Our Team

Principal Investigator                                                      Post Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Sherry Stewart

Dr. Sherry Stewart

MAAC Lab Director

Sherry H. Stewart, Ph.D., is a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, and Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University, as well as a licensed clinical psychologist in the province of Nova Scotia. She is well known for her research on psychological factors contributing to alcohol abuse, pathological gambling, and the comorbidity of emotional and addictive disorders. Dr. Stewart is a member of the Scientific Advisory to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, and Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Gambling Issues. Dr. Stewart founded the Centre for Addiction Research at Dalhousie (CARD), a virtual centre at Dalhousie fostering collaborations among faculty members conducting research on addiction, and is on the steering committee of the Quebec-Maritimes node of the CIHR-funded Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM). She is Co-Director of Research in the Department of Psychiatry, and co-directs the new MSc program in psychiatry research at Dalhousie. Dr. Stewart receives funding from several research agencies including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF), the National Center for Responsible Gambling (NCRG), and the Manitoba Gambling Research Program (MGRP).

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Mohammed Al-Hamdani

Mohammed Al-Hamdani

MAAC Lab Post Doctoral Fellow

I completed both my BSc. in health promotion (with distinction) and Master’s in Health Administration at Dalhousie University. I am in the final year of my PhD in I/O Psychology program at Saint Mary’s University. I have over five years of experience in addiction research and tobacco control management. My main research interests are focused on the effect of product packaging and brand imagery on consumer perceptions, attitudes, intention and behavior. I continue to be active in tobacco control policy and serve as the current VP of Smoke-Free Nova Scotia.
Sample Awards: 2013-2014 Leadership Excellence Award – Cancer Care Nova Scotia
2014-2016 Scotia Scholar's Award (Doctoral)-NSHRF
2014-2017 Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarships - SSHRC
Sample Publications: Al-Hamdani, M. (2013). The effect of cigarette plain packaging on individuals' health warning recall. Healthcare Policy, 8(3), 68-77. Al-Hamdani, M. (2014). The case for stringent alcohol warning labels: lessons from the tobacco control experience. Journal of Public Health Policy, 35(1), 65-74. Al-Hamdani, M., & Smith, S. (2015). Alcohol warning label perceptions: Emerging evidence for alcohol policy. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 106(6), e395-e400. Al-Hamdani, M., & Smith, S. (2016). Food product design: emerging evidence for food policy. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 1-7. Al-Hamdani, M., & Smith, S. (2017). Alcohol warning label perceptions: do warning sizes and plain packaging matter? Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 78(1), 79-87


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Lab Staff

Jennifer Swansburg

Jennifer Swansburg

MAAC Lab Manager- Alcohol and Anxiety Projects

I returned to school, completing a BSc at Dalhousie University (2010). I started working with the Stewart lab in 2011 and have had the opportunity to work on and support a number of research projects involving Dr. Stewart’s lab members and collaborators. I am interested in the impact efficacious treatment can have on youth and adults suffering with mental health and addictions concerns.


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Pam Collins

Pam Collins

MAAC Lab Manager- Gambling Projects

I completed my undergraduate studies in May 1999 at Dalhousie University, receiving a first class honours degree in Psychology. Since graduation, I have been managing the Dalhousie Gambling Lab. I have had the privilege to be both a student and employee of Dr. Stewart's, and I love the variety and learning opportunities that my job affords me.


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Negar Vakili

Negar Vakili

MAAC Lab Project Manager

I received my Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and biology from Dalhousie University. Over the course of my program, I focused mainly on drug and molecular design. During my undergraduate degree I worked on a research project studying the impact of Memantine on Alzheimer’s disease. Another project I worked on was the study of transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system in therapeutic science and medicinal biology. After graduating I started working as a research assistant at Dr. Stewart’s laboratory. I have always been interested in how drugs impact an individual’s behavior, and working in Dr. Stewart’s laboratory allows me to further pursue this interest


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Parnell MacDavis-Nevin

Parnell MacDavis-Nevin

MAAC Lab Project Manager

I graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in 2010 with B.Sc. Psychology with first class honors. After graduation I obtained my M.Sc. Neuroscience at Carleton University. I began my work in Dr. Stewart’s lab as a research coordinator for the Caring Campus Project; a multi-site Movember funded initiative to reduce harmful alcohol use in undergraduate students. Presently I am a research coordinator for a collaborative study with Dr. Janine Olthuis (UNB) and Dr. Margo Watt (StFX) that is a randomized control trial of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for anxiety sensitivity vs. disorder-specific CBT.


