Lab Members

Lab Members

Lab Director

Kieran O’Doherty

Kieran O’Doherty is a professor in applied social psychology at the University of Guelph. His research focuses on the social and ethical implications of science and technology. In this context, he has published on such topics as vaccines, human tissue biobanks, the human microbiome, salmon genomics, and genetic testing. Kieran’s research also emphasizes public engagement on science and technology. In this regard, he has designed and implemented public deliberations in which members of the public engage in in-depth discussion about ethical aspects of science and technology and collectively develop recommendations for policy. Kieran’s research has been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation, Genome Canada and Genome British Columbia. He is editor of Theory & Psychology.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Mylène Tantchou Dipankui

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Mylène Tantchou Dipankui is working under the supervision of Dr. Kieran O’Doherty on “Using Social Media to Address Misinformation about HPV and Influenza Vaccines: An Intervention on Facebook”, a project funded by Mitacs and the Canadian Public Health Association. She holds a Ph.D. in Community Health from Université Laval. Her fields of interest include vaccine hesitancy, patient and public involvement, women’s and children’s health, health technology assessment, sharing health information on social media.

Dr. Amanda Jenkins

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Amanda Jenkins is the Research Coordinator for OA-INVOLVE, a cross-national AGE-WELL Centre of Excellence funded project that establishes models of best practices for the active involvement of older adults in technology and aging projects. She received her PhD in Applied Social Psychology from the University of Guelph where she explored women’s use and practices of vaginal cleansing products (douches, deodorants, wipes, powders, washes) and the broader marketing of these products to women from a critical feminist perspective. She previously worked as a Project Manager at the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute (CESI) in Guelph where she conducted community-based research with non-profit organizations.

Dr. Kim Chuong

Kim Choung is a Postdoctoral Fellow on the food environment, inflammatory bowel disease, and human microbiome project. She received her PhD in Applied Social Psychology at the University of Guelph. Previously, she had completed two research projects with Dr. O’Doherty on the learning health care system and ethical, legal and social implications of human microbiome research. Kim also has research interests in sociocultural issues, specifically on health, health inequities, and immigration.

Project Manager

Jenna Vikse

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Jenna Vikse is a researcher and Project Manager on the COVID-19 project. She is an MA student in Health Policy and Equity at York University. Her COVID-19 research interests are around themes of trust, perceptions of risk, and policy implications for vulnerable groups. Her Master’s research is a critical comparative policy analysis of three countries’ response to COVID-19. Before the COVID-19 project, she was researching patient navigation of health systems. Prior to studying Health, Jenna worked in museum exhibit design where she developed methods for communicating complex ideas with generalist audiences. Her undergraduate degree in Knowledge Integration focused on the theory and practice of inter- and trans-disciplinary collaboration. Jenna’s research interests include feminist theory, social determinants of health, and critical policy studies.

Graduate Students

Alexis Fabricius

Alexis Fabricius is a doctoral student in the Applied Social Psychology program. Her work largely focuses on women’s health using critical psychology and qualitative methods. For example, her MA thesis offered a critical and historical reading of the development of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), though it also explored women’s experiences of living with PCOS by interrogating how diagnosed women characterize their PCOS bodies. Those characterizations then lead to particular social and material practices that shape women’s lives in profound and sometimes distressing ways, which require further investigation. Alexis is also turning her attention to the role of digital health technologies in shaping women’s perceptions of their health and their bodies, especially when that technology is purposefully created for female users (e.g. FemTech).

Jessica White

Jessica White is in the second year of her MA in the Applied Social Psychology program and is the lab manager of DSP. Working under the supervision of Dr. O’Doherty, her thesis is looking to explore women’s experiences of contraceptive use, with a focus on intrauterine devices (or IUDs) and how contraception fits into women’s daily life experiences. Jess also completed her undergraduate honours thesis in the DSP lab, where she employed discursive psychology to examine how participants in the Ontario Vaccine Deliberation used descriptions of non-vaccinating parents to make rhetorical claims. Her research interests include women’s sexual health and contraception, public deliberation/deliberative democracy, discursive psychology and internet/online discourse.

