About Us

The research team December 2020

The research team September 2019

Part of the 2019 BMED research team

The BMED lab research team in 2016

Who is in the BMED Lab?

The BMED lab was created in 2004 by Dr. Ryan Rhodes. The lab complement includes administration staff, research project coordinators, and postdoctoral, doctoral, masters, and undergraduate trainees focused on conducting research in the domain of physical activity and population health.

Lab members promote a positive, encouraging, supportive, and collaborative working environment with lab meetings, workshops, and social events that serve to advance knowledge exchange, learning, and experience.


Professor, Director Behavioural Medicine Lab

School of Exercise Science, Physical & Health Education, Cross-listed Faculty Psychology Department


Room 189, McKinnon Building

Dr. Ryan E Rhodes is a Professor in the School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education, cross-listed Professor in the Department of Psychology, and Director of the Behavioural Medicine Lab (BMED) at the University of Victoria. His primary area of research is on the psychology of physical activity and sedentary behaviour with an applied focus of physical activity promotion during early family development.

Dr. Rhodes is an expert on the intention-behaviour gap and studies how to link intention to action and physical activity. Based on this research, his team has developed the multi-process action control framework which focuses on effective ways to turn good intentions into action. He is also interested in determining the behavioural and psychological aspects of physical activity and population health. Click here to read more about Dr. Rhodes' research interests. For a complete profile of his research, please see publicationsabstracts, invited presentations and keynotes, and presentations. For information about research funding, please click grants and awards.

Google Scholar Profile

Research Gate Profile

Dr. Rhodes teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in health psychology and behavioural medicine. In his class, he shows students that community participation and engagement are an important part of research. Find the courses Dr. Rhodes teaches here.

Educational Qualification:

  • Ph.D. Behavioural Medicine University of Alberta (2001)
  • M.A. Exercise Psychology University of British Columbia (1998)
  • B.A. Psychology University of British Columbia (1996)

Professional Affiliation:

  • Professor, Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education, UVic
  • Director, Behavioural Medicine Lab, UVic
  • Graduate Program Director, School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education
  • Cross-listed Faculty, Psychology Department, UVic
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Manitoba
  • Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Toronto
  • Supervisory Professor, Griffith University, Australia
  • Affiliated Researcher, Island Health

Fellowships and Distinctions:

  • Fellow, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences
  • Fellow, Society of Behavioral Medicine
  • Fellow, Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research
  • College member, Royal Society of Canada
  • Co-Editor-In-Chief at Psychology and Health
  • Associate Editor, Exercise and Sports Sciences Reviews

Sandy Courtnall
Research Coordinator & Lab Manager

My name is Sandy and I joined the Behavioral Medicine lab in June of 2014. Prior to this I spent 10 years as a Research Coordinator at the Institute of Applied Physical Activity & Health, University of Victoria working on various Community Based Research Projects involving the overall well-being and health of BC Youth.  

I am currently the Lab Manager for the Behavioural Medicine lab as well as the Research Coordinator for the following two(2) studies:

The Parent Well-being Study which is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council which explores the impact of different activities for parents

The Family Physical Activity Study which is funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada which focuses on promoting habit formation in family physical activity.

When not working in the lab I can usually be found either outside hiking, biking, running etc. or instructing a variety of fitness/weight training classes for youth, adults & seniors :)


Amy Cox
Research Coordinator

Amy has returned to the lab after having her baby girl in April 2020.  Amy graduated with a MA in Sociology in 2010, and has been working on projects at UVIC ever since. She found her way to the BML in 2019, coordinating the Empty Nest and Retirement PA Intervention Feasibility Study and is now coordinating the Canadian Cancer Society's Active Together Study.


Yoah Sui
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Hey there, I'm Yoah! I’m a post-doctoral fellow in the BML. I completed my undergraduate in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and Master’s and Ph.D. degrees at Western University. I will be joining the lab in April of 2021. My doctoral research focused on health behaviour change; specifically sedentary behaviour among university students and how excessive sitting relates to mental health and well-being. As a post-doc in the BML, I’m looking forward to continuing to design and implement physical activity and sedentary behaviour interventions, but with a focus on digital health. In between sitting on my butt and writing, I enjoy rock climbing, mountain biking, and getting into arguments with my two dogs Dudley and Benji (Benji pictured).


