Ecology, Health, and Environment

Adam El-Masri*, (UTSG) Undergrad – Bachelor of Arts and Science in Computer Science and Indigenous Studies
Project : Coffee Cup Collective TO – Eliminating Single-Use Coffee Cup Waste Through Community Participatory Action

Adam is a 4th+ year Computer Science and Indigenous Studies major with over 6 years experience in the field of software engineering including social innovation, autonomous vehicles, cryptocurrency, finance, education and health technologies. He is a software development instructor with the School of Continuing Studies and a head teaching assistant within the department of Computer Science. He has been actively involved in civic engagement for over 3 years as the lead for a City of Toronto youth advocacy committee (YDAC). He is the founder of a tech-oriented non-profit (Dana Project) and a poverty alleviation advocate, working on a multitude of local projects within Engineers Without Borders. He volunteers for and consults on numerous non-profit projects on a regular basis. Above all else, Adam is a long-time and passionate Torontonian who is fixated on leveraging technology and agile processes for the purposes of bettering our communities.

Read more about Adam's work with the formation of an Emergency Foodbank for students in his Q&A with SofC - SofC Fellow leads an initiative to create UofT Emergency Foodbank.

Amanda Grant, (UTSG) Graduate – Masters of Public Policy
Project : Girls and Women in Sport: The Role of Cities and Communities in Sports

Currently in her second year of Masters, Amanda has an undergraduate degree in sociology, which formed the basis for her passion for social issues, specifically those surrounding gender inequality. She believes this knowledge has shaped her policy interests, which primarily involve social and urban policy. As a former varsity athlete, Amanda is passionate about sports and youth involvement in sport and believes in the holistic benefits that sport participation can bring to people’s lives. 

Garrett Morgan

Garrett Morgan*, (UTSG) Graduate - PhD in Geography and Planning
Project : Back to the Future: Reconnecting Public Health, Urban Planning, and Architecture

Garrett is an urban planner and sustainable development consultant with professional experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors in Canada and the United States. A PhD student in Planning, his research broadly explores community resilience, sustainable transitions, global health, and climate governance. At UofT, he is a member of two collaborative specializations: Global Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Environment & Health at the School of the Environment. He is also a Junior Fellow at Massey College. In addition to serving as a teaching assistant in the Department of Geography and Planning and John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, Garrett currently works as a Research Assistant on a CIHR-funded Healthy and Resilient Cities research project as well as at the Sustainable Built Environments Performance Assessment (SBEPA) network. 

Read more about Garrett's thoughts and journey in his Students in the Spotlight feature. "Students in the Spotlight" is a conversation series with members of the SofC Student Academy and Urban Leadership Fellowship program.

Happy Gill

Harvarinder (Happy) Gill, (UTM) Undergrad - Bachelor of Science in Biology for Health Sciences and Psychology
Project : Changes in Well-Being by Including More Greenery in Urban Environments

A fourth-year undergraduate student, Happy’s major areas of interest include child health, environmental sustainability, climate change and research in neuroscience and neurotechnology. Happy worked at SickKids on a research study looking at the genetic and environmental impacts on childhood neuropsychiatric disorders. This experience increased his interest in the field. Happy is also passionate about understanding the effects of climate change in urban environments and how to prepare for its complex impacts. 

James Gibb

James Gibb*, (UTSG) Graduate - Master of Science in Evolutionary Anthropology
Project : Queering Food Insecurity: Measurement and Assessment of Food Security among Gender and Sexual Minorities Living in Toronto

James K Gibb is a Master’s of Science candidate in Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Toronto. His MSc research examines the factors contributing to sexual orientation disparities in adult male height and health using a longitudinal data on child growth. Prior to his graduate studies, he received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Waterloo. His research focused on the ways social stigma and discrimination influence non-communicable disease risk among persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities.

Read more about James' motivation behind this project in his Q&A with SofC - On the Fringes of Care.

Jeffrey Miller, (UTSC) Undergrad - Bachelor of Neuroscience
Project : Lifestyle Optimising Workshop

Academically, Jeffrey is the President of the Neurology Research Association of University of Toronto and a Neuroscience Concentrator with an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts and Honors Bachelor's of Art Degree in Psychology. He is working towards filling the prerequisites for clinical work in Neurology or Cardiovascular Perfusion, while seeking interventions associated with retarding age-related diseases and malfunctions. His extracurricular interests in marathon running and piano performing play a constructive role in facilitating him to achieve his academic and medical goals. 

