About Me

I am a postdoctoral researcher under the supervision of Prof. Julie Berndsen in the School of Computer Science at University College Dublin (UCD). I am also affiliated with the ADAPT Centre for AI-Driven Digital Content Technology. Prior to my current position, I worked with Assoc. Prof. Benjamin Cowan in the HCI@UCD group at the UCD School of Information and Communication Studies.


My work focuses on the fine phonetic detail of spoken interaction between humans and computers with the aim of making this information usable for the further development of voice-activated digital assistants. In particular, I am researching accommodation phenomena and the perception of natural and synthetic voices by human users of such assistants.

I taught topics such as phonetics, speech science, and user-centered design at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

In the course of my education as a phonetician, I was engaged in various fields of application. Having a background in Romance studies (French and Portuguese), I started with the phonetics of foreign language learning, continued in the area of forensic phonetics, and then moved towards human-computer interaction (HCI).


Spoken HCI is now the main focus of my work as a postdoctoral researcher. As voice-activated digital assistants become a part of our daily lives, I believe it is imperative to further investigate the behavior of their human interlocutors in order to incorporate these findings into the development of the systems. Such user-centered design ensures that product development meets user expectations.

Before coming to Dublin, I was part of the Phonetics and Phonology research group headed by Prof. Bernd Möbius. The group belongs to the Language Science and Technology department at Saarland University, Saarbrücken. During this time, I wrote my doctoral thesis on phonetic accommodation of human interlocutors in the context of human-computer interaction, which I worked on as part of the CHIC project.


[ʔaˈjoːna ˈgɛsɪŋɐ]