Prof. 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 the Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Housing, Community, and Health.

Research Assistants

Philippe Dufresne

Project Coordinator and Research Assistant, McGill University

Philippe is a Research Assistant who has been working with Prof. 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 graduated from McGill University with a BA Joint Honours in Sociology and International Development Studies in 2017. His interests mainly relate to health demography in marginalized populations around the world and in his home country of Indonesia. He previously 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 Prof. Riva in the Winter 2017 term as a research intern, examining health behaviours of high school students in Eeyou Istchee. Other than continuing on this project, his work in the lab concerns the association between housing conditions and Indigenous Peoples' health and social outcomes. He is now pursuing his MA/PhD in Sociology at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

Marie-Claude Lyonnais

Research Assistant, Université Laval

Marie-Claude is an MSc student in Community Health at Université Laval under the supervision of Prof. Christopher Fletcher (PhD), and Prof. 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 Prof. Riva and Prof. 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.

Ella Myette

Research Assistant, McGill University

Ella recently completed her BA Honours in Ecological Determinants of Health at McGill's School of Environment, and has been working as part of the lab since May 2018. Her research interests center on the health and social impacts of mining projects around the world. She has previously worked on Prof. Riva’s systematic review examining the connections between housing and health, and is now working on completing a scoping review investigating the impacts of mining projects on Indigenous Peoples' health and wellbeing. She will be continuing this work in the Fall 2019 term, when she will be starting her Master's in Geography at McGill.

Antoine Lachance

Research Assistant, McGill University

Antoine joined Prof. Riva’s lab in May 2019 after completing his BA Joint Honours in Environment and Geography at McGill. His research interests center around the impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations around the world, especially during extreme weather events. He also has a special interest in the role of changing cannabis legislation on adolescents’ consumption patterns, and he is currently completing a systematic review on this topic. This summer, he will be writing thematic reports on data collected during the Nunavik Health Survey, Qanuilirpitaa 2017.

Student Research Assistants

Sophie Gélinas-Gagné

Undergraduate Research Assistant, McGill University

Sophie is a third-year undergraduate student research assistant studying Geography, GIS and Environment at McGill University. She is interested in data visualization, climate change adaptation and sustainable urban planning. This summer, she will be involved in GIS projects. She partakes in a project consisting of mapping resources and services offered in 14 Inuit communities in the North of Quebec, based on the 2017 Nunavik Health Survey. She also involved in mapping housing needs and housing insecurity in Northern Canada.

Sophie Kingunza Makasi

Undergraduate Research Assistant, McGill University

Sophie is completing her undergraduate studies in the Ecological Determinants of Health program of McGill’s School of Environment. Her research interests include the environmental impacts on health as well as the socio-environmental determinants of health. She also had the opportunity to work on the screening of Fabry disease in patients with depression.

Honours Undergraduate Students

Emmanuelle Bandia

Honours Undergraduate Student, McGill University

Bio coming soon.

Master's Students

Madeleine Pawlowski

MA Student, McGill University

Madeleine is a Master’s candidate in Health Geography, co-supervised by Prof. Riva and Prof. 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.

PhD Students

Marie Baron

PhD Candidate, Université Laval

Marie is a PhD candidate in Community Health at Université Laval under the supervision of Prof. Riva and Prof. 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 aging in Inuit communities. ​

Camille Pépin

Doctoral student, Université Laval

Camille is a Doctoral psychology student at Université Laval and is co-supervised by Prof. Gina Muckle and Prof. 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 Prof. Riva and Prof. 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. 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 improvements in housing conditions 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, and how these intermediate mechanisms may relate to mental health. She is co-supervised by Prof. Riva, and Prof. 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 PhD student in the Geography Department under the joint supervision of Prof. James Ford and Prof. 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.

Charles-Olivier Simard

PhD Candidate, Université de Montréal

Having completed a bachelor's and master's degree in Anthropology, Charles-Olivier is currently a PhD candidate in Demography at Université de Montréal. He is co-supervised by Prof. Simona Bignami and Prof. Riva. His research interest focuses on household formation, family life cycle and housing access in Inuit communities.