TEAM MEMBERS

Principal investigators

Lana Vanderlee PhD 

Assistant Professor | School of nutrition and Centre NUTRISS, Institut sur la nutrition et les aliments fonctionnels (INAF), Université Laval
MODULE LEADING: Public sector and Private sector policies and actions

Dr. Lana Vanderlee's research aims to design and evaluate population-level nutrition policies and interventions that address diet-related non-communicable diseases and environmental sustainability. With a strong public health focus, it also aims to shift discussions from individual actions to environmental and systemic factors that shape eating patterns more broadly. 
My favourite fruit is... raspberries.
Emaillana.vanderlee@fsaa.ulaval.ca | Website(s): Centre NUTRISS

Mary L'Abbé PhD

Professor | Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto
Director | WHO Collaborating Centre on Nutrition Policy for Chronic Disease Prevention
MODULE LEADING: Food composition, Food labelling, Food prices

Dr. Mary L’Abbé is one of the founding members of INFORMAS and leads a research group on Food and Nutrition Policy for Population Health. Her research involves: (i) consumer knowledge, attitudes and behaviours; (ii) randomized, controlled experiments of consumer use of food packaging information; (iii) examining the nutritional quality of Canadian foods; (vi) developing and testing nutrition computer and mobile apps; and (v) assessing and modelling population intakes and health impacts using national survey data. She led the development of FLIP, a database of branded food products sold in Canada, which has been maintained and updated regularly since 2010. 
The food that I have in my grocery cart every week is… all my salad fixings along with dried fruits/berries and seeds.
Emailmary.labbe@utoronto.ca | Website(s): L'Abbé Lab, University of Toronto - Profile

Researchers

Ashley Schram PhD

Braithwaite Fellow | School of Regulation and Global Governance, Australian National University
MODULE LEADING
Food trade and investment

Dr. Ashley Schram is an interdisciplinary health researcher working on systems change that advances social equity and human health within planetary boundaries, specifically in economic, legal, and food policy subsystems. She draws on public policy, political economy, sociology and legal studies to examine the ideas, institutions, and actors that shape these policy subsystems and the impact on equity and population health. Dr. Schram has helped shape the academic field of international trade and investment, food systems, and nutrition; and have contributed to policy impact through collaborations with the federal government, the World Health Organisation, and numerous public health NGOs globally.
My friends say my best recipe is... a vegan chocolate lover’s tart!
Emailashley.schram@anu.edu.au | Website(s): Australian National University - Profile

Catherine L. Mah MD FRCPC PhD

Canada Research Chair in Promoting Healthy Populations and Associate Professor | School of Health Administration, Dalhousie University
MODULE LEADING: Food retail

Dr. Catherine Mah directs the Food Policy Lab, a multidisciplinary program of research on the environmental and policy determinants of diet and consumption, with particular interests in retail food environments and food systems. Dr. Mah is an expert appointee to the federal Nutrition Science Advisory Committee reporting to Health Canada, and member of the inaugural Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council reporting to the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food.
The food that I have in my grocery cart every week are... butter, lemons, and Nova Scotia produce.
Email: Catherine.Mah@dal.ca | Website(s)http://catherinemah.ca/

Dana Olstad RD PhD

Assistant Professor | Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
MODULE LEADING
Health equity

Dr. Dana Olstad is a Registered Dietitian and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. Her research program aims to inform development and implementation of policies to improve dietary patterns, body weight, and health, particularly among socioeconomically disadvantaged groups.  Dr. Olstad is currently leading several randomized controlled trials to examine the impact of healthy food subsidies on the dietary patterns, food insecurity risk and mental and physical health of low-income adults.
The food that I have in my grocery cart every week is... Greek yogurt.

