Dr. Thea Knowles is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at Michigan State University and directs the Clinical Applications of Speech Acoustics Lab. She is a certified speech-language pathologist with an expertise in motor speech disorders and particularly speech disorders secondary to Parkinson’s disease. She received her Bachelor of Arts from McGill University (Montreal, Canada) and received her Master of Clinical Science in Speech-Language Pathology as well as her PhD in Health & Rehabilitation Sciences from Western University (London, Canada).
Her research program focuses on describing acoustic-phonetic characteristics of dysarthria. Specifically, her work examines how changes in the acoustic signal modulate how well typical listeners understand the speech of people with dysarthria and how different treatment approaches impact this relationship. Informed by her background in linguistics and speech acoustics, her research interests can broadly be categorized into three themes:
Acoustic distinctiveness and its role in speech intelligibility and listener effort
Understanding variable and adverse influences on spoken communication (examples: speech strategies, speech contexts, face masks, etc.)
The use of technology for speech treatment and measurement (examples: speech amplification devices, automated speech measurement tools)
Research and Teaching
dysarthria, speech production and perception, speech acoustics, speech technology