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3-7 May, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia



Thais Morata

Round Table 1 "Living in a Noisy World"

Thais Morata

Coordinator of the National Occupational Research Agenda Manufacturing Sector Council, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), USA

Thais C Morata has worked on hearing loss prevention since 1987, when she consulted for the Brazilian Union of Chemical Workers. She did post-doctoral work at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), USA, where she worked as a research audiologist for 15 years.

In November 2012 she became the Coordinator of the National Occupational Research Agenda Manufacturing Sector Council, also within NIOSH. She was a guest researcher at the National Institute for Working Life and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Dr Morata taught graduate courses in Brazil, mentors and collaborates with researchers across the globe. She is a sought after speaker, having been invited to give keynote addresses in several international and national conferences. She directs the Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™.

She is a Founding Associate Editor of the international Journal of Audiology and a member of the Editorial Board of the Cochrane Occupational Safety and Health Review Group. Her pioneering work in noise interactions influenced national and international occupational health policies. In 2008 she received the National Hearing Conservation Association Outstanding Hearing Conservationist Award for her accomplishments.

Assistant Professor Edilene Boéchat, PhD

Round Table 2 - Central Auditory Plasticity

Edilene Boéchat

Edilene Boéchat, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of the Department of Human and Health Sciences (Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil)

Audiologist and Speech Pathologist - Catholic University of São Paulo (1983) , Masters in Communication Disorders Catholic University of São Paulo (1992), Ph.D. in Sciences , Department of Physiopathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo (2002).

Besides the work at the University and the private practice, she is currently the President of the Brazilian Academy of Audiology and General Secretary of the International Bureau d' Audiophonologie ( BIAP ) in Brazil.

The main area of research interest is related to the effects of auditory deprivation and use of amplification, cochlear implants and oral-visual rehabilitation on cortical potentials, sensory interactions and cross modal plasticity in hearing impaired adults.

Associate Professor Bob Cowan

Round Table 3 - "Audiology Service in the Next 10-20 years - What is changing?"

Bob Cowan

Associate Professor Bob Cowan is CEO of the HEARing Cooperative Research Centre, and a Principal Research Fellow of the University of Melbourne. Bob's research includes cochlear implant and hearing technology, audiology and biomedical research management, he has authored over 120 publications and book chapters, and holds a number of Australian and international technology patents and trademarks.

Bob received his Postgraduate Diploma in Audiology, and Doctor of Philosophy (Audiology) from the University of Melbourne. In addition, he holds an MBA (Technology Management) from LaTrobe University, and Graduate Diplomas in Technology Management and Health Economics. Bob's early training was in Kinesiology (Simon Fraser) and BSc (Hons) in Physiology in Canada.

In 2012, Bob was elected President of the international Society of Audiology, and is the Congress President for the XXXII World Congress of Audiology in 2014. He has served on the ISA Executive Committee for several years, and was Congress President of the XXVI International Congress of Audiology in Melbourne in 2002. Bob is a Fellow and Past President of Audiology Australia, and Chairs its National Conference Committee. He was selected as Australian Professional of the Year 2004 by Professions Australia, and his contributions to audiology have been recognized through Audiology Australia's President's Distinguished Service Award (2003) and the Denis Byrne Memorial Lecture (2006). In 2008, Bob delivered the Libby Harricks Memorial Oration.

Bob heads the HEARing CRC, which brings together the research, educational, clinical and commercial skills of internationally-recognised Australian hearing research groups and leading biomedical companies to develop communication devices to enhance communication benefits for the millions of hearing impaired adults and children in Australia and world-wide. Under his leadership, the HEARing CRC has received Excellence in Innovation Awards in 2002, 2003, 2012 and 2013, as well as a STAR Award in 2012 and was a finalist in the Eureka Prizes in both 2012 and 2013.

Dr Stefan Launer

Phonak AG, Vice President Advanced Concepts and Technologies Phonak AG, Zurich

Stefan Launer

Stefan Launer studied Physics with a focus on Medical Physics in Gottingen and later one in Oldenburg. He finishedhis PhD-thesis on Loudness Perception in Hearing-Impaired Subjects• with the development of a loudness-model which accounts for hearing impairment. Since June 1995 he is in various functions with Phonak's Research and Development, currently responsible for coordinating Phonak's I Sonova's corporate research and technology program including hearing instrument technology, wireless technology as well as implants.

