The team

Academic and Research Staff

Professor Cheryl Dissanayake

Founder and Director of OTARC

Margot PriorProfessor Margot Prior

Previous Chair of the OTARC Advisory Committee

JosieDr Josephine Barbaro

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


DarrenDr Darren Hedley

Research Fellow

LaurenDr Lauren Hollier

CRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Kristelle HudryDr Kristelle Hudry

Senior Research Fellow (ASELCC & OTARC)

Melanie MuniandyMelanie Muniandy

Research Officer - CRC Biobank

Amanda RichdaleAssociate Professor Amanda Richdale

Principal Research Fellow

Dr Mirko UljarevicDr Mirko Uljarević

CRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Veronica RoseVeronica Rose

Speech Pathologist

Staff Photo Rachel Jelett

Research Officer

Research Assistants

Emma Baker (KH)

Cathy Bent (KH)

Lacey Chetcuti (KH)

Perrin Date (JB)

Samantha Galea (DH)

Megan Grant (KH)

Siobhan Korbut (DH)

Eva Laurent  (DH)

Lindsay Pamment (CD)

Rachael Rankin (KH)

Veronica Rose (KH)

Ensu Sahin (DH)

Phoebe Thomson (DH)

Mathilda Wilmot (DH)

Administrative staff

AlexAlexandra Aulich

Laboratory Manager

Lachlan BurnsideLachlan Burnside

Database Officer

MelMelinda Denham

Communications Officer

Mick Mick Leahy

Mobile App Marketing Officer

NancyDr Nancy Sadka

Research Officer - Early Years

Doug Scobie

Manager

Lisbeth Wilks

Administrative Officer

Natasha Kolivas (NS)

Administrative Assistant

Students

PhD candidates

  • Cathy Bent - Barriers and enablers to the early identification of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Australia. Supervisors: Professor Cheryl Dissanayake and Dr Josephine Barbaro.
  • Ru Ying Cai - Painting a picture: Profiles of school leavers with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Supervisors: Associate Professor Amanda Richdale and Professor Cheryl Dissanayake.
  • Lacey Chetcuti - Temperament among infants showing early signs of ASD. Supervisors: Dr Kristelle Hudry and Dr Mirko Uljarević.
  • Megan Clark - School age outcomes of children with ASD diagnosed at age 2 years. Supervisors: Professor Cheryl Dissanayake and Dr Josephine Barbaro.
  • Lisa Coloca - Exploration of the Nature and Development of Clinical Anxiety in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Supervisors: Associate Professor Amanda Richdale and Dr Mirko Uljarević.
  • Hiroko Kawashima - Promotion of early identification of ASD in rural Japan. Supervisors: Professor Cheryl Dissanayake and Dr Darren Hedley.
  • Eva Laurent -Cognitive profiles associated with STEM occupations in autism: Is there really an autism advantage? Supervisors: Associate Professor Amanda Richdale, Dr Darren Hedley and Professor Cheryl Dissanayake.
  • Stacey Rabba - Development and evaluation of a Family Support Program for newly diagnosed children with an ASD. Supervisors: Professor Cheryl Dissanayake and Dr Josephine Barbaro.
  • Rena Shrestha - Reducing the age of diagnosis of ASD in Nepal: SACS-N. Supervisors: Professor Cheryl Dissanayake and Dr Josephine Barbaro.

Doctor of Clinical Psychology candidates

  • Megan Grant - Wellbeing in parents around the time of child ASD diagnosis. - Supervisors: Dr Kristelle Hudry
  • Maria Lambrou - Defining and assessing client suitability for short-term cognitive behaviour therapy. Supervisors: Associate Professor Amanda Richdale and Associate Professor Nick Kazantsis.
  • Zoe Vinen - School-age outcomes of children with ASD who received ESDM. Supervisors: Professor Cheryl Dissanayake and Dr Giacomo Vivanti.

Doctor of Clinical Neuropsychology candidates

  • Peter Fanning - Early learning and intellectual development in Autism. Supervisors: Dr Giacomo Vivanti, Dr Darren Hocking and Professor Cheryl Dissanayake.

Master of Science candidates

  • Rachael Rankin
    Supervisor: Kristelle Hudry
  • Stefanie Dimov
    Language development and joint attention in infants showing early signs of ASD.
    Supervisors: Dr Kristelle Hudry and Professor Teresa Iacono

Master of Clinical Psychology candidates

  • Andrew Halim - Anxiety in adults with ASD. Supervisors: Associate Professor Amanda Richdale and Dr Mirko Uljarević.
  • Erin O'Connor - Wellbeing in parents of young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder - Supervisor: Dr Kristelle Hudry
  • Deniz Ozbilgin - The interplay between purposeful object-directed and socially-directed actions in young children with ASD versus Williams syndrome. Supervisor: Professor Cheryl Dissanayake.
  • Felicity Peel - Comparing longitudinal outcomes of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosed in toddlerhood and their families via two different referral systems. Supervisor: Professor Cheryl Dissanayake.
  • Emily Zou - The interplay between sensory and motor profiles and relation to executive control across neurodevelopmental disorders. Supervisor: Dr Darren Hocking.

Honours in Psychological Science candidates

    • Paula Grogan
      Developmental changes in children from pre-school to middle school: the longitudinal impact on parental wellbeing
      Supervisor: Professor Cheryl Dissanayake
    • Daniel Berends
      Environmental influences on multiplex/simplex differences.
      Supervisor: Dr Lauren Hollier and Professor Cheryl Dissanayake
    • Siobhan Korbut
      Psychological predictors of challenging behaviours in Autism
      Supervisor: Dr Darren Hedley. Associate supervisor Dr Heather Nuske, University of Pennsylvania
    • Emily Canton
      The stereotype content and subgroups of people with disabilities.
      Supervisor: Dr Darren Hedley and Dr Jennifer Spoor
    • Stephanie Marie Roussis
      Sleep problems in children with Autism Spectrum Condition and typically developing children, between the ages of 2 and 5.
      Supervisor: Professor Amanda Richdale

Adjunct and honorary members

Honorary members

  • Dr Elfriede Ihsen - Past Research Fellow OTARC.
  • Dr David Trembath - Senior Lecturer, Griffith University.
  • Dr Giacomo Vivanti - Assistant Professor, Early Detection & Intervention Program, Drexel University, USA.
  • Dr Cynthia Zierhut - MIND Institute, University of California, Davis in Sacramento, USA.

Adjunct members

  • Dr Nusrat Yasmeen Ahmed - ASD Specialist and Director of the
    Hope Autism Center in Bangladesh.
  • Dr Naomi Bishop - Lecturer, School of Life Sciences, La Trobe University.
  • Mike Burnside - Principal Sales Engineer at Salesforce.com.
  • Dr Philippe Chouinard - Lecturer, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University.
  • Dr Matthew Hale - Lecturer, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University.
  • Dr Darren Hocking -  Senior Research Fellow, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University.
  • Dr Yuan Gao - Independent Consultant, Beijing, China.
  • Amanda Golding - Amagol Consulting Services & Autism Noticeboard.
  • Dr Oriane Landry - Adjunct Associate Professor,School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University.
  • Dr Lesley Stirling - Associate Professor, University of Melbourne.

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