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Emma Hayiou-Thomas
Senior Lecturer



  • University of Oxford, BA in Psychology & Physiology
  • University of Oxford, D.Phil. in Experimental Psychology 


  • Institute of Psychiatry, SGDP Centre: Post-doctoral research fellow (2003-2005)
  • University of York, Lecturer in Psychology (2005-)

Departmental roles

  • Co-director, MSc in Development, Disorders & Clinical Practice
  • Admissions tutor, MSc in Development, Disorders & Clinical Practice
  • Deputy Chair, Board of Studies
  • Chair, Departmental Undergraduate Teaching Committee



My main research interests are in typical and atypical language development in children. I use both experimental and behavioural genetic designs to examine the factors underlying language disorders such as Specific Language Impairment and dyslexia, as well as the cognitive mechanisms involved in typical and atypical language learning.

Research group(s)

Developmental Research Group


  • Waterloo Foundation (2013-14): “The co-occurrence of language, literacy and psychosocial difficulties in adolescence: genetic and environmental contributions.” (Principal Investigator).

  • Wellcome Trust (2007-14): “Developmental relationships between dyslexia and specific language impairment”. (Co-Investigator & Local PI, 2012-14. Principal Investigator: M.J. Snowling, Co-Investigator: C. Hulme).

  • Medical Research Council (2010-2015): “Origins of learning difficulties and behaviour problems: from behavioural genetics to behavioural genomics”. (Collaborator. Principal Investigator: Robert Plomin).


  • Maggie Snowling
  • Dorothy Bishop
  • Philip Dale
  • Robert Plomin
  • Jelena Mirkovic 


Selected publications

  • Hayiou-Thomas, M.E., Dale, P.S. & Plomin, R. (2014). Language Impairment from 4 to 12 years: Prediction and Etiology. Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research, 57, 850-864.
  • Hayiou-Thomas, M.E., Dale, P.S. & Plomin, R. (2012). The etiology of variation in language skills changes with development: A longitudinal twin study of language from 2 to 12 years. Developmental Science, 15, 1-17.
  • Hayiou-Thomas, M.E., Harlaar, N., Dale, P.S. & Plomin, R. (2010). Preschool speech, language skills, and reading at 7, 9 and 10 years: aetiology of the relationship. Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research, 53, 311-332.
  • Bishop, D.V.M. & Hayiou-Thomas, M.E. (2008). Heritability of specific language impairment depends on diagnostic criteria. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 7, 365-372.

Full publications list

A full list of publications can be found on Emma Hayiou-Thomas's Google Scholar profile.



  • Undergraduate & MSc project supervision


MSc in Development, Disorders & Clinical Practice:

  • ‘Advanced Issues in Developmental Disorders’
  • ‘Current Questions in Developmental Research’

Current PhD students:

  • Faye Smith
  • Hannah Witherstone
  • Marta Wesierska

External activities


  • British Psychological Society – Associate Fellow
  • The Higher Education Academy, UK – Fellow
  • Behavior Genetics Association - Member
  • Experimental Psychology Society - Member
  • Society for Research in Child Development – Member

Contact details

Dr Emma Hayiou-Thomas
Senior Lecturer
Department of Psychology
Room PS/C102

Tel: 01904 324360