Professor Skye McDonald
BSc (Hons), Monash; MSc (Clinical Neuropsychology), Melb; PhD, Macquarie

Professor Skye McDonald is Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of New South Wales. She is interested in understanding socio-emotional disorders following brain damage (due to traumatic injuries, neurological disorders, e.g. MS and stroke and degenerative disorders, e.g. Alzheimers) and developmental disorders. Her research has both theoretical and clinical relevance. Professor McDonald’s work has direct applications to the assessment and treatment of such disorders.

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Post-doctoral Research Fellows
Jacqueline Rushby
BSC (Hons), PhD, Wollongong

Dr Jacqueline Rushby was recently awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council four year Research Fellowship, to investigate psychophysiological indices of recovery after severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Her research aims to examine psychophysiological processes underpinning arousal and activation, in order to inform our understanding about how and why arousal to emotional events is dysregulated after severe brain injury.

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Travis Wearne
PhD, Masters Clinical Neuropsychology, Macquarie

Travis Wearne is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow He completed a combined Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Clinical Neuropsychology degree from Macquarie University in 2015. His PhD research examined methamphetamine-induced psychosis and was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s commendation for outstanding research achievement. Travis is also a clinical neuropsychologist and has worked with acquired brain injury across public and private sectors. More broadly, Travis’ research interests surround mental health, substance use, cognitive intervention, and acquired brain injury. His current research is focused on understanding emotion regulation in both normal adults and those with brain injury.

PhD Students
Anneli Cassel
BSc (Hons), University of York; DClinPsy, King’s College London

Dr Anneli Cassel is a Clinical Psychologist and PhD candidate at the Moving Ahead Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in Brain Recovery, receiving supervision from Professor Skye McDonald (UNSW) and Dr Michelle Kelly (University of Newcastle). Anneli is conducting her research investigating the feasibility of a new social cognition treatment, developed particularly for people with acquired brain injury. The treatment aims to help improve peoples’ ability to detect, and respond to, the cues important in understanding other peoples’ feeling, thoughts, and intentions during social interactions. Anneli is conducting a treatment trial to determine the efficacy of this treatment as a group therapy.

Dr Anneli Cassel
Emma Kornfeld
BScience (Psychology Hons), UOW

Emma is a PhD Candidate, supervised by Professor Skye McDonald and Dr Jacqueline Rushby. Her research aims to investigate the relationship between physiological responses, certain brain structures and empathy. Her further research interests include examining emotion and face processing using EEG.

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Emma Kornfeld
Michaela Filipčíková
Masters of Psychology, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Slovakia

Michaela is from Slovakia. In 2019 she was awarded a UNSW Scientia PhD Scholarship this year to examine cognitive mechanisms underpinning social disinhibition after traumatic brain injury.



Halle Quang
BPsychol (Hons), Masters Brain and Mind Science, USyd

Halle joined us after having recently completed her Masters in Neuroscience at the University of Sydney. In 2019 she was awarded a UNSW Scientia PhD scholarship to examine cultural and cognitive mechanisms underpinning apathy in people with TBI and is planning to conduct her research in her home country of Vietnam.



Research Assistants
Poss Logan
BPsych (Hons), MBA

Poss Logan is a part-time research assistant in the lab. Poss is responsible for managing ethics, recruitment, database maintenance and direct assessment and testing of participants. Poss is also completing her Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology at Macquarie University.

Katie Dalton
Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons), UNSW

Katie works as a research assistant to Dr Jacqueline Rushby, having recently completed neuroscience honours last year. Her research interests include neuroimaging in patients with traumatic brain injury and using EEG to measure changes in brain function caused by binge drinking.

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Katie Dalton
Emily Trimmer
BPsychol (Hons), ANU; MPsychol (Clinical), UWS; PhD, UNSW

Emily Trimmer is a clinical psychologist with experience in Traumatic Brain Injury and Autism Spectrum Disorder and Anxiety. Emily completed her PhD in 2017 examining social cognition in adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Learn more about her research.

Following this she took up the role of project manager for the development of an on-line program to assist families and carers manage challenging behaviours in people with TBI To see this program click here. This project completed in 2018 and Emily has since moved to a specialist clinical service for people with TBI and their families.

Matt Garathy
BPsychol (Hons), PhD, UNSW

Matt’s PhD thesis examined the neural processes involved in probabilistic association learning by examining this type of learning in healthy control and various clinical populations. Matt successfully completed his PhD in 2019 and is currently considering his next career move.



Chris Sufani
BScience (Neuroscience Hons), UNSW

Chris was a PhD Candidate under the supervision of Dr Jacqueline Rushby and Professor Skye McDonald. He is interested in investigating the neural basis of social perception in healthy individuals using electrophysiological and psychophysiological methods. Chris completed a number of detailed, sophisticated studies before deciding a PhD was not for him at this point of his career. He has moved on to pursue different life goals.


Katie Osborne-Crowley
BPsychol (Hons), University of Sydney; PhD, UNSW

Katie completed her PhD in 2017, which looked at mechanisms of social disinhibition after traumatic brain injury. She continued in the lab in 2018 as a post-doctoral researcher directing a number of studies looking at deficits in empathy following TBI. Following this she accepted a position at University College London, working on a project with people with Huntington’s Disease. Katie will be returning to Australia in the next year or so.


