The team

Academic and Research Staff

Professor Cheryl Dissanayake

Founder and Director of OTARC

Amanda Richdale

Associate Professor Amanda Richdale

Principal Research Fellow

Josie Barbaro

Dr Josephine Barbaro

Senior Research Fellow

Kristelle Hudry

Dr Kristelle Hudry

Senior Research Fellow (ASELCC & OTARC)

Darren hedley

Dr Darren Hedley

Research Fellow

Lauren Lawson

Dr Lauren Lawson

CRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Maya Yaari

Dr Maya Yaari

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Simon Bury

Dr Simon Bury

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Cherie Green

Research Fellow

Rachel Jellett

Dr Rachel Jellett

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr Rebecca Flower

Postdoctoral Researcher

Alex Haschek

Alex Haschek

Research Officer

Jodie Smith

Research Officer

Melissa Gilbert

Research Officer

Erin Beattie

Research Assistant

Administrative staff

AlexAlexandra Aulich

Laboratory Manager

Melinda DenhamMelinda Denham

Communications Coordinator

MickMick Leahy

Mobile App Marketing Officer

Radhika NairRadika Nair

Project Manager

NancyDr Nancy Sadka

Research Officer - Early Years

Doug Scobie

Centre Manager

Margaret LaughtonMargaret Laughton

Administrative Officer

Mithun Roy

CRM Officer

Students

PhD candidates

  • Lacey Chetcuti - Temperament among infants showing early signs of ASD. Supervisors: Dr Kristelle Hudry 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.
  • Joanne McIntyre - Superivsors: Dr Darren Hocking and Dr Darren Hedley
  • Katherine Natoli - Supervisor: Dr Kristelle Hudry
  • 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 - Identifying Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Nepal: Implementing and Evaluating Social Attention and Communication Surveillance. Supervisors: Professor Cheryl Dissanayake and Dr Josephine Barbaro.
  • Melanie Muniandy - Social Support, coping, and resilience in adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum. Supervisors: Associate Professor Amanda Richdale and Dr Lauren Lawson.

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

  • Daniel Berends - ASD outcomes as a function of cognitive compensation. Supervisor: Dr Kristelle Hudry
    (Cathy Bent, co-supervisor)
  • Alexa Chalmers - Supervisor: Assoc Prof Amanda Richdale (Dr Lauren Lawson, co-supervisor)
  • Ashlee Hancock - Supervisor: Dr Josephine Barbaro

Honours in Psychological Science candidates

    • Grace Christou - Comparison of the Early Developmental Trajectories of Multiplex and Simplex Autism. supervisor: Prof Cheryl Dissanayake
    • Louise Dickens - The effects of disclosure on perceived employability of adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. supervisor: Dr Rebecca Flower
    • Sanya Jovevska - Sleep problems in adolescents and adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder: examining gender and age-related differences. supervisor: Prof Amanda Richdale (Dr Lauren Lawson, co-supervisor)
    • Rosanna Pingitore - supervisor: Dr Tania Pietrzak
    • Ensu Sahin - Does mental and physical health influence independence in young people with ASD? - supervisor: Dr Lauren Lawson (Assoc Prof Amanda Richdale, co-supervisor)

Adjunct and honorary members

Honorary members

  • Professor Margot Prior - Inaugural Chair of the OTARC Advisory Committee, Honorary Research Professor at the University of Melbourne and the Patron of Autism Victoria.
  • 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.
  • Dr Elfriede Ihsen - Research Fellow, La Trobe University.
  • Dr Mirko Uljarevic - Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Psychiatry, Stanford University, California, 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 - Senior lecturer, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University.
  • Dr Matthew Hale - Senior 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 Tania Pietrzak - Adjunct Research Fellow, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University.
  • Dr Lesley Stirling - Associate Professor, University of Melbourne.
  • Dr Jennifer Spoor - Deputy Director MBA, La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University.
  • Dr Teresa Iacono - Professor of Rural and Regional Allied Health La Trobe Rural Health School, La Trobe University.
  • Michael Fieldhouse - Director, Emerging Businesses & Cyber Security and Dandelion Program Executive at DXC Technology