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Science Writers &

Communicators of Canada

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conference speaker bios

Timothy Caulfield is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta. His interdisciplinary research on topics like stem cells, genetics, research ethics, the public representations of science and public health policy has allowed him to publish over 350 academic articles. He has won numerous academic and writing awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He contributes frequently to the popular press and is the author of two national bestsellers: The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness (Penguin 2012) and Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash (Penguin 2015). His most recent book is Relax, Dammit!: A User’s Guide to the Age of Anxiety (Penguin Random House, 2020). Caulfield is also the host and co-producer of the award winning documentary TV show, A User’s Guide to Cheating Death, which has been shown in over 60 countries, including streaming on Netflix in North America.

Angela M Crawley is a PhD Scientist at The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, with appointments as an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa and Adjunct Professor at Carleton University. She leads an active basic research program, studying the effects of chronic liver disease on the immune system, of which consequences could affect vaccine-induced immunity and other clinical outcomes.
She is interested in hepatitis C virus infection, HIV infection and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Her research is rooted in real-life challenges faced in the clinic, invoking a bedside-to-bench-and-back approach to her studies. She is also actively conducting collaborative basic and clinical science research on the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

As a mother and researcher, Dr. Crawley is familiar with much of the hesitancy parents face when trying to provide the best for their children. She recognizes that she bears the privilege and objectivity afforded to her by virtue of her training to be able to make informed decisions about vaccination and other health-related questions for herself and her family. With that in mind, Dr. Crawley always looks for opportunities where she can share her perspective and knowledge with others in the effort to debunk the myths about health that are perpetuated in society today. She has led public forums on flu vaccination in a mini-med school conference, and has established strong networks of research collaborations between basic scientists and clinicians that aim to translate scientific knowledge to medical practice. In addition, Dr. Crawley regularly teaches immunology at the undergraduate, graduate, and medical school levels, where she trains students to speak about our immune system to empower society with accessible health knowledge.

Kelly Crowe is a former medical sciences correspondent with CBC News. After graduating from Carleton University, she began her adventures in journalism at a small radio station in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. She joined the CBC in the late 1980s where she spent the next three decades travelling across Canada and around the world, reporting on a wide spectrum of human triumph and tragedy. As the original SARS crisis gripped Canada in 2003, Crowe began specializing in biomedical and science journalism, covering every subsequent infectious disease outbreak including the current COVID-19 pandemic. In 2013 Crowe spent an academic year as a William Southam Journalism Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Massey College. In 2018 Crowe earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction from the University of King’s College in Halifax, N.S. For the last five years, Crowe has been a member of the jury for the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada annual book award.

Krista Davidson manages communications for the CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, the world’s first national artificial intelligence strategy. Working with some of the most talented researchers in machine learning, Krista’s role is to support Canada’s leadership in artificial intelligence through research innovation and excellence. Krista holds a Masters in International Journalism from the University of Westminster (UK), and has held senior research communications roles for academic institutions such as University of Toronto (SOSCIP Smart Computing for Innovation) and Memorial University. Krista has extensive communications experience working in both
private and public sector organizations, such as CBC and BC Pharmacy Association. Prior to working in communications, Krista worked as a journalist in London, England, and Vancouver, BC.

Alice Fleerackers is a freelance writer, a researcher at the ScholCommLab, a Science in Society Editor at Science Borealis, and the Research Officer at Art the Science. She is also the child of two very loving vaccine hesitant parents—parents who raised her to fear, doubt, and distrust the science behind immunization. This personal experience continues to inform her research as a doctoral student
at Simon Fraser University, where she is working under the supervision of Dr. Juan Pablo Alperin on a SSHRC-funded project exploring how health science is communicated in the digital sphere. With a background in psychology and publishing, Fleerackers cares deeply about bringing research into everyday life. Over her more than 6 years of experience as a professional communicator, she’s had the
pleasure of interviewing psychologists, media specialists, anthropologists, and more on everything from the psychology of society’s cat video addiction to the science behind astrological belief. She’s also worked as a web editor for the award-winning magazine SAD Mag, a publicist and marketing coordinator for Vancouver-based book publisher Greystone Books, and contributed to outlets such as
the Globe and Mail, Nautilus, and more. @FleerackersA.

