Board of Directors


Fiona Nicholls

Chair & Non-Executive Director

Fiona is an experienced executive and non-executive Director on public company, private and not for profit boards with a successful track record of adapting change management principles to deliver sustained outcomes in large scale, multidisciplinary and geographically diverse internal and external stakeholder groups. Building on tertiary qualifications in natural resources and business over 30 years, her experiences developed from field work to the executive committee in the resources industry.

Fiona is the Executive Director of F.N. Sustainability, and through it, seeks to provide sustainability support to businesses, implementing practical solutions that are innovative, effective and scalable.

John Pickering

CEO & Executive Director

John is Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Behaviour Innovation Pty Ltd.

Prior to founding Behaviour Innovation in 2016, Dr Pickering was based at The University of Queensland (UQ) where he led the establishment of the Triple P Innovation Precinct - a unit dedicated to investigating the application of behavioural change principles at a population level.

Dr Pickering is an Industry Fellow at the UQ School of Business, served on the The University of Queensland Senate in 2014 and was also appointed to the inaugural Entrepreneurial Education Working Group.


Mark Dodgson AO

Non-Executive Director

Mark is Professor of Innovation Studies at the University of Queensland Business School, and Visiting Professor at Imperial College London.

Mark was appointed the honour of 'Officer of the Order of Australia' for his 'distinguished service to education in the field of business innovation strategy, as a researcher, advisor and author’ to Australia and greater humanity.

Mark has been a Board or Advisory Board member of two multi-billion dollar companies and three start-ups. He has advised numerous companies and governments around the world and has researched and taught innovation in over 60 countries. Mark has written or edited 16 books and over 100 academic articles and book chapters on innovation.


Geoff Garrett AO

Non-Executive Director

Geoff has recently completed six years as Queensland Chief Scientist. He previously led, as Chief Executive, two of the world's major national science agencies, the CSIRO in Australia (2001 to 2008) and CSIR in South Africa (1995 to 2000).

In his Chief Scientist role he was accountable for science policy, and providing strategic guidance across a range of Qld government departments. A Cambridge graduate (in metallurgy) he was also a University Boxing Blue. He was an academic for 13 years.

Geoff is a recipient of the Centenary Medal for service to Australian society through science, and was named by the Australian Financial Review as one of Australia’s 2008 ‘True Leaders’.


Rhyll Gardner

Non-Executive Director

Rhyll is an accomplished professional director with a background in finance, banking and investment. Rhyll’s expertise at the board table encompasses finance, strategy, mergers & acquisitions, governance, risk management, people and culture across a diverse range of organisations.Rhyll’s current portfolio includes directorships of Foresters Group, Innovation & Business Skills Australia (IBSA) Ltd, The Blue Space Ltd and Expressions Dance Company. She is a past director of QueenslandSymphony Orchestra, St. Margaret's School and the YWCA.

Rhyll holds qualificatons of Bachelor of Commerce (UQ), Bachelor of Economics (UQ), Masters of Applied Finance (MQ) and an Executive Master of Business Administration from INSEAD. She is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).


Our Team



  • ⏵Co-Founder
  • ⏵Chief Behavioural Scientist

PhD (Psychology) • BPsycSc (Hons)

John is the founding Chief Executive Officer and Chief Behavioural Scientist of Behaviour Innovation. John is a behavioural scientist with over 10-years’ experience in the analysis, design, delivery and evaluation of behaviour change programs for large scale and complex problems. He is the Project Director of multiple projects, including Project Cane Changer, one of Australia’s largest agriculture behavioural change initiatives.

  • Contact John
  • E:
  • T: +61 407 007 744


  • ⏵Co-Founder
  • ⏵Chief Operating Officer


Jinny is Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Behaviour Innovation. As Head of the Operations team, her daily aim is to make BI an excellent place to work, and an excellent company for others to work with.

Jinny also has a background in psychology and is experienced in the analysis, design, delivery and evaluation of behaviour change programs for large scale and complex problems. Jinny continues to have an active role BI's projects, and regularly undertakes field work.

Previously, Jinny held positions at The University of Queensland's Parenting and Family Support Centre for several years, where she assisted with the development of an innovation lab based around the globally acclaimed Triple P-Positive Parenting Program.



⏵Finance Manager

BBus (Accty) • CA

Michelle has over 20 years’ experience as a chartered accountant working in both domestic and international corporations in varying industries and assisting medium sized businesses with their financial and taxation issues.