Alexandra Soanes
Research Assistant

My name is Alexandra (usually go by Zandra), and I joined the lab spring of 2020 doing a variety of different tasks. I am a student at UVic pursuing a BCs in Kinesiology, having moved from a small town near Edmonton  AB where I did my first year at the U of A. My interests in helping people live healthier lives through physical activity, lead me to the BML lab where exactly this is done! I love horseback riding, hiking, kayaking, running, CrossFit, traveling, and cooking. Fun fact is I do most of this with my dog Cinnamon, along side! I have type one diabetes and Cinnamon is trained to alert to high and low blood sugar as well as other helpful tasks. 

alyssa bio

Alyssa Manankil-Lakusta
Master's Student

After moving to Victoria from Toronto in 2013 and almost 8 years of undergraduate study, I am excited to finally be pursuing my Master’s (Fall 2021). Before joining the BMED Lab, I obtained Bachelor's degrees in Psychology (UVic ’17) and Kinesiology (Camosun ’20). My previous research experience includes designing and executing an applied research study investigating the environmental factors of fatigue and resilience in aerial firefighting pilots. I am fascinated by the mind-body connection and want to understand how movement impacts the psyche, whether it’s through research or exploring holistic approaches to health management. Outside of my studies, you can find me participating in various types of volunteer work, spending time on the mats doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or planning my next road-trip adventure.


Aleah Ross
Master's Student

My name is Aleah Ross and I am completing my MSc Kinesiology with a focus on health psychology. I am grateful to have also completed my BSc in Biopsychology at the University of Victoria in 2015. My undergraduate degree was a great launch pad for me to begin exploring behaviour, mental health, physical activity, and so much more related to wellness in a broad sense. Since graduating, I have worked professionally with UBC in medical education and Back in Motion Health in clinical psychology and psychometry. More than anything, I love to apply all of this education and training to community work in mental and physical health. Being with people in the community working towards health, fitness, and shared goals is always energizing for me! I joined the lab as a volunteer back in 2015 and have always found BMed to not only be an incredible and inviting team, but also home to a great balance of projects supporting diverse people through research in all kinds of lifestyle goals. I am so excited at the opportunity to be able to research and study here, and to see the unique contributions I will make in the coming years! 



Brittany Atkins
Research Assistant

My name is Brittany, and I joined the BMED lab in June of 2021 as a Research Assistant. After becoming intrigued with the world of research during my honours project, working with the BMED lab seemed like the perfect fit! I will be graduating this summer with a BSc in Kinesiology here at UVic, and look forward to starting my applications for graduate school in the fall. In my free time, I love to hike with my dog Benson, paddleboard, bake, read, and travel.

Emily Magel
Master's Student

Hi there! My name is Emily, and I will be pursuing my M.A in Kinesiology through the BMED Lab this fall, 2021! After completing my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Ottawa, I have spent the last two years putting my undergraduate research into practice through my coaching and personal training career. I’m excited to be joining Dr. Rhodes research team and continue learning more about health behaviour change theory. My research will focus on the psychological factors that influence the mindset behind athletic adversity, athletic achievement, and maintaining physical activity when faced with environmental barriers. Outside of the lab you can find me at the gym, in the forest, or by the ocean. 


Heather Hollman
Doctoral Student

I’m excited to be joining the BMED lab this coming fall of 2020.  My passion for research stems from my clinical experience as a chiropractor where I managed a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions.  During my clinical work, I became aware of gaps in the literature regarding musculoskeletal care and was led to pursue a Master of Rehabilitation Science degree.  My master’s research focussed on running-related injury prevention knowledge and behaviours.  For my PhD, I will be exploring the optimization of participation in regular physical activity by postpartum women suffering from lumbopelvic pain.  Outside of the lab, I can be found chasing after my toddler and border collie/aussie shepherd, hopefully somewhere in a forest, on a beach, or up a mountain. 

Henry La
Web Developer and Research Assistant

I graduated from UVic in the summer of 2017 and started working with BMed Lab in May 2017 and worked as a Research Assistant and web developer for the lab. My work mostly consisted of helping researchers build online intervention programs to help people improve their lifestyles. Working in the lab not only helped me improve my web development skills but working around health specialists helped me learn a lot about being healthy and become more active. Outside of the lab, I work as a freelance web developer/designer helping small local businesses improve their online presence, and some of my hobbies are biking, hiking, boxing, and kick-boxing.  

Josh Palmer
Research Assistant

My name is Josh Palmer, and I am currently completing my MSc in psychology! My research focus is within the fall risk / prevention field, specifically, how gait related metrics can be used to assess and predict cognitive decline. I joined the BMED lab in a transition year between my undergrad and Masters, to broaden my framework for tackling health related issues (like falls). Outside of the lab you can either find me at a gym, or hunting around town for the tastiest patisseries. I am relatively steadfast in the belief old town bakery (Ladysmith) has the best cinnamon buns on the island, but am always willing to sample evidence to the contrary!


