Hamilton Lab: People

Meet the Lab

Photo of members of the Hamilton Lab in Spring 2021

Members of the lab in Spring 2021 on zoom. From left to right:  Maansi Desai, Dr. Liberty Hamilton, Donise Tran, Dr. Sahar Hashemgeloogerdi, Brittany Hoang, Alyssa Field, Garret Kurteff, Tasha Anslyn.

Interested in joining our group? Check out Undergraduate and Graduate Research Opportunities!

Director

Liberty Hamilton

Liberty Hamilton, Ph.D.

Dr. Hamilton completed her Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley and her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco Center for Integrative Neuroscience and Department of Neurosurgery. Her research interests include how speech sounds are represented in the auditory cortex and how these representations change during learning, development, and as a result of plasticity. To investigate this, she applies computational methods to intracranial electrophysiological recordings from patients undergoing surgical treatment for epilepsy. This work involves collaborations with clinicians and epileptologists at Austin's Dell Children's Hospital and through the UT Dell Medical School. She also uses noninvasive EEG in healthy populations to understand complex sound processing during naturalistic speech perception and production. Dr. Hamilton holds a joint appointment in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and the Department of Neurology at Dell Medical School. She also holds an Adjunct Assistant Professor appointment in the Department of Neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.

She is also affiliated with the UT Austin Institute for Neuroscience, the UT CARE (Clinically Applied Rehabilitation Research and Engineering) Initiative , and the UT Austin Center for Perceptual Systems.

Graduate Students

PhD student Garret Kurteff

Garret Kurteff

Garret Kurteff is a 4th year PhD student in the SLHS program. Their background is in psychology, linguistics, and neurosurgery research. In the Hamilton Lab, they hope to answer questions about the neurobiology of speech production via electrophysiological methods. They completed a Masters in Speech-Language Pathology in 2020, and are clinically interested in adult neurogenic communication disorders and gender-affirming voice therapy. The phrase "Broca's Area" causes them to cringe visibly.

PhD student Maansi Desai

Maansi Desai

Maansi Desai is a 4th year PhD student in the SLHS program. Her background is in piano performance and neuroscience. In the Hamilton Lab, she is using electrophysiological methods (ECoG/EEG) and naturalistic stimuli to investigate speech-in-noise.

Photo of CSD and neuroscience undergraduate Jacob Cheek

Jacob Cheek

Jacob is a second year Au.D. student at UT Austin. He is currently working to obtain measures of fatigue in individuals with moderate to profound hearing loss within virtual classrooms. Those measures are hoped to create resources to improve speech perception in virtual listening environments best while improving the quality of life. Jacob graduated in Spring 2020 from the University of Texas at Austin with an undergraduate degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences with a concentration in Pre-Health Professions.

headshot of Elise Rickert

Elise Rickert

Elise Rickert is a 1st year AuD student in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. Her background is in speech pathology and audiology, psychology, and disability studies. She also has previous research experience in stuttering and epilepsy healthcare. she is particularly interested in the neuroplasticity of the auditory cortex and speech perception.

Headshot of Malinda Mullet

Malinda Mullet

I graduated with a BS in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am currently pursuing my Au.D. under the Doctor of Audiology program here at UT. I am interested in speech and language development outcomes in children with hearing loss, particularly those with Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD). In Hamilton's lab, I aim to investigate the underlying neurophysiology and development of speech segmentation in children.

Postdoctoral Scholars

Graphic of Sahar

Sahar Hashemgeloogerdi, Ph.D.

Sahar Hashemgeloogerdi graduated with Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Rochester. Her background is in audio and acoustic signal processing with an emphasis on modeling methods, audio enhancement algorithms, and analysis techniques with applications in healthcare and intelligent systems. In Hamilton Lab, Sahar aims to address challenges in the area of speech-oriented brain-computer interfaces.

Research Assistant

graphic of Alyssa

Alyssa Field

Alyssa Field graduated with a BA in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. Her background includes interests in sociolinguistics and applications of digital humanities. Her Masters will be in Talent Development - Secondary Education at Texas State University. In the Hamilton Lab, she hopes to use her linguistic background to explore creative language development in school-aged children of all abilities.

Undergraduate Students

Amanda Martinez

Amanda Martinez

Amanda Martinez is a 3rd year undergraduate in the CSD program. She is interested in learning how the brain processes language in children and adults. She plans on attending graduate school to become a SLP.

Photo of undergraduate researcher Tasha Anslyn

Tasha Anslyn

Tasha Anslyn is a 3rd year undergraduate student in the SLHS and Neuroscience programs. She currently assists Garret Kurteff in analyzing the neural representation of naturalistic speech production and perception in the brain using EEG. Her interests are in linguistics, psychology, and speech and language disorders.

headshot of donise tran

Donise Tran

Donise Tran is a 3rd year undergraduate student in the Neuroscience and Linguistics programs with a minor in American Sign Language. She is planning on attending graduate school to become a certified SLP. She is interested in working with those in the Deaf community who want to learn how to speak English.

Collaborators

Dave Clarke, MD, MBBS

Department of Pediatrics, Dell Medical School at UT Austin

Bharath Chandrasekaran, Ph.D

University of Pittsburgh

Maya Henry, Ph.D. CCC-SLP

UT Austin Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Edward Chang, MD

Department of Neurosurgery & Center for Integrative Neuroscience, University of California, San Francisco

Howard L Weiner, MD

Chief of Neurosurgery, Texas Children's Hospital. Professor, Pediatric Neurosurgery and Vice Chairman, Baylor College of Medicine.

