Principal investigators

Yan Kestens, PhD
[email protected]

Yan Kestens, CIHR Applied Public Health Chair in Urban Interventions and Population Health and associate professor at Ecole de Santé Publique de l’Université de Montréal is a Principal Investigator on INTERACT. Yan’s research program focuses on improving our understanding of how changes in cities influences population health, considering converging objectives of sustainability, improved quality of life and reduced health inequalities. With a background in Geography and Urban Planning, Yan develops new ways to collect and analyse spatial data and processes to understanding healthy cities. Methods include the use of wearable sensors for mobility and physical activity assessment, or map-based online questionnaires for activity space and spatialized social network data collection. Yan is convinced we are living in exciting and important times that call for and allow new intersectoral collaborations to generate positive change in how we design our cities and interact! When not working, Yan is busy with one of many other projects that may involve brewing, french sausage, and kids!

Meghan Winters, PhD
[email protected]

Meghan Winters is a Principal Investigator on INTERACT, and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar. Her research focuses on ways that cities and their infrastructure can play a role in promoting healthy and safe transportation, for people of all ages and abilities. She is happiest when working in close collaboration with cities and stakeholders to conduct research and create tools that address real-world challenges. Meghan is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and a core investigator at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility. Meghan has a PhD from the School of Population and Public Health at UBC. Out of the office, Meghan aims to spend the maximum time outside, biking, camping, picnicking and exploring with her family in tow. 

Daniel Fuller, PhD
[email protected]

Daniel Fuller is a Principal Investigator on the INTERACT team and Canada Research Chair in Population Physical Activity in the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation at Memorial University. His research is focused on using wearable technologies to study physical activity, transportation interventions, and equity in urban spaces. He focuses his methodological work on methods for natural experiments, and machine learning. Dan has an MSc in Kinesiology from the University of Saskatchewan, a PhD in Public Health from Université de Montréal, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan. Dan is the Neighbourhood Factors Team co-lead of the Canadian Urban Environmental Health (CANUE) Research Consortium. He spends free time chasing his two rambunctious kids, is a runner with no plans to ever run a marathon, relives his youth playing recreational basketball on Mondays and Wednesdays, and is a long suffering Montreal Canadiens fan.

Research staff

Elise Gatti, MSc Arch
[email protected]

Elise Gatti is National Research Coordinator for Team INTERACT and Project Coordinator for the Montreal site. Her primary responsibility is the implementation of INTERACT’s research activities nationally and in Montreal, where she resides. Elise’s professional interests revolve around nature-based urban recreation and active living. Her work is driven by the need to provide sustainable and enjoyable living environments that promote the well-being of all living beings. Elise holds degrees in Urban and Regional Planning (Ryerson University) and Urban Design (Université Laval), and is completing a PhD in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at the University of Utah. Prior to joining Team INTERACT, she worked as an urban planner and designer, researcher, and university instructor. Elise finds joy in riding her bicycles, the company of family and friends, serving her community, and in being outside in nature as much as possible with her dog during all seasons. 

Meridith Sones, MPH
[email protected]

Meridith is a knowledge translation and communications strategist with a passion for mobilizing evidence and people around bold solutions to public health challenges. As Manager of Knowledge Mobilization, Meridith is excited to apply her zest for strategic thinking, creativity, and authentic partnerships towards INTERACT’s success. Meridith has spent the past ten years leading knowledge translation and evaluation strategies for health organizations aspiring for greater reach and impact. Her work has spanned multiple disciplines and settings, from government agencies in Canada to community organizations in Brazil and Botswana. Prior to joining INTERACT, Meridith was Knowledge Translation Manager for the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health, where she executed strategies to inspire the integration of sex and gender in health research and policy. Meridith spends most weekends playing in the mountains around Vancouver and park-hopping with her sushi-loving toddler and mischievous yellow lab Kona.

Karen Laberee, MSc Biology
[email protected]

Karen Laberee is the Project Coordinator in Victoria. She is also the Executive Director of BikeMaps.org. Karen is excited to draw upon her experience in developing creative approaches for promoting BikeMaps.org to recruit participants in Victoria for Team Interact. Karen has a diverse academic background that includes a Master of Science (Zoology – Western University), two years in the Molecular Genetics Lab at DFO (Nanaimo), and almost a decade in the Spatial Pattern Analysis and Research (SPAR) laboratory at the University of Victoria (Geography) as a laboratory manager and research associate. She has served on numerous non-profit boards and organized sports associations and these volunteer commitments have been an opportunity to broaden her skillset. When she’s not talking about biking, Karen can be found running the spectacular trails that are found just outside of Victoria or supporting her teenagers in their athletic endeavours. 

Margot Gough, MPH
[email protected]

Margot is the Project Coordinator in Saskatoon. In addition to INTERACT, she works on other research projects at the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit. Margot is happy to bring her passion for developing effective and user-friendly coordination systems as well as her public health research skills to the INTERACT team. Margot enjoys working alongside engaged community members and is energized by the challenge and richness of ensuring that projects benefit all stakeholders and include first voices. She has a background in health promotion and community health including a Master’s of Community Health from the Université de Montréal. She has coordinated several research projects and is excited to get to work on a natural experiment. She is a bike lover and in her spare time can be found sharing tasty food with friends and family, volunteering in the local bike co-op, and outdoor adventuring. 

Co-investigators

Coming soon!

Knowledge users

Coming soon!

Collaborators

Coming soon!