PhD Students


Mehdi Ahmadian (PhD student)

Supervisor: Dr. Chris West

Current research: Mehdi is interested in developing therapies to improve/restore cardiovascular function in rodents with high-thoracic spinal cord injury. Currently, he is examining the efficacy of acute intermittent hypoxia in improving cardiovascular function in rodent with spinal cord injury through targeting/activating those remaining descending sympathetic pathways after the insult.

Awards: Four Year Doctoral Fellowship (4YF), Graduate Research Award

Mehdi completed his BA at Islamic Azad university and his MA at University of Mazandaran, Iran. He enjoys hiking, running, and cooking.

Contact: mahmadia@student.ubc.ca


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Lindsey Boulet (PhD student)

Supervisor: Dr. Glen Foster

Current Research: Lindsey’s research interests include the effects of environmental stressors on the cardiopulmonary system, ultrasound imaging techniques and advanced data analysis techniques. Lindsey’s PhD thesis aims to rigorously assess the utility of a commonly used contrast echocardiographic technique that is used in the interrogation of intrapulmonary arteriovenous anastomoses. He aims to determine the stability of the contrast agent under simulated physiological conditions, to apply a mathematical model to accurately quantify flow in a continuous circuit and finally to validate the model in humans during exercise.

Awards: Killam Memorial Doctoral Scholarship, NSERC Canada Graduate Doctoral Scholarship, Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship

Lindsey completed his BSc. at Mount Royal University in Calgary, AB (2014) and his MSc. at UBCO (2017). Aside for his passion for science, Lindsey enjoys hiking, biking, swimming, climbing and most of all, snowboarding.

Contact: lindsey.boulet@alumni.ubc.ca


Courtney Brown (PhD student)

Supervisor: Prof. Phil Ainslie

Current Research: Courtney’s research interests include physiological adaptations to environmental stressors. Specifically, she is interested the phenotypic differences in marine dependent humans who have been free diving for thousands of years and how they compare to closely related land-dwelling populations.

Awards: Laurel Clark Sea to Space Physiology Research Grant, Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship

Originally from Ontario, Courtney obtained her BHK from UBCO before going on to do her MSc with Dr. Glen Foster at UBCO. She enjoys good coffee, DIYs, spin classes, volleyball, skiing, camping, and paddle boarding.

Contact: courtney.v.brown@ubc.ca


Christina Bruce (PhD student)

Supervisor: Dr. Chris McNeil

Current Research: Christina’s research interests include studying the effects of environmental stress on the human neuromuscular system. Specifically, Christina is interested in the acute and long term effects of hypoxia and hypercapnia on the fatiguing neuromuscular system and how this may change following high altitude acclimatization.

Awards: NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship-Doctoral Award, British Columbia Graduate Scholarship, Graduate Dean’s Aboriginal Entrance Fellowship, Aboriginal Graduate Fellowship Award, NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award, and The Alexander Rutherford Scholarship.

Future Aspirations: Christina aspires to work with national and international researchers, advancing the field of integrative human physiology while pursuing a career which generates effective modes of science communication for various audiences.

Christina completed her BSc at Mount Royal University in Calgary, AB (2015) and her MSc at UBCO (2019). Outside of academia, Christina continues to pursue an active musical career where she performs with various artists on a local, national and international level.

Contact: christina.bruce@alumni.ubc.ca


Hannah Caldwell (PhD candidate)

Supervisor: Prof. Philip Ainslie

Current Research: Hannah’s research focuses on the regulation of cerebral blood flow and metabolism during exercise and environmental stress. Her further research interests extend to applied sport performance and clinical applications such as: 1) body temperature regulation in world-class para-athletes competing in the heat; and 2) cerebrovascular health in pre-diabetic individuals with exogenous ketone supplementation, respectively.

Awards: NSERC Postgraduate Doctoral Scholarship, British Columbia Graduate Scholarship, and Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship

Hannah grew up in Kelowna and has completed her BHK at UBCO. She has been working in Phil Ainslie’s lab since 2015 and has completed field expeditions to high altitude in California, USA as well as working with elite apnea free divers in Cavtat, Croatia. Hannah enjoys road cycling, rock climbing, and playing soccer.

Contact: hannah.caldwell@ubc.ca


Jordan (Jay) Carr (PhD student)

Supervisor: Prof. Phil Ainslie

Current Research: Jay’s research interests include cerebrovascular and cardiovascular responses to both exercise and altered blood gases, particularly long term adaptation caused by increased shear-stress and blood flow. Jay is also interested in neuromuscular fatigue and adaptation in the neuromuscular system that contributes to elite performance.

