Principal investigators

Yan Kestens, PhD

Yan Kestens, CIHR Applied Public Health Chair in Urban Interventions and Population Health and associate professor at Ecole de Santé Publique de l’Université de Montréal is a Principal Investigator on INTERACT. Yan’s research program focuses on improving our understanding of how changes in cities influences population health, considering converging objectives of sustainability, improved quality of life and reduced health inequalities. With a background in Geography and Urban Planning, Yan develops new ways to collect and analyse spatial data and processes to understanding healthy cities. Methods include the use of wearable sensors for mobility and physical activity assessment, or map-based online questionnaires for activity space and spatialized social network data collection. Yan is convinced we are living in exciting and important times that call for and allow new intersectoral collaborations to generate positive change in how we design our cities and interact! When not working, Yan is busy with one of many other projects that may involve brewing, french sausage, and kids!

Meghan Winters, PhD

Meghan Winters is a Principal Investigator on INTERACT, and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar. Her research focuses on ways that cities and their infrastructure can play a role in promoting healthy and safe transportation, for people of all ages and abilities. She is happiest when working in close collaboration with cities and stakeholders to conduct research and create tools that address real-world challenges. Meghan is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and a core investigator at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility. Meghan has a PhD from the School of Population and Public Health at UBC. Out of the office, Meghan aims to spend the maximum time outside, biking, camping, picnicking and exploring with her family in tow. 

Daniel Fuller, PhD

Daniel Fuller is a Principal Investigator on the INTERACT team and Canada Research Chair in Population Physical Activity in the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation at Memorial University. His research is focused on using wearable technologies to study physical activity, transportation interventions, and equity in urban spaces. He focuses his methodological work on methods for natural experiments, and machine learning. Dan has an MSc in Kinesiology from the University of Saskatchewan, a PhD in Public Health from Université de Montréal, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan. Dan is the Neighbourhood Factors Team co-lead of the Canadian Urban Environmental Health (CANUE) Research Consortium. He spends free time chasing his two rambunctious kids, is a runner with no plans to ever run a marathon, relives his youth playing recreational basketball on Mondays and Wednesdays, and is a long suffering Montreal Canadiens fan.

Research staff

Zoé Poirier Stephens, MUP

Zoé is the Montreal Research Coordinator and National Research Coordinator. She is passionate about applying innovative research to real-world issues. With a background in politics and a Master’s of Urban Planning from McGill University, she has developed strategies ranging from a national food plan with an emphasis on sustainability, to universal accessibility policies. Prior to joining INTERACT, Zoé was a community organizer focused on urban revitalization and ageing. She is excited to work on these topics through the wider lens of healthy cities and bring her understanding of on-the-ground realities to the research. She is particularly interested in urban inequality issues, transportation, and empowering local partners with hard evidence to motivate urban change. Zoé organizes her free time around food, transit, and friends. She is happiest exploring new areas of her cities with a snack in hand.


Meridith Sones, MPH

Meridith is a knowledge translation and communications strategist with a passion for mobilizing evidence and people around bold solutions to public health challenges. As Manager of Knowledge Mobilization, Meridith is excited to apply her zest for strategic thinking, creativity, and authentic partnerships towards INTERACT’s success. Meridith has spent the past ten years leading knowledge translation and evaluation strategies for health organizations aspiring for greater reach and impact. Her work has spanned multiple disciplines and settings, from government agencies in Canada to community organizations in Brazil and Botswana. Prior to joining INTERACT, Meridith was Knowledge Translation Manager for the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health, where she executed strategies to inspire the integration of sex and gender in health research and policy. Meridith spends most weekends playing in the mountains around Vancouver and park-hopping with her sushi-loving toddler and mischievous yellow lab Kona.

Karen Laberee, MSc Biology

Karen Laberee is the Project Coordinator in Victoria. She is also the Executive Director of Karen is excited to draw upon her experience in developing creative approaches for promoting to recruit participants in Victoria for Team Interact. Karen has a diverse academic background that includes a Master of Science (Zoology – Western University), two years in the Molecular Genetics Lab at DFO (Nanaimo), and almost a decade in the Spatial Pattern Analysis and Research (SPAR) laboratory at the University of Victoria (Geography) as a laboratory manager and research associate. She has served on numerous non-profit boards and organized sports associations and these volunteer commitments have been an opportunity to broaden her skillset. When she’s not talking about biking, Karen can be found running the spectacular trails that are found just outside of Victoria or supporting her teenagers in their athletic endeavours. 

Margot Gough, MPH

Margot is the Project Coordinator in Saskatoon. In addition to INTERACT, she works on other research projects at the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit. Margot is happy to bring her passion for developing effective and user-friendly coordination systems as well as her public health research skills to the INTERACT team. Margot enjoys working alongside engaged community members and is energized by the challenge and richness of ensuring that projects benefit all stakeholders and include first voices. She has a background in health promotion and community health including a Master’s of Community Health from the Université de Montréal. She has coordinated several research projects and is excited to get to work on a natural experiment. She is a bike lover and in her spare time can be found sharing tasty food with friends and family, volunteering in the local bike co-op, and outdoor adventuring. 

Caitlin Pugh, MSc

Caitlin is the Project Coordinator in Vancouver, working out of the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility. She is passionate about creating healthy and accessible built environments where people of all ages can be active and engaged in their communities. Her past research in the field of Health Sciences has used mixed-methodologies to explore important questions about our environment. Caitlin completed her MSc degree at Simon Fraser University examining Vancouver’s Comox-Helmcken Greenway. During this time, she analyzed the Greenway’s various impacts on older adult mobility, and is excited to bring her experience with natural experiment studies to the INTERACT team. In her spare time, Caitlin enjoys volunteering as a fitness administrator at her local senior’s centre, and hiking the trails of Lynn Valley, North Vancouver where she was raised. If you can’t find her, she’s probably somewhere near Lynn Canyon or enjoying a stroll down one of Vancouver’s wonderful avenues.


Coming soon!

Knowledge users

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Coming soon!