Emaildana.olstad@ucalgary.ca | Website(s): University of Calgary - Profile

Jean-Claude Moubarac PhD

Assistant Professor | Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal
MODULE LEADING: Population diet

Dr. Jean-Claude Moubarac's research interests include the impact of ultra-processing on diet quality and health, the development and evaluation of public policies aimed at improving food environments, the link between diet and culture, and the commercial determinants of food and health. 
My favourite food fact is… we are what we eat and eat what we are.
Emailjc.moubarac@umontreal.ca | Website(s): Université de Montréal - Profile 

Kim Raine PhD RD FCAHS

Distinguished Professor | School of Public Health, University of Alberta
MODULE LEADING: Knowledge translation

Dr. Kim Raine's research explores the social and environmental determinants of population health, particularly healthy eating.  Her expertise is primarily in qualitative methods, to explore how social factors such as policies, commercialization of food, and the built environment of communities where people live may invisibly structure people’s eating practices. Dr. Raine's current research priorities are on intervening on the social conditions contributing to healthy eating and chronic diseases through large-scale, community-based and population policy-level health promotion initiatives. 
The food that I have in my grocery cart every week is... chocolate!
Emailkim.raine@ualberta.ca | Website(s): University of Alberta - Profile

Leia Minaker PhD

Assistant Professor | School of planning, University of Waterloo
MODULE LEADING: Food retail

Dr. Leia M. Minaker’s research focuses on place-based environmental and policy-related determinants of health, with a particular focus on dietary practices and mental health. Dr. Minaker works closely with stakeholders to develop applied research projects with the goal of changing policy to support healthy communities. Dr. Minaker has expertise in developing and adapting tools to assess retail food environments, and in conducting natural experiments to support public health.
My favourite veggie or fruit is...strawberries picked right out of the field, still warm from the sunshine!
Emaillminaker@uwaterloo.ca | Website(e): University of Waterloo - Profile, Geographies of Health in Place

Marie-Ève Labonté RD PhD

Assistant Professor | School of Nutrition, Institut sur la nutrition et les aliments fonctionnels (INAF), Université Laval
MODULE LEADING: Food prices

Dr. Marie-Ève Labonté's current research program focuses on characterizing and following up the quality of the food supply in different settings (e.g. grocery stores, health facilities), in the aim to support the creation of healthier food environments. She is particularly developing expertise in the use, adaptation, and validation of nutrient profiling models, as a way to evaluate the food supply’s overall nutritional quality (i.e. healthfulness), and its associations with determinants of food selection such as food prices.
My friends say my best recipe is… my oatmeal and chocolate chips cookies.
Emailmarie-eve.labonte@fsaa.ulaval.ca | Website(s): Institut sur la nutrition et les aliments fonctionnels - Profile

Mavra Ahmed  PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow | Department of Nutritional Science, Joannah and Brian Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition, University of Toronto
MODULE  LEADING: Food provision

Dr. Ahmed's expertise ranges from clinical nutrition to population health/public health policy, with a specific focus on  nutritional quality of foods, food labelling, dietary intakes assessment and best practices in delivery of school food programs. Her research interests include impact of digital technology in encouraging healthier dietary behaviour and use of equitable artificial intelligence. 
If I had to eat only one thing for an entire month, it would be...french fries.
Emailmavz.ahmed@utoronto.ca | Website: L'Abbé Lab

Monique Potvin Kent PhD

Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Public Health Program| School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa
MODULE LEADING: Food marketing

Dr. Monique Potvin Kent is a multi-disciplinary applied public health researcher who focuses on the prevention of obesity and other chronic diseases by examining food and nutrition policies and the commercial determinants of health. She is an expert in food and beverage marketing targeted at children and adolescents, the healthfulness of this marketing, and whether current policies are protecting children in various media channels such as on television and in digital media, and in child settings such as schools. Dr. Potvin Kent has a decade of experience doing research, policy development, and advocacy work in the area of food marketing to children and is recognized for this work nationally and internationally.
My favourite food fact is… policies that restrict junk food advertising to children support parents trying to raise healthy kids.
Emailmpotvink@uottawa.ca | Website(s): University of Ottawa - Profile, The OUTLIVE Lab 

Rachel Prowse  RD PhD

Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics | Faculty of Medecine, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Dr. Rachel Prowse conducts practice- and policy-relevant research examining population determinants of diet, including food marketing to children, taxing sugar-sweetened beverages, and children’s food environments. Her research spans local community-based interventions to federal policies to improve diet.
If I had to eat only one thing for an entire month, it would be... Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowls!

