The EarGenie Research Team includes engineers, programmers, data scientists and clinicians. Everyone brings their expertise and unique perspectives to the project, and it makes for fabulous lunchtime banter. In this blog, we’d like to introduce you to the team, beginning with Dr Wunderlich.

Position: Senior Clinical Research Fellow

Joined EarGenie: 2018

Tell us about your career:

I’ve been an audiologist for over 35 years, working in Victoria’s public hospital system. It started as a complete fluke—I did a Post Graduate Diploma in Audiology after receiving an advertisement in the mail!

12 years into my clinical career, work was getting a bit routine. A little girl with a neurological condition come into the hospital, and I was doing her hearing test which showed a moderate hearing loss. During the test she had a seizure, and when we restarted, her hearing response had completely normalised. It was so fascinating and I just wanted to learn more about neuroscience and the relationship with hearing. It just so happens that a professor at the School of Audiology at The University of Melbourne was looking for a PhD student.

What was your PhD about?

My project followed the development of auditory brain responses in babies and young children, looking for a brain measurement of speech sound discrimination. I wasn’t using fNIRS though, I was measuring electrical responses to sound from the cortex of the brain. fNIRS measures activity in the cortex too, and in many ways I’ve come a full circle; the speech module of EarGenie is used for speech sound detection and discrimination. My PhD was almost 20 years ago now and we (Audiologists) are still looking for a good way to measure whether a baby can tell the difference between two sounds.

“When Colette first approached me about the project, I could see so many possibilities where EarGenie could fill gaps in Audiology testing, and I knew straight away that I wanted to be a part of the project.”


Dr Julia Wunderlich & Professor Colette McKay