Axel Ekström


My name is Axel G. Ekström. I'm a doctoral student with the Division of Speech, Music & Hearing at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. My research interests are principles and phenomena of speech and vocal communication from psychological, comparative and evolutionary perspectives. From this lens, I research the evolution, development, and maintenance of speech and speech-like behavior. This work borders multiple disciplines, including cognitive science, phonetics, and biology.

Human speech is unique among animal signaling systems, but theories about its phylogenetic origins are often far reaching and subject to extensive theorizing. In biology, an evolutionary developmental (evo-devo) perspective represents a comparative approach to studying emergent behavior in the natural world. I seek to apply this view to phonetics and speech-like behavior. In particular, I'm interested in uncovering the articulatory capacities of nonhuman great apes. In collaboration with Adriano Lameira (Warwick University) and Steven Moran (University of Neuchâtel), I'm currently investigating potential vowel-like production in orangutans, with the hope of shining light on the evolution of these capacities across deep evolutionary time. 

I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology (Uppsala University, 2019) and a Master's degree in Cognitive Science (Lund University, 2021). 




Axel Ekström

PhD student