Vivian Nelson

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Vivian Nelson is a second-year Master’s student studying COVID-19. Her COVID-19 research interests pertain to vaccine hesitancy, trust, and perceptions of health related risk. Her ongoing thesis research aims to explore Ontarians’ perspectives on a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Prior to the COVID-19 project, Vivian was drawn to research on telemedicine amongst Ontario’s aging population, CRISPR technology, and relationships. 

Mikaela Beijbom

Mikaela is in the first year of her MA in Applied Social Psychology. She completed her undergraduate honours thesis in the lab with Kieran, utilizing critical discourse analysis to examine how popular North American health magazines construct women’s health. Her research interests include public deliberation/deliberative democracy, women’s health, and children’s development and well-being.

Undergraduate Students

Cheau Yuan “CY” Foo 

CY Foo is a 4th year B.A Psychology with a minor in Biology, international transfer student from Malaysia. She has completed both her honours thesis and an independent research project in the lab. Her undergraduate thesis, Listen to your gut: A qualitative analysis of direct-to-consumer microbiome testing websites, looked at how direct-to-consumer microbiome testing companies construct their services and how health related information is presented across these websites.. CY will be conducting research on the public’s perspectives on bacteria and microbiome from a multi-disciplinary perspectives, drawing on literature not only from psychology, but also applied ethics and broader social science approaches. During her time in Guelph, CY has volunteered at the Canadian Cancer Society and the local food bank through events that aims to help Canadian post-secondary students who experience food insecurity

Hannah Goodman

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Hannah is a 4th year BA Psychology student working on an independent project in Dr. O’Doherty’s DSP lab. Her DSP work is focused on the bioethical implications of CRISPR germline gene-editing technology. Hannah currently volunteers with the University of Guelph’s Student Support Network (SSN) providing active listening drop-in support to other Guelph students. She is also working on her thesis in Dr. Linda Parker’s lab on endocannabinoids and nausea prevention.

Ryan Kerrigan

Ryan Kerrigan is a 5th year B.A Psychology with a minor in Biology. He is currently working on an independent research project in the DSP lab, conducting empirical and literature-based research on the social and ethical implications of human microbiome direct-to-consumer services. Ryan will be conducting research from a multi-disciplinary approach, drawing on literature not only from psychology but also from a public health perspective. During his undergraduate degree, he was an exchange student at the University of Strathclyde Glasgow. While at Guelph, Ryan has been a member of the Gryphon’s Novice Rowing Program, has worked at the Athletic Department and volunteers for Student Accessibility Services.

Alumni Lab Members

Postdoctoral Researchers & Graduate Students

Dr. Oriana Vaccarino was a graduate student that worked with the DSP lab group and completed her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Jeff Yen. Her dissertation research focused on coming to collective understandings of aging for older adults through public deliberation, and discussing potential practical implications of these understandings. She was involved in the OA-INVOLVE project (part of the AGE-WELL network) with Dr. O’Doherty, which aims to establish models of best practice for the active involvement of older adults in aging and technology projects. Her passion lies in working with and engaging diverse communities, understanding their strengths and needs, and focusing on systems-level change.

Kristie Serota completed her Master’s degree in Applied Social Psychology at the University of Guelph in 2018. Her Master’s thesis focused on a public deliberation project examining funding for cancer drugs in Canada. During her time in DSP, she was a research assistant on several public deliberation projects, in Canada and the US, discussing a range of issues related to health and ethics. Kristie completed a practicum placement in bioethics at Toronto Western Hospital where she led a media analysis on alcohol-related liver disease requiring liver transplantation. Currently, Kristie is the administrative coordinator for the Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research (CQ) at the University of Toronto and she is a PhD student in Public Health Sciences at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Her dissertation work focuses on ethical issues related to medical assistance in dying.

