Dr. Karen is a linguist and an educator with a strong track record in tertiary teaching and scholarly research.

Academic Research

Building Blocks of Meaning
The Building Blocks of Meaning project (BBoM) investigates how complex meanings are built up from more basic building blocks, and to what extent basic meanings differ between different languages, cultures, and geographical zones. It is based on the theory and methodology of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) approach. The project is headquartered at Griffith University and led by Professor Cliff Goddard. Dr. Karen is a Senior Researcher and Project Manager.
Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research
The Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research (GCSCR) is dedicated to increasing our understanding of current challenges facing the modern world. Through the application of innovative humanities and social science research, incorporating the knowledge of academics from a broad range of interrelated disciplines, the centre is at the cutting edge of humanities and social science discourse. Dr. Karen is a Research Fellow with the GCSCR. In this capacity she has conducted research into  discrimination and prejudice in language, feminism, and women’s health.
Script Encoding Initiative
The Script Encoding Initiative (SEI) is a project in the UC Berkeley Department of Linguistics devoted to the preparation of formal proposals for the encoding of scripts and script elements not yet currently supported in Unicode. Dr. Karen is an alumnus of the project. As a Postdoctoral Researcher for the SEI, she conducted research into ancient and modern writing systems.

Independent Research

Dr. Karen has an interest in the intersection of language and psychology and pens a column for Psychology Today. She writes about the intersection of language, communication, and mental health.
History and Folklore
Dr. Karen is a host of the Monster Talk podcast, alongside fellow host and producer Blake Smith. In this position she researches the history, folklore, and the real science behind claims of legendary creatures, cryptids, monsters, and animals from the Loch Ness Monster to Bigfoot and beyond.
She is also a long-time researcher and investigator of alleged paranormal and anomalous claims, from a scientific perspective. She has explored an exhaustive array of mysterious phenomena, including demons and exorcisms, miraculous religious claims, ghosts and hauntings, UFOs and aliens, psychics and mediums, and many other extraordinary beliefs and practices.