Emeritus Professor Brian Byrne

Emeritus Professor, School of Cognitive, Behavioural & Social Sciences - Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education; School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Brian Byrne

Phone: +61 2 6773 2370

Email: bbyrne@une.edu.au


B.A. University of Sydney, Ph.D. McMaster University

Research Interests

Research interests are in psycholinguistics, with an emphasis on reading acquisition, reading difficulties and language development. In studying reading, our research group has gathered data in the form of laboratory analogues to the acquisition process, in small-scale experiments with preschool and kindergarten children, in larger-scale studies of children in primary grades, and in studies of children at risk for developmental dyslexia. We successfully developed and conducted trials of teaching material for preschool children to prepare them for school-based reading instruction.  Current studies being conducted are on the genetics of reading ability using twin methodology, in cooperation with staff at the University of Colorado and University of Linköping.  The group has also begun investigation of genetic and environmental influences on second language acquisition.


Byrne, B., Samuelsson, S., & Olson, R. K. (2013). The longitudinal perspective on developmental disorders. In C. R. Marshall (Ed.), Current issues in developmental disorders (pp. 73-92). Sussex, UK: Psychology Press.ISBN13: 978-1-84872-084-8

Byrne, B., Wadsworth, S., Boehme, K., Talk, A., Coventry, W. L., Olson, R. K., Corley, R., & Samuelsson, S. (2013). Multivariate genetic analysis of learning and early reading development.Scientific Studies of Reading, 17, 224-242.

Coventry, W.L., Antón-Méndez, I., Ellis, E., Leveson, C., Byrne, B., Van Daal, V., & Ellis, N. (2012). The etiology of individual differences in second language acquisition in Australian school students: A behaviour-genetic study. Language Learning, 62, 880-901.

Byrne, B., Coventry, W. L., Olson, R. K., Wadsworth, S. J., Samuelsson, S., Petrill. S. A., Willcutt, E. G., & Corley, R. (in press). "Teacher effects" in early literacy development: Evidence from a study of twins. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102, 32-42.

Byrne, B., Khlentzos, D., Olson, R. K., & Samuelsson, S. (2010). Evolutionary and genetic perspectives on educational attainment. In K. Littleton, C. Wood, & J. K. Staarman (Eds.), International handbook of psychology in education (pp. 3-33). Bingley, UK: Emerald Press.

Byrne, B. (2010). Reading and reading acquisition. Encyclopedia of library and information sciences, 3rd edition, pp. 4404-4413. Taylor & Francis.

Samuelsson, S., Byrne, B., Olson, R. K., Hulslander, J., Wadsworth, S., Corley, R., Willcutt, E., & DeFries, J.C. (2008). Response to early literacy instruction in the United States, Australia, and Scandinavia: A behavioral-genetic analysis. Learning and Individual Differences, 18, 289-295.

Byrne, B., Wadsworth, S, Corley, R., Samuelsson, S., Quain, P., DeFries, J. C., Willcutt, E., & Olson, R. K. (2005). Longitudinal twin study of early literacy development: Preschool and kindergarten phases. Scientific Studies of Reading, 9, 219-235.

Samuelsson, S., Byrne, B., Quain, P., Wadsworth, S., Corley, R., DeFries, J. C., Willcutt, E., & Olson. R. K. (2005). Environmental and genetic influences on prereading skills in Australia, Scandinavia, and the United States, Journal of Educational Psychology, 97, 705-722.

Hindson, B. A., Byrne, B., Fielding-Barnsley, R., Newman, C., Hine, D., & Shankweiler, D. (2005). Assessment and early instruction of preschool children at risk for reading disability. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 687-704.

Byrne, B., Fielding-Barnsley, R, & Ashley, L. (2000). Effects of preschool phoneme identity training after six years: Outcome level distinguished from rate of response. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 659-667.