As Finance Manager of Behaviour Innovation Pty Ltd, Michelle provides the CEO with advice and guidance in the company’s overall strategy in financial management and compliance in taxation and corporate governance.



⏵Assistant to the Chief Behavioural Scientist

BPsycSc (Hons)

As the Assistant to the Chief Behavioural Scientist, Nina is directly responsible for providing research and administrative support to the Chief Behavioural Scientist. She is also actively involved in BI’s projects and works collaboratively with the team as a Behavioural Scientist.

Nina recently completed her Honours degree in Psychological Science at the University of Queensland. Her thesis focused on sexual dimorphisms and mate value. Her passion for Psychology stems from the fascinating science of the brain and what motivates peoples behaviour. She aspires to apply her knowledge of scientific and psychological practice to enrich and change the world.


⏵Senior Behavioural Scientist

PhD (Psychology) • BA (Psychology)

Erik is a Senior Behavioral Scientist at Behaviour Innovation and holds a PhD in Psychology from The University of Queensland.

As a Senior Behavioural Scientist, Erik is primarily responsible for the development of metric tools and measurement systems for project strategies. He also contributes to the systems level conceptualisation complex problems to inform the evidence base and design of behaviour change strategies.

During his PhD candidature, Erik led a research agenda set by the World Bank pertaining to the behaviour and social functioning of low-resource coastal communities in Indonesia and the Philippines that rely on marine ecosystems for sustenance. Erik and his team designed, constructed, implemented, and evaluated behaviour change programs as interventions to modify maladaptive behaviour toward marine ecosystems and enhance desirable behaviours.



⏵Senior Advisor

PhD • BEcon (Hons)

Brendan is a Senior Advisor at Behaviour Innovation. Brendan’s primary role is to inform the strategy, market and product development of BI. He is also responsible for providing advice to the company from a behavioural economic perspective, and for implementing advice into the delivery of BI’s services.

Prior to joining BI, Brendan researched and taught behavioural, institutional and evolutionary economics at the University of Queensland and University College London. He is the author of "An Architecture of the Mind: A Psychological Foundation for the Science of Everyday Life" (Routledge, 2018) and the co-author of "Internet, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain: Economics of the Fourth Industrial Revolution" (Routledge, forthcoming), as well as numerous peer-reviewed articles and writings in popular outlets.


⏵Senior Behavioural Scientist

BBusMan (HR) • BA (Psychology, Hons)

Katri is a Senior Behavioural Scientist at BI and oversees the training portfolio for the company. Her work focuses on identifying skills gaps and opportunities and synthesising data to develop training programs relevant to individuals and groups

As a Senior Behavioural Scientist, Katri is responsible for the design and delivery of behaviour change strategies that our projects are based on. Her primary area of focus is the creation of training programs aimed at enhancing the productivity and efficiency of teams through behavioural and psychological skills. Katri also contributes to the Innovation Network Strategy and the Women and Families strategy of the Cane Changer Project which involves training and upskilling members of the industry to enhance productivity and lifestyle.

Katri also specialises in consultation and on ground engagement and frequently meets with prospective clients.


⏵Senior Behavioural Scientist

BSc (Hons) • BA (Psychology, English)

Toneya is a Senior Behavioural Scientist at BI and the manager of the Cane Changer Project, an industry-wide behaviour change program for the Queensland sugarcane industry.

As the project manager, Toneya is responsible for the implementation of all project strategies throughout Queensland's cane growing communities. Toneya plays a central role in the design of workshops for industry groups and government bodies, and heavily informs the communications and media of the project, from news publications to online content.

Toneya spends a lot of her time in Far North Queensland working in partnership with members of CANEGROWERS district offices alongside her Cane Changer team.



⏵Senior Behavioural Scientist

BPsycSc (Hons)

Karl is a Senior Behavioural Scientist at BI. Within this role, he manages and implements existing and oncoming projects.

Karl has a background in both behaviour change and organisational mental health and has worked in London and throughout Europe. His previous roles abroad combined project management and business development in the health-tech start up space.

His role within BI is two-fold; firstly, as a project manager he is on the ground rolling out various behaviour change programs such as the Cane Changer Project, an industry-wide behaviour change program for the Queensland sugarcane industry. Secondly, Karl is involved with the negotiation and acquisition of oncoming clients and projects.


