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Dr Erica Gold

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Dr Erica Gold

BA (UC San Diego) MSc PhD (York) FHEA

Senior Lecturer in Forensic Speech Science


Erica began working at the University of Huddersfield in 2014, and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Speech Science. Erica completed a BA in Linguistics at the University of California San Diego. She then came to the UK to pursue her interests in Forensic Speech Science, and completed an MSc and PhD at the University of York in Forensic Speech Science. Her PhD was supported by a Marie Curie Early Stage Research Fellowship with the Bayesian Biometrics for Forensics Training Network (under the FP7 Framework). Erica’s PhD was supervised by Professor Peter French, one of the world’s leading experts in Forensic Phonetics, and looked at the calculation of likelihood ratios in forensic speaker comparisons using phonetic and linguistic parameters.

Erica has published and presented internationally, she has been invited to speak to government bodies about her work (Brazil, Netherlands, and the UK), and her research has also been cited in court cases in the USA, UK, and Australia.

Research and Scholarship

Erica is predominantly interested in forensic speech science and forensic phonetics, but is also interested more widely in phonetics, phonology, sociolinguistics, and sociophonetics. Within forensic speech science, she is especially interested in forensic speaker comparison. Her research considers methodologies for analysing and presenting evidence, as well as identifying parameters and groups of parameters that are good speaker discriminants.



Gold, E. and McIntyre, D. (under revision) ‘What the /f?k/? An acoustic pragmatic-analysis of meaning in The Wire’. In: S. Chapman and B. Clark, ed., Pragmatics and Literature. John Benjamins. 

In Preparation

Gold, E. and French, P. (in prep) International practices in forensic speaker comparisons: the second edition.


Land, E. and Gold, E. (2017) Speaker identification using laughter in a close social network. International Journal of Speech Language and the Law, 24 (2).

Gold, E. and McIntyre, D. (2017) ‘What the fuck? Making sense of expletives in The Wire’ Babel: The Language Magazine , 19, pp. 28-31. ISSN 2051-7297


Gold, E., Earnshaw, K. and Ross, S. (2016) ‘An introduction to the West Yorkshire Regional English Database’ Transactions of the Yorkshire Dialect Society . ISSN 0954-6316


Gold, E. and Hughes, V. (2015) ‘Front-end approaches to the issue of correlations in forensic speaker comparison’. In: Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. : University of Glasgow. . ISBN 978-0-85261-941-4 


Gold, E. and Hughes, V. (2014) ‘Issues and opportunities: The application of the numerical likelihood ratio framework to forensic speaker comparison’ Science and Justice , 54 (4), pp. 292-299. ISSN 1355-0306 


Aitken, C. and Gold, E. (2013) ‘Evidence evaluation for discrete data’. In: Proceedings of the 59th World Statistics Congress of the International Statistical Institute, 2013. : International Statistical Institute. . ISBN 978-90-73592-34-6 

Hughes, V., Brereton, A. and Gold, E. (2013) ‘Reference Sample Size and the Computation of Numerical Likelihood Ratios Using Articulation Rate’ York Papers in Linguistics (13). ISSN 1758-0315 

Gold, E., French, P. and Harrison, P. (2013) ‘Clicking behavior as a possible speaker discriminant in English’ Journal of the International Phonetic Association , 43 (3), pp. 339-349. ISSN 0025-1003 

Gold, E., French, P. and Harrison, P. (2013) ‘Examining long-term formant distributions as a discriminant in forensic speaker comparisons under a likelihood ratio framework’ Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics (POMA) , 19 (1), pp. 060041-060041. ISSN 1939-800X 

Aitken, C. and Gold, E. (2013) ‘Evidence evaluation for discrete data’ Forensic Science International , 230 (1-3), pp. 147-155. ISSN 0379-0738 


Gold, E. and French, P. (2011) ‘An international investigation of forensic speaker comparison practices’. In: 17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, 17th-21st August 2011, Hong Kong , pp. 751-754

Gold, E. and French, P. (2011) ‘International Practices in Forensic Speaker Comparison’ International Journal of Speech Language and the Law , 18 (2). ISSN 1748-8885