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Graduate Students

Noelle Strickland

Noelle Strickland

Ph.D. Student

I completed my Master's degree at Carleton University and I am in the first year of my PhD in Clinical Psychology. I am interested in how social anxiety and drinking motives influence alcohol use in adolescents and young adults. In future studies I aim to explore how context (e.g., alone, with friends) may change drinking behaviours for socially anxious young adults.
Awards: 2016/2017 Killam Predoctoral Scholarship-Level 2
2016/2017 Honorary Nova Scotia Graduate Scholar
2015/2016 Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship - Master's
Publications: Howard, A. L., Strickland, N. J., Murray, D. W., Tamm, L., Swanson, J. M., Hinshaw, S. P., . . . Molina, B. S. G. (2016). Progression of impairment in adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder through the transition out of high school: Contributions of parent involvement and college attendance. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 125(2), 233 – 247.


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Ioan Tiberiu Mahu

Ioan Tiberiu Mahu

Ph.D. Student

I graduated with first class honours in Psychology from McGill University in 2014, having been supervised by Dr. John Lydon and Dr. Robert Pihl. Outside of school, I worked as part of Dr. Patricia Conrod's research team as a clinical and logistical research assistant at the Université de Montréal's research hospital, Sainte-Justine. I will be starting my first year in the Clinical Psychology PhD program in fall 2015 under the supervision of Dr. Sherry Stewart. I am interested in the prevention and treatment of alcohol and cannabis misuse specifically, and substance use generally, within the context of high-risk personality traits and their maladaptive motives. Clinically, I am interested in addiction, trauma and anxiety. Broadly, I am interested in a variety of psychological topics, including social psychology, cognitive neuroscience and mental health initiatives.
Awards: 2015-2016 Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship - Master's
2015-2016 Scotia Scholar Master's Award
2015-2017 Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Graduate Scholarship - Master's
2015-2017 Fonds de Recherche Québec - Santé - Bourse de maîtrise
Publications: Mahu, I.T., Doucet, C., O’Leary-Barrett M. & Conrod, P. (in press). Can Cannabis Use be Prevented by Targeting Personality Risk in Schools? 24-Month Outcome of the Adventure Trial on Cannabis Use. Addiction.


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Ivy-Lee Kehayes

Ivy-Lee Kehayes

Ph.D. Student

I graduated from Dalhousie University in 2013 with first class honours in Psychology and am currently enrolled in the third year of my PhD in Clinical Psychology. I am interested in dyadic drinking broadly, and more specifically in how an individual's drinking behaviour and drinking motivations can influence another's drinking behaviour in a social context.
Awards: 2016-2019 Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship (SSHRC)
2016-2018 NSHRF Scotia Scholar Award (PhD)
2016-2017 Dalhousie President’s Award
2015-2018 Eliza Ritchie Scholarship
2014-2016 Killam Predoctoral Scholarship
2014-2015 D. O. Hebb Post-Graduate Prize
2014-2015 Canada Graduate Scholarship-Masters (SSHRC)
Publications: Mackinnon, S. P., Kehayes, I., Leonard, K., Fraser, R. & Stewart, S. H. (in press) Perfectionistic concerns, social negativity, and subjective well-being: A test of the social disconnection model. Accepted at Journal of Personality January, 2016. doi: 10.1111/jopy.12243.
Kehayes, I. L., Mackinnon, S. P., Sherry, S. B., Leonard, K. E., & Stewart, S. H. (resubmitted). Brief Report: Similarity in romantic couples' drinking motivations and drinking behaviours. Submitted to Substance Abuse, February, 2017.
Mackinnon, S. P., Kehayes, I. L., Clark, R., Sherry, S. B., & Stewart, S. H. (2014). Testing the Four-Factor Model of Personality Vulnerability to Alcohol Misuse: A Three-Wave, One-Year Longitudinal Study. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, doi:10.1037/a0037244.


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Annie Chinneck

Annie Chinneck

Ph.D. Student

I am most interested in studying the psychological factors (including motives, personality, and implicit cognitions) that contribute to alcohol abuse, to prescription drug misuse, to pathological gambling, and to the comorbidity of mental health and addictive disorders.
Awards: 2014-2015 D. O. Hebb Post-Graduate Prize
2014-2015 Scotia Scholar Master’s Award
2013-2015 Killam Predoctoral Scholarship
2013-2014 Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Master’s Scholarship
Publications: Chinneck, A., Mackinnon, S. P., & Stewart, S. H. (Submitted November 2014, paper under review). Investigating possible reciprocal relationships between depressive and problem gambling symptoms in emerging adults. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.
Goodwill, A., Bennell, C., & Chinneck, A. (2014). New methods for researching crime linkage analysis. In Woodhams, J., & Bennell, C. (Eds.), Crime Linkage: Theory, research, and practice. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Higgins, C., Duxbury, L., & Chinneck, A. (Paper submitted December 2014, paper under review). Barriers preventing the retention and promotion of female police officers. Criminology.
Paquet, L., Collins, B., Song, X., Chinneck, A., Bedard, M., & Verma, S. (2013). A pilot study of prospective memory functioning in early breast cancer survivors. The Breast, 22, 455-461.


