Lab Members

Current Lab Members


Lab Director


Dr. Kieran O'Doherty

Kieran O'Doherty is an associate 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 vaccines, human tissue biobanks, the human microbiome, 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. Kieran’s research has been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 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


Postdoctoral Researchers


Dr. Kim Chuong

Kim is a Postdoctoral Fellow on the food environment, inflammatory bowel disease, and human microbiome project. She received her PhD in Applied Social Psychology at the University of Guelph. 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.


Graduate Students


Amanda Jenkins

Amanda Jenkins is a PhD Candidate in the Applied Social Psychology program at the University of Guelph, Canada under the supervision of Dr. Kieran O’Doherty. Her research focuses on women’s use and practices of vaginal hygiene products (douches, deodorants, wipes, powders, washes) and the broader marketing of these products to women from a critical feminist perspective. Her interest in community research has also led to her involvement at the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute in Guelph and the Community Research Ethics Office in Kitchener. 

Alexis Fabircius

Alexis Fabricius is in the Applied Social Psychology program working toward her second MA after having completed two Honours BAs (one in history and one in psychology) at York University in Toronto. Her undergraduate research focused on gendered violence; specifically, she examined how the experiences of blind and partially sighted women can be used to develop relevant violence prevention programming for them. Her research was awarded the Originality Prize in memory of Paul Jeffrey Kuszyszyn. Her more recent applied work is examining how sex and gender impact the severity and outcomes of traumatic brain injury with Dr. Angela Colantonio in the Acquired Brain Injuries lab at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Presently, her research is focused on using qualitative methods and critical theory to challenge traditional approaches to interventions, programming and policy. Her research interests include feminist and critical theory, post-modern approaches to psychology, sex and gender, sexual assault/IPV prevention, health research, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and women's experiences in the healthcare system. Alexis Fabricius also owns and operates a feminist women's self-defense company, Invicta Self-Defense.

Jess White

Jess is in the first year of her MA in the Applied Social Psychology program, under the supervision of Dr. O'Doherty in the DSP lab.  Jess 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. 


Undergraduate Students


Mikaela Beijbom

Mikaela is a BASc graduate currently completing her honours thesis in Dr. O'Doherty's lab.  Mikaela's thesis focuses on women's health and the media, with particular focus on the implicit messages communicated in media discourses.  During her time at Guelph Mikaela has volunteered as a student ambassador, a Community Torchlight distress line volunteer, and a Writing Services Peer Helper.  She has also been involved on campus through her work at the Child Care and Learning Centre since 2015, where she began as a co-op student and is now a practicing Registered Early Childhood Educator.

Cheau Yuan "CY" Foo 

CY is a 3rd year B.A Psychology with a minor in Biology, international exchange student from Malaysia. She is working on my independent research project in the DSP lab, conducting a theoretical and literature based research on the social and ethical implications of human microbiome science. CY will be conducting research on the public’s perspectives on bacteria and microbiome from a multi-disciplinary perspectives, drawing on literature not only from psychology, but also applied ethics and broader social science approaches. During her time in Guelph, CY has volunteered as an O-week volunteer and at the local food bank through events that aims to help Canadian post-secondary students who experience food insecurity.

Kristina Pagliaro

Kristina is a fourth year BA Psychology Co-op student completing her honours thesis in Dr. O’Doherty’s lab. Kristina’s thesis will examine how vaccine risk is communicated to parents when they are making the decision to vaccinate their children. She will specifically be investigating this issue through the information provided by participants in the Ontario Vaccine Deliberation. Kristina currently volunteers in the Guelph community at Homewood Health Centre and in Mississauga working with children that have special needs . She is hoping to continue her education in the upcoming school year by starting to work towards completing her Master’s Degree.


Alumni Lab Members


Postdoctoral Researchers & Graduate Students


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 nvolved 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 student in the Applied Social Psychology program. Her Master's thesis focused on a public deliberation project examining funding for cancer drugs in Canada. Kristie also completed two internships with DSP during her undergraduate studies working on the inflammatory bowel disease project.  In these projects, she examined illness disclosure and the ethical implications of involving children with chronic illness in research. 

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 post-doctoral 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 post-doctoral 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 relating to the illness experiences of youth with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and their perspectives of being involved in biomedical research. Based on her work in DSP, Claudia pursued further training in bioethics and is now a postdoctoral research fellow at the Pragmattic Health Ethics Research Unit, formerly known as the Neuroethics Research Unit, at the Institut de recherches cliniques du Montreal (IRCM).

Dr. Apurv Chauhan was a post-doctoral fellow with DSP. During his time with the group, Apurv worked on public deliberation and science policy and on the Ontario Vaccine Deliberation project. Apurv is now a faculty member in the School of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Brighton.

Dr. Jennie Haw was a post-doctoral 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 now a CIHR - Health System Impact Fellow, working on a project with Canadian Blood Services and Western University to examine donor recruitment and experiences for the national public core blood bank.

Dr. Emily Christofides completed her PhD in the Applied Social Psychology program and was a post-doctoral 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.

Dr. Shannon Cunningham was a post-doctoral 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.


Undergraduate Students


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