Kabisha Velauthapillai

Position: Research Assistant

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

Position: 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: 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 a postdoctoral associate at the Human Environments Analysis Laboratory at Western University.


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.