New Faculty Story: Dr. Ian Mertes
Dr. Ian Mertes is a new addition to the Department of Speech and Hearing Science. He was born in Kansas but raised in Sterling, Illinois. Dr. Mertes earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Northern Illinois University in 2004, and was a postdoctoral fellow the University of Iowa in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders.
Dr. Mertes’ research investigates the function of the normal and impaired hearing systems. He’s interested in understanding why individuals with normal hearing are able to carry on conversations in noisy environments like restaurants, while individuals with hearing loss struggle in these situations even when using amplification. He uses a combination of objective measurements of the inner ear and brainstem along with measures of speech perception. Some of his research goals are to develop more sensitive tests of hearing ability and to contribute to improved interventions such as signal processing strategies in hearing aids.
The Department of Speech and Hearing Science, its top-notch faculty, and its variety of research is what welcomed Dr. Mertes to the University of Illinois. In his free time, Dr. Mertes enjoys playing bass guitar and spending time with his wife and 2-year-old son.