Charles Sturt speech pathology expert sitting on top of the world

25 SEPTEMBER 2019

Charles Sturt speech pathology expert sitting on top of the world

Bathurst-based Professor Sharynne McLeod features prominently in The Australian’s Research magazine, which highlights the work and influence of the nation’s top researchers and research institutions.

  • Charles Sturt Professor of Speech and Language Acquisition Professor Sharynne McLeod hailed as world’s most cited expert in her field
  • The University’s speech-language pathology research team also features in The Australian’s Research magazine for the second year
  • Quality and quantity of published research papers across the world formed the basis of recognition

One year after being named Australia’s leading researcher in her chosen field, Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) Professor of Speech and Language Acquisition Sharynne McLeod has climbed a step higher to sit on top of the world.

Bathurst-based Professor McLeod (pictured) features prominently in The Australian’s Research magazine, published on Wednesday 25 September, which highlights the work and influence of the nation’s top researchers and research institutions.

In the same publication Charles Sturt also earned the acknowledgement of Australia’s ‘Leading Institution’ for the work of Professor McLeod’s team of researchers.

The annual magazine’s lists are compiled by selecting authors and institutions who had the most research papers published by their field’s top 20 journals (as determined by their trailing five-year impact factor, which is measured by Google Scholar) and analysing the citations and uses of those same papers by the author’s peers.

The data revealed Professor McLeod is the world’s most cited expert in the field of audiology, speech and language pathology, an achievement lauded by Charles Sturt Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann.

“To be identified as a global leader is no mean feat, and is testament to Professor McLeod’s expertise in, and enthusiasm for, the field she has dedicated herself to for the past three decades,” Professor Vann said.

“These twin acknowledgements are fitting recognition of Charles Sturt University’s commitment to impactful research which contributes to our regional communities and across the world.

“I commend Professor McLeod and the wider research team for their work to manifest the University’s ethos of Yindyamarra Winhanganha – ‘the wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well in a world worth living in’.”

Professor McLeod arrived at Charles Sturt from the University of Sydney 20 years ago, helping to establish the speech pathology courses offered through the University’s School of Community Health.

For the last 16 years she has worked in the School of Teacher Education while continuing her research in speech pathology.

Professor McLeod was in the first cohort of the Australian Research Council’s Future Fellows in 2009, granting her a four-year fellowship to pursue her research in multilingual children’s speech acquisition.

She is currently a Charles Sturt Senior Research Fellow, a role which she cherishes for the opportunity to work with a committed team dedicated to “making a difference in children’s lives”.

“I’m fortunate to work closely with an amazing group of people at Charles Sturt University,” Professor McLeod said.

“The Speech-Language-Multilingualism team, along with the researchers and PhD students from across the world, are the reason this acknowledgement came my way.”

The Charles Sturt team from the Schools of Teacher Education and Community Health who have published research in audiology and speech-language pathology over the past few years include Professor McLeod, Dr Kate Crowe, Dr Sarah Verdon, Associate Professor Jane McCormackDr Sarah Masso, Dr Suzanne Hopf, Professor Linda Harrison, Dr Audrey Wang, Dr Van Tran, Dr Ben Pham, Mrs Nicole McGill, Ms Helen Blake, Ms Anna Cronin, Dr Michelle Brown, Dr Catherine Easton, Dr Michelle Smith-Tamaray, Dr Linda Wilson, Dr Lisa Brown, and Dr Laura Hoffman.

The Australian’s Research magazine’s lists are based on data analysis of up-to-date and publicly available information in the more than 250 individual fields of research.

The data analysis to produce this detailed picture of Australian research was carried out by talent discovery and research analytics firm League of Scholars, a pioneer in using big data to produce research metrics.

Professor McLeod is a Life Member of Speech Pathology Australia, a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and the author of 10 books and over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.

In June this year she presented research at the United Nations in New York, advocating that communication is a human right for everyone, including those with communication disability.

Professor McLeod’s team encourages families to talk, read books, and have fun with communication, while stressing the importance of talking with children in their home languages.

She also has some simple advice for parents or guardians who have concerns about their child’s speech and language development: don’t hesitate to seek help, and Speech Pathology Australia has a website to help people find their local speech pathologist.

“There’s no such thing as being too young for accessing assistance with speech and language development. Quite the opposite, in fact: it can make a huge difference when they’re little.”

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Professor Sharynne McLeod contact Charles Sturt Media’s Dave Neil on 0407 332 718 or at news@csu.edu.au

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