Jessa Gamble is a Penguin author and speaker to diverse audiences, including Abu Dhabi’s royal family and mainstage TED in Vancouver. Her circadian rhythms-related TEDGlobal talk in Oxford has been viewed online more than 3 million times.

Gamble’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Nature, New Scientist, Scientific American, The Walrus, The Guardian, and many other publications. Her book, The Siesta and the Midnight Sun: How Our Bodies Experience Time, documents the intersection of biological rhythms and culture. Highlights of her awards include the Best Feature award from the Association of British Science Writers and her first ever award, then-CSWA’s Science in Society award in 2008. She is currently a full-time research writer for the Faculty of Medicine at uOttawa.

David J. Hauser is an Assistant Professor of Social/Personality Psychology at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. His research investigates how language reflects and shapes our beliefs, attitudes, and reasoning. One of his primary focuses is on the conceptual metaphors that underlie how people think about health and illness. For instance, while “battle” and “fight” metaphors are commonly used to discuss cancer, Dr. Hauser’s research has uncovered that they also shape how we think about the illness; because these metaphors place an emphasis on treatment, they undermine how people view prevention strategies for the disease. Currently, he is collaborating with master’s student Andrew Hall on a study investigating the conceptual metaphors and cognitive styles that underlie vaccine skepticism.

Dr. Hauser holds a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan and a BA in Psychology from Gettysburg College. Previously, he worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Dornsife Mind and Society Center at the University of Southern California. He has also taught courses in statistics, social psychology, and decision making, and is a contributor to The Guardian and WNYC.

Hannah Hoag has reported on the environment, science and medicine for more than 15 years. She is the deputy editor and the environment and energy editor at The Conversation Canada, and was the founding editor of Arctic Deeply. She has graduate degrees in biology (human genetics) from McGill University and in science and medical journalism from Boston University. She has written for a wide variety of publications, including Nature, Science, Audubon, Hakai Magazine, The Atlantic, the Globe and Mail and the New York Times.

Taylor Kann is a master’s student in the Digital Innovation in Journalism Program at Concordia University (Montreal).  After finishing her master’s degree this summer, Taylor will begin doctoral studies this fall in Concordia’s Individualized Program in Humanities.  Specifically, Taylor’s graduate research focuses on science journalism. Taylor’s MA and PhD projects focus on the communication of synthetic biology within the context of hype and misinformation, as she aims to further the understanding of how the portrayal of synthetic biology innovations in the media may have an impact on public opinion and perception of the field.

Prior to beginning her graduate studies, Taylor worked as a faculty coordinator at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard Medical School and obtained her bachelor’s degree from Suffolk University in Boston, MA in Communication and Journalism Studies. 

Srivindhya Kolluru is a student in her final year of undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, where she studies Biological Chemistry and Professional Writing & Communication. She completed her undergraduate thesis in organometallic chemistry over the summer, during which she developed methodologies for biologically relevant compounds. She has previously served as the Associate Science Editor and Science Editor for The Varsity, the University of Toronto’s student newspaper. Outside of The Varsity, Srivindhya has written for Canadian Chemical News and National Observer.

Julia Krolik - Pixels and Plans | Art the Science - is an information designer, data scientist, artist and entrepreneur. Her diverse background enables a rare cross-disciplinary empathy and she continuously advocates for effective research communication with the public. Formally educated in the sciences, her work includes published research in microbiology, geospatial analytics, public health, and groundwater quality. As an award-winning artist, Julia integrates scientific methodology into her creative process. Julia is the founder of Art the Science, a non-profit organization facilitating artist residencies in scientific research laboratories across Canada to foster public engagement in art and science. She also sits on the Data Visualization Society’s board as the Partnerships Director. Through her creative agency Pixels and Plans, Julia and her team work with private and public organizations fusing scientific integrity with engaging design to create impactful knowledge mobilization products and science-based art. Their scope of work is expansive and includes interactive data visualization tools, data-based art installations and custom projection mapping software. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn. URL:

