Dr. Mylène Riva

Bonjour! Hello! Welcome to my research group's website. I am an Assistant Professor at McGill University, cross-appointed in the Institute for Health and Social Policy and the Department of Geography. I am a health geographer and population health researcher. My research activities are focused on socio-environmental determinants of health in rural, remote and Indigenous communities. I am particularly interested in housing and communities as important place-based determinants of health and as settings for interventions to improve population health and to reduce inequalities. I lead and collaborate on various scientific initiatives in these areas. Prior to joining McGill, I was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at Université Laval and researcher at CHU de Quebec Research Center. I hold a BSc in Geography and PhD in Public Health and Health Promotion from Université de Montreal. I was a postdoctoral fellow in Health Geography at Durham University in the UK, and held a Banting postdoctoral fellowship at Université Laval. I currently hold a career award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé.

Research Assistants

Philippe Dufresne

Project Coordinator and Research Assistant, McGill University

Philippe is a Research Assistant who has been working with Dr. Riva since August 2015. He has a bachelor in Medical Biology from the UQTR, and a Master's in Epidemiology from Université Laval. He developed a strong interest in microbiology and human health in his first university degree, and in the year following his graduation, had the chance to work at the University of Western Australia in the Population Health Department. This opportunity confirmed his wish to work on health from a larger perspective than at the molecular, cellular, or even individual level. The main project he is involved in examines the impacts of moving to a new house on physical and mental health and wellbeing. His research interests involve health disparities, quantitative methodologies and social epidemiology.

René Iwo

Research Assistant, McGill University

René is recent graduate of McGill University, with a BA Joint Honours in Sociology and International Development Studies. His interests mainly relate to health demography and youth welfare, especially in marginalized or racialized populations around the world and in his home country of Indonesia. He has previously worked with a local NGO in Lebanon focusing on Syrian refugee children, as well as as an intern in the Indonesian Ministry of Development Planning (Child Protection Division). He also had the chance to work with Cree children in Eeyou Istchee (Cree territory in Northern Quebec), which sparked his interest in the topic of indigenous health. He started working with Dr. Riva in the winter 2017 term as a research intern, examining health behaviours of high school students in Eeyou Istchee. He is excited to continue on this project, as well as take on new topics regarding housing and health in Indigenous populations.

Michelle Maillet

Project Coordinator and Research Assistant, McGill University

Michelle is the Geography Undergraduate Program Advisor at McGill University, and started working part-time with Dr. Riva as a Research Assistant in April 2017. She holds an MA in Geography (2014) and a BA in International Development, Geography and Environment (2010) from McGill University. Before joining the Place, Health and Well-being Research Group, she worked as Project Manager for the Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change project, and as Research Assistant and Lab Manager with the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group (Dr. James Ford). Her research interests focus on issues relating to international relations and diplomacy, policy discourses and approaches, Indigenous peoples' health and well-being, Indigenous rights, climate change impacts and adaptation, and science communication. She is currently working on projects relating to housing and Indigenous peoples' health.

Marie-Claude Lyonnais

Research Assistant, Université Laval

Marie-Claude is an MSc student in Community Health at Université Laval under the supervision of Dr Christopher Fletcher (PhD), and Dr Patrick Archambault (MD). She completed her Bachelor's in Information-Communication at Université de Moncton, in New Brunswick, as well as a Doctorate in Chiropractic at Université du Québec at Trois-Rivières. She worked for Radio-Canada in Moncton and Sherbrooke as a journalist before joining the research teams of Dr Riva and Dr. Fletcher. She is part of the Qanuilirpitaa community component team of the Nunavik Inuit Health Survey Qanuilirpitaa 2017, as well as the leading research assistant of a needs assessment project for urban Inuit, in Montreal. Her Master's project was conducted in Nunavik, where she studied how Facebook was used by Nunavimmiut, and how it could be useful for a health community-based participatory research.