Awards: Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship, University Graduate Fellowship

Jay completed his MLitt at The University of Aberdeen, Scotland, then moved to Kelowna in 2018. He enjoys climbing, snowboarding, philosophy, and music.

Contact: j.carr@alumni.ubc.ca


Kyla Coates (PhD student)

Supervisor: Prof. Neil Eves

Current Research: Kyla’s current research aims to explore alternative therapies to help improve exercise tolerance in clinical populations that are limited in their ability to exercise. To begin, she hopes to use passive heat therapy to improve impairments to functional sympatholysis that contribute to exercise intolerance in aging and disease. She is also interested in pursuing the involvement of the autonomic nervous system and blood flow regulation in post-exertional malaise and other forms of exercise intolerance.

Awards: Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship

Kyla completed her BSc at the University of Victoria while training with the National Triathlon Centre, and completed her MSc at the University of Calgary. She keeps busy by coaching and strength training endurance athletes, and getting outside as much as possible with her dog Pirate. Her activities of choice include cross-country skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, trail running, camping, climbing, and attempting to surf.

Contact: kylac01@mail.ubc.ca


Bryony Curry (PhD student)

Supervisor: Prof. Rob Shave

Current research: Bryony’s research focuses on the evolution of the mammalian heart. Specifically, Bryony is interested in understanding the morphology and function of the great ape heart, to i) support the healthcare of this taxa, and ii) to gain insight into the evolution of the human heart.

Awards: International Doctoral Fellowship and The Physiological Society Undergraduate Prize

Bryony completed her BSc in Biomedical Sciences (Physiology) at Cardiff University and her Research MPhil at Cardiff Metropolitan University in the UK. She has been working with the International Primate Heart Project since 2018 and has assisted in the health assessments of great apes in zoos across the UK and in African sanctuaries. Bryony enjoys music and exercising, and she looks forward to her time in the Okanagan and trying all the activities that it has to offer.

Contact: bcurry1@student.ubc.ca


Mathew Debenham (PhD candidate)

Supervisor: Dr. Brian Dalton

Current Research: The focus of Mathew’s PhD thesis is to investigate the effects of hypoxia on quiet standing balance. Specifically, he aims to determine how hypoxic conditions alter the neuromuscular system and the vestibular control of standing balance.

Mathew previously completed a bachelor’s degree in Human Kinetics and a master’s degree in Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, both from the University of Guelph. During his graduate studies he investigated time-dependent neuromuscular mechanisms with a specific focus on rate of torque development and electromechanical delay. He enjoys hiking, rock climbing and playing hockey.

Contact: mdebenham@alumni.ubc.ca


Cody Durrer (PhD candidate)

Supervisor: Dr. Jonathan Little

Current Research: Cody’s research focuses on using exercise and diet interventions to improve metabolic health, vascular function, and inflammation in people with type 2 diabetes. His PhD thesis aims to determine the effectiveness of a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet to improve glycemic control and reduce the need for glucose-lowering medications in type 2 diabetes.

Awards: NSERC PGS, Mitacs Accelerate, Innovations in Wellness Fund

Cody grew up in the Okanagan and has a passion for the outdoors. He enjoys hiking, camping, rock climbing, and snowboarding and can often be found exploring with his dog Watson.

Contact: cody.durrer@alumni.ubc.ca


Mary Fossey (PhD student)

Supervisor: Dr. Chris West

Current Research: Mary’s research focuses on the effects of spinal cord injury on cardiac function and structure. Currently, Mary is more specifically investigating the neuroprotective effects of a drug to improve cardiovascular, autonomic and motor control in rodents with experimental high-level spinal cord injury, with the goal to translate the findings for future clinical application.

Mary completed her BSc (2017) and defended her MSc in Kinesiology (2019) at UBC. Other than research, Mary loves being a teaching assistant for BIOL204 (vertebrate anatomy and structure). Outside of academia, Mary enjoys skiing, biking, walking and sewing.

Contact: mfossey@student.ubc.ca


Phuong (Lisa) Ha (PhD student)

Supervisor: Dr. Brian Dalton

Current Research: Observing neuromuscular sex- and age-related differences in fatigability during high velocity contractions and various techniques used to discover unlying mechanisms in fatigue-induced decrements. Specifically, Lisa aims to discover sex-and age-related differences both at resting and under other conditions.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Lisa graduated from Kennesaw State University with her MS in Exercise Physiology (2020). She started her doctoral program at UBCO in Kinesiology Fall of 2020, and enjoys exploring what the town of Kelowna has to offer, both indoors (i.e. culinary, tastings, breweries, etc.) and outdoors (i.e. hiking, paddle boarding, etc.).

