assistant (Ph.D. Boston University) Department of Speech
Language & Hearing Science, University of Arizona
Ran Sun, Research Assistant
Lori Scott, M.Sc.
Patrick Boudreault, M.Sc. (Ph.D. University of Winnipeg) Gallaudet University
Elizabeth Lock, M.Sc. (M.D. Dalhousie University)
Joselynne Scoble, M.Sc.
Inger Trembath, M.Sc.