Diana is currently a Lecturer in Economics within the College of Business, Law and Governance at James Cook University. Her teaching experience in the higher education sector spans over 14 years across both undergraduate and postgraduate offerings. Diana is a recipient of the Sessional Staff Teaching Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for the years 2010 and 2019 at JCU. Diana is also the First Year Experience Coordinator in Cairns for the College of Business, Law and Governance.

Diana is a member of the Centre for International Trade and Business in Asia and a Postgraduate Fellow at The Cairns Institute at JCU.  Her research interests are in the area of understanding individual decision-making, sustainability of regions and spatial econometrics.

Diana also draws on her experience within the private sector where she worked as a research economist undertaking social and economic impact assessments.


Diana is currently completing her PhD in economics in the area of interregional migration in Australia where her overall research objective seeks to understand what makes people want to stay, move away from or move into a region. She is under the primary supervision of Dr Riccardo Welters, Associate Professor in Economics at the College of Business, Law and Governance, Division Tropical Environments and Societies and Theme Leader of ‘Sustainable Development’ at the Cairns Institute, JCU.

Having lived in regions all her life and experienced first hand how push and pull factors influence decision making and impact on the functionality of those regions, Diana hopes her research findings will better guide practitioners and policy makers who seek strategies to the challenges of attracting and retaining varied skilled people in regional Australia.

As part of her research Diana attempts to better define what is meant by migration. Whilst migration definitions are offered, there are complexities to its dimensions. Margins are blurred temporally, spatially and socially which means there’s no clear consensus on its measure. As such within Diana’s overarching objective to identify the determinants of interregional migration within Australia, she seeks to explore three research questions:

1) Who decides? To understand better what motivates people to move between regions, we need to firstly identify who is making that decision. Castorina and Welters (2022) have now published their findings on this research question here: https://doi.org/10.47260/bae/917

2) Does distance matter? Here we look at the role of distance in migration decisions. We utilise econometrics to devise a method to separate short distance migrants from long distance migrants as different displacement impacts are experienced by the two.

3) Does space matter? Misspecification in our migration models may be present given we are working with cross-sectional data which are susceptible to spatial effects. We employ geographically weighted regressions to explore if spatial heterogeneity is present within our data.  Of which without otherwise, bias may be present within our empirical conclusions.


Presentations & TV

November 19, 2020: JCU Inspiration On Tap Series Public Webinar on How to Build a Resilient Economy

February 25, 2021: Townsville Vol 26 PechaKucha Public Presentation on People Building Stronger Regions

August 3, 2023: ABC News National with Casey Briggs Entire Queensland town faces wrecking ball after mine closureRadio


February 25, 2021: ABC Radio North Queensland – Host of Early Morning Country and Early Morning Breakfast Michael Clarke Interview 

May 4, 2022: ABC Radio North Queensland – Host of Early Morning Country and Early Morning Breakfast Michael Clarke Interview [RBA Monetary Policy Decision]  Listen to the full interview from 2:00:23 https://ab.co/3KFksAr

September 6, 2022: ABC Radio North Queensland – Host of Morning Jessica Naunton Interview [RBA Monetary Policy Decision]  Listen to the full interview https://lnkd.in/gKB3N6ja 

October 4, 2022: ABC Radio North Queensland – Host of Early Morning Country and Early Morning Breakfast Michael Clarke Interview [RBA Monetary Policy Decision]  Listen to the full interview from 0:46:23 https://lnkd.in/giwas_Bh

October 26, 2022: ABC Radio North Queensland  – Host of Early Morning Country and Early Morning Breakfast Michael Clarke Interview [Fiscal Policy- Federal Budget]  Listen to the full interview from 1:11:00 https://lnkd.in/gdDjSpkV 

February 4, 2023: ABC Radio North Queensland  – 7.30am News Report interviewed by Rachel Merritt [RBA Monetary Policy Decision]  

May 2, Jun 6, Jul 4, Aug 1, Sept 5, Oct 3, Nov 2, and Dec 7 2023: ABC Radio North Queensland Host of Early Morning Country and Early Morning Breakfast Michael Clarke Interview [RBA Monetary Policy Decision] 


April 7, 2022: Tropic Now- Explainer: How does the new reinsurance pool work and will it reduce your premiums

July 13, 2023: Townsville Bulletin Nine years of surpluses forecast by Townsville City Council's 2023/24 budget

Oct 17, 2023: Townsville Bulletin Aldi to open at Willows shopping centre on November 22 

Oct 20, 2023: Townsville Bulletin Families weigh up leaving Mount Isa in wake of Glencore cosure, economist says 


Associate Editor: Economic Effects of Natural Disasters: Theoretical Foundations, Methods, and Tools, Elsevier, 2021

 Copy Editor:   Journal of Resilient Economies (JRE)

  • BU1003: Principles of Economics (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • BU1007: Principles of Data Analysis for Business (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • LB5932: Multinational Corporations and International Markets (Level 5; ONL)
  • spatial econometrics
  • interregional migration
  • regional Australia
  • microeconomics
  • decision-making
  • 2024 to present - First Year Experience Coordinator, James Cook University
  • 2023 to present - Lecturer, James Cook University
  • 2021 to 2023 - Associate Lecturer, James Cook University
  • 2009 to 2021 - Sessional Academic, James Cook University
  • 2006 to 2009 - Research Economist, Transpac Consulting, Urban Analytics Australia
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2019 - JCU Sessional Teaching Award
  • 2010 - JCU Sessional Teaching Award
  • 2006 - Australian Institute of Management (North Queensland Regional) Prize To the graduating student who has the greatest potential to contribute to the North Queensland economy.
  • 2019 to 2022 - Postgraduate Fellow The Cairns Institute
  • 2018 - Centre for International Trade and Business in Asia

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