Dr Anna Miles

PhD - Canterbury University / BSc hons - University College London

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Senior Lecturer


Anna Miles PhD is a full-time faculty member in Speech Science, Psychology at The University of Auckland. Dr Miles is a researcher, lecturer and clinician in the area of swallowing and swallowing disorders. She is the New Zealand Speech-language Therapists’ Association Clinical Expert in Adult Dysphagia. Anna is Principle Investigator of the Swallowing Research Laboratory in the Centre of Brain Research at The University of Auckland.

The Swallowing Research Laboratory at The University of Auckland, led by Dr Miles, strives to improve the lives of people with swallowing difficulties through improved assessment, treatment and medical education. The laboratory hopes to reduce the risks of pneumonia and death associated with swallowing difficulties as well as improve the quality of life of suffers. 

In addition to research supervision, Anna provides clinical teaching to students at The University of Auckland and provides a considerable amount of international and national teaching each year. Anna is a specialist speech-language therapist in dysphagia and provides national teaching in speciality areas of endoscopic evaluation of swallowing, videofluroscopic study of swallowing, surface EMG in dysphagia management and tracheostomy management.


Research | Current

Research is being completed investigating the predictive value of objective swallowing measures and airway responsiveness on aspiration and aspiration pneumonia in both adults and children. Work is underway with international collaborators to combine databases to further our understanding of the effect of age on swallowing function. In collaboration with Nutrition and Dietetics and Engineering, the Lab has an interest in the impact of age on swallowing and nutrition. Work is in progress looking at the effect of Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) on swallowing and cough function.

In addition to our studies with people with swallowing difficulties within district health boards, we also have an education focus. We are investigating the efficacy of innovative teaching approaches including simulation and virtual patients on allied health education both at under-graduate and post-graduate level. 

The University of Auckland Swallowing Research Laboratory's most salient achievement is the completion of a comprehensive normative database of video fluoroscopic swallowing studies and the accumulating dysphagia database of video fluoroscopic swallowing studies. This includes 4000+ New Zealanders aged 20-98 years old. The normative database is the first New Zealand normative swallowing database and will provide objective norms for all observational and experimental studies in the future. 



Teaching | Current

Academic Courses

Swallowing Disorders

  • SPCHSCI721 Dysphagia
  • SPCHSCI701 Dysphagia - distance learning​

Voice and Fluency 

  • SPCHSCI746 Voice and Fluency

Anatomy & Physiology

  • Introduction to Speech Science
  • Anatomy and physiology of swallowing

Research Methodology and Research Skills

  • Special Topics Papers (SPCHSCI751, 753, 754) - research skills
  • Research Project: SPCHSCI752
  • Research Project: SPCHSCI790A/B
  • Psychology Honours - Research Project

Clinical Teaching

Speech-language Therapy Clinical Practice (SPCHSCI 714, 724,734,744)

Postgraduate supervision

Research Supervision

Masters of Speech-language Therapy Practice

Expert clinical supervision to workforce

Academic mentoring


2019      AMRF Excellence in Research Award - Waitemata District Health Board

2019      Excellence in Patient Experience Award - Waitemata District Health Board

2019      CEO Publication Prize – Waitemata District Health Board

2019      Commendation from Dean for teaching 

2018      CEO Publication Prize – Waitemata District Health Board

2018      Most Innovative Research Award - New Zealand Disability Support Network Conference

2018      Nominated for the Inaugural CBR Emerging Researcher Collaborator Prize

2016      Commendation from Dean for teaching 

2015      Excellence in Research and Innovation Award - Waitemata District Health Board 

2014      Research Excellence Award - New Zealand Speech-language Therapists’ Association 

2013      Jean Seabrook Prize, Communication Disorders, University of Canterbury – for outstanding PhD thesis    concerned with neurological aspects of communication or swallowing disorders in the New Zealand population


Dr Miles is Editor in Chief of Speech Language and Hearing Journal and Editor for the International Journal of Speech Language Pathology.

Dr Miles provides specialist teaching in digital analysis of videofluoroscopic study of swallowing, cough reflex testing, fibreoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing and tracheostomy management.

Areas of expertise

  • Swallowing Disorders- assessment and treatment
  • Videofluoroscopic Study of Swallowing
  • Cough Reflex Testing and swallowing assessment
  • Tracheostomy Management
  • Fibreoptic Endoscopic Study of Swallowing

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Vice President New Zealand Speech-language Therapists' Association

Professional Standards Portfolio for New Zealand Speech-language Therapists' Association Executive Board

Expert Advisor for New Zealand Speech-language Therapists' Association - Adult Dysphagia

New Zealand Speech-language Therapists' Association since 2000

Board Member (2017-2021) and Chair COVID-19 Taskforce (2020-2021) Dysphagia Research Society Member (since 2015, ongoing)

Treasurer Laryngology Society of Australasia Member (since 2015, ongoing)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Jackson, B. N., Brady, A., Friary, P., Braakhuis, A., Sekula, J., & Miles, A. (2020). Educator-student talk during interprofessional simulation-based teaching. BMJ SIMULATION & TECHNOLOGY ENHANCED LEARNING, 6 (4), 206-213. 10.1136/bmjstel-2019-000455
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrea Braakhuis, Bianca Jackson
  • Allen, J., Greene, M., Sabido, I., Stretton, M., & Miles, A. (2020). Economic costs of dysphagia among hospitalized patients. The Laryngoscope, 130 (4), 974-979. 10.1002/lary.28194
  • Allen, J. E., & Miles, A. (2020). Parkinson’s disease. In P. A. Weissbrod, D. O. Francis (Eds.) Neurologic and neurodegenerative diseases of the larynx (pp. 143-159). Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature. Related URL.
  • Vaughan, A., Gardner, D., Miles, A., Copley, A., Wenke, R., & Coulson, S. (2020). A systematic review of physical rehabilitation of central facial palsy. Frontiers in Neurology, 1110.3389/fneur.2020.00222
  • Dharmarathna, I., Miles, A., & Allen, J. (2020). Twenty years of quantitative instrumental measures of swallowing in children: a systematic review. European journal of pediatrics, 179 (2), 203-223. 10.1007/s00431-019-03546-x
  • Hearne, A., Miles, A., Douglas, J., Carr, B., Nicholls, J. R., Bullock, M. S., & Southwood, H. (2020). Exploring teachers’ attitudes: knowledge and classroom strategies for children who stutter in New Zealand. Speech, language and hearing (London, England), online first.10.1080/2050571X.2020.1750756
  • Henderson, M., & Miles, A. (2020). Pediatric pharyngoesophageal trauma leading to phagophobia. Laryngology: A case-based approach. San Diego, CA, USA: Plural Publishing. Related URL.
  • Miles, A., & Allen, J. (2020). Vagal injury following ruptured carotid pseudoaneurysm. Laryngology: A case-based approach. San Diego, CA, USA: Plural Publishing. Related URL.

Contact details

Alternative contact

Research Gate: 


Centre of Brain Research




Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 507 - Bldg 507
Level 2, Room 2066
New Zealand

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