Melody Lynch

Project Coordinator and Research Assistant, McGill University

Melody joined the research team in February 2017 to work as the project coordinator on the community component of the Nunavik Health Survey, Qanuilirpitaa 2017. She is developing locally relevant indicators of community health and well-being for the region. Melody travelled to Nunavik's 14 communities onboard the CCGS Amundsen from August-October 2017, and completed fieldwork for the community component in January 2018. She is currently analyzing those data. Melody has a MA in development geography from McGill University, and is pursuing her PhD at the University of Melbourne, looking at the political ecology of the blue economy in Indonesia.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Ella Myette

Undergraduate Research Assistant, McGill University

Ella is a fourth year undergraduate research assistant studying Ecological Determinants of Health in McGill’s School of Environment. Her past research has concerned the role of participatory mapping in indigenous land tenure claims, and she is also interested in environmental determinants of indigenous health and wellbeing. This summer, she will be working on Dr. Riva’s systematic review examining the connections between housing and health, and will specifically be looking at various interventions that could be implemented in Canada.

IHSP Research Interns

For more information about the research internship at McGill University's Institute for Health and Social Policy, click here.

Lauren Nagel

Research Intern at the Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University

Lauren recently graduated from McGill with a Bachelor of Arts & Science in Molecular Biology and International Development. She has just started her thesis-based MSc in Experimental Medicine at McGill and her research focus is HIV-1 treatments. As a student of interdisciplinary studies, she sees the importance of incorporating multiple perspectives and approaches when addressing a problem. She looks forward to applying this mindset to her work in Dr. Riva's lab on projects relating to housing and indigenous peoples' health

Maaz Shahid

Research Intern at the Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University

Maaz joined the lab in September 2018 as an IHSP Intern for the fall of 2018 to work on analyzing data on a project with the Direction régionale de santé publique de Montréal (DSP) regarding bedbugs and mental health. In his final year of a MSc in Public Health from McGill University, Maaz has been working on projects involving Universal Health Care and Air Pollution policies around the globe, as a member of Dr. Arijit Nandi’s PROSPERED initiative. Maaz’s research interests include policy interventions concerning marginalized populations. After completing his BSc with a minor in Sociology from the University of Calgary, Maaz developed an interest in Public Health through his experience as a Development Worker and decided to pursue his Master’s degree in the subject. Maaz is excited to work on the project with the DSP with the intention of the project leading to positive changes in housing conditions in Montreal.

Master's Students

Madeleine Pawlowski

MA Student, McGill University

Madeleine is a Master’s candidate in Health Geography, co-supervised by Dr. Riva and Dr. Nancy Ross. Her research interests draw from past work on Indigenous student success in the non-profit sector, and focus mainly on the relationship between Inuit student well-being and postsecondary retention for students moving from Nunavik to Montreal for CEGEP. Madeleine previously completed her BA Joint Honours in Geography and International Development Studies at McGill in 2015, and was a 2015-2016 OceanPath Fellow.

Megan Wylie

MA student, McGill University

Megan is a Master's student at McGill working with Dr. Mylene Riva and Dr. Sebastien Breau. Her research interests center around environmental and health justice, and the consequences of increasing income inequality. Megan is working with Dr. Riva on a project to better understand how income inequality is impacting how Canadians rate their own health. Megan completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo in 2016, where she studied Environment and Business.

PhD Students

Marie Baron

PhD Candidate, Université Laval

Marie is a PhD candidate in Community Health at Université Laval under the supervision of Dr. à Riva and Dr. Christopher Fletcher. She comes from Paris, France, where she graduated in Geography. During her Master’s degree in Health Geography at Nanterre University, Paris, she did two internships in Rimouski and Montreal and developed her interests about health in remote communities. Her interests also include positive health, health assets in living environment, health disparities, indigenous health and mixed methods research. Her PhD thesis focuses on living conditions promoting healthy ageing in Inuit communities. ​

Camille Pépin

Doctoral student, Université Laval

Camille is a Doctoral psychology student at Université Laval and is co-supervised by Dr. Gina Muckle and Dr. Riva. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology at Université Laval in 2015. Camille’s graduate research is focusing on household crowding in relationship with psychological distress among Nunavik Inuit youth and her undergraduate research was on food insecurity in the same population.