Contact: pha01@mail.ubc.ca


Connor Howe (PhD student)

Supervisor: Prof. Philip Ainslie

Current Research: Connor’s research focuses on examining the effects of environmental stress on cerebral blood flow regulation and pulmonary function. Connor’s current research projects include 1) examining cerebral blood flow regulation in Andean highlanders with and without chronic mountain sickness living in the highest city in the world, La Rinconda, Peru (5100m); 2) cerebral blood flow and acid-base balance changes in lowlanders during chronic (6-month) high-altitude exposure; and 3) cerebral blood flow regulation and metabolism under conditions of avalanche burial.

Awards: NSERC Canada Graduate Doctoral Scholarship and British Columbia Graduate Scholarship

Connor was born and raised in Kelowna and complete his BHK and MSc at UBCO in 2018 and 2020, respectively. Connor enjoys camping, rock climbing, cycling, and strong IPA’s.

Contact: cahowe@mail.ubc.ca


Garett Jackson (PhD student)

Supervisor: Dr. Jonathan Little

Current Research: Garett’s masters research focused on changes in immune cell recruitment and mobilization in response to acute submaximal aerobic exercise in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). Specifically, the response of these cells to an updated physical activity guidelines exercise bout for individuals living with both paraplegia and tetraplegia. Garett’s PhD work involves exploring and characterizing extracellular vesicle concentration and function in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and whether these can be altered using exercise and dietary interventions.

Awards: Graduate Dean’s Aboriginal Entrance Fellowship (2020), British Columbia Graduate Scholarship (2020), NSERC USRA, 2018, Aboriginal Graduate Fellowship (2018 and 2019), Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship (2018).

Future Aspirations: Garett hopes to pursue a career in academia as a professor and researcher.

Garett completed his B.H.K at UBC Okanagan in 2018 and MSc of Health and Exercise Sciences in June 2020. He enjoys boxing, archery, playing guitar, biking and building/tuning import engines and turbo-systems.

Contact: garett.jackson@ubc.ca


Jonathan Low (PhD student)

Supervisors: Dr. Jonathan Little & Prof. Ali McManus

Current Research: Jonathan’s current research focuses on the intersection of mobile health monitoring and the immunological responses of various forms of exercise in those with inflammatory chronic diseases (specifically type 2 diabetics). The overarching goal of Jonathan’s work is to implement the idea of using exercise as medicine for populations who suffer from chronic diseases.

Jonathan completed his undergraduate degree in Public Health (Epidemiology) at BYU in Utah and his master’s degree under the supervision of Dr. David Behm at Memorial University in Newfoundland. His MSc was in Exercise Physiology and focused on the neuromuscular adaptations of endurance athletes.

He is an avid runner, swimmer, and cyclist and enjoys fly fishing, hiking, and is an accomplished pianist. Most of his free time is spent doing those exact things with his beautiful wife and daughter.

Contact: jonathan.low@ubc.ca


Justine Magnuson (PhD candidate)

Supervisor: Dr. Chris McNeil

Current Research: Justine uses transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography to study the effects of fatigue on neurophysiological function.

Awards: Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship and NSERC Postgraduate Doctoral Scholarship

Justine completed her BSc in Chemistry and her MSc in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology. She enjoys playing hockey, skiing, swimming, and camping.

Contact: justine.magnuson@ubc.ca


Alex Patrician (PhD candidate)

Supervisor: Prof. Phil Ainslie

Current Research: Alex’s interests revolve around the capacity of the pulmonary and cerebral vasculatures to acclimatize and adapt to environmental stressors – particularly, to the challenges of ascending to high altitude, or diving underwater on a single breath. Taking an integrated approach, including ultrasound imaging and data analysis techniques, his current projects specifically investigate 1) the influence of iron status on the physiological responses to hypoxia in lowlanders and high altitude natives; 2) the mechanisms of lung squeeze, an injury to the lungs that can occur during deep breath-hold diving.

Awards: NSERC Postgraduate Doctoral Scholarship and University Graduate Fellowship

Alex completed his BSc in Human Kinetics at the University of Guelph, and MSc in Extreme Physiology at Mid Sweden University. He thoroughly enjoys the many available winter and summer activities of the Okanagan.

