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Derni�re mise � jour : 02/04/2021     

Katarzyna PISANSKI


 +33 07 68 42 10 23


Equipes : DENDY  DiLiS 

  Formation et parcours professionnel
  Principales publications et conférences



My research focuses on understanding the origins, development, mechanisms and functions of acoustic communication in mammals, including our own species. What do our voices say about us, from our physical appearance to our emotional state? Are human nonverbal vocalisations such as cries, moans and screams, homologues to those of other animals with whom we share ancestral links? How did we humans evolve the capacity to so easily modulate our voices, ultimately allowing us to speak? What is the role of sensory experience in nonverbal vocal production and perception, and how does culture shape our vocal behaviour? In what ways do our voices influence real-life outcomes, from mating success to our success in the job market?

To answer these diverse yet inter-related questions, my research integrates tools across equally diverse disciplines including biology (anatomical and neural mechanisms of vocal production and perception, phylogenetic modelling), ethology (animal behaviour, bioacoustics), psychology (speech development, pathologies, linguistics, voice perception), acoustics (acoustic analysis and re-synthesis, psychoacoustics), and anthropology (cross-cultural studies). Despite focusing on humans, my research is fundamentally comparative at its theoretical and methodological core, because comparisons across species and human cultures bring us closer to answering one of the hardest questions in science : what makes us human?




Research Career

  • 2021 - present: CNRS Researcher (Permanent researcher)
    DDL Lab, University of Lyon 2, France (UMR 5596)
  • 2018 - 2021: IdexLYON Postdoctoral Researcher
    ENES Lab: Equipe Neuro-Ethologie Sensorielle (UMR 5292), Jean Monnet University, St-Etienne, France
  • 2016 - 2018: Marie-Curie Postdoctoral Researcher (Marie-Skłodowska Curie Individual Fellowship & SSHRC Fellowship)
    School of Psychology, University of Sussex, UK
  • 2015 - 2016: Adjunct Faculty
    Institute of Psychology, University of Wrocław, Poland
  • 2014: Lecturer / Visiting Researcher
    UCLA Dept. of Communications & Center for Behavior Evolution and Culture, University of California Los Angeles, USA
  • 2014 & 2015: Visiting Researcher, University of Havana & Cuban Neurosciences Center, Cuba


University Degrees

  • 2014 Doctorate (PhD) in Experimental Psychology, Dept of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University, Canada. Thesis: Human vocal communication of body size
  • 2010 Masters in Science (M.Sc), Experimental Psychology, Dept of Psychology
    University of Lethbridge, Canada. Thesis: The effects of voice pitch and resonances on assessments of speaker size, masculinity, and attractiveness
  • 2008 Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Dept of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour
    McMaster University, Canada. Thesis: The effects of mate choice copying on interspecific mating in Drosophila



  • Over 65 published peer-reviewed research articles and chapters (half first or last authored) published in top-tier general science, psychology, acoustics and biology journals including Nature (Top 0.01% of all research outputs, Altmeric score >2200), Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Nature Communications, Cognition, Journal of Experimental Psychology, Biology Letters, Animal Behaviour, Psychological Science and Hormones & Behavior
  • Over 2000 citations (h-index 21)
  • Over half million EUR ($800,000) in independent research funding from external grants and fellowships within 5 years of PhD, including from major funders European Commission (UK), SSHRC (Canada), NCN and MNiSW (Poland), plus numerous internal grants
  • Research regularly featured in media: The Scientist, Time, Science, New York Times, The New Yorker, and Psychology Today magazines, plus various TV and radio outlets (e.g., BBC, CBC)
  • Over 30 awards including Professor Jan Strzałko Award for a Distinguished Young Scientist (2019), Sussex Spotlight profile (2017), Emerging Researcher Award (2017), WomenSphere Emerging Leader (2014), Canadian Psychological Association Certificate of Academic Excellence (2011)
  • Supervised/Co-supervised over 15 graduate students (4 PhD), and trained over 30 research assistants
  • Designed and/or taught several upper levels courses (UCLA, University of Sussex, McMaster University)
  • Regular organisation of public outreach events, such as Fête de Science and ENES Winter Symposium (St Etienne, 2018/19), Psyched with US! (Brighton, 2018), Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition (London, 2017)
  • Active member of academic community: e.g., President of Women in Science & Engineering group and Let’s Talk Science; Chair of numerous committees and speaker’s series; Organiser of 13 international and national conferences; Guest Editor; regular ad-hoc reviewer for over 30 journals; 15 invited research talks


Articles de revues

Pisanski, K. & Reby, D., 2021, "Efficacy in deceptive vocal exaggeration of human body size", Nature Communications, 12, pp. 968 (doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21008-7 , Nature Ecology & Evolution: Behind the Paper)


Kleisner, K., Leongómez, J., Pisanski, K., Fiala, V., Cornec, C., Groyecka-Bernard, A., Butovskaya, M., Reby, D., Sorokowski, P. & Mbe Akoko, R., 2021, "Hear me Roar: Communicating strength through aggressive vocalisations in African bushland and urban communities", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 0


Pisanski, K. & Sorkowski, P., 2020, "Human stress detection: Cortisol levels in stressed speakers predict voice-based judgments of stress", Perception, 50:1


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