Principal Investigator and Director

Dr. Mark Ferro is the Canada Research Chair in Youth Mental Health and an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University and is a Scientist at both the Offord Centre for Child Studies and CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research.

Dr. Ferro completed his BSc in Biochemistry in 2004 at McMaster University, his MSc in Community Health and Epidemiology in 2006 at the University of Saskatchewan, and his PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics in 2011 at Western University.

Dr. Ferro’s program of research investigates the link between physical and mental health in children and young people. His research takes a developmental approach to understanding the multilevel determinants of mental health and quality of life outcomes in children with chronic health conditions. He also has interests in health service use among children, family and stress processes influencing child health, and health trajectories during the transition from childhood to young adulthood. Methodologically, Dr. Ferro has interests in the measurement of mental health and quality of life in children.

Dr. Ferro’s program aims to bridge the clinical-epidemiological research divide with papers in Neurology, Journal of Pediatrics, Health Psychology, Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, and Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.

Research Staff

Jessica photoJessica Zelman is a Project Manager for the ARCH Lab. Jessica completed her BA Honours in Psychology (Research Specialist) at Wilfrid Laurier University and her MA in Child and Youth Studies at Brock University. Jessica has extensive community and mental health experience after working for several years at Big Brothers Big Sisters and Pathstone Mental Health in Niagara. Jessica doesn’t have a lot of spare time, as she’s busy chasing her toddlers around, however when she does get a chance, she enjoys cycling, skiing, drinking tea and watching TLC shows.

Robyn Pereira

Robyn Wojcicki is a Research Coordinator for the ARCH Lab. Robyn completed her BSc Honours in Biology (Research Specialist) at Queen’s University and her MSc in Medical Sciences at McMaster University. Robyn has an extensive research background in obstetrics, previous experience in drug safety, and is interested in improving mental health care services for families in need. Outside of research, Robyn enjoys watching TV shows, hiking with her dog, and playing soccer.



Chloe Bedard is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo in the ARCH Lab. Chloe completed her PhD in the Health Research Methodology (HRM) program at McMaster University and has a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) degree and a minor in psychology from McMaster. Chloe’s doctoral thesis involved designing, evaluating, and implementing community-based movement and pre-literacy interventions for preschool children to improve their overall development. Through her experience in the INfant and Child Health (INCH) Lab, Chloe has developed a strong interest in evaluating the influence of movement and physical activity on varied aspects of health and development during childhood. Chloe spends most of her free time with her family playing with her nieces and nephew.

Alex Luther Alex Luther is a graduate student at the University of Waterloo pursuing a PhD in the Public Health and Health Systems program under the supervision of Dr. Mark Ferro. Alex also did his MSc at UW in the Public Health and Health Systems as well, working with local Indigenous post-secondary students to start the development of a more culturally appropriate method to surveying adverse childhood experiences among Indigenous youth. Through continued graduate studies Alex is hoping to learn new skills to continue exploring the socio-ecological factors in children’s mental health, particularly amongst vulnerable populations. In the future Alex hopes to inform public health policies, and work in either research or government settings. Outside of school Alex enjoys swimming, outdoor adventures with friends, and a good murder-mystery.

Shannon ReaumeShannon Reaume is a PhD student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. She has an Honours Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from Brock University (2010) and a Masters of Social Work from Laurier University (2013). Shannon is a Registered Social Worker and has extensive experience supporting clients through health, mental health, and legal systems. She has worked with clients living with multiple mental and physical health diagnoses, clients at risk of homelessness, and clients who have difficulty accessing supports due to living in very rural areas. Shannon also has lived experience with chronic illnesses. She is eager to use her professional and lived experiences to influence her research. Excited to re-enter the academic world, her research will focus on the family environment for children and youth living with chronic physical and mental illnesses. Outside of academics, Shannon enjoys volunteering on the Centre Wellington Food Bank Board of Directors and the Waterloo-Wellington Local Health Integration Network Patient and Family Advisory Committee.