Email: rprowse@mun.ca | WebsiteMemorial University of Newfoundland - Profile

Sara Kirk PhD

Professor of Health Promotion and Scientific Director | Healthy Populations Institute, Dalhousie University
MODULE LEADING: Food provision

Dr. Sara Kirk's research interests and expertise include creating supportive environments for chronic disease prevention, including food and physical activity environments; weight bias and stigma; socio-ecological approaches to promote health.
My favourite veggie or fruit is... cherries.

EmailSara.Kirk@Dal.Ca | Website(s)Healthy Populations Institute

Véronique Provencher RD PhD 

Full Professor | School of nutrition and Centre NUTRISS, Institut sur la nutrition et les aliments fonctionnels (INAF), Université Laval
MODULE LEADING: Food composition

Dr. Véronique Provencher's research program focuses on psychological and behavioural factors related to food intake and weight-related issues. She is also actively involved in the Food Quality Observatory as the Scientific Director where she studied issues related to the food environment. The main aim of her research is to support the development of new public health practices and policies that promote healthy eating in a sustainable way.
If I had to eat only one thing for an entire month, it would be... pasta, for sure!
Email: Veronique.Provencher@fsaa.ulaval.ca | Website(s): Centre NUTRISS, Food Quality Observatory 

Staff

Caroline Vaillancourt RD MSc

Project Manager | School of nutrition, Institut sur la nutrition et les aliments fonctionnels (INAF), Université Laval

Caroline Vaillancourt is a Registered Dietitian and a research professional working in the Vanderlee Lab. She is currently the project manager for INFORMAS Canada. Caroline has a Masters degree in nutrition at Université Laval. She has experience in the field of international nutrition and health research and had been involved in projects in Senegal, Haiti and China. Her research interests include food environments, food security and international nutrition issues.
My favourite food fact is… we are so used to having access to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables all year round that we forget that eating with seasons is often much more flavourful!
Email: caroline.vaillancourt.2@ulaval.ca 

Students

Catherine Mulligan 

PhD Candidate | Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto

Christine is a PhD student (Supervisor: Dr. Mary L’Abbé) who’s doctoral research aims to measure the extent, nature, and power of child-appealing marketing on food packages in Canada, through the use of a novel coding tool. Other research interests include: examining the influence of stakeholders on the development and implementation of food policy in Canada, the application and development of nutrient profiling models, and dietary assessment. Christine is also undertaking a Collaborative Specialization in Public Health Policy through the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
My friends say my best recipe is… Caesar salad!
Emailchristine.mulligan@mail.utoronto.ca | Website(s): L'Abbé Lab

Laura Vergeer 

PhD Candidate | Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto

Laura’s doctoral thesis aims to compare the product (re)formulation commitments and actions of products offered by the top packaged food and beverage companies in Canada. She has also led or contributed to studies on food company nutrition policies and actions, food processing, food marketing to children, food prices, dietary practices, nutrient profiling, nutrition claims and front-of-package nutrition labelling. Laura’s research training is supported by a CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Award, and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship. 
If I had to eat only one thing for an entire month, it would be... Pad Thai.
Emaillaura.vergeer@mail.utoronto.ca | Website(s): L'Abbé Lab

Trainees

Alexa Gaucher-Holm RD BSc

MSc student | School of nutrition, Université Laval

Alexa is a Master’s student (supervisor: Dr. Lana Vanderlee) who’s thesis focuses on private sector policies and commitments aimed at non-communicable disease prevention. Her research interests include nutrition policy and health equity.
My favourite veggie or fruit is... mango!
Emailalexa.gaucher-holm.1@ulaval.ca

Ashley Amson MPH 

PhD Candidate | Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

Ashley is Population Health PhD Candidate. Her thesis will explore the digital marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to adolescents with a focus on exposure, perception, and vulnerability through a gendered lens. Her previous research centered on community-based, participatory research with Indigenous populations in Alberta and Ontario. Prior work experiences include policy and epidemiological analysis in the federal government, post-secondary teaching, and an internship at the OECD that focused on economic analysis of obesity prevention interventions. 
My favourite food fact is… a single spaghetti noodle is called a spaghetto!

