Home People Valentina Canessa-Pollard

Valentina Canessa-Pollard

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

22 Psychology Staff Valentina Canessa Pollard 2 (Approved)


(formerly Valentina Cartei)

Current role: Lecturer in Psychology, Head of BSc Counselling Psychology Programme

Research Fellow –  “The Healing Voice”: University of St Etienne/ Lyon, ST ETIENNE, France, 1 Sep 2020 – 6 June 2021 (IDEX Grant)

Research Fellow –  “Sex Stereotypes and the Voice: a Developmental Perspective”: University of Sussex, School of Psychology, 1 May 2017 – 31 Aug 2020 (Leverhulme Grant)

PhD in Psychology granted by the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex, and my BSc (Hons) Computer Science was granted by the University of Pisa.

Non-academic roles:

Trainer, Researcher and Volunteer Services Co-ordinator: Survivors’ Network Rape Crisis Centre, Brighton, 1 Jan 2010 – 30 Apr 2017

Trustee for Rape Crisis England & Wales, 2016-2018


I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Chartered Psychologist with British Psychological Society.

Key Publications

See my ORCID records

Publications related to human vocal communication

Papers published in major international peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary scientific journals

Canessa-Pollard, V., Reby, D., Banerjee, R., Oakhill, J., & Garnham, A. (2022). The development of explicit occupational gender stereotypes in children: Comparing perceived gender ratios and competence beliefs. Journal of Vocational Behavior134, 103703.

Waters, S., Kanber, E., Lavan, N., Belyk, M., Carey, D., Cartei, V., Lally, C., Miquel, M. and McGettigan, C. (2021). Singers show enhanced performance and neural representation of vocal imitation. Philosophical Transactions B.

Cartei, V., Oakhill, J., Garnham, A., Banerjee, R., & Reby, D. (2021). Voice Cues Influence Children’s Assessment of Adults’ Occupational Competence. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior45(2), 281-296.


Cartei, V., Oakhill, J., Garnham, A., Banerjee, R., & Reby, D. (2020). “This is what a mechanic sounds like”: children’s vocal control reveals implicit occupational stereotypes. Psychological Science31(8), 957-967.

Cartei, V., Banerjee, R., Garnham, A., Oakhill, J., Roberts, L. & Reby, D. (2020). Physiological and perceptual correlates of masculinity in children’s voices. Horm. Behav.

Cartei, V., Banerjee, R., Garnham, A., Oakhill, J., Roberts, L. & Reby, D. (2019). Children can control the expression of masculinity and femininity through the voice. R. Soc. Open Sci. [citations: 5]

Cartei, V., Banerjee, R., Hardouin, L. & Reby, D (2019) The role of sex-related voice variation in children Br. J. Dev. Psychol. [citations: 1]

Waters, S., Kanber, E., Lavan, N., Carey, D., Cartei, V., Lally, C., … & McGettigan, C. (2019). Neural representations of enhanced speech motor control in trained singers. J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 146(4), 2790-2790.

Pisanski, K., Cartei, V., McGettigan, C., Raine, J., & Reby, D. (2016). Voice modulation: a window into the origins of human vocal control?. Trends in cognitive sciences20(4), 304-318.

Cartei, V., Bond, R., & Reby, D. (2014). What makes a voice masculine: Physiological and acoustical correlates of women’s ratings of men’s vocal masculinity. Hormones and Behavior66(4), 569-576.

Cartei, V., Cowles, W., Banerjee, R., & Reby, D. (2014). Control of voice gender in pre‐pubertal children. British Journal of Developmental Psychology32(1), 100-106.

Cartei, V., & Reby, D. (2013). Effect of formant frequency spacing on perceived gender in pre-pubertal children’s voices. PLoS One8(12), e81022.

Cartei, V., Cowles, H. W., & Reby, D. (2012). Spontaneous voice gender imitation abilities in adult speakers. PloS one7(2), e31353.

Cartei, V., & Reby, D. (2012). Acting gay: Male actors shift the frequency components of their voices towards female values when playing homosexual characters. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior36, 79-93.


Book Chapters

Cartei, V. & Reby, D. (2019). The evolution of sexual dimorphism in human voice. In F. La (Ed.), Training Female Voices. Compton Publishing.


Publications related to sexual violence recovery and prevention

Love, G., De Michele, G., Giakoumidaki, C., Sánchez, E. H., Lukera, M., & Cartei, V. (2017). Improving access to sexual violence support for marginalised individuals: Findings from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* and the black and minority ethnic communities. Critical and Radical Social Work5(2), 163-179.

Rymer, S., & Cartei, V. (2015). Supporting transgender survivors of sexual violence: learning from users’ experiences. Critical and Radical Social Work3(1), 155-164.



Rymer, S., & Cartei, V. (2019). Working with Trans Survivors of Sexual Violence: A Guide for Professionals. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Cartei, V. & Grosso, F. (2016). Oltre il Silenzio. Franco Angeli Editore.


My research focuses on two different areas:

1. Human non-verbal communication

I am interested in what (and why) we communicate about ourselves through our voice (rather than our words). Previous work included vocal expression and perception of masculinity, femininity and social stereotyping, from cognitive, evolutionary and developmental perspectives.

More recently, I have focused on the role of vocal communication in health, and I am investigating voice-based approaches to improve well-being.

2. Sexual Violence Prevention and Recovery

My research in this area focuses on investigating the psychosocial factors involved in sexual violence, abuse and trauma prevention and recovery, as well as in developing theory-based interventions within an empowerment ethos to improve well-being outcomes for survivors of sexual violence and abuse, no matter how or when it happened.

PhD Supervision

Areas of supervision interest: any of the above, including vocal cues to social stereotyping, voice-based approaches to well-being, non-verbal approaches to empathic communication, sexual violence, sexual trauma, childhood sexual abuse.

Research Output


Anikin, A., Canessa-Pollard, V., Pisanski, K., Massanet, M. and Reby, d. (2023) Beyond speech: Exploring diversity in the human voice. iScience, 26 (11). pp. 1-13. ISSN 2589-0042 10.1016/j.isci.2023.108204

Canessa-Pollard, V., Reby, D., Banerjee, R., Oakhill, J. and Garnham, A. (2022) The development of explicit occupational gender stereotypes in children: Comparing perceived gender ratios and competence beliefs. Journal of Vocational Behavior. ISSN 0001-8791 10.1016/j.jvb.2022.103703

Other department members

43 results found
Alex Rawlinson
Psychology Laboratory Technician
Alison Hounsome
Programme Administrator
Benjamin Sharpe
Dr Benjamin T. Sharpe
Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology, Programme Coordinator for the BSc Criminology and Forensic Psychology, and Academic Board Member

Our address

For visits

I’m looking for