Research

I am a linguist and conversation analyst interested in how speakers use linguistic and embodied resources to accomplish various forms of social action. I am currently working on various projects that examine:
  • how speakers manage the use of mobile technology during everyday conversation, 
  • how university students talk about their understandings of sexual consent,
  • how speakers use shoulder shrugs during responsive turns at talk,
  • how language and the body are used during meeting talk,
  • how assessments are formulated during multi-unit turns,
  • and the interactional function of a range of discourse markers in American English.
During my postdoc at the University of Wisconsin I worked on an interdisciplinary project examining language and social interaction in scientific grant peer review meetings. Drawing on naturally occurring video recorded interactions of biomedical grant review panels, I examined how peer reviewers deliver initial grant rankings, construct and develop topics of talk, and negotiate final decisions on the ranking of grants. The goal of this research is to identify and analyze the micro-level communicative practices that are of social consequence to decision-making in the peer review setting, as well as those practices that may serve as a vehicle for introducing implicit reviewer bias into peer review panels.

I enjoy involving students in my research and am occasionally on the lookout for motivated individuals who are interested in gaining research experience in conversation analysis, sociolinguistics, or English linguistics. I have previously served as a research mentor through the WCU Summer Undergraduate Research Institute and would encourage students interested in learning more about conducting linguistic research to apply.