Dr Jessie Ricketts, LARA lab Director
I am interested in reading and oral language development in childhood and adolescence, particularly in the role of vocabulary in reading (both word-level reading and reading comprehension), and reciprocally, the role of reading in oral vocabulary acquisition. My research adopts a range of methodological approaches including longitudinal, cross-sectional and word learning studies to investigate acquisition, development and causal hypotheses, working with typically developing children and children with developmental disorders such as poor reading comprehension, dyslexia, specific language impairment and autism spectrum disorders. I aim to collect data that address questions of theoretical importance that have practical implications for policy and practice.
For more information about the Vocabulary and Reading in Secondary School (VaRiSS) project, see www.variss.org
Miss Gabbie May
My research is exploring whether the consumption of wild blueberries can improve memory, attention and reading ability in 7-10 year olds. Wild blueberries are a fruit high in flavonoids, a micronutrient previously found to benefit cognition across the human lifespan. Reading relies upon multiple aspects of cognition, such as memory and attention, therefore we are interested to see whether flavanoid consumption will impact reading.
Miss Grace Pocock
I’m a PhD student investigating whether ‘educational’ apps are really educational. I will be looking to work with local nurseries to look at this in terms of preschoolers early literacy development. I will systematically assess at the different features apps offer to children, and see which ones are beneficial to learning, as well as which ones hinder it.
Miss Jessica Dyson
My current research is on adolescent sleep restriction during puberty, and how this affects word learning and memory. This research will use polysomnography to measure objective changes in sleep patterns between school term and holidays.
Dr Sanne Van-Der-Kelij
I am a postdoctoral research fellow based at Aston University and I work on the Reading and Vocabulary (RAV) project with Dr. Jessie Ricketts, Dr. Laura Shapiro and Prof. Adrian Burgess. The goal of the project is to track the reading and vocabulary development in children as they transfer from primary to secondary school. We also plan to conduct an intervention study in which we aim to promote independent reading in Year 8 students and examine the influence of independent reading on vocabulary growth.
Dr Suzanne Ausseims
I am a post-doctoral researcher interested in how babies and young children learn language. I am currently working on the Baby Books Project in the Royal Holloway Baby Lab, investigating what 13-16-month-old infants learn from shared book reading with their parents. I have received my PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Warwick, where I investigated how hand gestures produced by adults facilitate event memory and word learning in 3-year-old children. I have also done research on how infants learn words (ages 13-16 months), use pointing gestures to communicate (ages 9-13 months), and integrate information from speech and gesture simultaneously (ages 14-17 months).
Undergraduate Research Assistants
2014-2015: Natascha Ahmed, Keely Pridden
2015-2016: Rosie McGuire, Grace Pocock, Eva Dvorakova, Emily Crosby, Sophie Groosman
2016-2017: Iqra Arshad, Rebecca Crowley, Nardeen Massoud, Katherine Worster
2017-2018: Lianne Farrer
2018-2019: Charlotte Stoate, Lucy Hemmings, Daisy Miller, Paige Mahoney
2019-2020: Aiswarya Thamilselvan, Alice Storr, Lauren Smith, Lauriane Bonnet, Rebecca Bright, Ellie Gray