Dr. Karla Stroud was a graduate student in the DSP research group and completed her PhD in the Applied Social Psychology program in 2018. During her time with DSP, Karli worked on several projects and topics including AGE-WELL, public deliberation on science and technology, and social and ethical implications of biobanking eggs and embryos. She completed her PhD thesis on the topic of Filial Caregiver Experiences Supporting their Parents during the Transition from Hospital to Home in Ontario. Karli now works at Taylor Newberry Consulting as a Researcher and Evaluation Consultant.

Dr. Sara Crann was both a graduate student and a postdoctoral researcher with DSP. During her time with the research group, Sara contributed to several studies relating to social and psychological aspects of the vaginal microbiome and women’s motivations underlying use of vaginal cleansing products. She also worked on the Ontario Vaccine Deliberation. Sara completed her PhD thesis on the topic of Gendered Subjectivities Among Girls and Young Women Attending a Girls’ Empowerment Program in a Rural Canadian Community. Sara is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Windsor.

Dr. Claudia Barned was a graduate student in DSP for several years. Claudia completed her PhD in the Applied Social Psychology program at the University of Guelph in 2017. Her dissertation was entitled “Not fat, maybe thick, not too skinny”: Resisting and Reproducing Health and Beauty Discourses in Urban Jamaica. During her time with DSP, Claudia worked on a Genome Canada funded project on the illness experience of youth with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and their perspectives on being involved in biomedical research. Based on her work in DSP, Claudia pursued further training in bioethics as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Pragmatic Health Ethics Research Unit at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal (IRCM). Claudia is now a Clinical and Organizational Ethics Fellow with the Centre for Clinical Ethics and Unity Health Toronto. 

Dr. Apurv Chauhan is a Senior Lecturer in social psychology at University of Brighton, UK. At Brighton, he holds the Chair of Applied Social Science research ethics and integrity and leads a successful psychology and sociology joint honours degree programme. Apurv was a postdoctoral fellow with DSP. During his time with the group, Apurv worked on public deliberation and science policy and on the Ontario Vaccine Deliberation project.

Dr. Jennie Haw was a postdoctoral fellow with DSP. Jennie worked on several projects relating to the social and ethical aspects of human microbiome research and illness experiences of individuals with asthma. Jennie is a Research Associate at Canadian Blood Services focusing on donor recruitment, engagement and policy

Dr. Emily Christofides completed her PhD in the Applied Social Psychology program and was a postdoctoral fellow in the DSP research group. Emily worked on several projects during her time with the group and published on privacy implications of direct-to-consumer genetic testing, the ethical implications of involving children in biomedical research, the motivations of patients with cystic fibrosis being taking part in research, and the unintended future uses of health data collected for research.

Dr. Jennifer Reniers (née Dobson) was a graduate student and post-doctoral researcher with the DSP research group. During her time with the group, Jenn worked on projects relating to the social and ethical implications of involving children with cystic fibrosis in biomedical research, and public deliberation on hydraulic fracturing. Jenn is now an Educational Analyst working in the Office of Teaching and Learning at the University of Guelph

Dr. Shannon Cunningham was a postdoctoral fellow with the DSP research group for several years. During her time with the group, Shannon worked on several projects, including illness experiences of individuals with asthma, public concerns regarding the storage and secondary uses of newborn bloodspots, health psychological and behavioural implications of research on the vaginal microbiome. Shannon is now a Senior Research Evaluator at Alberta Innovates

Undergraduate Students

Kristina Pagliaro, Catriona Downie, Emma Conway, Sauvanne Julien, Stephanie Liscumb, Jessica Gibson, Stephanie Figliomeni, Kaitlin Snell, Janet Amos, Christine Smith, Alexandra Dainow, Erin Fearon, Mackenzie Smyth, Tiffany Scurr, Joshua Davies, Esha Sharma, Kristie-Lynn Serota, Danielle Nerenberg, Amy Mireault, Megan Campaigne, Stephanie Hache, Leah Horzempa, Leanne Bird, Kristen Dawson, Samantha Vinson, McKenzie Seasons, Olivia Zaroski, Kevin Kilarski, Krista Bullock, Clarissa Cheong, Katherine Ste Marie, Betty-Anne Ouellette, Laura Parrott