Emailaamso064@uottawa.ca | Website(s)The OUTLIVE Lab 

Elise Pauzé RD MSc

PhD Candidate | Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

Elise is a PhD Student in Population Health. Her doctoral research focuses on food company sponsorship of children’s sports. She has done research on food and beverage marketing to children in Canada in various media (digital, television) and settings (schools, recreational sports, community events) for more than three years. She has done research on the determinants of food access and diet quality of rural households in Haiti and has worked for a community-based research project examining the impact of immigration on the dietary behaviors and nutritional status of immigrant children living in Ottawa.
Emailepauz022@uottawa.ca | Website(s): The OUTLIVE Lab

Emily Ziraldo MMI

MSc Student | Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto

Emily is a master's student in the L’Abbé lab at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on longitudinal analysis of sodium and sugar in the Canadian food supply. Other research interests include the relationship between food prices and nutrient composition and monitoring the impact of food policy.
The food that I have in my grocery cart every week is… bananas!
Emailemily.ziraldo@mail.utoronto.ca | Website(s): L'Abbé Lab

 

Guanlan Hu

PhD candidate | Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto

Emailguanlan.hu@mail.utoronto.ca

Hailey (Yahan) Yang

MSc student | Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto

Hailey's research focuses on cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of the nutritional profile of Canadian chain restaurant foods and examination of effect of the provincial menu labelling regulation. She is also investigating the usability and functionality of a nutrition mobile app on improving consumers' dietary behaviors.
My favourite food fact is… "when you eat a pineapple, it eats you back"!
Emailhailey.yang@mail.utoronto.ca | Website(s): L'Abbé Lab

Jennifer Lee RD MPH 

PhD candidate | Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto

Jennife's career aspirations are to shape evidence-informed public health policies that can change our food system and individual health behaviours. Her PhD research examines the nutritional implications of the proposed ‘high-in’ front-of-pack labelling regulations on prepackaged foods and beverages for individuals with or at risk for diabetes.
My favourite veggie or fruit is... watermelon.
Emailjennjm.lee@mail.utoronto.ca | Website(s): L'Abbé Lab

Julia Guimares MSc

PhD Candidate | Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa 

Email: jguim060@uottawa.ca | Website(s): The OUTLIVE Lab

Lauren Remedios

MSc student  | School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa

Lauren is currently a Master's student in Epidemiology and is researching the association between sugary drink advertising and children's dietary behaviours. Her other research interests include the impact of environmental chemicals on maternal and child health.
My favourite veggie or fruit is...mangoes.
Emaillaurremedios@gmail.com | Website(s): The OUTLIVE Lab

Collaborators

Alena Ng MSc

Research Assistant | Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Alena is a research assistant in the L’Abbe Lab. Her research expertise includes answering research questions in the field of public health nutrition through analyses of large national health survey data, like CCHS-Nutrition, CHMS, or NHANES.
My favourite food fact is... you can reach your daily recommended intake of selenium from a single brazil nut!
Emailalena.p.ng@gmail.com | Website(s): LinkedIn, Google Scholar

Julie Perron RD MSc

Research Professional | Institute of nutrition and functional foods, Food Quality Observatory, Université Laval

Julie has been working within the Food Quality Observatory since 2017. She participates in the various stages of sectoral studies aimed at characterizing the nutritional composition of food categories of public health interest.
My friends say my best recipe is... granola.
Emailjulie.perron@fsaa.ulaval.ca