Hannah Rosenberg
BPsychol (Hons), PhD, UNSW

Hannah Rosenberg completed her PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology/Clinical Psychology in 2015. She works as a registered Clinical Psychologist at Eastern Suburbs Child Psychology practice. Her research area involved the study of emotion perception deficits in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Parkinson's Disease. She was especially interested in the differences between recognition of negative and positive facial expressions and how this recognition improves as a function of emotion intensity.


Dr Maurice Finn

Dr Maurice Finn is a Clinical Psychologist with over 10 years experience in the care of older people. He works at Aged Care Services, Royal North Shore Hospital, in Sydney overseeing the Memory Clinic and runs a busy neuropsychological out-patient clinic. He completed a PhD at UNSW in 2014 on computerised cognitive training on older people with mild cognitive impairment.

Dr Maurice Finn
Danielle Mathersul
BSc (Hons) USyd

Danielle Mathersul has recently completed her PhD as part of the Doctoral/MPsychol (Clinical) course at the University of New South Wales. Her research focused on implementing psychophysiological measures to inform our understanding of emotion processing deficits in adults with Asperger's.


Danielle Mathersul
Michelle Kelly
BPsychol (Hons) Newcastle; MPsychol(Clin)/PhD UNSW

Michelle Kelly completed her Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) at the University of Newcastle before coming to the University of New South Wales to complete her PhD/MPsychol in Clinical Psychology. Her honours research focused on cognitive functioning in healthy ageing, while her PhD research was aimed at investigating impairments in social behaviour in adults who have sustained a neurological injury. Michelle completed her PhD research at the end of 2011. Upon graduating, Dr Kelly has worked as a Clinical Psychologist and was recently appointed to Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Newcastle. Her research focus is psychosocial functioning in people with traumatic brain injury and people with a diagnosis of dementia.

Arielle Taylor
BA (Hons) Macquarie; MPsychol(Clin)/PhD UNSW

Arielle Taylor (nee de Sousa) has recently completed her PhD as part of the Doctoral/MPsychol (Clinical) course at UNSW. Arielle's thesis entitled "Why don't you feel how I feel? Insight into the absence of empathy after severe traumatic brain injury" was passed in June 2011.


Frances De Blasio
BPsychol (Hons), PhD, University of Wollongong

Frances worked as a part-time research assistant in the lab for several years until 2018. Frances is an expert in EEG and ERP data quantification using MATLAB.

Learn more about her research here.

France’s own PhD was passed at the end of 2018 and she has moved on to pursue post-doctoral work at the University of Wollongong.


Emily Wilson
BPsychol (Hons), UoW

Emily Wilson worked as a research assistant in our lab for two years, leaving at the end of 2018 to pursue a combined PhD/Masters Psychology (Clinical) at the University of Sydney.



Samantha Allen
BPsychol (Hons), University of Newcastle

Samantha worked as a research assistant to Professor Skye McDonald for several years, She left in 2017 to complete her Masters in Clinical psychology at the University of Technology Sydney. While with us, Sam worked on projects that assess the viability of different techniques to remediate socio-affective and cognitive difficulties that adults with a traumatic brain injury often face.

Learn more about her research here

Melinda Drew, BPsych (Hons), University of Tasmania and Crystal Yau, BSc (Clinical Psychology), University of Mount Olive, USA

Melinda and Crystal were employed on Moving Ahead the Centre of Research Excellence in Brain Recovery, which ended formal funding in 2017. Both now work at the University of Sydney. Our loss.







Shani Lauf

Shani completed her Honours degree with Professor Skye McDonald and Dr Donel Martin from the Black Dog Institute. She graduated with First Class Honours, and was awarded the Paxinos & Watson Neuroscience Honours Prize for the best performance in Neuroscience Honours in 2015. Her research centered on mild, non-invasive brain stimulation and its use as a tool to improve memory and cognition.

Shani Lauf
Jaimi Iredale

Jaimi Iredale was a research assistant in the laboratory and recently completed her Honours degree with Dr Jacqui Rushby. Her thesis focused on one's ability to perceive affective prosody in speech.




Jaimi Iredale
Olivia Schollar-Root

Olivia completed her Honours degree with Dr Jacqueline Rushby. Her research project aimed to investigate the EEG correlates of habituation to emotional facial expressions.




Olivia Schollar-Root
David Straton

David completed his Honours degree with Professor Skye McDonald and Dr Jacqueline Rushby. His thesis aimed to examine empathy deficits in alexithymic populations using measures of heart rate, skin conductance and facial EMG.




David Straton
Bronwyn Hegarty
BSc (Hons), PhD UNSW; Grad Dip Psyc CSU

Bronwyn completed her Honours degree with Dr Jacqueline Rushby and Dr Janette Smith from NDARC, UNSW. Bronwyn's honours project looked at the relationship between executive function and attitudes to alcohol.




Bronwyn Hegarty
Sucheta Gorolay

Sucheta completed her Honours degree with Professor Skye McDonald. Her thesis aimed to better understand the effects of Alexithymia on emotion recognition with a focus on emotional valence and stimulus modality whilst also assessing potential candidates for a revised discrete emotion framework.



Sucheta Gorolay

Team outing