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
director
Dr. Stacey Skoretz

PhD, CCC-SLP, SLP(C), R.SLP

Research Trainees
Arlo Adams

BSc (Hons)

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

BSc (Hons)

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.

Robyn Jones

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate Research Student 

Details

Robyn is a student in the post-baccalaureate Diploma in Linguistics program at UBC. Currently studying psychology and linguistics, she aims to pursue a master’s program and career in speech-language pathology. She has a professional background working in communications and the technology industry, and holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Victoria. Robyn joined the Swallowing Innovations Lab in June 2020.

Veronica Letawsky

MSc, SLP(C)

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. 

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. 

Hillary Smith

BA

Masters Student

Details

Hillary is an MSc Speech-Language Pathology student at the UBC School of Audiology and Speech Sciences. She received her BA in Linguistics from UBC in 2014 (with a Latin minor), then spent several years working at a not-for-profit children’s arts school before returning to UBC for her graduate studies. Her master’s thesis will explore airway protection during breathing and swallowing. Hillary’s other research interests include speech biomechanics, and previously the interface between language and numerical cognition in children.

Research Associates
Dr. Camilla Dawson

DClinP, BSc (hons) MRCSLT, HCPC

Honourary Research Associate

Details

Dr. Camilla Dawson is a Consultant Speech and Language Therapist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, one of the biggest hospital Trusts in the UK, hosting the largest single critical care unit in Europe, with 100 bed spaces. Camilla is a clinical academic, working clinically within critical care, with people who have undergone surgical treatment of head and neck cancer and those with altered airways. Camilla is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Institute of Clinical Sciences at the University of Birmingham, and an Honorary Research Associate in the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences within the Faculty of Medicine at The University of British Columbia.

Camilla’s doctoral research explored dysphagia following head and neck cancer surgery in the acute phase of recovery. This work identified the perspective of the individual following reconstructive surgery and their requirements from the surgical and rehabilitation team to improve outcomes. Her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia, under the supervision of Dr. Skoretz, explored post extubation dysphagia, the impact of tracheostomy on swallowing and novel comparative medical research investigating swallowing across species.

Camilla has published a range of qualitative and quantitative research with international multi-disciplinary research teams, exploring dysphagia, tracheostomy, patient advocacy, and COVID-19 outcomes. Camilla provides leadership, management and mentorship to a large team of Speech and Language Pathologists and clinical academics. She was the 2021 winner of the British Academic Conference of Otolaryngology Allied Health Professional award and is an invited speaker at national and international conferences exploring dysphagia.

Staff
Niki Oveisi

BSc, MPH

Research Assistant

Details

Niki is a recent Master of Public Health graduate from the University of British Columbia, and an incoming PhD student at the University of British Columbia, Reproductive and Developmental Sciences. At the Swallowing Innovations Lab, she assists in data analysis, survey development, and systematic reviews. Niki is interested in learning how her expertise in reproductive sciences can intersect with the field of audiology and speech sciences.

Tahira Tejpar

BA, MSc

Research Coordinator

Details

Tahira is a clinical research professional; her role at the Si-Lab is to facilitate and support ongoing research projects. She graduated with a B.A. in psychology from the University of Victoria in 2014 and a M.Sc in neuroscience from Simon Fraser University in 2017. Her Masters research explored the neural correlates of the auditory steady state response in Down Syndrome-initiating her interest in the field of audiology and speech science.

Karyn Newton

BASc

Research Assistant

Details

Karyn is a Research Engineer; providing bio-signal analysis and medical device support for the Si-Lab. She received her BASc in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University in 2019, focusing on Biomedical Engineering and Signal Processing. Her previous work has focused on the operation and development of biosensors; including a pulse oximeter and scent detection system for her undergraduate capstone project..

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
Caren Carlaw

MA, RSLP, SLP(C)

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

Clinical Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia

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

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

Stephanie Riopelle

MSc, RSLP, SLP (C)

Speech-Language Pathologist

Hillary Stahl

MSc, RSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist 

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. 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

Dr. 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

Nicole Anger, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C)

Reana Deng, MSc, SLP(C)

Stephanie Riopelle, MSc, SLP(C)

Julia Varanese, MSc, SLP(C)

Orinna Yeung, MSc, SLP(C)

Undergraduate Research Students

Hirad Nourbakhsh, UBC Integrated Sciences 

Jasmine Shi, UBC Integrated Sciences

Graduate WorkLearn Program Assistants

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

Allison Empey, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C) 

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

Undergraduate WorkLearn Program Assistants

Harleen Kaur Hehar, BSc Candidate

Lisa Nguyen, UBC Speech Sciences