Janet Werker

Janet Werker

Janet F. Werker, FRSC, received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from UBC in 1982, assumed her first academic appointment immediately thereafter at Dalhousie University, and returned to UBC in 1986, where she is a University Killam Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Department of Psychology. In a rich and innovative program of inquiry stretching over 35 years, her research has shown that the foundations of language acquisition begin in early infancy – long before the first word is spoken or even understood – and that the acquisition of two or more languages simultaneously from birth is as natural as the acquisition of a single language. The impact of this work has been recognized with numerous awards over the years. Recent highlights include being elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014, being awarded the SSHRC Gold Medal Impact Award in 2015, being appointed a University Killam Professor at UBC in 2016, and being honored as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2017. In 2018, she was awarded the Canada Council Killam Prize for Research in the Social Sciences, in recognition of her lifetime of research and scholarship, and this year, 2019, she was awarded the William James Award for lifetime research contributions from the American Psychological Society.