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HPI Emerging Leaders

Emerging Leaders are undergraduate students, graduate students (MA, MSc, PhD, etc.) or post-doctoral fellows in Atlantic Canada with an academic interest and training in issues of population health and health equity.  They are engaged in research or knowledge translation activities relevant to population health and committed to the vision, mission, and values of HPI. Read about our Emerging Leaders below. 


Taylor Hill

Department of Psychology & Neuroscience

Faculty of Science, Dalhousie University

Taylor is a PhD student in Experimental Psychology at Dalhousie University, with methodological interest in quantitative analysis and knowledge synthesis. Her research interests surround measuring and promoting well-being through a social ecological perspective. Her doctoral research is on the psychological factors (e.g., personality, motives, psychological needs, values) that promote positive mental health. In her spare time, she enjoys shopping, baking, and talking to cats


Lindsay Macdonald

Faculty of Dentistry,

School of Dental Hygiene, Dalhousie University

Lindsay Macdonald is an instructor with Dalhousie’s School of Dental Hygiene, her areas of research surround diversity and leadership in oral health, advancing equitable opportunities for underrepresented populations in the health professions and collaborative community partnership models. Passionate about education, she has a vested interest in the development of inclusive leadership policy and its translation to the post-secondary education setting. The development of future health and oral health care leaders is a focal point of her interests.

A strong advocate for evidence-based research, following receipt of a COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CIFT) grant from the Federal Government, Lindsay is currently serving as the on-site Research Assistant for Dalhousie in a nation-wide study lead out of McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry examining occupational risks related to SARS-CoV-2 in University student dental clinics across Canada.


Bright Huo

Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University

Clinically, Bright’s interests lie in surgical oncology and cardiothoracic surgery. His research interests include the use of low-dose CT (LDCT) screening for early lung cancer detection among light- or never-smokers, the optimal stop interval of anti-platelet agents before cardiac surgery, and various topics related to undergraduate medical education and interdisciplinary care.

Toni Goree

Faculty of Health,

Dalhousie University


Emma McDermott

Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University

Emma McDermott is a second year medical student at Dalhousie University who is passionate about global health, sustainable development, and health equity, with a particular interest in the field of planetary health and environmental sustainability. Prior to medical school, she completed a BSc (Hons) in Biology and a Master in Global Affairs, and helped to found the Dal Med Green Team. She is looking forward to working with the Healthy Populations Institute to advocate for positive change in the health care system.

Julie Campbell
Faculty of Health,
Dalhousie University

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Toni is a proud descendant of Africville and Black Loyalists; sixth generation African Nova Scotian, Mi’kmaq and Maliseet. Toni is a two-spirited, Christian, great grandmother of one, grandmother of nine, and mother of six beautiful souls. Toni holds a B.A. in International Development Studies from Dalhousie University; a B.Ed. in Secondary Education from Mount Saint Vincent University; an M.Ed. in Education from York University. Currently, Toni is in year three of the PhD in Health program at Dalhousie University.Presently, Toni is coordinating a 5-year Canadian Institute Health Research (CIHR) and Research Nova Scotia (RNS) community-based research project “Pathways to Resilience and Health Equity. As the Pathways coordinator Toni is responsible for the ongoing development and facilitation of the project.

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Julie is a PhD student in the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University. Her research interests include children’s play and movement behaviours and supportive environments in schools and communities while employing a social-ecological lens and mixed methods approach. Before starting her PhD at Dalhousie, she completed a BSc (Hons) in Kinesiology at the University of Prince Edward Island and an MSc in Kinesiology (Physical Activity Epidemiology) at Queen’s University. She is looking forward to contributing to meaningful and exciting population health projects within the Healthy Populations Institute.


Steve Machat
Interdisciplinary Studies
Dalhousie University

Steve is a PhD student in interdisciplinary studies, focused on health promotion, political science, and public administration with a research interest in healthy public policy and population-level indices and measures of well-being and quality of life. Steve has experience building public policy solutions within and outside of government on a range of areas of focus in tobacco control, climate change, education, healthy eating, physical activity, and the social determinants of health.  


Aline Maybank
Medical Sciences 
Dalhousie University

Aline is an undergraduate student studying Medical Sciences at Dalhousie University. Specifically, she is interested in the intersection of climate and medicine. She has been involved in Biomedical Engineering and respiratory research over the past few years. Aline is the president of Dalhousie's American Sign Language Society and Sustainability Society, where she works to increase community inclusivity. She also volunteers at various health-related organizations, including the IWK and Kid's Help Phone, to support members of her community. She is looking forward to discovering the Healthy Populations Institute's ongoing research projects regarding sustainability and health while inspiring other young professionals to integrate sustainability into their education.


