Dr Kaela Zhang earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Before pursuing her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Christian Matthiessen, she worked at Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School as a language instructor and teaching coordinator. During her PhD study, she combined a multimodal corpus for exploring meaning-making resources of languages and other semiotic systems systemic-functionally in public health communication; and spent exchange and research trips to University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, UCL Institute of Education, and University of Bremen for cooperation work on multimodality. After receiving her PhD, Dr Zhang has been working closely with Prof. Matthiessen on communication in institutions of healthcare, public health communication, and related issues within a series of research projects; she is currently co-writing, with Prof. Matthiessen, a book for Routledge on rhetorical structure theory and multimodality, and Dr Zhang is one of the editors for Collected Works of Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen.
Her areas of interest are the application of systemic-functional theory and description in multimodal discourse interpretation, profiling of persons and institutions (e.g. in educational settings in universities and in clinical contexts in hospitals), science education, and academic writing, etc. Dr Zhang's recent achievements include journal articles "Multimodal corpus research based on rhetorical structure theory" (Zhang and Feng, 2018) and "The nature, characteristics and development of Systemic Functional Linguistics" (Huang and Zhang, 2020) published in Contemporary Rhetoric and Modern Foreign Languages respectively, and the UNSW Digital Grid Futures Institute Interdisciplinary Funding Award (2019) for cooperative work on multimodality and science education.
Teaching and Scholarly Interests: