Our Team

The Swallowing Innovations Lab brings together researchers, trainees, clinicians, and patients.

Our team approaches our research streams from unique perspectives, maintaining a dynamic and innovative environment. Our researchers, trainees and clinicians come from a variety of academic backgrounds and fields. We strive for clinical stakeholder and patient partner participation in all projects in order to maintain the clinical applicability of our work and facilitate prompt translation of our findings into practice, while keeping patients at the center of what we do.

University of British Columbia
Research Trainees
Arlo Adams

Doctoral Student

Details

Arlo is a PhD candidate in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences at UBC. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Honours cell biology from UBC in 2015. His current research focuses on elucidating the function of unique interorganelle membrane contact sites in Sertoli cells of mammalian testes and how these contact sites may mitigate sperm release at the cellular level. For this work, he received the Alexander Graham Bell Graduate scholarship from NSERC Canada. His other academic training is in human gross anatomy, a subject he is involved in teaching extensively at UBC. Arlo brings to the SI Lab his expertise in cell and tissue morphology as well as in upper aerodigestive tract anatomy, which he is currently applying to our cross-species approach to swallowing rehabilitation in harbor seals.

Geoff Fullerton

Masters Student

Details

Geoff is a MSc student in Speech-Language Pathology at the UBC School of Audiology and Speech Sciences. With a background in music and biological sciences, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in Speech Science at UBC in 2019. During his undergraduate studies, Geoff conducted research in laboratory phonology; his undergraduate thesis investigated changes-in-progress observed in Canadian English. He is completing a master’s thesis in dysphagia examining patient and caregiver perspectives of dysphagia following critical illness and artificial airway use.

Veronica Letawsky

MSc

Doctoral Student

Details

Veronica is a PhD student at the UBC School of Audiology and Speech Sciences. She recently completed her clinical master’s degree in speech-language pathology, which included a thesis with Dr. Skoretz: “Determining the Feasibility of Assessing Salivary Biomarkers and Swallowing Perception in those with Sjogren’s Syndrome and Healthy Controls. With the support of a BC Graduate Scholarship, Veronica started doctoral studies in September, 2019. Her research is focused on volumetric and compositional changes in saliva and how these changes impact swallow physiology and perception in disease and healthy conditionsVeronica remains involved in additional Si-Lab research projects and serves as a teaching assistant for various coursework at the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences. She has completed training in salivary bioscience at the University of California-Irvine’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research, and has a diploma in linguistics from UBC and a BSc in biological sciences from the University of Alberta. 

Hirad Nourbakhsh

Undergraduate Research Student

Details

Hirad is a fourth year student completing his Bachelor of Science at UBC, specializing in Integrated Sciences. He intends to attend medical school and pursue a career as a physician after completing his degree. He has been with the Swallowing Innovations Lab since May of 2018. He recently completed a project developing a method for measuring structures of the upper aerodigestive of Phoca vitulina. Currently, he has undertaken a directed studies project on developing a comparative framework between human, phocid, and cetacean upper airway histology. This project includes attention to physiological adaptations of marine mammals to deglutition.  Together these projects contribute to Si-Lab’s cross-species comparative medicine research stream.

Ann Marie Schreiber

MScSLP, RSLP

Speech Language Pathologist
Doctoral Student

Details

Ann-Marie Schreiber is a PhD student studying the biomechanics of swallowing following tracheostomy and the science behind the implementation of evidence-based practice. She received both her B.A. in Psychology and M.Sc. in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Alberta. Ann-Marie has extensive clinical experience in acute care and rehabilitation hospitals in Canada, the UK and Australia, with a particular interest in critical care. 

Lab Affiliates
Stephanie Riopelle

MSc, RSLP, SLP (C)

Clinical Research Assistant, Speech-Language Pathologist

Details

Stephanie is a registered Speech-Language Pathologist, currently practicing in acute care and rehabilitation settings in the lower mainland. She graduated from UBC’s School of Audiology and Speech Sciences in 2018. Stephanie is currently involved in several ongoing projects at Si-Lab, including knowledge synthesis projects focused on swallowing following tracheostomy.