Megan Dol is pursuing a PhD in Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Dr. Mark Ferro. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Health Studies at the University of Waterloo in 2019, where she completed two systematic reviews for her Independent Studies and Honours Thesis under the supervision of Dr. Mark Oremus that focused on the risk of developing substance use disorders via prescribed opioid use. She previously worked as a research assistant in the “Work and Qualitative Health Research Lab” under the supervision of Dr. Ellen MacEachen and the “Prevention Neuroscience Laboratory” under the supervision of Dr. Peter Hall. Through these experiences, Megan developed an interest in mental health and problematic substance use. Megan is interested in gaining more skills and knowledge in the area of child and youth mental health, mental health service use, and suicidal ideation. In the future, Megan hopes to work as an Epidemiologist in academia or the public sector. Outside of school, Megan enjoys volunteering with the Kid’s Help Phone as a crisis responder. In her free time, Megan enjoys playing guitar, reading, going to the gym, and spending time with friends.

Dominique Basque is a PhD student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo, under the supervision of Dr. Mark Ferro. She completed her Bachelor of Arts (specializing in psychology) in 2016 and obtained her Master of Arts in Psychology in 2021 at the Université de Moncton. Her thesis evaluated the feasibility of a self-compassion psychoeducational website using a minimally monitored delivery model among adults with chronic pain. Dominique also worked as a research assistant at the NB FASD Centre or Excellence and as research coordinator at the Vitalité Health Network in New Brunswick where she developed an interest in children’s physical and mental health. She wants to gain more skills and knowledge in the areas of chronic illness, mental health and mental health service use. Outside of academics, Dominique enjoys travelling, reading, trying new foods and spending time with friends and family.

Melissa Elgie is pursuing a PhD in Public Health as part of the School of Public Health at the University of Waterloo. Melissa has worked extensively in the mental health field, specifically working with children and adolescents, including for the ARCH Lab on the MY LIFE and DETOUR studies. Melissa has completed an Honours BA at the University of Guelph in Psychology and Neuroscience. She has also earned a Master’s of Science degree at McMaster University in Neuroscience, where her work focused on cognitive and clinical features of youth with OCD. Melissa’s graduate work will focus on factors related to mental health in youth with mental and physical health conditions. Outside of school, Melissa enjoys travelling, cooking and spending time with her dog, friends and family.

Lauren Gosse is pursuing a Masters of Science in Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Dr. Mark Ferro. She recently completed her Honours Bachelor of Science in Behavioural Neuroscience with a minor in Biochemistry at Memorial University of Newfoundland. For her Honours project, she worked alongside Dr. Ashlyn Swift-Gallant examining the delineation of subtypes of autism spectrum disorder in Eastern Newfoundland using a latent class analysis model. She is excited to start her Master’s project in the ARCH lab, to learn more about epidemiology and biostatistics, and to contribute meaningful research to the field of child and youth mental health. When she is not in the lab, Lauren loves spending time with her family and friends, enjoying a good cup of tea, and singing in the choir.

Kiran Dhuga is pursuing a Masters of Science in Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Dr. Mark Ferro. She recently completed her Honours Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science with a minor in Neuroscience at the University of Guelph. During her undergraduate degree, she worked alongside Dr. Elena Choleris assessing the effects of sex hormones on brain development and social behaviour. She was also a research assistant for Dr. Glen Pyle and focused on knowledge translation on topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic. She is excited to learn more about epidemiology and biostatistics and apply this knowledge to the field of mental health. Outside of the lab, Kiran enjoys spending time with family and friends, swimming, and reading.


Lab Alumni

Sydney Whitney, MSc (2021)
Saad Qureshi, Data Analyst (2021)
Erica McDonald, MSc (2021)
Madeline Reed, MSc (2021)
Sammy Chown, MSc (2021)
Tiana Ciccarelli, MSc (2020)
Claire Buchan, MSc (2019)
Irina Oltean, MSc (2019)
Braden Tompke, MSc (2019)
Jennie Tang, MSc (2018)
Emily Kornelsen, BSc (2018)
Shane Goodwin, PDF (2018)
Ahmad Qadeer, MSc (2017)
Isabella Romano, BSc (2017)
Frederick Wong, BHSc (2016)
Chris Choi, HHS Bursary Student (2016)
Evan Fang, BHSc (2015)