Audience Lab is an innovative and interdisciplinary research centre that aims to understand contemporary media consumption and user/audience experiences

Situated at the heart of downtown Toronto and in the midst of thousands of millennials at Ryerson University (some of whom work at Audience Lab), we have the unique ability to gain insight into the interests, beliefs, behaviours, experiences, and cultures of Toronto’s next generation.

Audience Lab tackles challenging questions related to audience research, digital communication, and human-computer interaction and specializes in trend analysis, persona development, and millennial/generation Z research. Our team and capabilities continue to grow alongside our growing base of on-going industry partnerships.

 

Frauke Zeller

Frauke Zeller
Director

Frauke is Associate Professor in Ryerson’s School of Professional Communication and FCAD Audience Lab’s director. She completed her PhD in Germany in Computational Philologies and her Habiliation (highest academic degree in Germany) in Media and Communication Studies. Her research expertise is in data analysis including, for example, natural language processing techniques, statistical sentiment and topic analyses and mixed methods research designs for complex data studies. Her audience research studies focus on more traditional research questions regarding audience behaviours as well as new approaches in Human-Robot Interaction and AI. Before Frauke came to Ryerson, she was at the renowned Centre for Digital Humanities at University College London (Great Britain). She is also involved in several international research projects, and was awarded with a range of major research grants, among them a Marie Curie Fellowship (2011-2013), which is one of Europe’s most distinguished individual research grants, and a Tri-Council grant (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, SSHRC) to develop new tools for participatory campus planning.

Charles Davis
Senior Researcher

Charles Davis is a professor in Ryerson University’s RTA School of Media (Faculty of Communication and Design) and is cross-appointed with the Entrepreneurship and Strategy Department in the Ted Rogers School of Management. Charles currently teaches and conducts research on management and policy in industries that produce experience goods – with special interest in innovation and new product development in the software and content layers of mediated creative industries. He is currently involved in research projects on media product innovation, media labour, media industry clusters, audience responses to media offerings, corporate governance of innovation, and digital entrepreneurship. His recent graduate and undergraduate teaching includes courses in media management, new product development, political economy of media industries, audience analysis, innovation in experience-producing industries, cultural economy, and media entrepreneurship. Charles holds the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Research Chair in Media Management and Entrepreneurship.

Robert Clapperton

Robert Clapperton
Interim Director

Robert Clapperton is an Assistant Professor in the School of Professional Communications at Ryerson University.  Robert earned his PhD in English Language and Literature with a Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Science at the University of Waterloo.  He specializes in Computational linguistics, rhetoric, critical discourse and data analysis with an emphasis on the critical application of natural language understanding in a number of fields including education, politics, commercial, and social enterprise.  Robert’s teaching focuses on the digital enterprise and communication research methods.

Robert has developed a natural language understanding experiential learning platform for experiential teaching and practicing communication, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence. The platform is currently used by universities, corporations, and professional associations across North America.

Irene Berkowitz

Irene Berkowitz
Policy Research Fellow

Dr. Irene S. Berkowitz is a policy research fellow, author, teacher, and speaker. A media researcher and nationally recognized  thought leader working at the intersections of media, brand and exponential technologies, her perspectives are requested by national publications including TV, radio, print and online, such as The Globe and Mail, Playback, CBC, betakit, Global, CTV, BNN-TV, Sirius XM. Dr. Berkowitz designs and teaches graduate courses in Ryerson University Ted Rogers MBA and RTA School of Media and is the author of a forthcoming book on the collision of Canada’s national media system with the global era.

Hanako Smith

Hanako Smith
Graduate Researcher

Hanako is a 3rd year PhD student in the Communication and Culture program at York University and Ryerson University. She received an MSSc in Media Management from the university of Tampere, Finland, focusing on audience engagement and the Canadian broadcast television industry. She obtained her BA from McMaster University in Communications. Her current studies are focused on smart house technologies and how they create new labour paradigms within personal/private spaces.

Sahar Raza

Sahar Raza
Project Manager & Graduate Researcher

Sahar is a master’s student in Ryerson and York University’s joint Communication and Culture program. Her research analyzes “smart” cities and technologies to explore the policy and social justice implications of algorithmic and technological urban innovation in Canada, and particularly Toronto. She has a Communication Studies Graduate Diploma from Concordia University and a Bachelor of Arts & Science (with a mathematics minor) from McMaster University.