Catherine (Cat) Lau, Program Evaluation Officer (ATS) / Knowledge Translation Coordinator (CHILD-BRIGHT Network) is a former behavioural neuroscientist-turned-science communicator. She is passionate about integrating creative approaches in science communication and knowledge mobilization. For the past few years, Cat has held diverse roles as a science writer, amateur-artist, nomadic science outreach facilitator and knowledge translation coordinator. Her interest in art-based science communication inspired her research in Canadian organizations and programs that use interdisciplinary approaches to engage the public in the sciences. This
led to her interest in the evaluation component of the Science-Artist Residency at Art the Science. Ultimately, she hopes to develop resources that will contribute to the growth of Canadian science-art culture. Find her on Twitter: @scicommcat

Mona Li is a professional biomedical communicator, and a Visual Web Designer at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research in Toronto. She is passionate about using visual storytelling and person-centred approaches to improving the human aspect of healthcare and health experiences. She first became interested in the potential of visual communication in health promotion while completing her BSc in Psychology at McGill University. In 2019, she received her MSc in Biomedical Communications at the University of Toronto, specializing in illustration and patient education. For her Masters Research Project, she created a patient education comic about palliative care, aimed to destigmatize and demystify the topic.

Li’s biomedical communication projects have included everything from public health data visualization to flu prevention pamphlet creation. She has a special interest in empathetic user experience design approaches, which she strives to bring to all of her work, especially that involving patient education. Outside of the office, Li makes webcomics to share her lived experience with mental health and chronic illness.

Lenore Newman's love affair with food began on her family's fishing boat, where she gained an early introduction into the world of direct marketing of local products. Lenore is an expert in culinary geography and agricultural land use policy, and she holds a Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Environment of Geography and the Environment at the University of the Fraser Valley. Dr. Newman is an associate professor in the department and is also the Director of the Food and Agriculture Institute at UFV.  Her opinion pieces on the future of farmland use and other food-related issues have been published in the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, and the
Georgia Straight. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada's New College, and holds a PhD in Environmental Studies from York University. She has written two books. Speaking in Cod Tongues: A Canadian Culinary Journey was published in 2017 to popular acclaim, and won a Saskatchewan Book Award. Lost Feast was published by ECW Press in 2019. Lenore splits her time between Vancouver and the village of Robert's Creek, BC.

Farah Qaiser is a graduate student at the University of Toronto, where she carries out DNA sequencing to better understand complex neurological disorders. When not in the lab, Farah engages in various science policy, outreach, and communication initiatives in an effort to build an engaging and inclusive science culture in Canada. Of note, Farah writes for various media outlets, has trained scientists in science storytelling as a part of Massive Science’s editorial team, and is one of the co-founders of the Toronto Science Policy Network.

Cristina Sanza is a Digital Journalism Instructor at Concordia University (Montreal). She is interested in new forms of journalism storytelling and production. She manages the Concordia Science Journalism Project ( team, and helps to coordinate Projected Futures (an international science journalism summer school). She previously worked in community journalism and healthcare communications.

David Secko is a Professor in the Department of Journalism at Concordia University (Montreal). His research involves the study of new models of science journalism. He is the leader of the Concordia Science Journalism Project ( and Projected Futures (an international science journalism summer school). He is a former science journalist.

Dorina Simeonov, Policy and Knowledge Mobilization Manager, AGE-WELL is a visual storyteller, knowledge mobilizer, and policy enthusiast. She is the Policy and Knowledge Mobilization Manager at AGE-WELL, Canada’s Technology and Aging Network. Dorina enjoys working with diverse teams to dream up innovative ways of sharing research. She has a formal education in the health sciences with a focus on methods, policy and knowledge mobilization. Dorina is passionate about helping professionals share their research and expertise in a visually engaging way. Follow her work @DorinaSimeonov


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