Principal Investigator Post Doctoral Fellow
Dr. Sherry StewartMAAC Lab Director
Sherry H. Stewart, Ph.D., is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Addictions and Mental Health and 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. Dr. Stewart is a recently inducted Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada. 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 Graduate Program Coordinator of the MSc. in Psychiatry Research Program. 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).
Fakir Md YunusPost-Doctoral Fellow/Research Coordinator
By background, I am a medical doctor (MBBS) from Bangladesh (not registered in Canada). After completing MPH from BRAC University James P Grant School of Public Health, I completed MSc and PhD from The University of Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy and Nutrition. Major portion of my research career involved in managing several RCT studies. Before coming to Canada for higher studies, I worked as Senior Research Associate at BRAC Research and Evaluation Division- the largest NGO in the world based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. My research interest includes psychology, nutrition, sleep, environmental toxins, and concurrent public health issues.
Sample Awards: IDRC Doctoral Research Award 2018
The Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships 2019.
Sample Publications: Ahmed, M. S., & Yunus, F. M. (2020). Trend of COVID-19 spreads and status of household handwashing practice and its determinants in Bangladesh–situation analysis using national representative data. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1080/09603123.2020.1817343
Yunus, F. M., Jalal, C., Afsana, K., Podder, R., Vandenberg, A., & DellaValle, D. M. (2019). Iron-fortified lentils to improve iron (Fe) status among adolescent girls in Bangladesh - study protocol for a double-blind community-based randomized controlled trial. Trials, 20(1), 251. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-019-3309-4
Yunus, F. M., Khan, S., Mitra, D. K., Mistry, S. K., Afsana, K., & Rahman, M. (2018). Relationship of sleep pattern and snoring with chronic disease: findings from a nationwide population-based survey. Sleep Health, 4(1), 40–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2017.10.003
Rahman, M., Yunus, F. M., Shah, R., & Jhohura, F. T. (2016). A Controlled Before-and-After Perspective on the Improving Maternal , Neonatal , and Child Survival Program in Rural Bangladesh : An Impact Analysis. PLoS ONE, 11(9), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0161647
Yunus, F. M., Khan, S., Akter, T., Jhohura, F. T., Reja, S., Islam, A., & Rahman, M. (2016). How many hours do people sleep in Bangladesh? A country-representative survey. Journal of Sleep Research, 25(3), 365–376. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12381
Jennifer SwansburgMAAC 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.
Kyle McKeeMAAC Lab Manager - CUSP Trial
My undergraduate work was done at the University of New Brunswick (BA in psychology/anthropology 2010; BSc in biological psychology 2015). I received my MSc in Neuroscience from McGill University in 2018, under the supervision of Dr. Suzanne King and Dr. Mallar Chakravarty. My graduate research focused on how stress experienced by pregnant women impacts the structural brain development of children. Overall, I feel that I have obtained a unique blend of skills and interests, on top of years of highly relevant research experience. My primary role in the MAAC lab will be to help oversee the Canadian Underage Substance Use Prevention (CUSP) Trial.
Pam CollinsMAAC 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.
Karen Stewart-KirkMAAC Lab Manager - Univenture Trial
I completed my Bachelor of Applied Science at the University of Prince Edward Island, majoring in Food & Nutrition and minoring in Psychology. I then completed my Master of Public Health degree at Western University. I stayed at Western the following year working in a multidisciplinary laboratory addressing critical planning and public health issues. My research interests include, but are certainly not limited to: the food environment and mental health, upstream or preventative health, and adolescent health. My primary role at the MAAC lab is to assist with the Univenture project, exploring youth and emerging adulthood substance use, misuse, and addiction.
Noelle StricklandPh.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: Strickland, N.J., Wekerle, C., Kehayes, I.-L., Thompson, K., Dobson, K. & Stewart, S. H. (in press, April 2019). Self-compassion as a compensatory resilience factor for the negative emotional outcomes of alcohol-involved sexual assault among undergraduates. International Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience.
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.
Ioan Tiberiu MahuPh.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: Chinneck, A., Thompson, K., Mahu, I. T., Davis-MacNevin, P., Dobson, K., & Stewart, S. H. (2018). Personality and prescription drug use and misuse among first year undergraduates. Addictive Behaviors, 87, 122-130.
Mahu, I. T., Conrod, P. J., Barrett, S. P., Sako, A., Swansburg, J., Lawrence, M., Laroque, F., Morin, J.F., Chinneck, A., Nogueira-Arjona, R. & Stewart, S. H. (2019). Specificity of personality relationships to particular forms of concurrent substance use among opiate agonist therapy clients. Addictive Behaviors, 98, (November2019) available online.
Stewart, S. H., Chinneck, A., & Mahu, I.T. (2018). What is the role of personality in problematic opiate use? Psynopsis, 40, 17-19.
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.