Hillary Stahl

MSc, RSLP

Clinical Research Assistant, Speech-Language Pathologist

Details

Hillary is a registered speech-language pathologist (CSHHPBC). She has been practicing clinically in adult acute care and rehabilitation settings since her graduation from UBC’s School of Audiology and Speech Sciences in 2014. She has always been interested in research, earning a Master’s degree in Developmental Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh prior to pursuing speech pathology. Currently, she is splitting her time between clinical work and the SI-Lab, working as a part-time research assistant.

External Affiliates: Clinical
ALBERTA HEALTH SERVICES
Andrea Benoit

MSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

University of Alberta Hospital, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute

Mini Kurian

MClSc, RSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

University of Alberta Hospital, Stollery Children’s Hospital

Alysha Serviss

MSc(A), RSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, Cardiac Sciences

Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute

Karolin Skogsrud

MSLP, RSLP, SLP(C)

Speech-Language Pathologist, Neurosciences

University of Alberta Hospital

FRASER HEALTH
Dulcie Carter

BSc MMedSci, RSLP, SLP(C)

Speech-Language Pathologist

Clinical Practice Leader, Speech Language Pathology, Fraser Health

Clinical Faculty, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, University of British Columbia

Reena Parhar

MSc, RSLP, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Clinical Supervisor, Adult Inpatient, Surrey Memorial Hospital

Clinical Faculty, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, University of British Columbia

Erin Tschopp

MSc, RSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Clinical Practice Leader, Burnaby Hospital

Caren Carlaw

MA, RSLP, SLP(C)

Clinical Practice Leader, Speech-Language Pathology, Surrey Memorial Hospital

Clinical Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia

Providence HEALTH
Tara Chen

BA, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C)

Speech-Language Pathologist

Clinical Instructor, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, UBC

Rachel Kennedy

M.Sc, R-SLP, R-CORU

Speech-Language Pathologist

Clinical Instructor, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, UBC

Indershini Pillay

MS, RSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Vancouver Coastal HEALTH
Tracey Findlay

MA, RSLP, SLP(C)

Practice Leader, Speech-Language Pathology in Vancouver Acute (GF Strong Rehab Centre, UBC Hospital & Vancouver General Hospital), part of Vancouver Coastal Health.

Clinical Instructor, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, University of British Columbia

External Affiliates: Academic
Dr. Sean M Bagshaw

MD, MSc, FRCPC

Professor and Chair, Department of Critical Care Medicine

Department of Critical Care Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and School of Public Health

University of Alberta

Scientific Director, Critical Care Strategic Clinical Network, 

Alberta Health Services, Alberta

Canada Research Chair in Critical Care Nephrology (2016-2021)

Website

Dr. James L. Coyle

PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, F-ASHA

Professor, Communication Science and Disorders and Otolaryngology

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and School of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Board Certified Specialist, Swallowing Disorders

Fellow, American Speech Language and Hearing Association

Bio Link

Dr. Camilla Dawson

DClinP, BSc (hons) MRCSLT, HCPC

Dr. Heather Flowers

MEd, MHSc, PhD, CCC-SLP, S-LP(C), Reg CASLPO

School of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Institut du Savoir – Montfort – A Knowledge Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada

The Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada (clinical affiliation)

Scholar Link

Dr. Martin Haulena

DVM, MSc, DACZM

Head Veterinarian, Vancouver Aquarium

ResearchGate

Dr. Stephen Raverty

MSc, DVM, PhD

Veterinary Pathologist, Animal Health Center

British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture

ResearchGate

Meghan Sebastianski

BSc, MPH, PhD

Alberta Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) SUPPORT Unit Knowledge Translation Program

University of Alberta

Lab Alumni
Past Trainees
Post-doctoral Fellows

Dr. Camilla Dawson, DClinP, BSc (hons) MRCSLT, HCPC

Visiting Scientist

Masters Project Students

Julia Varanese, MSc, SLP(C)

Nicole Anger, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C)

Orinna Yeung, MSc, SLP(C)

Reana Deng, MSc, SLP(C)

Stephanie Riopelle, MSc, SLP(C)

Undergraduate Research Students

Jasmine Shi, UBC Integrated Sciences

Graduate WorkLearn Program Assistants

Allison Empey, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C) 

Courtney K Dorman, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C)

Alannah Turner, BFA, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C)

Undergraduate WorkLearn Program Assistants

Lisa Nguyen, UBC Speech Sciences

Harleen Kaur Hehar, BSc Candidate