Our Speakers

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Behavioral Innovation Director

As the Behavioral Innovation Director for Maritz, Zarak Khan directly supports the Chief Behavioral Officer to drive innovation within each of Maritz’ business solutions, ensuring that they are designed to leverage a deep understanding of human behavior and modern market trends.

Zarak serves on the Board of Action Design Network, a community of over fifteen thousand practitioners and researchers interested in exploring the use of behavioral science and psychology in the design and development of products and policies that help people take action to improve their lives. He is also a visiting fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches a behavioral science consulting course.



Founder & President


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Michael founded MNC in 2019 because he wanted to help companies of all sizes and capabilities solve unique consumer questions. It is a consumer strategy organization with a deep background in sensory science, the science of how we perceive textures, tastes, aromas, and auditory and visual stimuli. Michael's unique point of view roots from his student days at The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University, where he merged the disciplines of Culinary Arts, Food Science, Computer Science and Psychology to solve problems related to food choice, consumer emotional response, and menu design. Prior to MNC, Michael spent the past 10+ years working at government, market research and CPG organizations to design solutions to real business issues. Michael is also very active in his field and has served as scientific chair for the Society of Sensory Professionals and the conference chair for the ‘17 Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium.

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Bob Granito has over 25 years of experience providing technology support within the market research industry and is the founder of Interactive Video Productions.  Working in Citibank’s Development Division Lab in the late 1980s, Bob was responsible for integrating video and computer technology with marketing research, reinventing the way Citibank market researchers observed and evaluated usability testing. 


As IVP’s President for almost twenty years, Bob has guided Interactive Video into an industry leader, providing usability, eye tracking and neuromarketing technology across the United States, Europe and Canada.  Bob has built a large network of research facility partners and a client list that includes some of the industry’s largest research consulting firms as well as companies like Apple, Disney, Bank of America and AT&T.



Co-Founder & President



Dr. John Ennis, co-founder of Aigora, is a world-renowned authority on the use of artificial intelligence within sensory and consumer science. A market research consultant trained in both mathematics and computational neuroscience, Dr. Ennis has more than a dozen years of specialized experience within sensory and consumer science.


Dr. Ennis is the author of 2 books in sensory and consumer science and of 30+ peer-reviewed articles in a variety of fields including sensory and consumer science, applied statistics, computational neuroscience, and experimental algorithmics; chair of ASTM E18.04 "Fundamentals of Sensory" and chair-elect of E18 "Sensory Evaluation"; speaker and workshop organizer at numerous international conferences; a popular instructor at dozens of short courses; member of the editorial boards of both Food Quality and Preference and Journal of Sensory Studies; and past winner of both the Food Quality and Preference, "Researcher of the Future" and UCSB "Outstanding Educator" awards. 


In addition to his industrial and academic work, Dr. Ennis hosts the popular podcast “AigoraCast,” which consists of interviews with industry experts on how new technologies are transforming sensory and consumer science.



Assistant Professor



Nimesha Ranasinghe is an Assistant Professor at the School of Computing and Information Science and directs the Multisensory Interactive Media lab (MIM lab - at University of Maine. He completed his Ph.D. at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2013. Dr. Ranasinghe’s research interests include Multisensory Interactive Media, Human-Computer Interaction, Augmented and Virtual Reality. He is well-known for his Digital Taste (a.k.a. Virtual Flavors) and Virtual Cocktail (Vocktail) inventions and featured in numerous media around the world including New Scientist, New York Times, Time Magazine, BBC Radio, Discovery Channel, and Reuters. Furthermore, he has published his work in several prestigious academic conferences and journals including ACM conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), ACM conference on Multimedia, and Journal of Human-Computer Studies. He has received numerous awards for his research works; in 2014, his work on Digital Lollipop was selected as one of the ten best innovations in the world by the netexplo forum in UNESCO HQ, Paris.



