People: Current Members of the Lab at UW

Jan Edwards, Principal Investigator

(608) 262-6768

My research aims to better understand phonological development - the process of learning to talk - in preschool children. Although most adults take the ability to speak for granted, children who are learning language must actually acquire and synthesize a complex system of sounds, words, and social understanding. Doing so competently supports future language development, reading ability, and academic achievement.

David Kaplan, Co-Investigator

My current program of research focuses on the development and testing of Bayesian statistical methods in experimental and observational settings.  My recent work has focused on Bayesian propensity score modeling to improve causal inferences in observational settings as well as Bayesian approaches to structural equation modeling.  I am also interested in the development of Bayesian informative hypotheses to guide model assessment in experimental studies.

Nancy Wermuth, Project Manager


As a  Speech-Language Pathologist, Associate Lecturer and, Senior Research Specialist in the field of Communication Science, my area of professional interest continues to be helping people communicate. As Project Manager for the Learning to Talk Lab my job is helping the Project Researchers as they work to better understand the process of learning to talk. Please contact me with questions about recruitment, study, or to participate in Learning To Talk projects!

Tatiana Campbell, Research Assistant

I am a recent UW-Madison graduate with a degree in Human Development and Family studies with an emphasis on Child Development.  I have become more interested in speech and language development with bilingual children and its relationship to literacy.  I am looking forward to exploring further research in the Learning to Talk Lab.

Franzo Law II, Post-Doctoral Researcher

My research in first and second language acquisition focuses on phonological processing, the structure of the lexicon, and interactions with phonological/phonotactic probability.  I am currently investigating the correlation between speech perception patterns and vocabulary size in children.  I am also exploring the perception and production of Canadian French vowels by English-dominant and French-dominant bilingual adults.

Matthew Winn, Post-Doctoral Researcher

I am an audiologist and also a researcher who focuses on speech perception. I am particularly interested in how listeners make use of many components in complex sounds such as speech. In my work at the Waisman Center, I apply this approach to better understand the experience of people with cochlear implants and young developing language learners.

Elizabeth (Tatty) Bartholomew, Graduate Student

I am currently a first year student in the Masters program for Speech-Language Pathology. My interests include literacy development, especially phonological awareness in young children.

Michelle Erskine, Graduate Student

I am a second-year Master’s student in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.  My research interests include phonological acquisition in children younger than age 5, and the correlation between early phonological development and later literacy skills.

Megan Flood, Graduate Student

I am currently a second-year Masters student in UW-Madison's Speech-Language Pathology program. My interests lie in comparing the effects of input level on language acquisition for children from diverse backgrounds, and using this knowledge to serve such populations.

Allie Johnson, Graduate Student

I am a second year graduate student studying Speech and Language Pathology in UW's MS/PhD program. I am interested in the cognitive mechanisms (such as attention and memory) that underlie language acquisition, specifically for lexical and phonological processing. I am also interested in how socioeconomic factors influence early development of language and literacy skills. My role in the lab involves working on the administrative team and collecting data.

Kayla Kristensen, Graduate Student

I am a second-year Master's student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program at UW-Madison. I am interested in studying the impact of early intervention on the language, speech, and literacy skills of children.  In the past, I studied the speech discrimination and sound localization abilities of toddlers with typically developing hearing and those with cochlear implants.  I look forward to continue working with toddlers in the Learning to Talk Lab and to explore new areas of research.

Tristan Mahr, Graduate Student

I am currently a fourth-year graduate student in the MS/PhD program for Speech-Language Pathology.  My research interests involve the computational aspects of phonological acquisition and the development of phonological abstractions. I am the lab's resident R hacker and data wrangler.

Michelle Minter, Graduate Student

I am currently in my second year of study toward an MS in Speech-Language Pathology. After working with children with articulation challenges, I am especially interested in understanding how children with speech sound disorders learn language. I'm also interested in how children with hearing loss acquire language as compared to peers with normal hearing.

Bianca Schroeder, Undergraduate

I am currently a senior undergraduate student studying Communication Sciences and Disorders and Sociology. I hope to learn more about the process of language and phonological acquisition through research in the Learning To Talk Lab. I am especially interested in how socioeconomic status may affect language development and am looking forward to learn more on the subject.

Dana Duncan, Undergraduate

I am currently a senior undergraduate student studying communicative sciences and disorders with a certificate in gender and women’s studies. I am especially interested in exploring how dialect may affect a young child’s learning but I look forward to looking into other areas of research through the L2T team.

Olan Munson, Undergraduate

I’m a junior undergraduate student at UW-Madison, privileged to be learning more about phonological acquisition through my involvement in the L2T lab. My interests include literacy and bilingualism. I hope to continue exploring other related areas of research.


Danielle Revai, Undergraduate

I am currently a junior undergraduate student at UW-Madison studying Communicative Disorders. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in research with other members of the L2T team. I hope to broaden my knowledge about language acquisition in this lab and continue on in the field to pursue a career in Speech-Language Pathology.

Janet Schwartz, Undergraduate

I am currently a senior undergraduate student in the department of Communicative Disorders.  I am particularly interested in further studying the role speech-language pathology has in stroke rehabilitation as well as the speech disorders have on the development in young children.