Sarah DeGracePh.D. Student
I graduated from Acadia University in 2020 with my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Honours). During my undergrad, I studied terror management theory and motivational conflict. Currently, I am completing my MSc in Psychiatry Research under the supervision of Dr. Sherry Stewart. In the past year with the MAAC lab, I have studied the impact of sex and personality on COVID-19 related outcomes. As I transition into my PhD in Psychiatry Research in Fall 2021, I will shift my focus to studying the automatic cognitive mechanisms which underlie cannabis use among trauma-exposed individuals.
Awards: 2021 Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine “Best Presentation of Research" Award
2020 Nova Scotia Black and First Nations Graduate Entrance Scholarship
Publications: DeGrace, S., Baptist-Mohseni, N., Single, A., Keough, M. T., Wardell, J. D., & Stewart, S. H. (2021). Sex differences in maladaptive emotional and behavioral responses to COVID-19: What is the role of personality? Personality and Individual Differences, 178. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2021.110834
Mandy HagenPh.D. Student
I completed my BSc in Psychology from Queen's University and began the Dalhousie Clinical Psychology program in 2018. My primary interests lie in the co-occurrence of substance use and mood disorders. I hope to focus my research on the underlying cognitive mechanisms of this co-occurrence, specifically examining coping, self-efficacy, and cognitive biases in alcohol use and depression.
Awards: 2018-2019 Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship (Masters)
2018-2019 Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS-M (SSHRC)
Sara BartelPh.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 currently studying social influence and substance use. Specifically, I am interested in examining how members of social networks influence cannabis and alcohol use.
Awards: Durand Jacobs Award for best graduate student paper related to the psychology of addictive behaviors
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. J., Sherry, S. B., Smith, M. M., Vidovic, V. V., & Stewart, S. H. (2018) Is anxiety sensitivity a risk factor for, or complication of, alcohol misuse? A meta-analysis. Personality and Indivdiual Differences, 135, 258-263
Bartel, S., Sherry, S., Molnar, D., Mushquash, A., Leonard, K., Flett, G. & Stewart, S. (2017). Do romantic partners influence each other’s heavy episodic drinking? Support for the partner influence hypothesis in a three-year longitudinal study. Addictive Behaviors, 69, 55-58.
Colin PridyPh.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.
Chris DeWolfePh.D. Student
Before starting my Clinical Psychology degree at Dalhousie, I completed my Master’s degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology. My research focuses on anxiety sensitivity as a target for transdiagnostic interventions and the use of physical activity for improving mental health and addictions.
2017-2019 Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation Scotia Scholars Award (Master’s).
2017-2019 Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship (Master's).
Publications: DeWolfe, C., Watt, M. C., Romero-Sanchiz, P., & Stewart, S. H. (2019). Gender differences in physical activity are partially explained by anxiety sensitivity in post-secondary students. Journal of American College Health, 15, 1-4.
Lydia MuyingoPh.D. Student
I graduated from the University of Ottawa in 2017 with an honours degree in Psychology in French Immersion. My research interests include the partner influences of alcohol and substance use as well as substance use in youth.
2017-2018 Scotia Support Masters Scholarship for Training in Addictions Research.
Jason IsaacsPh.D. Student
I graduated with a BA Honours from York University, where I completed my Honours thesis under the supervision of Dr. Karen Fergus. I began the Clinical Psychology Program at Dalhousie in September 2016, and I am currently under the supervision of Dr. Sherry Stewart. My primary research interests include social norms of prescription drug use, contexts of substance use, and the clinical relevance of assessing one's own substance use behaviours. I have a range of clinical interests that span areas such as addiction, anxiety, and the psychological impacts of pain and physical illness.
1. 2017-2021: Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral
2. 2019-2020: AbbVie IBD Scholarship
3. 2017-2019: Maritime Spor Support Unit Award - Doctoral
4. 2016-2017: Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation Scotia Scholars Award - Master's
5. 2016-2017: Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship - Master's
Publications: Corkum, P., Isaacs, J.Y., Witmans, M., Orr, M., & Godbout, R. (2019). A usability study of an internet-delivered behavioural intervention tailored for children with residual insomnia symptoms after obstructive sleep apnea treatment. Internet Interventions, 100265.
Rigney, G., Isaacs, J. Y., Weiss, S., Shea, S., & Corkum, P. (2018). Sleep-Wake Disorders. In Ollendick, T. H., White, S. W., & White, B. A., The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
Eli OtisPh.D. Student
I am the first year of the Clinical Psychology program. I completed my B.A. in Psychology at the University of British Columbia, where I wrote my undergraduate thesis on effort exertion in pursuit of rewards in bipolar and hypomanic individuals under the supervision of Dr. Luke Clark at the UBC Centre for Gambling Research. I have also worked as a research assistant with Dr. Lena Quilty at The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health investigating personality differences across the spectrum of gambling involvement. I am interested in the role played by personality and cognitive distortions in the etiology and maintenance of addictive disorders such as Gambling Disorder, as well as identifying the factors that contribute to high comorbidity between anxiety disorders and addictive disorders.