Jennifer Splane
Faculty of Health
Dalhousie University

Jennifer is a PhD student in the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University. She is a graduate Nurse Practitioner who works with at-risk populations and her research interests include improving healthcare delivery and health outcomes for Canadians by exploring and evaluating the role of nurse practitioners in this context. Prior to her graduate studies, Jennifer completed her Bachelor of Science in Biology/Psychology and Bachelor of Nursing at the University of New Brunswick. She is looking forward to discovering equitable solutions to healthcare delivery for Canadians and continuing meaningful work at the Healthy Populations Institute.

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Matthieu Martin (he/him)
School of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Faculty of Health
Dalhousie University

Matthieu is an M.Sc. student in Speech-Language Pathology at Dalhousie's School of Communication Sciences and Disorders (SCSD). For his master's thesis, he will be spearheading a study within the “Oral Health is Health” flagship project under the supervision of Healthy Populations Institute (HPI) scholars Ms. Shauna Hachey and Dr. Rebecca Affoo. Designed by the latter scholars, the project entails developing a survey through consultation with a working group of allied non-dental health professionals (AHPs). Once designed, the survey will be sent out to all family physicians, nurses, and speech-language pathologists in Nova Scotia to gain information on oral health-related patterns of practice. Matthieu is also currently a first-year class rep of the SCSD's Student Society. Other research interests related to health equity include the intersections of environmental racism, discourse (language in society) and health outcomes. Matthieu is looking forward to the interprofessional nature of the HPI, which he hopes will inform his research and his current goal to promote and help enact positive change in health services related to oral health-related practice in the province.

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Reba McIver
Faculty of Medicine
Dalhousie University

Reba McIver is a first year medical student at Dalhousie Medical School. Prior to medical school her background was in in ecology and environmental science, with experience in the public sector and NGOs. She is passionate about health equity, and in particular how health professionals can contribute to improvements in planetary health. She is looking forward to engaging in and contributing to the impactful work of the Healthy Populations Institute.


Julia Kontak
Faculty of Health
Dalhousie University

Julia Kontak is a PhD in Health student at Dalhousie University. Julia’s research interests are broadly focused on how to create supportive environments for health and well-being using a socio-ecological lens to health. Specifically, her doctoral research will focus on the Health Promoting Schools model, youth engagement and knowledge translation.  She also is the Managing Editor of the Healthy Populations Journal – a student-led, peer-reviewed, open-access journal hosted by HPI, as well as a Research Assistant at UpLift, a School-Community-Partnership that aims to catalyze and support HPS efforts across Nova Scotia Canada. Prior to pursuing her PhD, Julia completed her MA in Health Promotion at Dalhousie University and worked at two leading health research organizations in Nova Scotia. Most recently, Julia held the position of the Knowledge Translation Coordinator at the Maritime SPOR Support Unit for four years. In her spare time, Julia enjoys staying active by teaching fitness and yoga classes and running throughout the city. 

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Brannon Senger
Faculty of Health
Dalhousie University

Brannon is a Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology at Dalhousie University.  With a master's in public health, and experience working in public mental health, Brannon's research interests lie in the intersection between clinical psychology and public health.  Brannon is most interested in understanding how health systems can be improved so that services are more timely, easier to access, and foster collaboration between levels of care. Currently, Brannon's research focuses on improving early intervention programs for severe mental illnesses like psychosis. Brannon's clinical interests are broad, and he hopes to have his public health training shape his priorities in clinical practice.  He is looking forward to contributing to the impactful work of the Healthy Populations Institute and hopes to advocate for public health initiatives that consider mental health



Carlee MacNeill
Faculty of Health
Dalhousie University

Carlee (she/her) is a M.Sc. student in the Faculty of Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University. Her research interests relate to health and social equity, measurement in health services, and healthy ageing. The population of interest for her master’s thesis is adults ageing with physical disabilities in long-term care. By joining the HPI, Carlee seeks to contribute to equity or sustainability-driven research projects and connect with other health professionals and advocates for social equity.

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Alexandra Del Favero-Campbell
Faculty of Health
Dalhousie University

Alexandra is a PhD student within the LEAPH lab hoping to focus on physical environmental influences and their impacts on mental health outcomes. Originally from Hawaii, she takes a lot of inspiration from her diverse background and heritage. She hopes to use her academic training in conservation science, bioeconomics, and translational psychiatry to eventually be able to inspire innovative solutions to wicked problems and provide equitable interventions and planning for communities that are most in need.

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