Skip to content Skip to menu

Meet the team

The study has relied on a vibrant group of post doc, PhD students, research assistants and undergraduate students to make it such a success.

Principal investigator

Photo of Courtenay Frazier Norbury

Courtenay Frazier Norbury

Courtenay’s research focuses on the overlaps between language, cognition, and social interaction across a range of neurodevelopmental conditions. She did her PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford and has been at UCL since 2016. For the last 10 years she has led the SCALES study, a longitudinal study of language development and disorder from school entry. She is a founding member of the RADLD campaign ( and President of NAPLIC ( ). She also loves baking, cycling, and seeing her students flourish.

LiLaC members

  • Photo of Sarah Griffiths

    Sarah Griffiths

    SCALES Research Associate

    Sarah joined the LiLaC Lab in 2018 as a Research Associate for SCALES. Her research focuses on understanding links between language, emotion processing and mental health in young people with neurodevelopmental conditions. She coordinated development of the “Words for Wellbeing” public engagement exhibition and animated YouTube video showcasing research on links between language and emotional wellbeing. Since 2019, she has taught statistics to undergraduate psychology students at UCL, leading the switch from SPSS to R to promote reproducible science.
  • Photo of Laura Lucas

    Laura Lucas

    SCALES Research Assistant

    Laura joined LiLaC Lab in 2018 as a Research Assistant for SCALES. She has a background in Psychology and completed an MSc in Developmental Disorders. She manages the day-to-day running of SCALES and is the primary contact for schools and families. Laura assisted in the development of our Words for Wellbeing public engagement events and YouTube video, and is also responsible for the management of the SCALES website and Twitter page.
  • Photo of Joanne Saul

    Joanne Saul

    Post-doc & Teaching Fellow

    Jo has been a member of the LiLaC lab since 2016, when she started her ESRC-funded PhD. She is fascinated by individual differences in language development and how language impairment impacts mental health, learning and wellbeing. Jo is interested in intervention development and evaluation, particularly in how technology may be able to make interventions more accessible to help those with complex neurodevelopmental conditions. Jo is a member of Autistica’s Language and Communication Study Group and volunteers on the committee of her local branch of the National Autistic Society.

    Jo's PhD focussed on expressive language development in minimally verbal autistic pre-schoolers. She conducted a longitudinal study exploring what predicts individual differences in expressive language development, in particular the role of speech production skills. She also created and piloted an app which delivered a speech sound intervention. Together with LiLaC colleagues Jo is helping to deliver a new undergraduate Research Methods curriculum. She will also be supporting new students enrolled on the BSc Psychology course and teaching Speech and Language Therapy students about single case experimental design.

PhD Students

  • Photo of Ria Bernard

    Ria Bernard

    PhD Student

    Ria is a PhD student investigating the relationship between stammering and mental health in children, under the supervision of Professor Courtenay Norbury. Ria’s research is funded by the ESRC and Action for Stammering Children, where she works weekly on policy impact and outreach as part of her PhD programme. Ria is also a qualified Speech & Language Therapist (SLT) who worked in mainstream primary and secondary schools across deprived areas of south and east London before joining the team. She completed her MSc in Neuroscience at UCL, working with Professor Peter Howell on her dissertation, in which she explored the impact of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) alongside fluency shaping therapy approaches on speech fluency in adults who stammer.
  • Photo of Disa Witkowska

    Disa Witkowska

    PhD Student

    Disa is a PhD student at UCL. Disa’s project, under the supervision of Professor Courtenay Norbury, will seek to find the best methods of supporting English language learning in primary school children with English as an Additional Language (EAL). Disa joined LiLaC Lab as a BA Linguistics student in the summer of 2017 to transcribe narratives from the SCALES study. Interested in bilingualism, in her undergraduate project she investigated the narrative (storytelling) development in children learning EAL and their monolingual peers. Disa's MRes Speech, Language and Cognition project explored whether a syntactic priming picture-card game can facilitate grammar learning in children with EAL.


  • Photo of Debbie Gooch

    Debbie Gooch

    SCALES Project Manager (University of Surrey)

  • Photo of Gillian Baird

    Gillian Baird

    Consultant Paediatrician, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

  • Photo of Tony Charman

    Tony Charman

    Professor of Clinical Child Psychology, IoPPN

  • Photo of Andrew Pickles

    Andrew Pickles

    Director, Biostatistics Department, IoPPN

  • Photo of Emily Simonoff

    Emily Simonoff

    Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, IoPPN


  • Photo of Jessica Banks

    Jessica Banks

    Former Research Assistant

  • Photo of Gracie New

    Gracie New

    Former Research Assistant

    now studying a Doctorate in Educational Psychology @ University of Southampton
  • Photo of Lydia Yeomans

    Lydia Yeomans

    PhD Student

  • Photo of Chatrin Suksasilp

    Chatrin Suksasilp

    Student Research Assistant

    Former UCL student, now studying MSci Psychological Research at University of Oxford.
  • Photo of Charlotte Wray

    Charlotte Wray

  • Photo of Claire Sears

    Claire Sears

  • Photo of Harriet Maydew

    Harriet Maydew

    Graduate Research Assistant on SCALES

  • Photo of Rebecca Lucas

    Rebecca Lucas

    Former PhD student is now a lecturer at Roehampton University