Before that, he was heading the department signal Processing• and in that function in charge of research and development related to audiological and clinical procedures of hearing instrument fitting and evaluation as well as the development offuture digital signal processing algorithms for hearing instruments.


Digital technology offers many possibilities to optimally fit hearing instruments to the individual listening needs of hearing impaired persons. Today's hearing instruments contain many different adaptive control functions which automatically adapt the hearing instruments operational parameter settings according to the requirements of the respective acoustic environment

Identifying the acoustic environment for selecting the optimal signal processing strategy requires an intelligent decision making process about the acoustic environment relying on different physical characteristics of the sound field. The automatic identification of the acoustic environment is a very important pre-requisite for the application of sound cleaning features, i.e. signal processing techniques improving the listener's communication abilities in adverse listening conditions. Such techniques include the adaptive multi-microphone technology which significantly improves the performance of noise reduction systems.

Latest technologies also include means for reducing the very detrimental effect of reverberation on speech intelligibility especially for hearing impaired people. Recent studies clearly show an improvement in subjective and objective speech intelligibility in a variety of difficult listening situations. Recently Frequency Compression has been successfully re-introduced into hearing instruments specifically improving speech intelligibility and speech production in subjects with profound hearing losses. Furthermore wireless links between left/right hearing instruments and also to external devices have been introduced opening up a range of new applications. Finally, hearing instrument technology has significantly made progress regarding the mechanical design, robustness and wearing comfort offering new solutions for age old problems such as occlusion and cosmetic appearance.

Round Tables 1 - Living in a Noisy World

Associate Professor Sharon G. Kujawa, PhD

Director of the Department of Audiology and a Principal Investigator in the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, MA.

Sharon G. Kujawa

Sharon G. Kujawa, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School. She is the Director of the Department of Audiology and a Principal Investigator in the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, MA. She serves on the faculty of the Program in Speech and Hearing Biosciences and Technology at Harvard University. Work in the Kujawa laboratory seeks to clarify how normal inner ear structures and functions are altered by aging and by noise exposure, how vulnerability to these changes is shaped by an individual's genetic background, and how these processes can be manipulated pharmacologically to reveal underlying mechanisms or for treatment or prevention. She is involved in a biomedical – engineering research partnership that seeks to develop drug delivery systems suitable for chronic use in the human inner ear.

Dr Pierre Campo, PhD

Editor associated International Journal of Audiology

Pierre Campo

Pierre Campo has been working on hearing loss prevention since 1985 at the National Institute of Research and Safety (INRS), in Nancy, France. He did doctoral work at the French-German Research Institute of Saint-Louis (ISL) with Dr Dancer, and post-doctoral work at the Hearing Research laboratory in Buffalo with Dr. Henderson. Today, Dr (HDR) Campo is at the head of the laboratory "Ototoxicity and neurology" at INRS. He is also teacher at the Audiologist school of Nancy and co-inventor of the EchoScan Audio, a new equipment to evaluate the auditory fatigue in factories. He is Associate Editor of the international Journal of Audiology and member of the International Neurotoxicology Association. He is expert in noise effects for « ANSES » and recognized as specialist in noise and solvent interactions on hearing. He organized the international congress "Risks associated with mixed exposures" held in 2012 in Nancy.

Mr Warwick Williams, PhD

Senior Research Engineer and Team Leader for Hearing Loss Prevention at NAL

Warwick Williams

Qualifications: BSc (Physics and Pure Mathematics), BE (Electrical Engineering) and MEngSc (Biomedical Engineering) from the University of New South Wales; a Graduate Diploma in Leisure Studies and MA (Research) from the University of Technology, Sydney; and a PhD from the School of Safety Science (Faculty of Science) University of NSW.

Warwick Williams is a Senior Research Engineer and Team Leader for Hearing Loss Prevention at NAL, where he has worked since 1987. His work has been published in national and international journals and he is a regular speaker at conferences focused on noise and acoustics. He consults to various WorkCover and Safe Work authorities within Australia and has ongoing collaboration with colleagues at the University of Auckland and the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation.