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Sara Bartel

Sara Bartel

Ph.D. Student

I completed by BA Honours at the University of Saskatchewan and began the Dalhousie Clinical Psychology program in September of 2016. I am most interested in studying the relationship between substance use, personality and mental health.
Awards: 2017-2019 Killam Predoctoral Scholarship (Level 2)
2017-2021 Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral)
2016-2017 Killam Predoctoral Scholarship (Level 1)
2016-2017 Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship (Masters)
2016-2017 Canadian Graduate Scholarship-Masters (CIHR)
Publications: Bartel, S., Sherry, S., Molnar, D., Mushquash, A., Leonard, K., Flett, G. & Stewart, S. (2017). Heavy episodic drinking among romantic partners: Support for the partner influence hypothesis using a 3-Year longitudinal design. Addictive Behaviors, 69, 55-58.
Bartel, S. (2015). Exercise-induced improvements in cognitive functioning and brain structure in ​ older adults. University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate Research Journal, 2(2), 1-10.


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Colin Pridy

Colin Pridy

Ph.D. Student

I am a first-year student in the Clinical Ph.D. program. I completed a degree in music and psychology at Dalhousie in the early 2000s, followed by graduate work in music composition at the University of British Columbia. Now back at Dalhousie, my Ph.D. research will be focused on examining the effects of listening to music on treatment strategies for high anxiety sensitivity, supervised by Margo Watt and Sherry Stewart. Awards: 2016-2017 Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship
2016-2018 Izaak Walton Killam Predoctoral Scholarship
2016-2017 Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation Scotia Scholars Award
2016-2018 Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Graduate Scholarship
Publications: Pridy, C. B. (2005). “Funk Assimilation” from Three Kicks for Saxophone Quartet [Recorded by the UBC Saxophone Quartet]. On Nice Work If You Can Get It [CD]. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia School of Music.
Pridy, C. B., & Cogswell, F. (2002). “Cross-Grained Tree” from Five Expressions of a Nearby God: for mezzo-soprano and pianoforte. Musical score. Special Collections Archives (M2113.P75 2002). Harriet Irving Library, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton.


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Jamie-Lee Collins

Jamie-Lee Collins

Ph.D. Student

I graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 2011 and am currently completing my PhD in clinical psychology under the supervision of Dr. Sherry Stewart. My research interests include drinking motives and the impact that these may have on alcohol-related problems among individuals with social anxiety. I am currently on internship with the Calgary Clinical Psychology Residency program, focusing on addictions, forensics, and community mental health.

Awards: 2012-2016: Scotia Support grant
2011-2012: Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Masters Level
2009-2010: Academic Merit Scholarship
Publications: Nealis, L. J., Collins, J. L., Lee-Baggley, D. L., Sherry, S. B., & Stewart, S. H. (2017). One of these things is not like the others: Testing trajectories in drinking frequency, drinking quantity, and alcohol-related problems in undergraduate women. Addictive Behaviors, 66, 66-69.
Copp, S. R., Collins, J. L., Dar, R., & Barrett, S. P. (2015). The effects of nicotine stimulus and response expectancies on male and female smokers’ responses to nicotine-free electronic cigarettes. Addictive Behaviors, 40, 144-147.


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Marie-Eve Couture

Marie-Eve Couture

Ph.D. Student

I am currently completing my PhD in clinical psychology under the supervision of Dr. Sherry Stewart. I recently completed my clinical psychology residency at the Nova Scotia Health Authority. I am currently writing up my doctoral dissertation and will be defending this year. My dissertation focuses on increasing understanding of the high comorbidity between depression and alcohol use disorders. I use both qualitative and quantitative methods in my research. Specifically, I have employed qualitative interviews with students who self-report drinking to cope with depression to learn more about the reinforcing effects of alcohol in this group of drinkers. I have also conducted lab-based research to examine the impact of alcohol on depression-relevant cognitive biases in students who report drinking to cope with depression. I am an active researcher in the international DRINC collaboration, examining drinking motives in undergraduates cross-culturally.