Nancy Nussbaum, Ph.D., ABPP-CN

Pediatric Neuropsychology, Dell Children's Medical Center Comprehensive Epilepsy Center

Jeffrey Titus, PhD

Section Chief, Pediatric Neuropsychology, Dell Children's Medical Center. Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin.

Anne Anderson, MD

Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX. Associate Professor of Pediatrics-Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine.

Timothy George, MD

Dr. George was the Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Dell Children's Medical Center, Co-CEO Pediatric Specialty Services, Co-Director - Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program, Adjunct Professor - Department of Molecular Biosciences - UT Austin, Professor of Surgery/Neurosurgery/Pediatrics/Neurology - Dell Medical School at UT Austin.

Aaron Cardon, MD

Board-certified pediatric neurologist, Child Neurology Consultants of Austin and Dell Children's Medical Center. Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Courtesy Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Dell Medical School, UT Austin.

Alexander Huth, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Department of Computer Science.

Elizabeth Tyler-Kabara, MD, PhD

Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery and the Co-Chief of Pediatric Neuroscience in the Pediatric Neurosurgery Center within UT Health Austin Pediatric Neurosciences at Dell Children’s. Associate Professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Neurosurgery.

Ahmed Tewfik, PhD

Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin

Madhumitha Sakthi, M.S.

PhD Student in Electrical and Computer Engineering, UT Austin (PI: Tewfik).

Lixiang Xu

PhD student in Physics, UT Austin. (PI: Huth)

Amanda Lebel

Former Research Assistant in Huth Lab. Current: PhD program at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, UC Berkeley.

Alumni

Shun Kobayashi

Rotation student (2018). Current: Eyal Seidemann Lab (UT Austin Center for Perceptual Systems).

Picture of Noora Raad, UT CSD graduate

Noora Raad

Research volunteer (2017-2018).

Picture of Institute for Neuroscience PhD student Stephanie Shields

Stephanie Shields

Rotation student (2019). Current: Alex Huk Lab (UT Austin Department of Neuroscience).

Photo of CSD undergraduate Natalie Clark

Nat Clark

Undergraduate student volunteer (2018-2019). Graduated 2019 - B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders, UT Austin. Current: MS-SLP program at TWU.

Photo of Cassandra Villarreal

Cassandra Villarreal

Undergraduate student volunteer (2018-2019). Graduated with B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders, UT Austin -- May 2019. Current: Graduate student in Medical Speech Language Pathology at the University of Washington.

Photo of CSD graduate student Mary Lowery

Mary Lowery, MA-SLP

Masters student (2017-2019). Mary Lowery graduated with her masters in Speech Language Pathology from UT Austin in May 2019. Her thesis investigated perception of simultaneous natural speech and music using EEG. She is now pursuing her clinical fellowship (CF) in Speech Language Pathology.

Photo of undergraduate volunteer Natalie Miller

Natalie Miller

Undergraduate research volunteer (summer 2019). Natalie Miller is now pursuing her PhD in Musicology at Princeton University in the Music Cognition Lab (PI: Elizabeth Margulis).

Photo of undergraduate student Paranjaya Pokharel

Paranjaya Pokharel

Undergrad research volunteer (summer - fall 2019).

Research Assistant Ian Griffith

Ian Griffith

Research Assistant (2018 - 2020). Projects on neural networks to understand pitch and phonological processing in the brain. Current PhD student in Speech, Hearing, Bioscience and Technology at Harvard/MIT as of Fall 2020.

Photo of Jade Holder

Jade Holder

Undergraduate research volunteer (2018-2020). Jade started her Master's in Communication Disorders at UT Dallas in Fall 2020.

Picture of undergraduate student Rachel Sorrells, a research volunteer in the Hamilton Lab

Rachel Sorrells

Undergraduate independent study research (UT Neuroscience program) and Moody Intellectual Entrepreneurship Program - 2019-2020.

Nick Arreguy

Nick Arreguy

Undergraduate independent study on ICA methods for artifact rejection in EEG (Spring 2020).

Photo of undergraduate student Nicole Currens

Nicole Currens

Undergraduate research volunteer (2019 - 2020). Major in Linguistics and Computer Sciences. Assisted Garret Kurteff with projects on EEG of naturalistic speech perception and production.

Photo of undergraduate researcher Brittany Hoang and her dog

Brittany Hoang

Brittany Hoang graduated in May 2021 from the SLHS program at UT. She is interested in how the brain modifies to perceive and respond to language and speech with aphasia. Currently, she is working as an SLPA before attending graduate school to become certified in SLP.

Valerie Mercado

Valerie Rae Mercado

Valerie Mercado graduated from UT with a BA in English, Linguistics, and Japanese. She has interests in bilingualism and language acquisition, but recently discovered a new interest in learning about language processing within the brain. She is currently a freelance English and Japanese tutor and hopes to attend a graduate program in Linguistics.

Photo of undergraduate researcher Claire Huber

Claire Huber

Claire Huber completed her undergraduate coursework in Linguistics and Computer Science at UT in 2019. She assisted in a project in the lab related to speech perception and production.

Photo of undergraduate student Christopher Truong

Chris Truong

Chris Truong assisted Garret Kurteff on an EEG project to uncover differences in representations of naturalistic speech perception and production in the brain.