Andy KimPh.D. Student
I completed my BA (hons) in Psychology at the University of British Columbia (2020). My research focuses on personality, social, and cognitive factors associated with substance (e.g., alcohol, cannabis) and behavioural (e.g., gambling) addictions and their comorbid psychopathologies (e.g., depression, anxiety). I began attending Dalhousie University (2021) to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology under the co-supervision of Dr. Sherry Stewart and Dr. Simon Sherry. I am eager to continue working on the clinical psychology of addiction. If you are interested in collaboration, feel free to reach out!
Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship – Master’s
Haley BernuskyMSc. Student
Before starting at Dalhousie, I completed my Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Psychology with a minor in Biological Sciences and graduated in 2019. My Honours thesis was supervised by Dr Matt Keough and examined subtypes of young adult situational drinking patterns, for which I received the Ten Have Research Award for Most Outstanding Undergraduate Psychology Honours Thesis and the Canadian Psychological Association's Certificate of Academic Excellence. I have spent the last two years working in the mental health and social services sectors in Manitoba and am moving to Halifax to pursue my Master of Science in Psychiatry Research under the co-supervision of Drs Sherry Stewart and Phil Tibbo. My research interests involve substance use and misuse, mood disorders, and early psychosis, and I am a grateful recipient of the Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship - Master's.
Clayton MurphyHonours Student
I completed my BSc. in Psychology with a minor in Sociology of Social Justice and Inequality in 2019. I have since been working in STEM outreach and mental health advocacy, and returned in 2020 to complete a project examining links of personality traits with adherence to COVID-19 public health guidelines under the supervision of Dr. Sherry Stewart and Dr. Simon Sherry. I am now returning to complete an honours thesis complete an honours thesis exploring relations between Dark Triad personality traits and interpersonal partner violence, under the supervision of Dr. Stewart and Dr. Sherry, as I prepare for future studies.
2020-21 Dalhousie University Impact Award for outstanding off campus student leader.
2020 Nova Scotia Human Rights Award: Individual Award for my work in youth mental health advocacy
Catherine StandageHonours Student
I started volunteering in the MAAC lab in the winter of 2021 and thanks to an undergraduate student research scholarship I am employed in the summer as well. I am involved in a study investigating the relationship between personality and injury, through excessive drinking and risky behaviour. I joined my daughters at Dalhousie last year after 25 years away from university and will be beginning the fourth year of my BSc (Honors) in Psychology this September under the supervision of Dr. Stewart. I love life as a Dalhousie Student and my interests are many including mood disorders, addiction, sex and gender differences, and age-related mental health issues. I enjoy research, and hope to gain a PhD. in clinical psychology in the future.
2020 - Student Engagement Award for Research Methods in Experimental Psychology & Neuroscience
Tessa CosmanHonours Student
I am going into my fourth year in psychology as an honours student under Dr. Stewart’s supervision. My honours project will look at the neural underpinnings of craving in response to trauma cues in participants who both use marijuana and have a history of trauma. Previously, I completed a critical review of canid domestication theories as an independent research project and this summer I am assisting the PROSIT lab with a mobile application-based gratitude intervention project. I have also volunteered extensively with the CRBO lab assisting with research into biomedical detection work in canines. I have a broad range of research interests including trauma, PTSD, anxiety and mood disorders, addiction, and positive psychology.
2021 - Summer: The John Richard Freeman Warr Memorial Award
Pars AtasoyHonours Student
I am currently in my fourth year of my Bachelor of Arts and Social Sciences. I am majoring in psychology and I aspire to be a clinical psychologist. I volunteered in the MAAC lab in 2020/2021 fall and winter terms. I am mainly interested in the interaction between personality traits and substance use. I am currently volunteering as an observer at a psychiatric clinic to learn about the effects of substance use. I hope to expand my knowledge and contribute to the MAAC Lab while completing my Honours project with Professor Stewart.
Taran MurrayP3000 Student
I am in my third year of my BA here at Dal, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Esoteric & Occult traditions. I will be working along side of Ph.D. student Mandy Hagen on her Dose Response Alcohol project which looks at how the negative self-relevant cognition of individuals with clinical depression is negatively reinforced by consuming different doses of alcohol. It is my intention to continue with the MAAC lab for an honours project in my 4th year as well.
My ultimate goal is to become a practicing Clinical Psychologist. My main clinical interest is in how various beliefs and narratives about the world, others, and ourselves, exert a causal force on our mood, cognition, perception, and behaviour.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to work in the MAAC lab this year and I look forward to gaining lots of valuable research experience