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Academic staff

Joffre SwaitJoffre Swait

Director: Academic

Research Professor
Tel: +61 8 8302 1611

Professor Joffre Swait is acknowledged as a global expert in choice set formation and a leading scholar in choice modelling research. His particular areas of expertise include choice modelling methods, stated preference methods (SP), choice data combination methods and brand equity measurement and management.

Professor Swait received his Ph.D in 1984 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, specialising in modelling discrete choice behaviour, particularly with respect to choice set formation.

Complementing his academic achievements, Professor Swait has extensive consulting experience in North and South America, where he conducted consumer behaviour modelling in such diverse areas as transportation, telecommunications, packaged goods, financial services, computer hardware, and tourism.

Professor Swait has written for leading academic journals such as Transportation Research Record, Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Organisational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, among others.

He currently serves on editorial boards for the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Marketing Science and Transportation Research Part B.

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Julie Ratcliffe

Professor in Health Economics
Tel: +61 8 8302 0075

Professor Julie Ratcliffe has established a strong track record in health economics research. She has been a chief investigator on 38 research grants totaling over $25 million and has over 160 papers in peer reviewed journals, including some of the most prestigious international health journals such as the British Medical Journal, Health Economics, and Social Science and Medicine. She has co-authored 42 commissioned reports and discussion papers and has also written 2 books commissioned by Oxford University Press with Professor John Brazier and colleagues. Professor Ratcliffe holds a PhD in Health Economics.

Professor Ratcliffe has been a chief investigator and the lead health economist on a significant number of clinical trials and studies, including leading a recent National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded project as the principal investigator to apply best worst scaling methods to develop adolescent specific health state values for the Child Health Utility-9D, a new multi attribute utility instrument for application in economic evaluation. She has also successfully led projects to investigate methodological and empirical comparisons of patient versus general population values for health and the development of condition specific preference based measures for economic evaluation.

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Michelle Baddeley

Research Professor
Tel: +61 8 8302 1629

Michelle Baddeley is a Research Professor at the Institute for Choice, University of South Australia. She arrived at I4C from a professorship in the Economics and Finance of the Built Environment at University College London and before that was Director of Studies (Economics) and Fellow at Gonville & Caius College and the Faculty of Economics, Cambridge UK. She has undergraduate degrees in Economics and Psychology from University of Queensland, and an MPhil/PhD (Economics) from University of Cambridge.

Her research interests include behavioural economics and finance, neuroeconomics, housing, cybersecurity, and energy – and she specialises in the analysis of herding and social influence applied to these and other themes. She is on editorial boards for the Journal of Behavioral Economics and Policy, the Journal of Cyber Security, the American Review of Political Economy, as well as the Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE)’s Advisory Board. She has an active interest in public policy and was a member of the Hazardous Substances Advisory Committee, hosted by the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and is an Associate Fellow of the Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy.

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Akshay Vij  

Senior Research Fellow

Tel: +61 8 8302 0817

Dr. Akshay Vij joined the Institute for Choice as research fellow in February 2015. Prior to that, he worked as lecturer and post-doctoral scholar at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, with joint research appointments at the Institute of Transportation Studies and the Institute of Urban and Regional Development. He received his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, also from UC, Berkeley, in 2013. He has published multiple papers in the field of discrete choice analysis and their application to the study of travel demand and land use behavior. He is currently pursuing applications in other behavioral domains as well, such as water consumption, energy use, technology adoption, etc.

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Elisabeth HuynhElisabeth Huynh

Research Fellow
Tel:  +61 8 8302 1526

Dr. Elisabeth Huynh’s research focuses on human choice modelling and heterogeneity in discrete choice modelling, with applications to health and other areas of public policy. Her expertise includes valuing housing preferences and demand; economic valuation of quality of life; and valuing patient preferences and citizen preferences for health care reform.

Prior to joining the Institute for Choice, Dr Huynh contributed to multiple contract research and UTS partnership grant projects, and was a Chief Investigator on two awarded grants including the UTS Business School Faculty Research Grant.

Dr Huynh and collaborators also secured funding for a CSIRO Flagship collaboration fund to better understand and find solutions to end-of-life care.

As well as serving as a peer reviewer for journals including Social Science and Medicine, Dr Huynh has been published in Health Economics and has presented papers at national and international economics conferences.

UniSA Staff Profile

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Rachel Milte

Research Fellow
Tel:  +61 8 8302 0601

Dr. Rachel Milte’s research focuses on undertaking research in health economics, economic evaluation of health and aged care interventions, patient preferences for health services, and quality of life of special interest groups (e.g. older people, palliative care, and aged care clients). Prior to joining the Institute for Choice, Dr Milte worked as a research fellow in projects at Finders University  focused on understanding the costs of providing residential care that supports the quality of life and quality of care of people with dementia, and rehabilitation for older people following hip fracture.  Dr Milte has a PhD in health economics of which a cost utility analysis of rehabilitation following hip fracture and a discrete choice experiment undertaken with older people following hip fracture or family member carers formed primary components.