Thérèse Yéro Adamou

PhD Candidate, Université Laval

​Thérèse is a PhD candidate in the Community Health program of Université Laval. She is co-supervised by Dr. Riva and Dr. Pierre Ayotte. Thérèse completed a bachelor in biology in 2005 (UQAM) and a Masters in Environmental and Occupational Health in 2008 (Université of Montréal). Her research interests mainly focus on environmental health and environmental justice issues among Inuit pregnant women from Nunavik. The main objectives of her research project are to: (1) assess temporal trends in Inuit pregnant women exposure to environmental pollutants (i.e, mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls) and (2) determine whether social disparities in maternal exposure to environmental pollutants exist in this population.

Karine Perreault

PhD student, Université de Montréal

Karine is a PhD student in Public Health (Health Promotion option) at Université de Montréal. She graduated with an MSc in physical activity sciences from Université de Sherbrooke in 2014. Before embarking on her PhD, she spent one year in Sydney, Australia, where she worked as a research affiliate at the School of Public Health, University of Sydney and at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales. Her work in Australia helped her to transition from clinical research – that she had been doing for years as a research assistant and MSc student – to public health research. Her research interests broadly include social determinants of health, health promotion, population health intervention research and indigenous health. During her PhD, she will explore how public investments in social housing – allowing for Inuit families to move to new houses – impact mental health in 12 Inuit communities in Nunavik and Nunavut, using a mixed methods collaborative research methodology. More specifically, she will examine the impact of moving to a new house on family life and psychosocial processes related to housing (such as gain in privacy, control, safety), and how these intermediate mechanisms may relate to mental health. She is co-supervised by Dr. Riva, and Dr. Louise Potvin (Université de Montréal). She holds a 3-year Doctoral Research Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Priority Announcement: Research in First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit.

Antonia Sohns

PhD student, McGill University

Antonia is a first-year PhD in the Geography Department under the joint supervision of Dr. James Ford and Dr. Riva. Her research interests include community response to natural hazards, water security, and comparative policy analysis. Before coming to McGill, Antonia worked at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. on the Thirsty Energy Initiative. She completed an MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management at the University of Oxford, where she focused on the water-energy nexus and the water requirements of hydraulic fracturing operations in Pinedale, Wyoming. She also holds a BS in Earth Systems, Oceans track from Stanford University.

Brian Richardson

PhD student, McGill University

Brian is a PhD student in the Department of Geography under the supervision of Dr. Riva. He completed his BSc in Geography in 2016 at New Mexico State University, graduating as a Crimson Scholar with Highest Honors. For the past two years, Brian worked toward his MSc at the University of North Texas, researching issues in identifying and locating vulnerable populations for bio-emergency planning. His long-term research interests focus on health, housing, and inequity issues within military veteran populations. Brian spent eight years serving in the U.S. Army and Army National Guard, deploying with Foxtrot Company, 51st Airborne Infantry (LRSC) to Operation Desert Storm in 1990-91.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Maryam Teimouri

Postdoctoral Fellow, McGill University

Bio coming soon.

Nathan S. Debortoli
Postdoctoral Fellow, McGill University
2016-2018

Chloé Laflamme
Undergraduate Research Assistant, McGill University
January-April 2018

Christine Lussier
Undergraduate Research Assistant, Concordia University
July-October 2017

Emma Windfeld
Undergraduate Research Assistant, McGill University
January-April 2017

Dorothy Heinrich
Undergraduate Research Assistant, McGill University
May-September 2018

Charlotte Brandstrup Hansen
Visiting Master's Student, University of Copenhagen
January-April 2018

Jeffery Sauer
Undergraduate Research Assistant, McGill University
January-August 2017

Johanna Busch
Undergraduate Research Assistant, McGill University
January-April 2017