Dr Robert C MacKinnon

Acting Deputy Head of Department; Senior Lecturer in Audiology, Vision and Hearing Sciences

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Department of Vision and Hearing Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Health, social care and medical innovation

Robert is  Acting Deputy of Department and a Senior Lecturer in Audiology. He is HCPC-registered as both a Clinical Scientist in Audiology and as a Hearing Aid Dispenser. His research interests focus on noise-induced hearing loss and hearing screening (including remote screening).



Robert’s undergraduate studies for his BA (Hons) in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge gave him a broad scientific background. He specialised in Neuroscience in his final year and his undergraduate project was performed in Professor Brian Moore’s lab and focused on cochlear implant simulation, and was subsequently published. 
Robert completed his PhD in Otorhinolaryngology at the University of Nottingham. He worked in the National Institute for Health Research Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit (now Biomedical Research Centre). His project focused on the long-term effects of recreational music listening, and used a novel questionnaire and hearing test to test hundreds of participants online over the internet.
Robert trained clinically as a HCPC-registered Clinical Scientist in Audiology at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, with an associated MSc (Merit) in Clinical Science (Neurosensory) from the University of Manchester. He has experience in paediatric, vestibular, complex adult, and single sided clinics, as well as routine clinics. Robert is also a HCPC-registered Hearing Aid Dispenser.

Research interests

  • Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
  • Speech-in-Noise Testing
  • Remote Healthcare
  • Hearing Screening
Robert has expertise and interest in noise-induced hearing loss, speech-in-noise testing, remote testing and general hearing screening. He also has experience with questionnaire design and survey methodology, as well as a good background knowledge of neuroimaging, physiology and neuroscience.


  • Uni Cert Hearing Care Assistant
  • Hearing Aid Audiology – FdSc
  • Hearing Sciences (Top-Up) - BSc (Hons)


  • PhD Otorhinolaryngology, University of Nottingham
  • MSc (Merit) Clinical Science (Neurosensory), University of Manchester
  • BA (Hons) Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge
  • PG Cert Learning and Teaching (Higher Education), Anglia Ruskin University

Memberships, editorial boards

Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Part of Research for Patient Benefit Grant (PB-PG-0213-30055, 2014-2019)  led by Prof Alan Smyth (University of Nottingham). An evaluation of the High Frequency Digit Triplet test as a screening tool for early detection of hearing loss in individuals with cystic fibrosis - >£340,000

Selected recent publications

McKearney, R.M., MacKinnon, R.C., Smith, M. and Baker, R. (in preparation) Assessing the Quality of Internet Information on Tinnitus – A Review Using Standardised Tools. TBA 
Moore, D.R., Zobay, O., MacKinnon, R.C., Whitmer, W.M. and Akeroyd, M.A. (in preparation) Limited effects of leisure music listening on speech hearing. TBA 
Moore, D.R., Zobay, O., MacKinnon, R.C., Whitmer, W.M. and Akeroyd, M.A., (2016). Lifetime leisure music exposure associated with increased frequency of tinnitus. Hearing Research. 
Vlaming, M. S., MacKinnon, R. C., Jansen, M., & Moore, D. R. (2014). Automated screening for high-frequency hearing loss. Ear and hearing, 35(6), 667. 
Stone, M. A., Füllgrabe, C., MacKinnon, R. C., & Moore, B. C. J. (2011). The importance for speech intelligibility of random fluctuations in “steady” background noise. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 130(5), 2874-2881.