Principal Investigator

Erika Skoe, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Picture of Dr. Erika Skoe, seated, with sensors placed on her forehead, right ear, and top of head. She is holding the lab mascot, Annabel, a stuffed plushy groundhog.


The Auditory Brain Research (ABR) Lab was founded in 2013 by Erika Skoe, PhD. Erika completed her doctoral and postdoctoral training at Northwestern University under the direction of Nina Kraus, PhD. Prior to this, she attended the University of Wisconsin where she received dual Bachelor degrees in Linguistics and German Literature and a Master’s degree in Linguistics.

Since moving to Connecticut, Erika has been active in animal rescue efforts in the Hartford area and has developed expertise in trapping and socializing feral cats.

Here, she is pictured with Annabelle the mascot, christening the new lab space with the first Auditory Brainstem Response recording taken in the lab!



2 Alethia Drive, Unit 1085

Storrs, CT 06269

Senior Lab Members

Lab Member

Rachel Corsetti

Rachel Corsetti is an Audiology Doctoral student working as a Graduate Assistant in the lab and studying blood-based biomarkers of hearing loss and its associated conditions. Before joining the team at UConn, she worked as a Research Technician within the Antimicrobial Discovery Center at Northeastern University, developing high-throughput droplet microfluidics screening platforms to discover novel natural products. Rachel graduated from Emmanuel College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology: Health Science and Chemistry.

Lab Member

Janet Desmarais

Janet Desmarais is the current Lab Manager for the ABR Lab and studies the effects of bilingualism and musicianship on the auditory system. Janet formerly taught physics and Spanish in the US and English in Peru. She also previously worked as a program coordinator and office manager in a Hartford-based non-profit and in higher education settings including Wesleyan University and the Yale School of Medicine. Janet is a recent master’s graduate in speech language pathology at UConn and holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Rochester. Her personal and clinical interests include singing, cultural and linguistic diversity, speech science, and gender-affirming voice and communication.

Lab member

Emma Forbes

Emma Forbes is currently working as a Graduate Assistant in the lab. Her role in the lab is primarily focused on understanding the medial olivocochlear reflex (MOCR) and its measurement as it relates to aging musicians. Emma graduated from Luther College in northeastern Iowa in December of 2022 with a neuroscience degree and is now pursuing her Doctorate of Audiology at UConn.

Lab Member

Annalise Kieley

Annalise Kieley works in the ABR Lab supporting projects that examine the effects of aging and musicianship on cognitive and auditory functioning. She is a graduate student at Emerson College’s Speech@Emerson online program, working towards her master’s degree in Communication Disorders with plans to practice as a licensed speech-language pathologist.

Lab Member

Ashley Lombardi

Ashley Lombardi is a research assistant in the Auditory Brain Research Lab and Language and the Brain Lab and is interested in better understanding the brain in monolingual and bilingual speakers. Her research interests include individual differences in speech perception and native and non-native language acquisition. Ashley graduated from UConn in the fall of 2020 with a BA in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences & Spanish. After working for a year in Zaragoza, Spain, she has returned to UConn to pursue her research interests while completing a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, with a bilingual emphasis.

Lab Member

Lauren Rosado

Lauren Rosado is a research assistant in the Auditory Brain Research Lab, where her main focus is on studying the effect of bilingualism on the auditory system. Lauren graduated from UConn in the spring of 2021 with a BA in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. After working for the University of South Florida’s Hearing and Balance Center as well as the Auditory Rehabilitation and Clinical Trials Lab, she returned to UConn to pursue her Doctorate of Audiology in the fall of 2024. Through her time in the ABR lab, Lauren hopes to expand on her knowledge and passions in the field of audiology through research endeavors.

Lab Member

Luan Tonelli, Ph.D.

Dr. Luan Tonelli is a neuroscientist interested in developing cutting-edge research and screening processes to improve brain health outcomes using several different tools (EEG, FFRs, MRI) that combine translational medicine and exercise science.

As a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the ABR LAB in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at UConn, Dr. Tonelli investigates the neural representation of bilingualism in the auditory system and the interplay between bilingualism and auditory system aging.

Previously, as a post-doctoral associate in the Department of Psychological Sciences, Dr. Tonelli used neuromodulation techniques – a brain-computer interface through EEG – to shape and change brain states. This technique uses auditory brain stimulation to modulate the brain’s activation frequency.

Dr. Tonelli completed a degree in Exercise Science in his native country of Brazil and a masters’ degree in Exercise Physiology in Portugal, after which he received his Ph.D. training in Neurobiology and Behavior from the Philipps University of Marburg in Germany. His dissertation examined how auditory stimuli can alter motor function in a preclinical animal model of Parkinson’s disease.

Undergraduate Students

Lab Affiliates and Collaborators

Carlos Benítez-Barrera, PhD
Ofer Harel, PhD
Erik Jorgensen, AuD, PhD
George A. Kuchel, MD
Karl D. Lerud, PhD
Jennifer Mozeiko, PhD
Emily Myers, Ph.D.
Letitia Naigles, PhD
Kourosh Parham, MD, PhD
Nairán Ramírez-Esparza, PhD
Emily Spitzer, AuD
Jennifer Tufts, PhD