Katie Dzyngel
Research Assistant

Hi there! My name is Katie and I’m currently an undergraduate student studying Geography and Environmental Studies. I joined the Behavioural Medicine Lab as a Research Assistant in January 2020 after becoming super intrigued by the research being conducted at BMed which aligns with my hope to eventually pursue a masters grounded in community based research. I’ve been inspired by the research projects at BMed that I’ve had the opportunity to assist with and the way in which they help to improve the lives of families and children. Outside of my classes and work in the lab, I love surfing, hiking, yoga, and trying to make the perfect loaf of bread!


Michael Smith
Research Assistant

Hi there! My name is Michael Smith, and I am currently an undergraduate Kinesiology student at UVIC. I joined the lab as a research assistant in September 2020 pursuing an honors project. My research has been focused on exploring exercise demographics before and after the COVID-19 Pandemic Restrictions among cancer survivors at a health support organization. I love snowboarding/Skiing and have been involved with the volunteer ski patrol program at Mt. Washington. In my spare time I play soccer, guitar, and enjoy cooking for friends & family.


Riana Rajaram
Master's Student

I joined the BML in fall of 2018 as a graduate student. Growing up I played various sports from AAA soccer, varsity basketball and going to Nationals for TaeKwonDo as well as many others. During my grade 10 year, I tore my ACL and MCL during a basketball game and could no longer participate competitively in sports anymore. I found the gym to be my replacement for sports. After going through the process of physiotherapy and realizing that physically I would be okay but mentally I struggled a lot. My own experience led me to wanting to better understand myself mentally and to become mentally strong again in which I completed my honours bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario. During my undergrad, I worked in 2 research labs, the first, a child memory lab where I learned how to code data, transcribe interviews and ultimately, put my research skills to the test and interview the children myself. 
In the second lab, we were assessing wellbeing in older adults which led to my directed studies examining physical exertion and wellbeing in older adults.
This initial interest helped me realized I can put my love of sports and psychology together and move out to Victoria to pursue my masters degree in exercise science. 

Richelle Alde
Fitness Tester


Sara Paziraei
Master's Student

Hi, my name is Sara. I am pursing my MSc in Kinesiology under the supervision of Dr. Ryan Rhodes. I joined the Behavioral Medicine Lab early September 2017, as a research coordinator for Neuro Study. As a master student, I am going to investigate the effects of cooperative and competitive exercises on the mental health. I spend my leisure time fishing, biking and reading books. 

Savana Godfrey
Fitness Tester


Stina Grant
Master's Student; Project Coordinator

During my undergraduate degree in psychology at UVic I discovered BMED's research. I was fascinated by the work the team was conducting as it represents a marriage of my interest of health behaviours and my love for exercise. I was lucky enough to join the team back in 2015. Over the years I’ve been involved in several capacities. Currently I am coordinating the Active Together Study funded by the Canadian Cancer Society while pursuing my MSc in kinesiology beginning in January 2019. I feel very fortunate to work with such a great group of individuals in a field that I am passionate about. In my spare time I enjoy running, tennis, soccer, yoga, hiking, camping, and exploring the wonderful west coast!


Reza Sayar
Master's Student (2019-2021)

Aimee Harrison
Master's Student (2017-2021)

Anika Todd
Master's Student (2018-2021)

Bianca DeSilva, MSc
Research Trial Coordinator (2020-2021)

Alison Quinlan, MSc
Research Coordinator (2011-2021)

Alexander Lithopoulos
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2018-2020)

Erin Patrick
Fitness Tester (2019-2020)

Quinn Fitzgerald
Research Assistant (2020)

Madeline Juba
Master's Student; Project Coordinator (2017-2020)

Amy Cox
Research Coordinator (2019-2020)

Emily Medd
Project Coordinator (2017-2019)

Jessica Alkana
Recruitment Officer (2016-2020)

Savanna Malli
Research Assistant (2019-2020)

Dayna Clarke
Research Assistant (2019-2020)

Erica Somer
Recruitment Officer (2018-2019)

Maria Baranova
Research Assistant (2018-2019)

Casandra Noble
Fitness Tester (2018-2019)

Christina McLean
Fitness Tester/Research Assistant (2014-2019)

Raven Loucks
Research Assistant (2017-2019)

Cassandra Husband, MSc
Master's Student (2016-2018)

