Student Affiliate Profiles

Meet the student affiliates of the Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health.


Jordan Ali

PhD student in Clinical Neuropsychology, Department of Psychology

Supervisor: Colette Smart

My research concerns pathological cognitive decline in older adults and prodromal forms of dementia, such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and subjective cognitive decline (SCD). Currently, my work aims to elucidate the relationship between age-related changes in low frequency heart rate variability (LF-HRV) and cognitive functioning in older adults. In another stream, I plan to explore the subjective experience(s) of older adults with SCD through qualitative means to supplement burgeoning work on the implications of SCD and potential non-pharmacological treatments. My past work focused more explicitly on older adults with MCI and describing the psychological, emotional, and social sequelae of this condition in relation to the grief associated with other stressful life events. Some of my other notable research interests include qualitative and mixed research methods, normative and non-normative aging, self-concept and the resolution of threats to identity (following health adversity), traumatic brain injury, and neurorehabilitation.


Emilie Crevier-Quintin

PhD student in Clinical Neuropsychology, Department of Psychology

Supervisor: Dr. Mauricio Garcia-Barrera

I have spent the last 5 years in Victoria and has been loving life on the island! I recently moved back east however, where I am currently doing her residency at Baycrest in Toronto. I am in my last year of the PhD program in Clinical Psychology, with a neuropsychology emphasis. My research interests are investigating the neuropsychological processes associated with normal and pathological aging, the multidimensional trajectories of executive functions across the adult lifespan, and the moderating role of quality of life over declines in executive functioning from middle to late adulthood.


Erin Donald

PhD Student in Nursing, Department of Nursing

Supervisor: Dr. Kelli Stajduhar

I am in my second year of my doctoral program with the School of Nursing at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. I am a graduate of Ryerson University and received my MSN in Community and Public Health Program Development and Leadership at Seattle University. My clinical background is in palliative home care nursing. My research roles have included working as an iPANEL research assistant and as a nursing research facilitator for Fraser Health Authority. I am currently a graduate fellow in the iPANEL study Supporting Family Caregivers.

My research interests include palliative care, the application of a palliative approach, access to care, home and community based care, and severe persistent mental illness. My past clinical experience led me to an interest in caring for older adults with advanced life-limiting conditions, particularly those with mental illness. Under the guidance of Dr. Kelli Stajduhar, my dissertation research will focus on access to care for people with severe persistent mental illness who are approaching end of life. I will study the experiences of older adults with mental illness who are receiving palliative care or who could benefit from a palliative approach to care. I hope my research will help improve access to appropriate clinical care for this population.


Emily Duggan

PhD student in Clinical Psychology, Neuropsychology

Supervisor: Dr. Mauricio Garcia-Barrera

My research and clinical experiences emphasize the use of interdisciplinary approaches in the investigation of neuropsychological functioning in adult and neuromedical populations. My Master’s thesis was aimed at evaluating behavioural rating scales for executive functions and replicating an executive functions screener in a young adult population. In addition to my research on the psychometric measurement of executive functioning, my prior research experience has focused on investigating the relations between cognitive functioning and health (e.g., concussions, autoimmune diseases, exercise interventions, white matter integrity, pulmonary functioning, aging). For my doctoral work, I am currently focused on examining the relation between intelligence and executive functioning. My research emphasizes structural equation modeling, multivariate longitudinal analysis, and reproducible research methodologies. Emily gratefully thanks the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for their financial support of her research. Outside of school, I am the principal violist for the Hampton Concert Orchestra -- the longest continuously run community orchestra in Victoria. We host a series of free concerts in the fall (November) and the Spring (April). All are welcome to attend!


Drew Halliday

PhD student in Clinical Neuropsychology, Department of Psychology

Supervisor: Drs. Stuart MacDonald and Garcia-Barrera

I am interested in the identification of neurophysiological changes that precede the behavioural manifestation of pathology in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative conditions. Currently, I am using functional near infrared spectroscopy to derive alternative operationalizations of cerebral oxygenation in older adults at risk for adverse age-related health outcomes (e.g., dementia, MCI, falls), in order to complement early identification efforts, and to inform targeted intervention strategies. Some related initiatives include modelling dispersion in neuropsychological test performance to examine linkages with biomarkers, cognitive change and care trajectories in older adulthood (e.g., transitioning to residential care). My previous research has investigated the role of individual differences in behavioural and neurophysiological markers of impaired face perception and characteristics of autism in the typically developing population. A separate line of global health research has entailed investigating the effects of malnutrition on infant neurophysiological and cognitive development in sub-Saharan west-Africa.