Contact: alexander.patrician@alumni.ubc.ca


Mathew Rieger (PhD candidate)

Supervisor: Prof. Ali McManus

Current Research: Matt is interested in investigating integrative cardiopulmonary and cerebrovascular responses to hypoxia and high altitude in children, with a specific focus on changes during exercise.

Born in Edmonton, Matt received his BSc. in Kinesiology from the University of Alberta in 2012. Later that year, he met several members of the CLVH research team while trekking in Nepal, and eventually moved to Kelowna to pursue a MSc, under the supervision of Prof. Phil Ainslie. He has now switched his focus to pediatric exercise physiology, where he is supervised by Prof. Ali McManus.

Awards: NSERC Postgraduate Doctoral Scholarship, Wilderness Medical Society Researcher-in-Training Grant, NASPEM Marco Cabrera Student Research Award

Matt’s hobbies involve chasing his dog Cooper around the trails of BC on skis, on foot, or on two-wheels.
Contact: matt.rieger@ubc.ca


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John Sasso (PhD candidate)

Supervisor: Prof. Neil Eves

Current Research: Investigating the application of enhanced-recovery methods for improving the adaptation to exercise training.

Future Research Aspirations: Exploring the autonomic dysfunction that is associated with chronic conditions (e.g. cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, cancer) and using a precision-exercise approach to reduce the ‘stress’ imparted by the underlying imbalance.

John is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist and has worked in numerous research, sport science, teaching, coaching and clinical practice positions. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Teaching at the University of British Columbia – Okanagan, within the Educational Leadership stream, where he enjoys sharing his passion for learning, and exercise science, alongside bad puns and dad jokes. Outside of the classroom and lab, John has enjoyed participating in, cheering on and coaching a wide variety of sporting and adventure pursuits.

Contact: john.sasso@ubc.ca


Brooke Shafer (PhD candidate)

Supervisor: Dr. Glen Foster

Current Research: Brooke’s research focuses on the mechanistic pathways that contribute to the development of Obstructive Sleep Apnea-related Hypertension. The first aim of her research is to investigate how exposure to intermittent hypercapnic hypoxia affects blood pressure regulation through perturbations in carotid body chemoreflex sensitivity, sympathetic neural control, and redox homeostasis. The second aim of her research is to determine how treatment with antioxidants and angiotensin receptor blockade can mitigate these perturbations.

Future Aspirations: Brooke’s future aspirations aim to develop therapeutic strategies to reduce the incidence of Cardiovascular Disease in persons with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Awards: Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship

Brooke is an avid outdoors lover from Virginia in the U.S. She graduated from James Madison University with her BSc in Kinesiology and MSc in Clinical Exercise Physiology. She loves hiking/backpacking, wine tasting, NFL football, and her two dachshunds!
Contact: brooke.shafer@alumni.ubc.ca


Christine Tallon (PhD candidate)

Supervisor: Prof. Ali McManus

Current Research: Christine is studying paediatric cerebral blood flow and exploring the influence of physical activity and sedentary behaviour on cerebral blood flow in this population.

Awards: Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship

Future Aspirations: Her future aspirations revolve around continuing involvement with children in a health and exercise science capacity.

Christine has a strong passion for competition and adventure, having played 6 years of varsity soccer throughout her undergraduate degree, and has travelled to Costa Rica, Brazil, and Australia. She is already in search of the next adventure!

Contact: christine.tallon@ubc.ca


Liisa Wainman (PhD student)

Supervisor: Dr. Chris West

Current research: Liisa’s research interests include exercise and therapeutics for autonomic function in neurological disease. Her doctoral work aims to characterize the effects of acute intermittent hypoxia exposure on cardiovascular function in high-thoracic and cervical spinal cord injury.

Awards: President’s Academic Excellence Initiative PhD Award, Four Year Doctoral Fellowship (4YF).

Liisa completed her and MSc at Brock University where she competed in freestyle wrestling, representing Canada at the Pan American and World Championships. Outside of her academic pursuits Liisa enjoys running with her dog Pink, yoga, cross-country skiing and coaching the Central Okanagan wrestling team.

Contact: lwain27@student.ubc.ca


MSc Students

 


Paige Copeland (MSC student)

Supervisor: Dr. Brian Dalton

Current Research: Paige is interested in how various stressors (e.g., disease, acute cannabis use) affect sensorimotor function in humans. She is currently investigating the effect of 24 hours of sleep deprivation on one’s standing balance and vestibular function.

