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Dr. Jessica de Villiers

Associate Professor

English Language & Literatures

Faculty of Arts

Research Themes: 

The Communicating Mind and Body

Jessica de Villiers’ research focuses on communication in autism spectrum disorder and the relationship of language development to neurocognition, including studying neurocognitive factors that drive conversation skills, developing methods for clinical discourse analysis, and analyzing pragmatics from a broad, interdisciplinary perspective. She has collaborated with several research networks studying autism and linguistics, both nationally and abroad, including, currently the international research project “Context in Autism Spectrum Disorders”, funded by the FRS-FNRS National Fund for Scientific Research (Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique) in Brussels, Belgium. Currently, Dr. de Villiers is working on a study to understand the relationship between a person’s information processing style and their conversation skills. Other work is focused on monitoring and social cognition in autism spectrum disorder.

Dr. de Villiers has received funding from SSHRC, CIHR, and UBC’s Hampton Research endowment Fund. In 2009 she was a Peter Wall Early Career Scholar, and in 2011 she received the Killam Faculty Research Fellowship.

Research Interests

Linguistic discourse analysis; clinical linguistics; pragmatics; autism spectrum disorder; social cognition