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 hold the Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Housing, Community, and Health. I am a health geographer and population health researcher. My research activities are focused on socio-environmental determinants of health in urban, 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. 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. Prior to joining McGill in 2016, I was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at Université Laval and researcher at CHU de Quebec Research Center (2012-2016).

Research Administrator

Megan Toth

Research Administrator, McGill University

Megan is the Research Administrator for the Canada Research Chair in Housing, Community and Health. She joined the team in December 2019 where she currently works to coordinate lab activities and research projects and oversee administrative procedures. She holds a BA from Cornell University in Biology and Society with a focus in Environmental Studies and an MA from the University of Oregon in Environmental Studies. During her master’s degree, she co-produced a feature-length documentary film, Vanastree, about a women’s seed-saving cooperative in Southern India. Later, Megan traveled to Haiti where she produced 10 short videos for a charity-based healthcare organization. Most recently, Megan was the Advancement Manager for Major Donors and Events at Greenbelt Alliance, an environmental nonprofit in San Francisco, California. There, she coordinated multiple high-profile donor events and managed donor stewardship and fundraising projects. Megan continues to be interested in putting project management best practices to use in support of meaningful environmental and health related research.

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 of Science in Medical Biology from the UQTR, a Master of Science in Epidemiology from Université Laval, and is currently pursuing a certificate in project management. He developed a strong interest in microbiology and human health while pursuing 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 study health from a larger perspective rather than at the individual level. He is currently mainly involved in large scale surveys, both in analyses and fieldwork. His research interests involve health disparities, quantitative methodologies, and social epidemiology.

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.

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.

Madeleine Pawlowski

Research Assistant, McGill University

Madeleine is responsible for coordinating the Youth Photovoice project as part of the community component of the Qanuilirpitaa? Nunavik Health Survey. In her position, she works closely with Nunavimmiut students and teachers, the Nunavik Board of Health and Social Services, and the school board, Kativik Ilisarniliriniq, to facilitate and empower youth voices on issues of community health and well-being. Madeleine holds a Master’s in Health Geography (2020) and a BA Joint Honours in Geography and International Development (2015), both from McGill.

Sophie Kingunza Makasi

Research Assistant, McGill University

Sophie recently completed her BSc in the Ecological Determinants of Health program at McGill’s School of Environment and will be starting her Master’s in Geography at McGill in Fall 2020. Her research interests include health disparities and the socio-environmental determinants of health. She joined the lab in May 2019 and has been involved in the development of health indicators for the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC). She is also working on a systematic review examining the connections between housing conditions and food insecurity.

Morgen Bertheussen

Research Assistant, McGill University

Morgen recently completed her BA Honours in the Ecological Determinants of Health program at McGill’s School of Environment, with a minor in geography. Morgen’s interests revolve around the social determinants of health of indigenous communities and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). She will be starting her Master’s in Geography at McGill in the upcoming Fall 2020 term. Morgen joined Prof. Riva’s lab in early 2020, and has been working on several tasks including research on Health Impact Assessments and GIS mapping for different projects.

Master's Students

Ella Myette

MA Student, McGill University

Ella began her master’s in Geography in fall 2019 after completing her BA Honours in Ecological Determinants of Health at McGill's School of Environment. Since joining the lab as a research assistant in May 2018, she has worked on a variety of projects related to housing and health. Her research interests center on the health and social impacts of mining projects, particularly on marginalized populations. During her MA, she will be examining how Indigenous Peoples’ health and well-being is represented and addressed in regulatory and permitting processes for new mining projects.

PhD Students

Hannah Brais

PhD student, McGill University

Hannah is a PhD student in the Geography Department at McGill University. She holds both a BA in Urban Planning and an MSc in Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies from Concordia University. Her research stems from her work as the research coordinator at the Old Brewery Mission, a large homeless service provider in Montreal. Hannah’s doctoral research is focused around homeless services as spaces of care, investigating the difficulty homeless substance users have accessing these spaces, and in turn, accessing support to exit homelessness. This work positions homelessness in a human rights framework, advocating for a universal right to housing. Her research employs a mixed-methods approach, using both quantitative administrative data from service providers, as well as interviews with service users.

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.

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.

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.