The team at the Aspect Research Centre for Autism Practice (ARCAP) plans, supports and implements research projects, including evaluations, to ensure the continuous improvement of Aspect services. ARCAP researchers also collaborate in autism research studies with other autism researchers across Australia and internationally, and share the findings of their research through publications and presentations. The expertise of our research team encompasses autism specific education, interventions, assessment and inclusive practices.
Vicki Gibbs, M Clin Psych – Head of Research
Vicki Gibbs is a Clinical Psychologist and Head of Research at Aspect. Prior to her current role, Vicki was responsible for establishing Aspect’s first dedicated diagnostic assessment service and developing an Australian-first website aimed at assisting young Autistic people to navigate the transition from school to adult life. Vicki has presented at numerous conferences, workshops and training seminars in relation to autism assessment and has co-authored a number of published papers into autism assessment practices and the intersection between autism and the criminal justice system in Australia. Vicki is currently completing a PhD investigating victimisation experiences of Autistic adults.
Ru Ying Cai, BSc, BIS, GradCertEval, PhD – Postdoctoral Researcher
Ru has recently completed her PhD at La Trobe University with the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre, examining emotion regulation and mental health in youth and adults on the autism spectrum. Ru has also conducted research in autism on the topics of tertiary education, employment and financial wellbeing, presenting the findings from this research at national and international conferences and publishing in various international journals. At the Aspect Research Centre for Autism Practice, Ru's research is currently focussed on the Inclusive Banking project for Beyond Bank. Before her career in research, Ru worked in information technology as a project manager and IT auditor.
Abigail Love, BS, MS, PhD – Research Officer
Abbey is an Educational Psychologist with experience working as a teacher, advocate, and researcher. She completed her PhD at the University of Kentucky where her dissertation and advocacy work centred on educating first responders to better support their autistic community members. She has worked as a lecturer in inclusion in the international context, and has experience teaching school-aged students with a focus on teaching students on the autism spectrum. Currently, her research aims to impact the lives of autistic people and their families/carers, and her project include work within criminal justice, education, and adulthood.
Mustafa Al Ansari, PhD, BASc (Hons 1) – Postdoctoral Researcher
Mustafa is a public health researcher who has completed his PhD at the University of Sydney investigating attitudes on alcohol in a post-conflict abstinent setting. He is also an investigator on an international health project looking at health and health services at the largest annual global mass gathering. Mustafa has more than five years’ experience in Indigenous Health and alcohol research, and has taught Population Health to MD students at the University of Sydney Central Clinical School.
Mustafa has presented his work at a number of international conferences including the World Congress on Public Health. As a widely travelled, multilingual former child refugee, he is passionate about refugee and minorities rights which drive him to be an active community member.
At the Aspect Research Centre for Autism Practice, Mustafa is supporting the Aspect Research Priorities project and leading a new project aimed at understanding how to best support autistic people transitioning from home to independent living.
Chris Edwards, BBus(Mgt), BBehavSc(Psych) Hons, PhD – Postdoctoral Researcher
Chris is an autism researcher and Adjunct Research Fellow with the Menzies Health Institute Queensland (Griffith University) as part of the Inclusive Futures beacon. Chris is also an Executive Committee member of the Australasian Society for Autism Research (ASfAR) and Research Advisory Panel Member with Autism at ACU. Chris has been supporting the Autistic community for over nine years through various roles. These roles have been in special education settings, as a disability support worker, positive behaviour support and research-focused positions.