Current Trainees

PhD Trainee
Project: Street-involved youth and ageing-out of the child welfare system: Evidence to improve outcomes

Supervisor: Dr. Jean Shoveller and Dr. Kora DeBeck
Committee: Dr. Thomas Kerr

Research Interests: Brittany Barker recently completed her Master’s of Public Policy at Simon Fraser University and has just started her doctoral studies in the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program as a four-year fellowship recipient. Her research interests seek to cross the domains of public policy and public health to identify and examine the health-related outcomes associated with ‘ageing-out’ of government care among high-risk youth. Specifically, she will apply a critical policy analysis to evaluate novel interventions aimed at reducing the negative impacts of ageing-out of care. Additionally, Brittany works as a research assistant for the Urban Health Research Initiative at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS with a prospective cohort of street-involved youth who use drugs in the Vancouver area.

Awards and Scholarships: UBC Four Year Doctoral Fellowship (FYF); Graduate Student Initiative Award (awarded but declined); Graduate Fellowship (two consecutive years); CIHR Doctoral Research Award

Email: bbarker (at)


MSc Traineetamara-headshot

Supervisor: Dr. Jean Shoveller and Dr. Kate Shannon

Research Interests: Tamara completed her undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences at Quest University Canada in 2014, with a bachelor’s thesis on sexual health and sexual assault in the Sea to Sky Corridor, an area of Western British Columbia. She also spent five years as a clinic volunteer for the Options for Sexual Health Clinic in Squamish, BC. Her research interests involve the relationship between place and health outcomes for women living with HIV/AIDS, specifically targeting neighborhoods, housing stability, health inequalities, and access to health services. Tamara also works as a research assistant for the Gender and Sexual Health Initiative at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS with a longitudinal needs-assessment for women living with HIV/AIDS.

Awards and Scholarships: Quest University Canada Presidential Scholarship; Quest University Canada Scholarship




PhD Trainee
Project: Sexual orientation, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and heavy drinking in Canada

Supervisor: Dr. Jean Shoveller

Research Interests: Basia’s research interests lie in the area of sexual orientation, sex, and gender as they pertain to health. Since graduating from the Master’s Program in Public Policy at Simon Fraser University in 2006, Basia has worked as Project Manager, Research & Knowledge Exchange, at BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, and as a Research Associate at the Centre for Addictions Research of BC. She has also worked with the Sts’ailes Band on a participatory research project aimed at developing a community health centre grounded in Indigenous knowledge. Basia’s PhD dissertation will contribute to the evidence base regarding sexual orientation and mental health in Canada.

Awards and Scholarships: CIHR Institute of Gender and Health Skills Development Award; CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship; Killam Doctoral Fellowship; UBC 4-Year Doctoral Fellowship; Youth Sexual Health Team PhD Traineeship

Email: bpakula (at)


PhD Trainee
HIV/STI risk among Canadian transgender men who have sex with men (MSM)

Supervisor: Dr. Jean Shoveller and Dr. David Moore

Research Interests: Ashleigh is a doctoral student at the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health, she completed a Masters in Public Health degree at UBC in 2013. Her research interests centre on the intersection of sex, gender and health. Ashleigh has worked with the Epidemiology and Population Health Program at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS since 2012, primarily with the men who have sex with men (MSM) research team. Her current research will add to the knowledge base on HIV/STI prevalence for transgender (people whose gender identity is incongruent with sex assigned at birth) MSM across Canada, investigate HIV/STI related risk behaviours for this population, and identify related sexual health services needs.

Awards and Scholarships: UBC Faculty of Medicine Graduate Award, UBC Graduate Entrance Award, Momentum Study Doctoral Fellowship

Email: (at)


PhD Trainee
Project: Health trajectories from school entry to adolescence: A population level analysis

Supervisor: Dr. Jean Shoveller and Dr. Martin Guhn

Research Interests: Kim is a doctoral student in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Prior to entering the PhD program, Kim completed an MA in Human Development, Learning, and Culture at UBC with a focus on children’s social and emotional development. Her current research will investigate how early inequalities affect children’s health through adolescence, and how such inequalities may be mitigated. The study is being conducted in collaboration with UBC’s Human Early Learning Partnership. Through her traineeship at the Youth Sexual Health Team, Kim also contributes to research on young people’s experiences with HIV/STI testing in Vancouver. She currently works as a Research Coordinator for the BC Centre for Disease Control’s GetCheckedOnline STI/HIV testing program.

Awards and Scholarships: CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship; UBC Four Year Doctoral Fellowship; Youth Sexual Health Team PhD Traineeship

Email: kimberly.thomson (at)