Associate Professor Joseph Kei

Associate Professor in Audiology

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
+61 7 336 52824


Joseph is the Head of the Hearing Research Unit for Children, leading three research teams investigating (1) middle ear assessments in neonates, infants, (2) hearing screening and assessment of school-age children, and (3) assessment of auditory function of adults and children using electrophysiologic measures including otoacoustic emissions, auditory evoked potentials and wideband acoustic immittance. He is an associate editor of the International Journal of Audiology, and editorial board member of two international journals: International editorial member of the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology and Communication Disorders Quarterly (USA).

Research Interests

  • Assessment of outer and middle ear function in infants
  • Assessing speech understanding in children
  • Hearing in children with cancer

Research Impacts

One of Joseph’s main research areas is “Assessment of outer and middle ear function in young infants (0-6 months)”. Before 2003, there were no tests which could assess the outer and middle ear function of young infants with high accuracy. With the support of GN Otometrics Ltd (Denmark), Joseph was able to try out a new method, called high frequency tympanometry (HFT) which can reliably detect outer and middle ear disorders in newborns and young infants. A research report was published [Kei et a. (2003). J Am Acad Audiol 14: 20-28] which has become a landmark paper with a high citation count of >111). Since then, Joseph had published more papers in the assessment of conductive conditions in young infants in peer reviewed national and international journals. Joseph's research in HFT has been translated into clinical practice to assess conductive conditions in young infants. The impact of Joseph’s research, together with the support from other eminent scientists in the field, has led the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (2007) to adopt the use of HFT for testing young infants. In 2007, Joseph also introduced the use of acoustic stapedial reflex (ASR) with a probe tone of 1 kHz testing to young infants, which proved to be effective in detecting middle ear dysfunction for this population. Two of his research papers published separately in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology (2003), and Ear and Hearing (2009) were awarded the BEST diagnostic paper in audiology. In 2012, Joseph published a new book called “Assessing Middle Ear Function in Infants” in collaboration with scientists/researchers across several countries (Australia, USA, Malaysia, UK, China and Japan). Further development of research in this field has led Joseph to use newer technologies such as the Wideband Acoustic Immittance (WAI) and Sweep Frequency Impedance, to detect otitis media in young infants. Presently, Joseph's team of researchers is investigating the use of WAI to detect outer and middle ear diseases such as Eustachian tube dysfunction, otitis media with effusion and cholesteatoma. With further research in this area, Joseph will see the translation of the WAI technology into daily clinical practice. Joseph anticipates that the WAI will be adopted as a routine clinical test to detect outer and middle ear dysfunction in future. When this happens, the current standard of assessing middle ear function using 226-Hz tympanometry will be replaced by the WAI techynology.


  • PhD, The University of Queensland
  • Graduate Diploma in Audiology, University of Melbourne
  • Graduate Diploma on Special Education, University of Melbourne
  • Certificate in Education, The University of Hong Kong
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), The University of Hong Kong


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Available Projects

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Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.