Awards: 2009-10: Joseph-Armand Bombardier SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, Masters Level
2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13: CIHR Health Professionals Student Research Award
Publications: Couture, M-E., Stewart, S. H., Cooper, M., Kuntsche, E., O'Connor, R., & Mackinnon, S. (in press). The DRINC project: Rationale and methods for a cross-national study of drinking motives in undergraduates. International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research.
Mackinnon, S. P., Couture, M-E., Cooper, M. L., Kuntsche, E., O’Connor, R. M., Stewart, S. H., & the DRINC Team. (in press). Cross-cultural comparisons of drinking motives in 10 countries: Data from the DRINC Project. Drug and Alcohol Review.


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Undergraduate Students

Kayla Joyce

Kayla Joyce

Honours Student

This upcoming fall, I will be entering into the final year of my BSc, Honours in Psychology. In 2015, I had completed an independent research project in Dr. Stewart’s lab which examined woman’s mood, drinking motives and alcohol consumption across the menstrual cycle. Completing this independent research project has increased my interest in how a woman’s menstrual cycle phase effects one's motivations and mood. Supervised by Dr. Sherry Stewart, my honours project will use a daily diary method to examine links present between mood, gambling motives and gambling behaviour across the menstrual cycle. After graduation, I would like to pursue my Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology

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Tristan Park

Tristan Park

Honours Student

I am going into my 5th year at Dalhousie University to complete my BSc, Combined Honours in Psychology and Biology. In May 2017, I was given the opportunity to work in Dr. Sherry Stewart’s lab as a summer RA. My interest in depression and anxiety related mental health disorders led me to pursue an honours project under the supervision of Dr. Stewart. Starting in the fall, my honours project will explore the use of marijuana in veterans who have PTSD and how exposure to marijuana and trauma cues impacts mood and craving. After graduation, I hope to enroll in a Master’s program to study Clinical Psychology


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Trevor Shannon

Trevor Shannon

Honours Student

A 4th year undergraduate honours student, I developed an interest in the psychology of addictive behaviours nearly three years ago when I myself decided to stop drinking. This interest ultimately spurred my return to university to pursue a degree in Psychology, with the hope of eventually parlaying it into further post-graduate studies and a career in the field. I have been involved with the Stewart lab for over a year and a half now, and have been fortunate to work on the Caring Campus Project, as well as my own P3000 project examining the drinking motives of same-sex university aged drinking dyads. I gained valuable insight and research experience through the project, and am looking forward to commencing my honours thesis at the start of the upcoming school year.

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Comprehensive Students

Michelle Tougas

Michelle Tougas

Comprehensive Student

I completed my Master’s in Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University and am currently a PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program. My work with Dr. Stewart is exploring the influence of drinking motives (e.g., to cope with anxiety or depression) on alcohol consumption in friendship dyads experiencing conflict.


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Elizabeth McKay

Elizabeth McKay

Comprehensive Student

I am in my first year of the Clinical Psychology program. I completed my BSc (Hons) in Psychology at Dalhousie, focusing my research on children’s language development; particularly, factors that aid successful reading comprehension. Further, I studied the academic abilities of university students with undiagnosed reading difficulties. Now, for my second comprehensive project for which I will be working with Dr. Stewart, I am continuing to study the academic abilities of university students with undiagnosed reading difficulties, but incorporating information about personality traits and substance use to determine how these factors influence the academic success of this population. I am greatly looking forward to broadening our understanding of this population’s academic abilities and the factors that influence said abilities, as well as for the opportunity to work with Dr. Stewart!


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Medical Students

Leah Jones

Leah Jones

Medical Student

I graduated from Dalhousie in 2013 with a BSc in Biology, and am currently in Dalhousie Medicine's Class of 2018. My research interests lie in motives for use and addictions among marginalized populations. Clinically I am most interested in being a generalist, potentially a career in Emergency Medicine where hopefully I can practice within my research interests!
Awards: 2015 - Faculty of Medicine ‘Marvin Burke Summer’ Studentship, Competitive Research Studentship for medical student summer research in Alcohol and Substance abuse
2014 and 2015 - African Nova Scotian Science Profession Scholarship, For demonstrating commitment and resilience in achieving academic success and making a difference in the African Nova Scotian community
2009 - African Nova Scotian Post-Secondary Award, African Canadian Services
Publications: Jones, Leah, Campbell, Sam. Emergency Department’s Case of the Month: “A Spotty Problem”. The Canadian Journal of Diagnosis. 2016. April.


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