Awards: NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award, Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship, British Columbia Graduate Scholarship & NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship- Master’s.

Paige grew up in the Okanagan, completing her Bachelor of Human Kinetics at UBCO in Clinical Exercise Physiology. During her undergraduate degree, she was involved in sensorimotor physiology and sport concussion research, primarily interested in neurological (dys)function. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, playing volleyball, and painting.

Contact: paige-copeland@alumni.ubc.ca


Paul Cotton (MSC student)

Supervisor: Dr. Glen Foster

Current Research: Paul’s research interests include the effects of physiological and pathological stressors on the distribution of blood flow between respiratory and locomotor muscles, and ultrasound image segmentation/processing. Paul’s MSc thesis aims to validate the use of a novel ultrasound imaging technique to quantify perfusion of the diaphragm.

Awards: Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship and NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship – Master’s.

Paul grew up in Vancouver and completed his Bachelor of Human Kinetics at UBC Okanagan in Clinical Exercise Physiology. He enjoys skiing, hockey, and playing guitar in his spare time.

Contact: paul.cotton@ubc.ca


Kara Crampton (MSC student)

Supervisor: Dr. Jonathan Little

Current Research: Kara is currently working on a project comparing the effects of a low-carbohydrate, egg based breakfast to a high-carbohydrate, low-fat breakfast on glucose control and cognitive function in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Kara has a keen interest in the relationship between nutrition and cognitive function.

Awards: Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship

Kara completed her BHK (2020) at UBC Okanagan and decided to pursue her MSc after getting involved in Dr. Little’s lab. Kara has lived in the Okanagan her whole life and enjoys hiking, kayaking, and exploring the wineries in the local area.

Contact: karalc@mail.ubc.ca


Gabriel Dix (MSC student)

Supervisors: Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis & Dr. Jonathan Little

Current Research: Gabriel is interested in understanding the effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as exercise and diet, on factors related to quality of life in people with a Spinal Cord Injury. Gabriel’s MSc aims to understand the effects of fitness and physical activity on perceived stress and cortisol in adults with a chronic Spinal Cord Injury.

Awards: Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Democracy, Reconciliation, and Inclusion; CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship – Master’s; Finch Family Graduate Award; NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award, CIHR Institute for Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis Research Award; Graduate Deans Entrance Scholarship

Future aspirations: Gabriel plans on pursuing medicine and hopes to enrol in the M.D/Ph.D program at the University of British Columbia following the completion of his Masters.

Gabriel grew up in Tsawwassen and moved to Kelowna in 2014 to pursue a post-secondary education. Besides biking, chess, and latte’s, Gabriels great loves are sushi, Doritos sweet chili heat, and a cool, crisp red bull.

Contact: gabriel.dix@ubc.ca


Kaja Falkenhain (MSc student)

Supervisor: Dr. Jonathan Little

Kaja was born in the land of sausages, beer and sauerkraut. She holds her undergraduate degree in Cognitive Science (a weird mixture of neuroscience, artificial intelligence, mathematics, philosophy of mind, linguistics, neuropsychology, machine learning and computer science) and completed her thesis exploring the effects of voluntary exercise on brain blood flow in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease in the United States.

After her first visit of Canada for an internship at the UBC Vancouver one year prior, she returned to BC to pursue her Master’s degree with Dr. Little, focusing primarily on the effects and mechanisms of a ketogenic diet and ketone supplements.

Her future aspirations include being able to perform a 25-foot handstand walk and a bar muscle-up, becoming Watson’s favourite lap and acquiring the Canadian sense of humour.

Contact: kajaf@mail.ubc.ca


Kelsey Gudmundson (MSc student)

Supervisor: Dr. Jonathan Little

Current Research: Kelsey is currently leading a study assessing postprandial blood glucose responses to two types of dark chocolate in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In the near future, Kelsey plans to focus her research on natural non-nutritive sweeteners and their ability to improve postprandial glucose control in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Awards: Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship

Kelsey completed her undergraduate degree in Human Kinetics at UBC Okanagan in 2020 where she spent time helping out in the EMIL lab and developing a passion for research. Kelsey grew up in small town Saskatchewan before moving to BC in 2016. In her spare time, she enjoys backcountry snowmobiling, hiking, camping, lifting heavy in the gym, skiing poorly at Big White, and discovering Kelowna’s best dessert spots.