Claire Sauvage-Mar, MSc
Master's Student (2016-2017)

Annie Walters
Recruitment Officer (2017-2018)

Patrick Boudreau, MA
Master's Student (2016-2017)

Maeve Hodge, BSc
Research Assistant (2014-2017)

Allison Rodway
Fitness Tester (2015-2017)

Joy Egilson
Fitness Tester (2016-2017)

Justin Wolfe
Fitness Tester (2015-2016)

Clarise Lim, MSc
Master's Student (2012-2017)

Samantha Gray, MSc
Master's Student (2015-2017)

Alison Haynes
Fitness Tester (2015-2016)

Hannah Flahr
Fitness Tester (2015-2017)

Navin Kaushal, MSc
PhD graduate student (2011-2016)

Megan Webb (2014-2015)
Recruitment Officer

Chet Mistry (2012-2015)
PhD student

Christopher Yao
Master's student

Shabnam Almasi
Research assistant (2014 - 2015)

Olivia Romalis
Work study student (2014)

Andrew Kates
Research assistant/fitness tester (2013-2014)

Erica Crowe
Fitness tester/research assistant (2013-2014)

Molly Hulbert
Recruitment Officer (2014)

Cara Temmel
Research Assistant (2009-2014)

Kristina Kowalski, PhD
PhD graduate student (2011-2014)

Natalia Zapotoczny
Research Assistant 2013-2014

Greg Mulligan, MSc
Former Laboratory Coordinator 2013

Holly Murray, BSc 
Former Laboratory Coordinator (2004-2013)

Katrina Laquian
Research assistant 2013

Janine Sigurdson  
Research assistant 2012

Alisha Witter  
Research assistant 2012

Kathryn Moncks 
Research assistant 2012

Alex Anderson 
Research assistant 2010

Rachel Blacklock, MSc 
Master's student 2004-2007

Megan Buchholz 
Research assistant 2010-2011

Naomi Casiro, BSc 
Undergraduate Co-op student 2008-2010

Kim Choy, BSc
Research assistant 2010-2011

Alexandra Coates
Research assistant 2010-2012

James Coble, MA 
Master's student 2003-2005

Anna-Marie de Zwager, BSc 
Research assistant & Project coordinator 2009-2010

Leanne Dickau, MSc 
Project coordinator 2009-2011

Jelena Dukic, MA 
Project coordinator 2010-2012

Bonnie Fiala, MA 
Master's Student 2007-2010

Amanda Frazer, BSc 
Research assistant 2009-2010

Keri Fuchko, BSc 
Research assistant 2010

Lindsay Grainger-Frost, BSc 
Research assistant 2010

Lizette Greyling, BA 
Research assistant 2010-2011

Krista Hoffert, BSc 
Undergraduate student (directed study) 2006-2007

Rosie Hsu, BSc 
Research assistant 2010

Olivia Hughes, BA 
Research assistant 2011-2012

Marc Jacobson, MSc 
Project Coordinator 2010-2011

Alyssa Jesson, BA
Research assistant 2010-2011

Kelly Kerr 
Research assistant 2010-2011

Megan Kirk, MA 
Master's student 2008-2010

Aviva Kliman, MA 
Master's student 2003-2006

Rachel Mark, MA 
Master's student 2007-2009 
Research coordinator 2009-2010

Kevin McDowall 
Research assistant 2010-2011

Carolyn McIntyre, MScPT
Master's student 2004-2006

Alyssa OConnor, MA 
Research assistant 2008-2009

 Gabriella Nasuti, MSc 
Project Coordinator 2008-2010
Research Coordinator 2010-2012

Alyssa OConnor, MA 
Research assistant 2008-2009

Danielle Olmstead, BKin 
Research Assistant 2011-2012

Mika Oshige, MA 
Website development & maintenance 2009-2011

Thalia Parkinson, MSc 
Project Coordinator 2007-2008

Leila Pfaeffli, MSc 
Project coordinator 2008-2009
Research Coordinator 2009-2010

Rachel Phillips, PhD 
Research assistant 2010-2011

Gregory Rickwood, MA 
Research assistant 2010

Eleanor Rushton, BSc
Research assistant 2009-2010

Felicity Scott-Klimstra, BSc 
Undergraduate Honours student 2007-2008

Nicole Smith, MSc 
Master's student 2005-2007

Evan Thomas, BSc 
Research assistant 2009-2010

Linda Trinh, MA 
Project coordinator 2005-2008

Lori Horne 
PhD student (2011-2013)

Karlie Windatt, BA 
Research Assistant 2011-2012