Areas of Expertise: Health, social care and medical innovation
Robert is Acting Deputy Head 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 music-induced and noise-induced hearing loss, vestibular pathologies and hearing screening (including remote healthcare).
Robert’s undergraduate studies for his BA Hons. (Cantab.) 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. This 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. This allows him to practice not only as an Audiologist but also in more complex clinics as a Clinical Scientist, with experience in paediatric, vestibular, complex adult, and single sided clinics among other specialist as well as routine clinics. Robert is also a HCPC-registered Hearing Aid Dispenser.
Robert's research interests focus on translational & clinical research and include noise- and music-induced hearing loss, vestibular disorders & rehabilitation, speech-in-noise testing, remote healthcare & hearing screening, applied machine learning, tinnitus and hyperacusis. He also has experience with questionnaire design and survey methodology, as well as a good background knowledge of neuroimaging, physiology and neuroscience.
Fellow, Higher Education Academy
2014-2019 – £344,939.00 - Co-applicant & Co-investigator.
Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Grant (PB-PG-0213-30055, 2014-2019).
“An evaluation of the High Frequency Digit Triplet Test as a screening tool for early detection of hearing loss in individuals with cystic fibrosis.”
Smyth, A., Nash, E., Fortnum, H., Clarke, J., Dewar, J., Ferguson, M., MacKinnon, R.C., Edmondson-Jones, M., Mehta, R., Elliott, Z.
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
MacKinnon, R.C., Cooke, A., Allen, P.M. (in preparation) Investigating the risk to hearing posed by personal music players. TBA
McKearney, R.M. and MacKinnon, R.C., (2019). Objective auditory brainstem response classification using machine learning. International Journal of Audiology, 58(4), pp.224-230.
McKearney, R.M., MacKinnon, R.C., Smith, M. and Baker, R. (2018) Assessing the Quality of Internet Information on Tinnitus – A Review Using Standardised Tools. Journal of Laryngology and Otology, 24, pp.1-6.
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, 347, pp.18-27.
Vlaming, M. S., MacKinnon, R. C., Jansen, M., & Moore, D. R. (2014). Automated screening for high-frequency hearing loss. Ear and hearing, 35(6), 667-679.
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), pp.2874-2881.