I am a third year PhD candidate studying at Western University under the supervision of Dr. Michelle Mottola and Dr. Harry Prapavessis. My research interests include obesity prevention, lifestyle (nutrition and exercise) behaviour change and exercise in special population groups. My current research focuses on adherence to nutrition and exercise recommendations during pregnancy. By supporting women with strategies to lead a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy we can improve the health of two generations (mom and future baby), including preventing obesity. I have been involved with the OC-SNP National Executive and the local Western chapter over the past three years. I am looking forward to my new role as Chair for the 2018/2019 National Executive team, and am excited to work with and learn from peers across the country who are dedicated to the OC mission and values.
Nadia BrowneVice Chair
Nadia Browne is a national of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She received her Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition from McGill University as well as completed a Dietetic Internship to become a Registered Dietitian. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from The University of the West Indies at St. Augustine. Currently, she is a doctoral student under the supervision of Dr. Geoff Ball in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta. Nadia’s research is focused on pediatric obesity and motivation to change health-related behaviours’.
Amanda RaffoulOutgoing Chair
I am a second-year PhD Candidate in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo, working under the supervision of Dr. Sharon Kirkpatrick. My research interests include dieting, weight management behaviours, eating disorder and obesity prevention, and weight bias. I have been involved with the Obesity Canada – Students and New Professionals (OC-SNP) chapter at the University of Waterloo since 2015, and for the past two years, have served on the OC-SNP National Executive as a Chapter Representative (2016-2017) and Chair (2017-2018). Outside of my work with OC, I also dedicate time to working with the local YWCA in facilitating girls’ groups and volunteering with body image-related initiatives on campus.
Melissa FernandezOutgoing Vice-chair
RD; PhD candidate, Université Laval.
Katherine FordFinancial Director
Katherine is a Registered Dietitian and a PhD student at the University of Alberta. She obtained both her Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Foods and Nutrition and her Dietetic Internship from the University of Prince Edward Island and a Master of Science degree from the University of Saskatchewan. She has work experience as a RD in clinical and community nutrition and a passion for teaching and mentoring aspiring health professionals. Her research interests include nutritional assessment and body composition in adults with chronic disease. Outside of academia, Katherine is enthralled with flying and holds a pilot licence and seaplane rating.
Joyla FurlanoRecruitment Coordinator
Joyla completed her B.Sc. Honours in Psychology at University of Toronto, and is now a second year Ph.D. student in Neuroscience at Western University. Under the supervision of Dr. Lindsay Nagamatsu, her research focus is on how exercise affects cognition and brain health in sedentary, overweight older adults at-risk for diabetes. More specifically, she is examining the effects of a 6-month resistance training program on memory performance using advanced neuroimaging techniques. Joyla is very excited to be joining the OC-SNP National Executive as the Recruitment Coordinator, and looks forward to working with the OC-SNP team!
Kristen ReillyChapter Representative
Rebecca ChristensenChapter Representative
Kerri DelaneyResource Coordinator
Kerri completed her BSc (Hons) at the University of Waterloo in Kinesiology with a minor in Human Nutrition. She began her MSc at Concordia University with Dr. Sylvia Santosa in September of 2015, accelerating to her PhD in January 2017. The main objective of Kerri’s research is to provide novel insights into the pathology of type 2 diabetes while additionally examining the effects of weight loss. Her current work examines immune cell presence, markers of inflammation and fat cell characteristics in fat tissue, from different regions of the body, in bariatric surgery patients.
Laura VergeerSpecial Events Coordinator
Laura Vergeer is a graduate student in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, working under the supervision of Dr. Mary L’Abbé. She received her BSc (Hons) in nutritional sciences and environmental science from the University of Toronto. Laura’s thesis project focuses on examining the nutritional quality of food companies’ Canadian product portfolios in relation to their voluntary reformulation commitments and food prices. Outside the lab, Laura is a member of several student associations and committees within the Department of Nutritional Sciences and works as a Child Life Volunteer at The Hospital for Sick Children.
Farah Islam Communications Director
Farah completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at McGill University. Currently, she is pursuing her graduate studies in the field of Public Health at the Université de Montréal. The objective of her Master’s and Doctoral research is to better understand and encourage healthy lifestyle habits in those segments of the population who are at the greatest risks for developing health-related problems due to weight-related factors. Farah is eager to join the OC-SNP National Executive team as the new Bilingual Communications Coordinator! Aside from academia, Farah also has a passion for travelling and has visited over 30 countries to date!
Megan LambSpecial Events Coordinator
Brenndon GoodmanPublic Engagement Committee Representative
Maryam Kebbe Communications Director
Maryam completed her BSc in Life Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Currently, she is a PhD Candidate (transfer from MSc) in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta. The focus of Maryam’s thesis research is on the lifestyle habits of adolescents with obesity, which she used to develop Conversation Cards for Adolescents (CCAs), a clinical, bilingual tool designed in collaboration with Obesity Canada. Her research has been supported at local, provincial, and national levels, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Most recently, Maryam has established and is co-leading a Patient-Oriented Research collection on CMAJ Open.