Thomas Herrmann

Position: Research Assistant (2016-2020)

Education: BA Geography (Urban Systems, McGill University)


Thomas was a full-time research assistant for the Group. His research interests include Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the impact of built environments on population health and active behaviour. Prior to completing a BA in Geography in December 2016, Thomas’ work as a research assistant at the McGill School of Urban Planning focused on analyzing discrepancies between measures of walking-friendly environments and rates of walking in Montreal. Thomas was on the Group’s research team for Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) project, where he was involved with producing a database of GIS-derived measures of local walkability in Canada and analyzing the relationship between characteristics of the built environment and population health through data linkage with national health surveys. He also provided GIS, survey design, and administrative assistance for other projects and group members.


Madeleine Pawlowski

Position: MA Student (2016-2019)

Education: MA Health Geography (McGill University); BA Joint Honours Geography & International Development Studies (McGill University)


Madeleine was a master’s candidate in Health Geography, co-supervised by Dr. Ross and Dr. Mylene Riva. Her research interests draw from past work on Indigenous student success in the non-profit sector, and focus mainly on the relationship between Inuit student well-being and post-secondary retention for students moving from Nunavik to Montreal for CEGEP. Madeleine previously completed her BA Joint Honours in Geography and International Development Studies at McGill in 2015, and was a 2015-2016 OceanPath Fellow.


Will Gleckner

Position: Research Assistant (2017-2019)

Education: BA Geography (Urban Systems, McGill University)


Will was a full-time research assistant working on the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) walkability project . His research interests include the relationship between built environment and community health as well as housing issues in cities. He has a BA Honours in Urban Systems from McGill University. His work with the PHAC project involved using GIS measures to create a walkability model for all Canadian postal codes. He also assisted in documenting and planning for the project.


Dr. Kelly Ann Renwick

Position: PhD Student (2012-2018)

Education: BS Environmental Biology (Appalachian State University); MA Geography (Appalachian State University); PhD Health Geography (McGill University)


Dr. Renwick's doctoral work under the supervision of Dr. Nancy Ross focused on the influence of low social support, living alone, and a weak sense of belonging on premature mortality and hospital utilization among older adults in Canada. She is currently a lecturer in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Appalachian State University (Global Studies - Disparities in Human Health). Her current research interests include the social determinants of health, health inequalities, population health, and climate change and health.


Dr. Anne-Sophie Brazeau

Position: Associate Researcher

Education: BSc Nutrition (Université de Montréal); PhD Human Nutrition (Université de Montréal)


Anne-Sophie was an associate researcher at the Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation of the IR-MUHC and was a collaborator with the Research Group on Geo-Social Determinants of Health. Her research interests focus on factors related to the development and management of non-communicable disease, such as diet quality and food environment on diabetes, and on strategies to improve health behaviors related to these diseases. She is now an associate professor at McGill University's School of Human Nutrition and Program Director of Dietetic Education and Practice


Dr. Rania Wasfi

Position/program: Associate Researcher (2015-2017); PhD Health Geography (McGill University)

Education: BSc Architectural Engineering, Alexandria University; MURP, Portland State University; PhD Geography, McGill University


Rania worked as an associate researcher at the Department of Geography at McGill University with Prof. Nancy Ross. Her research interest is in health geography, specifically looking at the social determinants of health and the role of active transportation in the production of health. Her research focuses on the role of environmental factors— such as a neighbourhood’s physical characteristics (built environment), socio-economic characteristics and transportation systems— in shaping travel behaviour, physical activity and body weight of urban Canadians, using longitudinal and cross sectional datasets.


Kabisha Velauthapillai

Position: Research Assistant (2017)

Education: BSc Environment (Ecological determinants of health, McGill University)


Kabisha was a summer student who helped on a project that evaluates the relationship between walkability and micro-scale features of the built environment for the Canadian context. She is worked on developing a tool for evaluating these features while also conducting virtual street audits. Going into the final year of her BSc, Kabisha developed a profound interest for interdisciplinary studies and a commitment to environmental justice. Working with the Research Group on Geo-Social Determinants of Health contributed to her understandings of geographic and social factors that play into health inequities. In the near future, she intends on studying interactions between climate change, land surface processes, and human health.


