Congratulations to our new Distinguished Professors
The Distinguished Professor award is the highest academic honour Macquarie can bestow on a member of our academic community, recognising professors who have made an outstanding contribution to their field of scholarship or discipline and to the University.
"Macquarie University has an enviable reputation for research excellence and achievement," said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Sakkie Pretorius. "While the extent of its achievements belie the University's youthfulness, they are an accurate reflection of the agility and audacity we have shown over the first 50 years of our history."
The Distinguished Professor award recipients from the Faculty of Human Sciences are:
Professor Anne Castles
Anne Castles is Head of the Department of Cognitive Science, as well as Deputy Director and Leader of the Reading Program in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders.
She completed her PhD in 1993 at Macquarie University and was a teaching and research academic in the psychology department at the University of Melbourne from 1994-2006. She returned to Macquarie in 2007 to take up a CORE research position.
Anne has a strong research interest in variability within the reading-impaired population, and in the causes of different types of dyslexia, including genetic, perceptual and language factors. She is also interested in the process of normal reading development and in particular in the mechanism by which word recognition skills are acquired by children learning to read.
She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (FASSA) and serves on the Editorial Boards of Cortex, Cognitive Neuropsychology and the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.
Professor Katherine Demuth
Distinguished Professor Katherine Demuth is internationally recognised for her ground-breaking research in the area of child language acquisition. The work she leads at the Child Language Lab at Macquarie University is unique in Australia and occupies a key niche at the interface between basic and applied research.
Her contributions to the advancement of knowledge and education include a strong commitment to mentoring students and junior academics through the organisation of many conferences, workshops and reading groups. During her time in Australia, she has reached out to a wide range of researchers, students and practitioners in the broad fields of language and hearing sciences to develop a collaborative approach to addressing language learning and its problems.
Early in her career, Katherine demonstrated a keen interest in applying her skills and knowledge to communities in Africa to explore issues of crosslinguistic language acquisition, with implications for teachers, clinicians and schools. This work continues through collaboration with Australian colleagues and Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, working on both language description as well as issues of language acquisition. She has also become an active member of the Australian Hearing Hub, where her research has expanded to explore aspects of bilingual language learning, as well as language development in children with hearing loss and language delay/specific language impairment.
Professor Demuth has carried out her work with a commitment to excellence and an enduring determination to support the important role of language in social development, health and well-being. Her outstanding contributions to this field were recognized by the award of an Australian Laureate Fellowship in 2014.