The Henry Rutgers Professor of Marketing


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Dr. Morrin is the Henry Rutgers Professor of Marketing at Rutgers School of Business Camden. Her research focuses on examining how the human senses impact the consumer decision-making process. Her articles have been published in leading journals and she serves on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, and Journal of Consumer Research. She currently serves as Area Editor at the Journal of Consumer Psychology. Dr. Morrin has received several external grants to support her research as well as several teaching awards and reviewing awards from the Journal of Consumer Psychology and Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. She particularly enjoys teaching courses in business analytics. She received her Ph.D. from New York University, where she was a Consortium Fellow and won an Outstanding Teaching award.  She also is a graduate of Thunderbird (MBA) and Georgetown University (BSFS). Her background includes five years of corporate work experience in advertising (at Ted Bates) and brand management (at James River Corp and Playtex Family Products).

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Chief Strategist & Founder



Kevin is a brand evolution strategist. As Chief Strategist & Founder of Limbic Brand Evolution, he helps CMOs strengthen connections with customers and tackle top brand challenges with a distinct focus on emotion. By bringing behavioral science approaches and insights into the work, he understands what makes people tick and identifies their unmet needs and emotional motivations. He effectively guides business evolution and growth plans and the development of emotion-centric brand strategy, experiences and communications. His approach is designed to trigger what he calls, Limbic Sparks™ - which happen when your audience is emotionally motivated by what you’re all about - to increase desire, engagement and loyalty. Kevin’s background includes the creation of an award-winning neuroscience-based research capability and published new data on the high correlation between subconscious emotion and conscious desire. He’s fascinated by the science of emotion and its well-documented power.



Associate Professor in Marketing & Director of the Center for Applied Research in Decision Making



Dr. Vinod Venkatraman is currently an Associate Professor in Marketing, and Director of the Center for Applied Research in Decision Making at the Fox School of Business, Temple University. Dr. Venkatraman joined Temple in July 2011 after completing his PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. His research involves the use of behavioral, eye tracking, neurophysiological and neuroimaging methodologies to study the effects of context, state, and individual traits on decision preferences. A core emphasis of his research is in the application of findings from the laboratory to real-world decisions in the areas of consumer financial decision making, public policy, and marketing communications. 

Dr. Venkatraman received the Early Career Award from the Society of Neuroeconomics in 2016 for his contributions to the area of decision neuroscience. His research has been published in leading scientific journals including Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Neuroscience, Neuron and Journal of Consumer Psychology, and featured in popular media outlets including BBC, Forbes, NPR, LA Times, and Newsweek. Several of his recent research projects have been funded through grants and collaborations with the industry. He has also been an academic advisor and Fellow at IPSOS, a leading market research company.





Dr. Martha Bajec has spent the last decade working as a scientist and leader for some of the world’s largest and most influential consumer packaged goods companies. With undergraduate and master’s theses focused on neurotransmission in model organisms and doctoral work on individual differences in human oral sensation, Martha has put the rigor and stringency of her training to work in delivering evidence-based insights on CPG categories ranging from fortified milk-based products through carbonated beverages, and beer and wine through tobacco and cannabis. Currently, as Principal at Bajec Senseworks consulting, Martha lends her unique expertise and perspective to researchers and leaders across CPG categories. In addition to providing full-service support for human testing and product evaluation, Martha’s experience innovating in highly regulated spaces ensures consideration of regulatory and compliance requirements, by design. In her spare time, Martha enjoys fermenting, extracting, and infusing natural products and foods. 



Assistant Professor of Marketing



Ning Ye is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Stockton University. She received her Ph.D. in Marketing at Temple University. Her research interests focus on sensory marketing and food decision-making. Before joining the Consumer Sensory Innovation Lab, she received a Master’s Degree in Marketing from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business English from Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, China. Ning is a winner of the 2017 ACR/Sheth Foundation Dissertation Proposal Competition, and a 2017 AMA-Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium Fellow.



Head of Behavioral Science



Aline is an applied behavioral scientist, specializing in digital health research and scientifically informed product design. Her training in psychology and business, and her experience working in research and healthcare have given her the interdisciplinary lens necessary to appreciate the complexity of decision-making in the real world. Aline is Head of Behavioral Science at Pattern Health, a digital health platform designed to inspire and accelerate innovation and deliver more impact with less hassle. She also co-founded the Behavior Shop, a behavioral science advisory company, and is Principal of the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University, Dan Ariely’s applied behavioral science lab that helps people be happier, healthier and wealthier.