Grace O’Brien

Position: Research Assistant (2017)


Grace was a summer research assistant for the group. Her main research interests were the interactions between physical geography and human geography particularly with regards to how environmental factors such as a changing climate interact with the built environment. Grace’s work included continuing her undergraduate research on the urban heat penalty of walkability as well as aiding with the design and measurements of a microscale walkability audit tool to virtually measure Montreal and Toronto neighbourhoods as another part of the PHAC project.


Dr. Sidonie Penicaud

Program: MSc Student (2015-2017)

Sidonie completed her MSc Epidemiology thesis Does Rail Transit Investment Promote Increased Utilitarian Walking in Canadians? She is a physician in the Public Health Residency Program at McGill and is completing her full time public health residency in Quebec.


Dr. Samantha Hajna

Position/program: Post-doctoral fellow (Spring 2016- Fall 2016); PhD student (2010-2016)


Samantha completed her BSc and MSc degrees at Brock University (ON, Canada) and was awarded a PhD in Epidemiology from McGill University (QC, Canada). Her thesis Neighbourhood walkability and pedometer and accelerometer-assessed walking in Canadian adults was supervised by Dr. Kaberi Dasgupta and Dr. Nancy Ross. She is currently a Research Associate within the Prevention of Diabetes and Related Metabolic Disorders Programme in the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK). With expertise in the application of Geographic Information Systems and GPS monitoring to health research, Samantha is currently leading several projects on the associations between environments, health behaviours, and health outcomes in older adults.


Lorna Sampson

Position: MA student (2010-2013)

Lorna completed her MA thesis Neighbourhood Deprivation and the Severity and Management of Gestational Diabetes with Dr. Nancy Ross and was a Canadian Public Health Association Population and Public Health Award winner. She is currently a medical student in Ireland.


Dr. Daniel Crouse

Position: PhD Student (2005-2009)

Daniel completed his thesis Social and Physical Environmental Determinants of Breast Cancer: a Case-Control Study of Montreal Women supervised by Dr. Nancy Ross and Dr. Mark Goldberg. He is currently an Assistant Professor at The University of New Brunswick.


Dr. Dana Wilson

Position: PhD Student (2003-2008)

Dana completed her thesis Urban Environmental Influences on Youth Gambling supervised by Dr. Nancy Ross. She is now the Foundational Standard Specialist - Health Equity at the Sudbury and District Health Unit.


Dr. Chantelle Richmond

Position: PhD Student (2003-2007)

Chantelle completed her thesis Dimensions and Determinants of Aboriginal Health in Canada with Dr. Nancy Ross and is now an Associate Professor at Western University and a CIHR New Investigator Awardee. She was elected to the Canadian Royal Society's College of New Scholars in Fall 2015.


Dr. Stephanie Coen

Position: MA Student (2004-2006)

Stephanie completed her MA thesis Neighbourhood Collective Efficacy and Cohesion in Bolivia with Dr. Nancy Ross and Dr. Sarah Turner. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Geography at the University of Nottingham.


Dr. Philippe Fines

Position: Post-doctoral fellow (2003-2005)


Philippe completed his project The Meaning of Income for Health with Dr. Nancy Ross and funded by Health Canada in 2005. He is currently a Senior Research Scientist with Statistics Canada.


Saeeda Khan

Position: MA student (2002-2004)

Saeeda completed her MA thesis Neighbourhood Influences on Stress and Distress in Montreal, QC with Dr. Nancy Ross. Saeeda is currently a researcher with Statistics Canada.


Dr. Claudia Sanmartin

Position: Post-doctoral fellow (2001-2003)

Claudia completed her project Earned Income Inequality and Working Age Mortality with Dr. Nancy Ross and funded by a Statistics Canada postdoctoral stipend in 2003. She is currently the Assistant Director of the Health Analysis Division at Statistics Canada.