  • University Research Fund (University of Huddersfield). Award: £6,682. Sabbatical Support Grant. 2018-2019.
  • University Research Fund (University of Huddersfield). Award: ~£10,000. Conference Underwriting Support Fund. 2017-2018.
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) – Future Research Leaders. Award: £360,596 (fEC). ‘WYRED: West Yorkshire Regional English Database’. Principal Investigator. 2016-2019.
  • School of Music, Humanities and Media (University of Huddersfield) – Early Career Grant. Award: £3,717.00. Increasing the breadth and depth of impact in linguistics: Best practices in forensic speech evidence. Principal Investigator. 2015-2016.
  • Santander Mobility Grant. Award £500.00. Visit to Max Planck Institute and Radbound University, Nijmegen, Netherlands. 2016.
  • University Research Fund (University of Huddersfield). Award: £54,000. Establishing a Speech Science Lab. Co-Investigator with Lesley Jeffries as Principal Investigator. 2014-2016.
  • International Association for Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics (IAFPA). Award: £1,400. ‘Identifying correlations between speech parameters for forensic speaker comparisons’. Principal investigator, with Vincent Hughes. 2013-2014.
  • British Academy/Leverhulme Trust. Award: £9,848. ‘Modelling features for forensic speaker comparison’. Investigator, with Paul Foulkes (Principal Investigator), Peter French, Vincent Hughes, Philip Harrison, Louisa Stevens, Colin Aitken, and Tereza Neocleous. 2013-2015.
  • Marie Curie Early Stage Research Fellow, European Commission FP7 Framework. Fully funded PhD and fellowship stipend. ‘Calculating likelihood ratios using phonetic and linguistic parameters’. 2010-2014.

Invited Lectures/Talks:

Invited panel talk and discussant in: Combining the results of different feature analyses in forensic speaker comparison. Special Session at IAFPA 2016. York, UK. 25 July 2016.

Gold, E. (2015) What can Bayes do for you? Using phonetic and linguistic evidence in the courtroom. The Forensic Linguistics Research Group and Lancaster University Phonetics Lab, Lancaster University. 4 November 2015.

Invited panel talk and discussant in: Campbell, J. P., Bonastre, J.-F., Eriksson, A, Nakasone H., & Schwartz, R. (Organisers). Speaker comparison for forensic and investigative applications. Special Event at Interspeech 2015, Dresden, Germany. 7 September 2015.

Hughes, V. and Gold, E. (2014) Issues and opportunities: the application of the numerical likelihood ratio framework to forensic speaker comparison. UK Government Biometrics Working Group Meeting 65, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, UK. 20 June 2014.

Gold, E. (2013) Empirical testing of the numerical likelihood ratio on phonetic and linguistic parameters: a closer look at long-term formant distributions. Forensic Speech Science Group, Netherlands Forensic Institute, The Hague, Netherlands. 27 June 2013.

Gold, E. (2012) Likelihood ratios for forensic speech science in the UK: the state of play in 2012. IC Media, Brasilia, Brazil. 18-21 September 2012.

Gold, E. (2011) Forensic speaker comparison evidence: the international picture. International Association of Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics Conference, Vienna, Austria. 24-28 July 2011.

Visiting Lecturer:

  • May 2014: Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo in Madrid, Spain, Masters Program in Phonetics and Phonology - (Comparación forense del habla, Forensic speaker comparison)

Visiting Scholar:

  • April-May 2012: University of Canterbury (New Zealand Institute for Language, Brain and Behaviour)
  • June 2013: Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI)


  • Member of the International Association for Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics (Research Committee Member)
  • Member of the British Association of Academic Phoneticians
  • Member of the Acoustical Society of America
  • Member of the British Association of Applied Linguistics
  • Member of the Secure Societies Institute (University of Huddersfield; Steering Committee)

Research degree supervision

Current Research Students:

  • Kate Earnshaw – PhD
  • Sula Ross – PhD
  • Katie Coxall (Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship)– MA by Research 
  • Safiyyah Fadia (Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship) – MA by Research

Erica is also interested in supervising PhD research in:

  • forensic speech science
  • sociophonetics
  • acoustic phonetics

Administrative responsibilities

Undergraduate Admissions Tutor

Teaching and Professional Activities

Erica convenes the following module:

  • Forensic Phonetics and Forensic Linguistics

Erica also teaches on the following module:

  • Dissertation in English Language and Linguistics