Dr Williams works closely with Standards Australia on the production of new and revised Australian Standards and is the Australian representative on several working groups for the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). His recent and current projects involve collaborations with FarmSafe Australia, the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health & Safety and the Better Hearing Health for Farming Families project, Deakin University, the University of Queensland and Macquarie University"

Round Table 2 - Central Auditory Plasticity

Professor Stephen Crain

Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognitions and its Disorders

Stephen Crain

Professor Crain's research interests are in language acquisition and neurolinguistics. He was appointed Macquarie University Distinguished Professor in 2010, and has been the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition
and its Disorders (CCD) since 2011. The ARC Centre of Excellence includes researchers from three Australian universities (Macquarie University, UWA and UNSW), as well as prominent researchers from 14 international institutions.

Crain was awarded an Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship (2004-2009), and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (2006-current). He is the current Chair of the National Committee on Mind and Brain (Australian Academy of Science), and Director of the International Centre for Child Language Health, Beijing, China. He is a Visiting Professor at the Beijing Language and Culture University, China, and at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology, Japan.

Crain's recent grants (2006-current) include an ARC Discovery grant to study the acquisition of logical words in English and Mandarin Chinese, an ARC LIEF grant to build the Southern Hemisphere's first full-head MEG brain imaging system, and an ARC Linkage Industrial Partners grant, with the Kanazawa Institute of Technology and the Yokogawa Electric Corporation, to build the world's first MEG system designed for the study of language processing in children. Most recently, he led a team of researchers from Cochlear Ltd.,The HEARing CRC, Macquarie University, and the Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT), to build the world's first MEG system for children and adults with Cochlear Implants. The three MEG brain imaging systems are located at the KIT/Macquarie University Brain Research Laboratory at the Macquarie University node of the CCD. For the last decade, Professor Crain's research has focused on children's acquisition of logical expressions, with an emphasis on the logical structures of two typologically distant languages, English and Mandarin Chinese.

Professor Kathleen Pichora-Fuller

Department of Psychology, University of Toronto

Kathleen Pichora-Fuller

Kathy Pichora-Fuller is a Full Professor of Psychology at UTM. She is also an Adjunct Scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest, and a Guest Professor in the Linneaus Centre for Hearing and Deafness Research at Linköping University in Sweden. She completed a B.A. in Linguistics at the University of Toronto (1977) and a M.Sc. in Audiology and Speech Sciences at the University of British Columbia (1980). She worked as a clinical audiologist and then the Supervisor of Audiology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and then returned to complete a Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Toronto (1991). Until 2002, she was a faculty member in the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences and Director of the Institute for Hearing Accessibility Research at the University of British Columbia. Her research is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; she is the hearing expert for the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging. She is also a co-investigator on research funded by NIH in the USA and FAS in Sweden. Much of her current research focuses on translating lab-based research to address the needs of older adults who suffer from both hearing and cognitive impairments. She was President of the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists (1984-87), served on the executive boards of the Canadian Acoustical Association (1998-2002, 2011-present), International Collegium of Rehabilitative Audiology (1997-2003), Canadian Academy of Audiology (2002-2004) and she was the Canadian representative to the International Society of Audiology (2004-2010). She serves on the editorial boards of International Journal of Audiology and Ear and Hearing. She has been awarded the International Award of the American Academy of Audiology in 2014.

Professor Kelly Tremblay, PhD

Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences University of Washington

Kelly Tremblay

Dr Tremblay has been an audiologist for over 20 years. Her interest in hearing science began in Denver Colorado, when she worked with users of hearing aids and cochlear implants. Interested in the auditory rehabilitation of people with hearing loss, she returned to school to learn more about the neuroscience underlying rehabilitation.

At Northwestern University, Dr Tremblay obtained a PhD while studying auditory neuroscience and electrophysiology. She then completed a post-doc at the House Ear Institute in the Los Angeles California. She is now a Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her commitment to translational research is evident through her service: for years she co-wrote the Moment of Science series that appears in Audiology Today, she serves on many planning committees as well as editorial boards, including a recent 5 year term for the journal "Ear and Hearing". Her research has funded by the NIH and has been published in journals ranging from the American Academy of Audiology to the Journal of Neuroscience. She is committed to advancing "translational research" as it relates to hearing health care and this is evident by a book series she recently edited with Robert Burkard titled "Translational Perspectives in Auditory Neuroscience ".

