Lab Members and Collaborators

Pamela Souza,
Pamela Souza, the laboratory director, received her B.S. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and her M.S. and PhD degrees in Audiology from Syracuse University. She is a professor at Northwestern University. She directs a longstanding research program in effects of hearing aids, particularly for older listeners.  Her research and clinical interests include use of signal-processing amplification which affects acoustic speech cues, how those changes interact with listener age and cognitive status, and how research findings in this area can direct clinical practice.  Dr. Souza is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and serves on the Psychoacoustic and Perception Technical Committee of the Acoustical Society of America.   Her work is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIDCD).

kathy-squareKathryn Arehart is an Associate Professor at University of Colorado. Her collaborations with Dr. Souza include the effects of hearing loss on pitch perception, signal-processing algorithms to improve speech-in-noise perception by persons with hearing loss, perception of sound quality, and the interactive effects of aging and hearing loss on speech perception.

Andrew Burleson is a PhD/AuD student at Northwestern using a background in cognitive evaluation, psychology, and music to research the importance of realistic listening environments that patients (and everyday people) find themselves in regularly, such as restaurants and auditoriums. Andrew is also interested in the impact of both cognitive ability and hearing loss, and how these two factors might affect auditory perception in realistic settings. Understanding how to translate familiar acoustic problems into real-world scenarios will help us better understand how to most effectively help our patients. In addition to his research interests, Andrew and his fiancée, Nina, enjoy exploring the new experiences of Chicago and taking care of their two dogs. In his free time, Andrew enjoys the outdoors, playing drums, and finding new tiny craft breweries.

Greg Ellis is a postdoctoral research fellow working with Dr. Pamela Souza in the Hearing Aid Laboratory at Northwestern University. He will be awarded his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Louisville in August 2018 where he worked with Dr. Pavel Zahorik. His research interests revolve around perceptual aspects of reverberation and the effects of reverberation on tasks like speech understanding. He is generally interested in improving the outcomes of listeners with hearing impairment in reverberant environments.


Frederick (Erick) Gallun is a staff investigator at the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research and an associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, Oregon Health and Sciences University. Dr. Gallun’s interests include the role of non-energetic (‘informational’) masking and memory processes on the ability of listeners across the age span to make multiple simultaneous or sequential judgments in various domains (intensity, location, speech); the influences of age and hearing loss on binaural sensitivity, binaural interference, and binaural and monaural temporal integration; amplitude-modulation sensitivity and its role in speech intelligibility and interactions with compression in hearing aids; and the potential impacts of cognitive impairment on auditory tasks.

Katherine Marcus is a graduate student in the Doctor of Audiology program at Northwestern University. She received her bachelor’s degree in Lifespan Health with a minor in Psychology from the University of Southern California. Her research interests include the relationship between cognition and hearing, the effectiveness of auditory rehabilitation, and auditory processing disorders.

Kendra Marks, the research coordinator for the hearing aid lab, received her B.A. in Linguistics from Oakland University and her Au.D. from Northwestern University. Kendra has worked in private practice assessing hearing loss, fitting hearing aids, and programming cochlear implants. She also completed a research fellowship at the University of Michigan. Her research interests include how to best optimize hearing aid settings for an individual’s hearing loss and cognitive function.



Amanda Mueller is a first-year Au.D student at Northwestern University. She received her B.S. in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences from Purdue University. Her research interests include vestibular disorders, frequency lowering in hearing aids, and hearing conservation.

 Varsha Rallapalli earned her AuD and PhD in audiology from Purdue University. Her research interests include understanding the effects of cognition and aging on speech perception outcomes with advanced hearing aid technologies, understanding the underlying mechanisms that result in individual differences in these outcomes, and developing methods to optimize hearing aid settings.
Maya Reid is an undergraduate student studying Communication Sciences and Disorders. Her research interests include hearing loss and how that relates to cognition.
dorina-squareDorina Strori is a postdoctoral research fellow working with Dr. Souza. She earned her PhD in Psychology from the University of York, UK. Her broad research interests include speech recognition under adverse conditions that represent realistic environments. Her current research focuses on understanding how foreign-accented speech of varying talker intelligibility and linguistic complexity is recognized by different listener groups, such as normal hearing, hearing impaired, older and non-native listeners. She is also interested in understanding how cognitive effort arising from exposure to degraded speech, foreign-accented speech included, affects listeners’ comprehension, as well as designing efficient methods to measure this phenomenon
Rebecca Welles is an Au.D student at Northwestern University. She received her B.A. in Speech, Language and Hearing Science and Psychology from the University of Connecticut. Her research interests include speech understanding in noise and the cognitive factors of age related hearing loss.
Sarah Whittaker received her Bachelor’s degree double majoring in Marketing and Communication Sciences and Disorders from Syracuse University. She is currently a graduate student in the Doctor of Audiology program at Northwestern University. Her research interests include sound quality perception and the effects of aging and cognition on hearing aid use.
Adelia Witt graduated from the University of Maryland with her Bachelor’s in Hearing and Speech Sciences in 2017. She is currently a graduate student in the Doctor of Audiology program at Northwestern University. Her research interests include speech understanding in complex listening environments and cochlear implants.
richard-wright-squareRichard Wright is a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Washington, Seattle. He completed his PhD at UCLA and an NIH training post-doc at Indiana University. His research interests include phonetics, speech perception and spoken word recognition, sources of variability in spoken language, and speech technology. He is the director of the Phonetics Laboratory in the Department of Linguistics, University of Washington.

Patrick Zacher received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and subsequently served in the Navy. He is currently a post-baccalaureate student in the Pre-Clinical Psychology program. His research interests include cognition and hearing disorders in aging populations.






Lab Alumni

Michael Blackburn, AuD, Veterans Administration Medical Center, St. Cloud, MN

Marc Brennan, PhD, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE

Evelyn Davies-Venn, PhD, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Eric Hoover, PhD, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Lorienne Jenstad, PhD, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Christi Miller, PhD, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Barbara Ohlenforst, MS, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Paul Reinhart, PhD, Naval Submarine Medical Research Lab, Groton, CT

Andrew Sabin, PhD, Bose Corporation, Chicago, IL

Tim Schoof, PhD, University C0llege London, London, UK

Jing Shen, PhD, University of Western Michigan, Kalamazoo, MI