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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 did her PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, working with Professor Dorothy Bishop on the overlapping language profiles that characterise autism spectrum disorder and developmental language disorder. She remains interested in the overlaps between language, cognition, and social interaction across a range of neurodevelopmental conditions. She is one of the joint editors of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and a founding member of the RALLI campaign ( She also loves baking and seeing her students flourish.

LiLaC members

  • Photo of Sarah Griffiths

    Sarah Griffiths

    SCALES Research Associate

    Sarah joined LiLaC Lab in 2018 as a Research Associate for SCALES. She completed her PhD at the University of Bristol with Marcus Munafo and Chris Jarrold. Her PhD research focused on emotion recognition in children with autism. After her PhD, she moved to the University of Cambridge to work with Simon Baron-Cohen on social vulnerability and mental health outcomes in autism. She is particularly interested in understanding links between language, emotion processing and mental health in young people with neurodevelopmental conditions.
  • 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. Before joining the SCALES team, Laura worked on the SHIPS (Screening to improve Health In very Pre-term infants) study at the University of Leicester which involved conducting developmental assessments with children 5 & 6 years of age born at less than 28 weeks gestation.
  • Photo of Jessica Banks

    Jessica Banks

    SCALES Research Assistant

    Jess joined LiLaC Lab in 2018 as a Research Assistant. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. Jess has worked in various research and education roles, with her latest Research Assistant post at the University of Sussex investigating infant colour vision deficiency and colour perception in autistic adults. She has a particular interest in the links between mental health and neurodevelopmental conditions in schools and their future impact on young people.
  • Photo of Disa Witkowska

    Disa Witkowska

    Student Research Assistant

    Disa is a MRes Speech, Language and Cognition student at UCL. She joined the lab 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 English as an Additional Language and their monolingual peers. Disa's MRes project will explore relations between bilingual children's home languages and their education in English.
  • Photo of Chatrin Suksasilp

    Chatrin Suksasilp

    Student Research Assistant

    Chatrin is a third year BSc Psychology and Language Sciences student. His research interests lie in understanding the relationships between language and other forms of cognition like memory, attention and emotion processing. In addition, he is interested in linguistics and philosophy of mind, and how data from experimental psychology can inform debates in these disciplines.

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 Lydia Yeomans

    Lydia Yeomans

    PhD Student

    Lydia is a PhD student at UCL. Her current project focuses on exploring the relationship between socioeconomic status and language development in the SCALES cohort, under the supervision on Prof. Norbury. She is particularly interested in neurodevelopmental disorders and the impact of socioeconomic disadvantage throughout childhood and adolescence.
  • Photo of Claire Sears

    Claire Sears

  • Photo of Joanne Saul

    Joanne Saul


  • Photo of Debbie Gooch

    Debbie Gooch

    SCALES Project Manager (University of Surrey)

    Debbie completed her PhD with Prof. Maggie Snowling and Prof. Charles Hulme at the University of York in 2009. Her research focused on understanding the comorbidity between dyslexia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by investigating the cognitive profiles associated with these disorders and their overlap.

    She has continued to explore issues of comorbidity between developmental disorders and how this impacts on the behavioural manifestation of disorders to affect children’s educational outcomes, first as a Research Fellow on the Wellcome Language and Reading Project at York University and now as the Project Manager for SCALES.
  • 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 Charlotte Wray

    Charlotte Wray

  • 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