Bryce Mulligan

PhD student in Clinical Neuropsychology. Department of Psychology

Supervisor: Dr. Colette Smart

My research program has primarily focused on aging and preclinical or "very early" markers of dementia. At the moment I am integrating new techniques in neuropsychological diagnosis, brain electrophysiology, and repeated computerized cognitive testing in an effort to detect dementia at the earliest possible stage. Through my supervisor I have also been involved with meditation and embodiment research, including a randomzied control trial of mindfulness training for older adults with subjective cognitive decline. I am also currently collaborating with a workinggroup in Victoria developing a platform for mobile cognitive screening, as well as a group at The Ottawa Hospital creating a resiliency training program for health care providers involved with the medical assistance in dying service.

When not engaged in clinical or scholarly work, I enjoy reading and interacting with nature. I also derive great pleasure from creating and consuming food and music, and re-watching Simpsons episodes.


Sherin Jamal

PhD student in Social Dimensions of Health

Supervisor: Drs. Kelli Stajdhuar (supervisor) and Karen Kobayashi (co-supervisor)

I am a PhD student in the Social Dimensions of Health Program and works at Providence Health Care in Vancouver. I have a MSc in Health Services Planning and Administration from UBC as well a B.Sc. in Cell Biology and a Biomedical Laboratory Science (B.M.L.Sc.) degree. My research interests include ethno-cultural minority and immigrant older adults and their access to health services particularly residential long-term care and palliative services as well as quality of life in such settings and at end-of-life.

My dissertation research entitled "Access to Residential and End-of-Life Care: Exploring South Asian Older Adults' and Family Caregivers' Perspectives" asks 3 key research questions:
1. What are the unique needs and preferences of South Asian older adults and their families regarding residential long-term care (LTC) and end-of-life care?
2. How are decisions regarding the use of such services made in South Asian families?
3. To what extent are existing residential LTC services prepared to provide culturally responsive and competent care to meet the needs of older adults from diverse ethno-cultural backgrounds?

I am supported in my research by Drs. Kelli Stajduhar and Karen Kobayashi at the University of Victoria and by Dr. Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham at Trinity Western University. I am grateful to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for awarding me with a CIHR Doctoral Research Award.


Chantel Mayo

PhD student in Clinical Neuropsychology, Department of Psychology

Supervisor: Dr. Jodie Gawryluk

I am a Doctoral student in Clinical Neuropsychology, supervised by Dr. Jodie Gawryluk. Overall, I am interested in using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to assess brain function after brain trauma and disease. For my Master's thesis, she used an MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to 1) identify the longitudinal changes in white matter in Alzheimer’s Disease as compared to healthy aging; and 2) examine whether these white matter changes were related to cognitive functioning. In addition to studying Alzheimer’s Disease, I am also using MRI methods to investigate recovery from mild traumatic brain injury (e.g., sport-related concussion), as well as the relationship between physical activity and Multiple Sclerosis symptoms.


Linda Outcalt

PhD student, Interdisciplinary (Sociology and Theatre)

Supervisor: Drs. Neena Chappell (Sociology) and Mary Kerr (Theatre)

I am committed to an investigation of the deeply ingrained ageism in Canadian society that has far-reaching adverse affects – from individual interactions to long-term care policy. Specifically, the primary objectives of my research are to identify the perceptions of age and aging circulating in Western media and popular culture that promote ageism, with the hope of affecting change about attitudes towards aging in order to reduce an often internalized ageism that is largely tolerated in our society. These research goals will be achieved through the production of a collaborative video and an interactive website prototype that will include stores, photographs and videos about perceptions of age provided by the research co-contributors.

As an Interdisciplinary PhD candidate (Sociology & Theatre), my research interests have evolved out of an undergraduate degree in filmmaking, complimented by over 15 years of research and interviewing experience working on age-related research projects through the Institute on Aging & Lifelong Health (formerly COAG) at UVic. In addition, I bring personal experience as well as academic knowledge to my exploration of ageism. As an older female graduate student, I have witnessed first hand the destructive effects of ageism, while at the same time seeing how personal experience and intergenerational contact can mitigate these negative effects.


Kaitlyn Roland

Post-Doctoral Fellow in Social Gerontology, Department of Sociology

Supervisor: Dr. Neena Chappell

I am a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health, University of Victoria. My most recent work focuses on categorizing the physical, cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms that influence well-being in Parkinson’s and related dementia caregivers. This work aims to support independent living, reduce distress and healthcare utilization, which may have significant public health implications. My PhD (UBC, 2012) examined Parkinson-related changes to muscle activity (electromyography), and consequences for independent physical function and frailty, especially in women. I am a yoga instructor and value yoga for its ability to improve physical and mental well-being, stress, energy and mood. I teach Yogadopa, Parkinson’s focuses yoga classes, in Victoria BC through I blog at