Jigme Lhamo

Jigme Lhamo Tsering*, (UTM) Undergrad - Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Human Exceptionality in Learning
Project : Depression and Mental Health in the Tibetan-Canadian Community: The Barriers of Service Utilization

Jigme Lhamo Tsering is a Tibetan-Canadian immigrant currently finishing her bachelor’s in Psychology and Human Exceptionality in Learning at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Jigme is passionate about advocacy, social justice, and is an active member of Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) Canada. Jigme’s involvement with SFT has given her the opportunity to grow as an activist and learn the importance of grassroots movements, representation and intersectionality. She hopes to study the effects of diaspora on mental health and service utilization among the Tibetan Community in attempts to establish a diverse range of representation in research and academia. 

Read more about Jigme's thoughts and journey in her Students in the Spotlight feature. "Students in the Spotlight" is a conversation series with members of the SofC Student Academy and Urban Leadership Fellowship program.

Lauren Lawson, (UTSG) Graduate – Masters of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Project : Improving Awareness of and Access to Nature in a Rapidly Expanding City

Lauren is a conservation biologist and ecologist interested in the impact of city expansion on native species, particularly the less visible aquatic species found beneath the surface of ponds, lakes, and rivers. For her Masters research, she is studying the effects of urbanization on an endangered fish species in Toronto. Her interest in urban nature goes beyond research, as she is interested in engaging fellow residents of Toronto in exploring all that the city has to offer. Through raising awareness about the different ways to experience nature year-round in Toronto, Lauren hopes to cultivate appreciation for green and blue spaces and spark curiosity for nature within this city. 

Matthew Yau, (UTSG) Graduate –  Doctorate of Medicine & Master of Science in Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation
Project : Clinic MATCH: Building a Public Platform to Promote Transparency of Healthcare Costs in Toronto

Matthew Yau is a 2nd year MD/MSc student who is passionate about leveraging public policy to improve population health and reduce inequality. Matthew researches the economic, political and technological forces that shape health systems. He is committed to balancing his future clinical practice with policy initiatives that advocate for his patients. He has contributed to policy development on a federal level in the office of MP Murray Rankin as a Jaimie Anderson Parliamentary Intern, and on a global level at UNAIDS Indonesia as a Cansbridge Fellow. Matthew completed a joint internship at the British Medical Journal and the University of Cape Town to develop clinical decision support tools as a Queen Elizabeth Scholar. He also worked as a student consultant for Asklepios Kliniken to inform the design of a future hospital in Germany. He is proud to call Toronto home, and is excited about the opportunity to contribute to positive change to this city. 

Michelle Amri Michelle Amri, (UTSG) Graduate – PhD in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences
Project : Investigation of World Health Organization Health Equity Discourses and Translation to Policy in Cities of the Global South

Michelle Amri is a PhD candidate at U of T in social and behavioural health sciences with a collaborative specialization in global health. Her research is focused on global health, public health policy and governance, health equity, and urban health. Working under the co-supervision of Dr. Pat O'Campo and Dr. Theresa Enright, and committee members Dr. Erica Di Ruggiero and Dr. Arjumand Siddiqi, she is investigating discourses of equity employed by the World Health Organization (WHO), with particular attention paid to the Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool (Urban HEART). Through her work with the WHO, she also discussed smoke-free cities with mayors of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. She also evaluated the Healthy Cities initiative in the Western Pacific Region and designed a multi-sectoral national policy in Lao PDR, among other experiences. Michelle has also worked in several policy capacities for the Ontario Public Service, both at the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Community and Social Services. Michelle is a passionate instructor, teaching at both the University of Victoria and previously at U of T for two years. She has been a Steering Committee member for MentorNet, a volunteer-run global health mentorship program offered through the Canadian Society for International Health, for several years and has helped organize the PEace, Global health, And SUStainability (PEGASUS) conference in 2018. She holds the degrees of Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Health Sciences with an Honors Specialization in Health Promotion. 

Yalinie Kulandaivelu, (UTSG) Graduate – PhD in Health Services Research
Project : Peer-led Social Media-Based Nutrition Education for Adolescents Living in Greater Toronto Area Neighbourhoods

Yalinie is currently a PhD student at the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, studying Health Informatics Research. Her doctoral research aims to understand how social media can be leveraged for nutrition education among adolescents, particularly among low-socioeconomic status communities. Her research interests include public health informatics, peer education and support, and adolescent health. She holds an Honours BSc in Life Sciences and MSc in Health Services Research from the University of Toronto and is also a student in the Public Health Policy Collaborative Specialization.