Abby Walker has been appointed an assistant professor in the Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech.

Walker is one of 27 new tenure-track faculty members at the college this fall. The new hires are part of the college’s ongoing efforts to attract renowned scholars to strengthen and expand its teaching, research, and engagement programs. The college has added more than 100 full-time permanent faculty members in the past four years.

Walker’s research is focused on sociophonetics—how speakers vary their pronunciation across time and how listeners adapt their perceptions to understand variable signals as “the same.” She will teach contemporary approaches to linguistics and lead a special study on language and gender.

Walker has been published in a number of professional journals, including Language and Speech, and American Speech. She is the coauthor of an article to appear in the New Zealand English Journal.

Walker received her bachelor's degree and master's degree from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University.