Senior Lecturer


Division: Speech and Hearing Sciences

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Joan Ma (BSc Hons, PhD) is a Senior Lecturer in the Speech and Hearing Sciences Division. She is also a fill member of Clinical Audiology, Speech and Language Research Centre (CASL).

Dr Joan Ma is a qualified speech-language therapist and has practised in different countries including Hong Kong and Singapore. She completed her PhD in 2007 on the topic of interaction between tone and intonation in Cantonese. Before joining QMU as a lecturer in 2010, she completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at Dresden University of Technology working on analysis of speech in individuals associated with Parkinson’s disease.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:


Dr Ma is interested in the production and perception of speech, with a special interest in speech related to motor speech disorders. Her research aims to further our understanding of motor speech disorders and motor control in speech production. She is also interested in exploring the possibility of applying new technology in longitudinal monitoring of changes in motor speech disorders and providing SLT support to this client group.  She is also interested in swallowing research, particularly in how different characteristics of food/drink (such as viscosity) affects the motor planning and physiology of swallowing.

Active Research Interests:

  • Motor speech disorders, prosody, Parkinson’s disease, dysphagia, motor control

Joan's seminars and lectures focus on developmental and acquired dysphagia, acquired speech impairment and voice disorder, motor speech disorder and voice disorder, amongst other topics.

Program Leader:

BSc Speech and Language Therapy