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: Predictors of online STIs/HIV intervention diffusion patterns across subgroups of young people in British Columbia

Supervisor: Dr. Jean Shoveller

Research Interests: Nazrul holds a Masters of Science in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, as a Harvard-Cyprus Scholar, at Cyprus International Initiative (CII) for Environmental and Public Health, in association with Harvard School of Public Health. He achieved the Valedictory Award upon completion of this program.

Nazrul is a physician who has worked previously as a clinical counselor for school-going adolescents. He holds a Master’s in Public Health from North South University, where he won the prestigious Chancellor’s Gold Medal (cumulative 4.0 GPA). Nazrul also has worked as a Junior Lecturer at the Dept. of Public Health at North South University and as a project management officer in an IDRC-funded health research project in Bangladesh. He has published peer-reviewed articles pertaining to adolescent mental health, social and behavioral aspects in oral health, cervical cancer, and breast cancer and HIV/AIDS. He also has engaged in research related to malaria and community-based interventions in maternal and neonatal health. In 2012, Nazrul was named as a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health (FRSPH).

At UBC, Nazrul’s PhD work will pertain to BC’s Online Sexual Health Services Program, under the supervision of Prof. Jeannie Shoveller; his work aims to investigate predictors of the GCBC intervention diffusion patterns within subgroups of young people.

Awards and Scholarships: Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship; UBC Four Year Doctoral Fellowships (FYF); UBC Faculty of Medicine Graduate Award; UBC International Tuition Award; PhD Trainee Fellowship from the Western Regional Training Partnership in Health Services & Policy Research (CIHR); Harvard-Cyprus Scholarship; Commonwealth Scholarship (Declined); Chancellor’s Gold Medal

Email: nazrul (at)



Supervisor: Dr. Jean Shoveller
Committee: Dr. Thomas Kerr; Dr. John Coggon

Research Interests:Rod Knight is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, which is housed in Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Health Sciences. He holds a PhD ( University of British Columbia, UBC) in interdisciplinary studies and a Master of Science (UBC) in epidemiology. He serves as a Research Coordinator for the Youth Sexual Health Team at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health where he directs a program of research to assess the scaling up of antiretroviral-based Treatment as Prevention in Canada, France and Brazil. He is a recognized expert in the social determinants of men’s sexual health as well as an emerging scholar in the realm of population and public health ethics, with a particular emphasis on HIV-related interventions. A key component of Rod’s research is to provide strategic direction in intervention implementation by systematically identifying and highlighting key ethical questions pertaining to ‘real-world’ implementation issues that can benefit from new empirical research and theoretical advances. As such, Rod’s research and theoretical work seeks to advance and articulate an evidence- and theory-informed public health ethics. Rod is supported by a Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Awards and Scholarships: CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship; Bridge Fellowship from the Bridge Program; UBC 4 Year Fellowship Awards; 2012 Award for Excellence in Sex, Gender and Health Research

Phone: (604) 827-4568
Email: rod.knight (at)


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)