February 2022

Can you believe I’m giving an IN-PERSON talk? You know, to a live audience! Check out details here. March 9 @SFU.

And this month I’m also grateful to my co-author Fey Parrill’s home university Case Western for supporting the openaccess publishing fee for our recent work on how listeners perceive gestures we use when we express preferences. Read it here.

December 2021
The Bloomsbury Semiotics volumes in which Irene Mittelberg and I have a paper on Gesture Studies and Semiotics now has a fantastic cover! See updated details as of march 2022 here.

September 2021
I really enjoyed writing a chapter this summer with Irene Mittelberg, “Gesture Studies and Semiotics”, for publication in the forthcoming (2022) 4-volume set published by Bloomsbury, edited by Jamin Pelkey.

August 2021
Two things this month: I’m really looking forward to launching my new gesture course for the Cognitive Science program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. And also happy to bring this paper on the multimodal expression of (ambiguous) preference into the world, with many thanks to the editors and reviewers at Language and Cognition, and my collaborator Fey Parrill.

May 2021
I’m looking forward to teaching a new week-long course on language and gesture, ‘Communication: An in-the-body experience,’ with Dr Elena Nicoladis as part of the Centre for Comparative Psycholinguistics Spring Training in Experimental Psycholinguistics (STEP 2021), from May 10-14th. See the course Wiki to see what it’s all about.

About me

As a cognitive linguist I look at natural discourse – including speech and body movement – to explore the resources we recruit to make meaning and how these processes relate to how we think. I’m especially interested in how the verbal and body channels together express abstract conceptual notions – like event structure, stance, and negation. I work with multimodal corpus data, text corpora, 3D motion capture data, and experimental methods.

I’m interested in applying this knowledge of humans in natural discourse to technical and social problems, including improving environments such as human interaction with avatars, the procedural generation of dialogue in video games, and applications in clinical situations.

Past updates

I’m currently a Killam postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of English Language and Literatures at the University of British Columbia, working with Dr. Barbara Dancygier.

Together we’re exploring the expression and negation of stance and beliefs across a variety of genres. For a brief look at the type of work, here’s our presentation at ICLC15 in Nishinomiya, Japan.

JUNE 2020
I was honoured to be awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal, awarded to the top graduating doctoral student, at the University of Alberta’s spring 2020 convocation. I thoroughly enjoyed interviews about my research with the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Graduate Studies, and U of A’s Folio newsletter


I was delighted to be an invited speaker in the Data Science colloquium series at the Case Western Reserve University Cognitive Science Department. See an abstract and a video of the presentation here.

Some other honours

April 2019
Awarded a Junior Research Fellowship at the RWTH Aachen University to continue my work with Dr. Irene Mittelberg.

May 2018
Selected a Killam Laureate at the University of Alberta in 2018 and one of 4 winners of the Dorothy J. Killam Memorial Graduate Prize.