⏵Head of Internal Development

BPsycSc (Hons)

Irene’s core responsibility is to ensure that our team is operating consistently at the top percentile by making BI a great place to work. Irene manages all internal training and development, as well as internships and placement programs hosted at BI. BI currently offers placement positions for fourth-year students, as well as annual internships for undergraduate students and new graduates of psychology. Our Summer internship is one of our most popular programs and attracts over 50 applicants from major universities in our local area.

Irene has an Honours Degree in Psychology from The University of Queensland and is involved with the development of behavioral science strategies, and provides extensive logistical support to all of our Project teams.



⏵Behavioural Scientist

BPsycSc (Hons)

Sam is a Behavioural Scientist at BI and has specialist skills in behavioural analyses and identifying the underlying psychological and behavioural factors required for behaviour change. Sam assists with the preparation of grants and applications, preparing project work for publication, and informs the evidence base and design of strategies across all projects.

Sam is part of the Cane Changer Project team and is primarily responsible for the Scientific Communications strategy. His role includes the creation and preparation of content for dissemination across several platforms for a range of audiences. More specifically, Sam authors articles about the positive practice change of growers for dissemination in the Cairns Post, Cassowary Coast Independent, Herbert River Express, Innisfail Advocate, Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette and The Tablelander. He also assists in the coordination and roll-out of Cane Changer's on-the-ground activities. He provides assistance with the stakeholder and industry consultation, delivers workshops, gathers data and assists with outcome reports.

Sam is also one of the core team working on the EEF60 project, which involves an analysis of sugarcane growers' underlying motivators and barriers to adopting Enhanced Efficiency Fertilisers. Sam's role in the project involves the dissemination of grower surveys throughout QLD sugarcane growing regions, facilitation of grower focus groups, stakeholder engagement, and the preparation of outcome reports.



⏵Behavioural Scientist

BPsycSc (Hons)

As a Behavioural Scientist, Sally has specialist skills in behavioural analyses and identifying the psychological and behavioural targets necessary for behavioural change.

In particular, Sally oversees BI's portfolio of work in the Insurance and Transport sector. Sally was part of the core team to design and deliver the Be A Mate road safety campaign which required the identification and analysis of the underlying behavioural and psychological targets for improving driving behaviours of Queensland motorists. This also involved synthesising and translating evidence to inform the design, development and implementation of tailored behavioural change strategies as well as the creation/ production of materials.

Sally also leads a project to reduce insurance fraud in Queensland. This project has required Sally to synthesise existing literature, undertake new research, and design behavioural science-based strategies to address the target population.

Sally has been part of the Cane Changer delivery team, and has experience in coordinating, and delivering workshops, was responsible for production of communication materials and involved in stakeholder engagement.



⏵Behavioural Scientist

BPsycSc (Hons)

Alanah is a Behavioural Scientist at Behaviour Innovation. Her work largely focuses on BI's training portfolio, where she is involved in the design, development, and delivery of training programs and workshops. This process involves understanding people, and then working with them to deliver evidence-based training that fosters psychological growth and enhances skillsets. Alanah is also actively involved in BI’s behaviour change projects and assists with the research and design of different strategies.

Alanah is passionate about taking a systems-based approach to understanding behaviour. Through her role at BI, Alanah aims to apply behavioural science to bring about behaviour change for positive social and/or environmental outcomes.

Alanah recently completed her Honours in Psychological Science at the University of Queensland. Her thesis focused on performance-based pay and its implications for performance outcomes and stress. She continues this line of work in the organisational psychology and behavioural economics space as a Research Assistant at UQ.



⏵Associate Behavioural Scientist

Completing BPsycSc (Hons)

Georgia is an Associate Behavioural Scientist at BI and part of the Cane Changer Project team. Georgia is responsible for coordinating field trips for the project team, in field events, and engagement for events and workshops.

She works closely with the project manager to prepare the roll-out of behaviour change strategies and Cane Changer's on-the-ground activities. Georgia's role also includes the creation and preparation of communications content for dissemination across several platforms for a range of audiences.

Georgia is currently in her fourth year of studying and completing her Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) at the University of Queensland. Her thesis focuses on how equal opportunity programs (EOPs) might inadvertently trigger feelings of stereotype threat within women in the workplace, which in turn leads women to avoid them.