Dr Chiara Calastri

Dr Chiara Calastri


Chiara is a Lecturer in Rail Economics at the Institute for Transport Studies. Her work focuses on the analysis of travel demand, aiming to understand behavioural processes and forecast expected outcomes of policy interventions. Her main areas of expertise are choice modelling and econometrics. She has completed her PhD in 2017 at the Institute for Transport Studies, with a thesis titled "Capturing and modelling complex decision-making in the context of travel, time use and social interactions" (link to thesis:http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/18507/). In her doctoral work, she developed advanced choice models to explain how people interact, form social connections and allocate their time between different activities. She is the winner of the 2017 Eric Pas Dissertation Award (awareded by the International Association for Travel Behaviour Research) which recognises the best doctoral thesis in the area of travel behaviour. She has then been a Post-Doctoral researchers at the Choice Modelling Centre, working on the ERC-funded project “Choices and consumption: modelling long and short term decisions in a changing world” for two years before taking on the role of Lecturer in September 2019. 



Research interests

Chiara’s interests revolve around modelling travel behaviour and capturing its complexities through mathematical models. 

She has worked on different aspects of travel behaviour, including activity scheduling and time allocation, the effects of social interactions and the interaction of different choice processes. She has worked with different types of data (travel diaries, GPS, networks) and made both methodological and applied contributions. Some of her current work involves modelling time use while travelling.

Chiara also works in research outside of transport. She is the PI of a National Instutute for Health Research (NIHR) grant looking at choice behaviour around the use of A&E. She is also working on a project on parenting choices, making use of the Born In Bradford dataset, and she works on modelling animal behaviour.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Transport Studies (Choice Modelling), University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.
  • Master of Science in Economics, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, Distinction.
  • Bachelor in Economics, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Professional memberships

  • Member of the Subcommittee on Behavioral Processes: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods (ADB10), TRB
  • Member of the Special Committee for Travel Forecasting Resources (ADB45), TRB

Student education

I am involved in student education at different levels. I teach a number of courses at ITS as well as CPD courses in Leeds and in London. I supervise Masters and PhD students and act as personal tutor for a number of MSc students.

Current PhD students:

Victor Cantillo: Understanding travel behaviour over time

Shuwei Lin: Modelling social influence

Previous PhD students:

Martyna Bogacz: Neural correlates of choices

Zhenni Chen (Visiting): Understanding car ownership in China (2019)

Previous MEng/MSc Students:

Nina Haas: The relationship between perceived safety and the design features of urban parks

Anna Richardson: How does the fear of crime impact walking behaviour of women aged 60+? An exploratory study

Aalisha Sorathiya: Do Attitudes affect Travel behaviour or vice-versa: A Case from the Netherlands (2021)

Corneliu Cotet:Understanding travel behaviour changes caused by planned disruption: An analysis of the CBD and South East LRT construction in Sydney, Australia (2020)

Kuan Ling Pan: Understanding Preferences for BRT in Taiwan: A Comparison between Traditional and Figure-based Stated Preference surveys (2020)

Ching Lin: Putting gender in the picture of quantitative transport studies---Gender differences in commute distance and mode choice in modern Netherlands (2020)

Eleni-Eugenia Douligeri: Modelling commuting patterns of University of Leeds staff members (2019)

Research groups and institutes

  • Choice Modelling

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/1439-multi-tasking-while-travelling:-data,-methods,-policy">Multi-tasking while travelling: data, methods, policy</a></li>