She has practical experience and an interest in working with the health and aged care sectors to undertake meaningful research which can be used to support decision making in these settings.

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Kate Fennell

Research Fellow
Tel:  +61 8 8302 2137

Dr Kate Fennell carries out both qualitative and quantitative research in psycho-oncology, rural health and rural mental health and has clinical experience working as a psychologist with people affected by cancer.

Dr Fennell's main research interests include addressing the psychosocial needs of rural people affected by cancer, rural help-seeking behaviour and online and telephone-based cancer support interventions. She is also interested in farmers' health and mental health, the application of behaviour change theory and the use of participatory action research methods. Her PhD research led to the development of a supportive care website for rural South Australians, www.countrycancersupport.com.au. In 2013 she was named the South Australian Young Achiever of the Year for this work.

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Ali Ardeshiri

Ali Ardeshiri

Post-doctoral Research Fellow
Tel: +61 8 8302 1650

Dr. Ali Ardeshiri received his Ph. D in 2014 from Newcastle University-UK, specialising in discrete choice behaviour and hedonic pricing model; particularly with respect to accessibility to urban amenities.

Prior to joining UniSA, he contributed as the chief investigator of multiple research contracts in urban planning topics such as cities' sustainable development, urban quality of life, urban environmental quality, housing and informal settlement and planned behaviour in relation to urban transportation.

Dr. Ardeshiri's key area of expertise is in exploring the spatial distribution of consumer preference and choice using ArcGIS. Currently, Ali is active in working in the areas of urban & environmental planning, tourism planning and destination choice.  

UniSA Staff Profile

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Habtamu Kassahun

Post-doctoral Research Fellow
Tel: +61 8 8302 1610

Dr. Habtamu Tilahun Kassahun joined the Institute for Choice in June 2015 as a postdoctoral Research Fellow in Choice Modeling. Dr. Kassahun current research focuses on developing new econometric models of choice behavior that recognize individuals adopt different strategies (Antecedent Volition). His research also focuses on applied microeconomics including environmental valuation and management, individual travel behavior and spatial-and-social interaction.

Dr. Kassahun has been leading a research project focused on the reliability of stated preference study addressing the valuation of land and environmental resources in urban and rural areas. He used and developed state-of-the-art methodology within choice modelling applications. His research has been published in Land Use Policy and presented to international conferences in the field.

Dr. Kassahun received a double PhD degree under the European Erasmus Mundus program from University of Copenhagen and University of Padova in January 2015. He has a solid educational background with an outstanding academic performance in economics, econometrics, environmental valuation, natural resource management and policy.

UniSA Staff Profile

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Flavio Freire SouzaFlavio Freire Souza

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Tel:  +61 8 8302 1679

Dr. Flavio Souza is currently a Postdoctorate Reserach Fellow in the Institute for Choice at the University of South Australia. His research interests are in understanding differences in preferences and choices in various applied contexts, investigating the interface between consumer behaviour and choice modelling. He has focused on consumer goals as the main research topic in his doctoral and masters dissertations. His doctoral thesis entitled "Goal-Based Choice Set Formation", supervised under Professor Joffre Swait, studied the influential role of goals in selecting alternatives to be considered in the decision-making process.

Dr. Souza has also contributed to research in topics such as decision processes, affective responses, brand image, contingent valuation, self-concept and consumer satisfaction. He is currently interested in various applied economic disciplines that incorporate psychological insights, such as environmental, food, health, transportation and labour economics, among others.

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Flavio Freire SouzaAiste Ruseckaite

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Tel:  +61 8 8302 1673

 Dr. Aiste Ruseckaite is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Choice, University of South Australia. She obtained her bachelor's degree in Econometrics from Vilnius University, Lithuania. During her bachelor's, Aiste studied at the University of Melbourne, ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich as an exchange student. She completed her masters degree in Econometrics and Management Science at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Following that, she started as a PhD candidate at the Tinbergen Institute in Rotterdam. Aiste obtained her doctorate in 2017. Her research over the past four years has focused on new mixture(-amount) models, choice models and the optimal design of experiments. One project of her doctoral track was developed during Aiste's visit at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. A chapter of her thesis is published in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Ser. C.

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Academic Staff - International

Anthony MarleyAnthony Marley

Research Professor
Tel: +61 8 8302 1351

Professor Anthony Marley is an internationally recognised scholar in mathematical psychology who has made a significant contribution to the mathematical behavioural and social sciences.

He has been involved in much international collaboration with academics in psychology, mathematics, 
statistics, marketing and political science, resulting in publications in psychophysics, utility theory, probabilistic choice and measurement theory and methods.

Professor Marley was the Head of the Psychology Department at McGill University in Canada, long regarded as a leader in psychology. He wrote the well‐received Choice, Decision and Measurement: Essays in Honour of R. Duncan Luce (Erlbaum 1997) and co-authored Behavioural Social Science (Cambridge University Press 2006), which has impacted on theoretical and empirical studies of the aggregation of individual preferences.

Professor Marley previously served as the Editor of the Journal of Mathematical Psychology. 

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