Round Table 3 - Audiology Service in the Next 10-20 years - What is changing?

Dr Ian Cooke

CEO, Cooperative Research Centre for Mental Health

Ian Cooke

Dr Ian Cooke is CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre for Mental Health, a 19-party consortium that was established in 2011 under the Australian Government's Cooperative Research Centres Program. The CRC for Mental Health aims to develop biomarker-based clinical tools for use in the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative disease, psychoses and mood disorders.

Dr Cooke's previous roles include appointments as a Professorial Fellow in the Asia Pacific Centre for Science and Wealth Creation at Monash University, CEO of Foursight Associates, a science and technology advisory company based in Melbourne, and CEO of CNSBio, a clinical-stage venture capital-backed company spun out of Monash University to commercialise novel therapies for the treatment of severe pain.

Dr Cooke holds BSc (Hons), PhD and M IP Law degrees from the University of Melbourne and an MBA degree from Monash University.

Professor Louise Hickson

Professor of Audiology and Head of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Queensland

Louise Hickson

Louise Hickson is Professor of Audiology and Head of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Queensland. She is also Co-Director of the Communication Disability Centre at that University. Professor Hickson has published over 180 research articles, books and book chapters with her main focus on the effects of hearing impairment on the lives of older people, how to measure outcomes in that population and the development of strategies and interventions that improve the uptake and outcomes of audiological rehabilitation. Her most recent book is "Evidence-Based Practice in Audiology: Evaluating Interventions for Children and Adults with Hearing Impairment" (Plural Publishing, 2012). Research interests include age-related hearing impairment, the associated effects of that impairment on the communication abilities and quality of life of older adults, the effects of hearing and vision impairment on driving, and the efficacy of different forms of intervention (e.g. hearing aid fitting, communication education) with this population. Professor Hickson is an elected Fellow and past President of the International Collegium of Rehabilitative Audiology and a Fellow and current President of the Audiological Society of Australia and in 2013 received the International award from the American Academy of Audiology. She is also Chair of the Ida Institute Advisory Board in Denmark and an Editor of the International Journal of Audiology.

Dr Joseph Milton

Senior Media Officer, Australian Science Media Centre

Joseph Milton

Joe Milton is an evolutionary biologist who, after studying the evolution of plants for ten years at various Scottish universities, made a move into journalism. Since then he has written for the Financial Times, Nature and New Scientist, among others. Joe joined the London Science Media Centre in 2010, where he was Senior Press Officer for Mental Health, and has recently taken up the position of Senior Media Officer at the Australian Science Media Centre in Adelaide, an independent not for profit organisation that works with the news media to inject more evidence-based science into public discourse. Joe regularly speaks at public forums on science media relations and presents on ABC Radio National's Drive Program

Professor Peter Thorne

Jerome Plumat and Johann LeFloc'h, Section of Audiology, Department of Physiology and Centre for Brain Research, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Peter Thorne

Professor Peter Thorne is at the University of Auckland where he holds a personal chair in Audiology, an adjunct position in the Department of Physiology and is a Deputy Director of the Centre for Brain Research at the University. He completed his PhD at the University of Auckland and post-doctoral studies at the University of Auckland and at the Kresge Hearing Research Institute, University of Michigan. His research is in the area of sensory neurobiology particularly inner ear homeostasis and the influence of noise exposure and aging on hearing, cochlear neural development and new diagnostic techniques, such as MRI, for determining ear disease. He has published widely in international audiology and neuroscience journals and sits on the governing boards of several medical research funding organisations in New Zealand. He led the establishment of the Section of Audiology at the University of Auckland and the Master of Audiology degree programme and contributes substantially to the hearing impaired community, serving as the President of the National Foundation for the Deaf and was one of lead advocates for the establishment of Newborn Hearing Screening through Project HIEDI (Hearing Impairment and Early Detection and Intervention). He was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009 for services to Audiology and Auditory Neuroscience.