Contact: kelseyrg@mail.ubc.ca


Liam King (MSc student)

Supervisor: Prof. Ali McManus

Liam is a Cree-Métis scholar currently undertaking a community-engaged participatory project to better understand how young Indigenous men interact with digital media and how digital media may influence young Indigenous men’s health and wellness. This project seeks to inform future projects and initiatives to support young Indigenous people’s mental health as they use digital media for educational and recreational purposes. This project is being run in partnership with the Aboriginal Programs and Services Center at UBC Okanagan and has been funded through CIHR’s Indigenous Gender and Wellness Initiative.

Liam’s research interests include:
Young Indigenous people’s mental health, Indigenous Masculinities & Gender studies, Community-engaged & Participatory research, Indigenous research methodologies, and more.

Highlighted Awards:
Aboriginal Graduate Fellowship, Irving K. Barber Indigenous Masters Award, British Columbia Graduate Scholarship, Graduate Dean’s Aboriginal Entrance Fellowship, Fredrick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship – Master’s, NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award.

Background:
Liam grew up in a small mountain town in the West Kootenay’s called Montrose, BC. Liam attended Selkirk College and transferred to UBCO in 2016, where they graduated with a BSc., Psychology in 2019. Liam now lives in Vernon, BC., with their partner and two young children.

Contact: liam.king@alumni.ubc.ca


Alyssa Koziol (MSc student)

Supervisor: Prof. Ali McManus

Current Research: Alyssa’s research focuses on the use of activPALs to explore the effects of day of the week, age, gender and maturation on children and adolescent’s physical activity, posture, and sleep patterns.

Awards: University Graduate Fellowship Award, Provost Award for Teaching Assistants & Tutors

Originally from Whitby Ontario, Alyssa completed her BHK (2018) at UBC Okanagan. She has been working in Dr. McManus’s lab since 2017. Away from lab she enjoys camping, hiking, and skiing in her spare time.

Contact: alyssa57@mail.ubc.ca


Helena Neudorf (MSc student)

Supervisor: Dr. Jonathan Little

Current Research: Helena is interested in understanding the ability of ketone bodies, typically generated by means of a low-carbohydrate high-fat ketogenic diet, to act as signaling metabolites within the immune system. Specifically, Helena is investigating the direct effects of ketones on both innate and adaptive immune function and defense in the context of type 2 diabetes.

Awards: UBC USRA, NSERC USRA, Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship, NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship – Masters, NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral

Helena completed her BHK (2018) and MSC (2020) at UBC Okanagan, and has been working in Dr. Little’s lab since 2015. Outside of academia she enjoys swimming, skiing, hiking, and cycling.

Contact: helena.neudorf@ubc.ca


Liam Stewart (MSc student)

Supervisor: Dr. Chris West

Current Research: Liam Stewart aims to demonstrate the presence of a sympathetically-mediated cardio-inotropic limb to the arterial baroreflex by performing informative integrative physiological studies in rodents. His research will provide key insights illustrating how the heart mounts the necessary inotropic response to maintain blood pressure homeostasis during physiological stress. He hopes that his research can used to develop more targeted therapeutics to treat cardiovascular dysfunction.

Liam completed a Business Administration degree at Langara College in Vancouver before pursing a Bachelor of Human Kinetics degree at UBCO in 2017; he started a Master of Science in 2020. Away from the lab Liam can be found hiking and biking or playing the drums.

Contact: liam.stewart@ubc.ca


Gustavo Vizcardo (MSc student)

Supervisor: Prof. Phil Ainslie

Gustavo Vizcardo is a Master’s student in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences and is currently interested in cerebrovascular and endothelial physiology and their mechanisms of regulation. He completed his BSc in Biology at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima (2016).

Over the last 9 years, he has been working in the field of High-Altitude Physiology at the Laboratorio de Fisiología Comparada (Lima, Peru, sea level), and the Instituto de Investigaciones de Altura (Cerro de Pasco, Peru. 4340m). His work aims to understand Excessive Erythrocytosis and its influence on the cardiovascular health of high-altitude inhabitants.

Gustavo is pursuing a career in academia as a researcher and instructor and is looking forward to future collaborations that can create a deeper understanding of the amazing world of High-Altitude Physiology.

Gustavo was born and raised in Lima. He is a lover of good-coffee, political sciences, and enjoys reading books about mountaineering. He also enjoys outdoor sports and sustainable wildlife activities and has refined his baking skills over the last year.

Contact: gusvg91@mail.ubc.ca