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 data governance, human microbiome science, vaccines, human tissue biobanks, 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. Recent edited volumes include Psychological Studies of Science and Technology (2019) and The Sage Handbook of Applied Social Psychology (2019). Kieran’s research has been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, 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.
Dr. Mylène Tantchou Dipankui
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.
Vivian Harbers (nee Nelson)
Vivian is the project manager of the Social Impacts of COVID-19 and Pandemic Response Measures project, which is a collaboration between DSP and researchers at York University’s CEMPPR Lab for Disaster and Emergency Management research and the Faculty of Health. Prior to taking on the role of project manager, Vivian completed her Master’s in Applied Social Psychology under the supervision of Dr. O’Doherty. Her MA thesis research applied qualitative methods in exploring Ontarians’ perspectives on a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Vivian’s research interests include: healthcare and health equity, vaccine decisions, public trust, and interpersonal relationships.
Alexis Fabricius (she/her) is a doctoral student in the Applied Social Psychology program at the University of Guelph. Her research principally focuses on two streams that sometimes intersect: psychology of digital tech and AI and women’s reproductive health. With respect to the former, Alexis is interested in topics like how data and algorithms are shaping our subjectivities, digital privacy and surveillance, the ethico-onto-epistemological implications of digital data, and the entanglements between Psychology and Big Data. With respect to the latter, she pursues topics like the history of ‘normal’ menstruation and the historical ontology of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Alexis uses qualitative methods and research-creation in her work, and draws insights from a range of disciplines and theoretical lenses (e.g., critical and theoretical psychologies, feminist theories, STS, critical data studies, philosophy and history of science, new materialisms, posthumanism). In her dissertation, Alexis is exploring (1) how users of menstrual self-tracking apps understand and characterize their relationship with their personal data, and (2) the implied ontologies of ‘data’ in women’s talk. Recently, the International Society for Theoretical Psychology (ISTP) awarded her the prestigious Sigmund Koch Award for her presentation entitled “Contesting the colonial logics of Big Data-psychology” and the History and Philosophy of Psychology section of the CPA awarded her the Mary J. Wright Award for her presentation entitled, “Posthuman data subjects: Reconsidering data sharing in menstrual self-tracking apps.”
Riya is a second-year Ph.D. student in the DSP Lab. She completed her Master’s with specialization courses in Social and Developmental Psychology. For her MA thesis, she explored the constructions of inclusion and inclusivity in the interviews with teachers in a dis/ability-integrated school. As a research assistant in the lab, she is working on ongoing research on people’s experiences of transformational changes in the pandemic. Riya’s research interests are dis/ability justice, access, and inclusion, specifically in the context of education. She pursues her interests using critical qualitative approaches and emphasizes reflexivity and power-related concerns in the research process.
Mikaela Beijbom is in the second year of her MA in Applied Social Psychology and is the lab manager of DSP. Her honours thesis was a critical discourse analysis examining how popular North American health magazines construct women’s health. For her MA thesis research, she is investigating how parents have navigated decision-making on behalf of their children during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in relation to back-to-school decisions. A results summary of the schooling interviews can be read here. Mikaela is also responsible for overseeing the lab’s “Pandemic Narratives project,” an investigation of Covid as a transformational event. In addition to her work for the lab, she is a Mitacs Accelerate Research Intern. In this position, she is responsible for conducting a scoping review and comprehensive literature review of current best practices addressing equity, diversity, and inclusion, and safe spaces in industry and government workforces.
Angela is currently working on her undergraduate honours thesis in the lab, investigating Canadians’ experiences of transformational change during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, Angela completed an internship in the DSP Lab, exploring the topics of trust and trustworthiness. Angela’s research interests include women’s health, ageing and ageism, public health, and public policy. Previously, Angela worked as a graphic designer for over twenty years.
Emily is a fourth-year BA Psychology student with a minor in Family and Child Studies. Her honours thesis will explore how parents experienced interactions with their children during COVID-19. Her research interests include the social and political issues faced by Indigenous communities, particularly related to health and education, as well as the unique challenges associated with living and ageing in rural Canada. Outside of academics, she is passionate about helping youth build self-confidence through equine interactions, and strengthening community connections through volunteer work.
Zahra is a 4th year B.A Honours student doing my honours thesis under Dr. O’Doherty’s supervision. Her research interests are disability and chronic illnesses including neurodevelopmental disabilities, and mental health. She has volunteered with the Canadian Mental Health Association for over three years as a one-to-one support person for people with agoraphobia as well as providing supportive childcare for the Through the Eyes of A Child attachment-based program and Strengthening Families group.
Kyra Bruce is in her fourth year in the B.A. Honours Psychology Co-op Program. She is hoping to do her Master’s in Clinical Psychology after graduation. Kyra is currently an intern in the lab focusing on the idea of stewardship in different domains. Her research interests include intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health, and addictions. Outside of research and the lab, Kyra is an active volunteer on the Relay for Life committee at the university and has worked as a support worker for individuals with a wide range of disabilities in congregate settings for her co-op work terms.
Alumni Lab Members
Postdoctoral Researchers & Graduate Students
Dr. Kim Chuong was a Postdoctoral Fellow and a graduate research assistant in DSP. She received her PhD in Applied Social Psychology at the University of Guelph. Her post-doctoral work focused on the food environment, inflammatory bowel disease, and human microbiome project. 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.
Jessica White completed her Master’s degree in the Applied Social Psychology program at the University of Guelph in 2021. Working under the supervision of Dr. O’Doherty, her Master’s thesis explored women’s experiences of contraceptive use, with a focus on intrauterine devices (or IUDs) and how contraception fits into women’s daily life experiences. Jessica 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. Currently, Jessica works in Employment and Social Services at Halton Region.
Jenna Vikse was a researcher and Project Manager on a COVID-19 project. She also conducted her MA research in Health Policy and Equity at York University. 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.
Dr. Amanda Jenkins was a graduate student in the DSP research group and completed her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Kieran O’Doherty. Her dissertation research 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. Amanda is now a Research Coordinator for OA-INVOLVE, a cross-national AGE-WELL funded project that establishes models of best practices for the active involvement of older adults in technology and aging projects.
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
Merna Tawfik, Madelyn Cassola, Alexandra Boeriu, Laura Sutton, Cheau Yuan Foo, Hannah Goodman, Ryan Kerrigan, 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