Principal Investigator and Director

Dr. Mark Ferro is the Canada Research Chair in Youth Mental Health and an Assistant 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 toddler around, however when she does get a chance, she enjoys cycling, skiing, drinking tea and watching TLC shows.

Robyn PereiraRobyn Pereira 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.

Charlene Attard is a Research Coordinator for the ARCH Lab. Charlene completed her BA in Psychology at Western University and her MSc in Research Methods in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at Swansea University. Charlene has worked as a Lab Manager at Brock University researching mental health and development in children and adolescents. She has extensive experience working with children through her past academic, volunteer, and professional roles.

Melissa Elgie is a Research Assistant for the ARCH Lab. Melissa has completed a Honours BA at the University of Guelph in Psychology and Neuroscience and a Master’s of Science at McMaster University in Neuroscience (Clinical). Melissa has done extensive research in the area of mental health, specifically working closely with children and adolescents. Outside of work, Melissa enjoys travelling, cooking and spending time with her dog, friends and family.

Sophie Rosen is a Research Assistant for the ARCH Lab. Sophie has recently moved back to Hamilton where she is originally from, and is very excited to be back. She completed her BA Honours in Psychology and Child Development at The University of Western Ontario. Sophie has research experience working with older women and men and is eager to apply her skills to working with children and families. In her free time, Sophie enjoys travelling, running and spending time with friends and family.

 

Roxy Chen is a Research Assistant for the ARCH Lab.  Roxy completed her BScKin Honours in Kinesiology at McMaster University. Currently, Roxy is pursuing her Master’s in Medical Sciences at McMaster University. Her research interests include health and well-being in children with a chronic condition, in relation to physical activity and fitness. Outside of research, Roxy enjoys playing musical instruments, volunteering in the local community, and watching the Bachelor with friends.

Vanessa SoaresVanessa Soares is a Research Assistant for the ARCH Lab. She completed her BSc Honours in Biology (Biology Specialist) at the University of Toronto and her MD from the Medical University of the Americas in the Caribbean. Vanessa has spent most of her clinical experience focused on psychiatry, specifically child and adolescent psychiatry in various hospitals in the US and Canada.

Trainees

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.

Tiana Ciccarelli is an MSc student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. She completed her Bachelors of Science in Biology with a double minor in Chemistry and Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her interest in mental health and substance use arose during her experience as a research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Laurie Manwell. She completed a scoping review on utilizing cannabis to reduce the harms associated with substance use. She also won an internal scholarship to conduct a randomized controlled experiment to assess the stigma associated with mental illness. For her independent study, she designed her own randomized controlled experiment to investigate the effects of a cleanliness prime on moral judgements, specifically about harm reduction strategies for individuals with substance use disorders. Tiana is looking forward to expanding her knowledge on mental health and substance use during her master’s degree. In her free time, Tiana enjoys playing basketball, going to football games, and spending time with friends and family.

Megan Dol 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 completed her Bachelors of Science in Health Studies at the University of Waterloo in 2019, where she completed 2 systematic reviews for her Independent Studies and Honours Thesis under the supervision of Dr. Mark Oremus. She is currently working 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 and hopes to move on to her PhD and further practice as an epidemiologist in the field. In her free time, Megan enjoys playing guitar, reading, going to the gym, and hiking.

Erica McDonald is currently pursuing a Masters of Science through the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo, under the supervision of Dr. Mark Ferro. In 2019, Erica competed her Bachelors of Science in Health Studies at the University of Waterloo. During her undergraduate degree Erica also obtained the Co-Op Research Certificate recognizing the research skills she had gained through co-op work terms at Sunnybrook Hospital’s Odette Cancer Centre and The Hospital for Sick Children. By learning both in the classroom and in hospital settings Erica is motivated to pursue a career that will bridge gaps between clinical problems and academic knowledge. When she is not completing research, Erica enjoys working out, a good cup of coffee and spending time with the people she loves.

Madeline Reed is pursuing a Masters of Science in Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Dr. Mark Ferro. Madeline recently completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Guelph. Throughout her undergraduate degree she completed an Honours Thesis and Independent Study under the supervision of Dr. Deborah Powell. She volunteered in the Guelph Selection Lab and the Center for Workers’ Health and Wellbeing at the University of Guelph, working on various research projects. She recently attended and presented a poster on cues to interview anxiety at the Canadian Psychological Association’s yearly conference. She is excited to begin her Masters and expand her knowledge of youth mental health, and hopes to contribute positively to the field through research. In her free time she enjoys dance, yoga and the outdoors.

Sydney Whitney 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 completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University in 2019 where she developed an interest in mental health research. Throughout her undergraduate degree, Sydney had the opportunity to work for a  pharmaceutical consulting firm, where she participated in systematic reviews and other evidence synthesis projects. She is interested in gaining further training in epidemiology and applying these skills to the area of mental health. In her free time, Sydney enjoys playing hockey, going on walks with her dog, and spending time with friends.

Lab Alumni

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)