Consumer Insights Manager



Lisa Yu has worked in the market research industry for over 10 years. Her passion for this work can be traced back to where her career began at Nielsen BASES focusing on research for innovative products within the consumer package goods industry. In addition to specializing in sales forecasting and innovative product research she learned how leadership, an entrepreneurial attitude and a strategic mindset can lead to success.


Wanting to explore other facets of research, Lisa transitioned to working in the fragrance industry where she had the opportunity to conduct qualitative and secondary research.  Utilizing several different data points and resources created opportunities to tell the story of the consumer in a clear and concise manner. Neuroscience is another avenue Lisa has explored to further understand consumer's sensory experience. 


Through Lisa's career, her dedication for excellence in this field only continues to grow as she understands being the voice and representation for consumers in a consumer driven industry is essential for a successful business.



Managing Director of the Master of Behavioral & Decision Sciences program


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Dr. Christopher Nave is the Managing Director of the Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences program at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Nave’s areas of expertise include personality psychology, behavioral observation, assessment, and personality judgment. He completed his PhD in Social/Personality Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Nave’s scholarly publications have appeared in top academic journals. He is Co-Editor in Chief for the upcoming Wiley Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. 

Dr. Nave is the founder and lead city organizer for the Philadelphia chapter of Action Design Network. He is passionate about interpreting academic research for an applied audience, mentoring students, and promoting an interdisciplinary approach to understand behavior change and decision-making.



Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Applied Research in Decision Making



Craig is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Applied Research in Decision Making working with Vinod Venkatraman and Crystal Reeck. His research examines how individuals pursue emotional goals through social interactions. By interacting with other people, individuals advance (1) goals for expressing their emotions and understanding others’ emotions—in emotional communication, and (2) goals for managing their own and others’ emotions—in interpersonal emotion regulation. At CARD, Craig is researching how these emotional processes shape decision-making in social contexts. His approach combines behavioral, psychometric, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging methods. 

Craig previously completed post-doctoral training at the University of Toronto with Wil Cunningham, a Ph.D. and M.A. in Psychology at Stanford University with Jamil Zaki, post-baccalaureate training at the National Institute of Mental Health with James Blair, and a B.S. in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with John Curtin and Hill Goldsmith.



Sensory & Consumer Research Scientist

Nadeesha completed her Ph.D. in Sensory & Consumer Science at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She was awarded a full scholarship by the Australian government to pursue her Ph.D. based on the excellence in academic merit obtained at the at The University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, from where she holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Food Science and Technology. Nadeesha is specialized in researching on novel non-invasive technologies to monitor sensory and biometric responses of consumers towards food products and packaging. This research was conducted in collaboration with Mondelez International who, together with the University of Melbourne, committed to share research outcomes with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Having grown up in Sri Lanka and completing her tertiary education in Australia, and finally moving to the USA, she has a background interacting with different cultures and people. Today, she is the co-founder of “T&N Sensory Consultants”, together with her twin sister, who is also a Ph.D. in the same field.



PhD Candidate in Marketing



Nur Onuklu is a PhD candidate in Marketing at Temple University. Her research interests focus on sensory marketing. Currently, she is working on several projects analyzing the relationships between crossmodal associations and consumer behavior.  Before joining Temple, she received an MBA on full tuition scholarship from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business, in 2012. She holds a BS in International Relations and a Minor degree in Industrial Economics and Economic Policy from METU, Turkey.



Director of Behavior Change



Julie O’Brien is a behavioral scientist working at the intersection of health and technology. She’s spent her career designing and testing scalable solutions that close the gap between what people want to do and what they actually do. She recently joined WW where she’s building an applied behavioral science team to support the digital experience. Prior to that she was a Principal Behavioral Scientist at Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight a faculty director for the Centene Center for Health Transformations, and a co-founder of the Behavior Shop. She has a PhD in Social Psychology and created the behavioral research function at Opower.