Aerospace Interdisciplinary Reseach Team

(A.I.R. Team) 

Sherri Ferguson, MSc

Aerospace and Diving Physiologist

Sherri received her Master of Science in Biomedical Physiology and her research focuses on diving and aerospace physiology. Her research includes the cardiovascular effects of decompression, hypoxia and cognition, nitrogen narcosis, and breathing protection used in aviation and self-contained breathing apparatus. Her research is supported by Worksafe BC & The US Office of Naval Research.

Joan Saary, MD, PhD

Aerospace Physiology and Medicine

Dr. Saary is an Occupational Medicine specialist with a focus on extreme environments, and also holds a PhD in Medical Science and an MSc in Clinical Psychology. She is the Director of the Division of Occupational Medicine at the University of Toronto, and oversees Aerospace Medicine education initiatives. She serves as Chair of Aerospace Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and is a Past President of the Occupational Medicine Specialists of Canada. Dr. Saary is a consultant to the Canadian Space Agency and the Canadian Armed Forces where she was named one of the ‘Top 25 Women in Defence’ in 2021. She has represented Canada internationally in both Occupational and Aerospace Medicine roles.

James Dalebozik

Equipment R+D

An experienced Senior Aviation Physiology Technician, with 19+ years of progressive experience with the Canadian Armed Forces. Highly innovative individual and recipient of the Governor General of Canada Meritorious Service Medal and Commanders Commendation.  Proficient in the use of current technology and experience in the ability to support teaching and learning effectively. Strong interpersonal and organizational skills with proven performance in linking innovation with superior training and engagement in Command Operations. A driven team player with effective leadership, communication, decision-making, and problem-solving skills who consistently ensures the quality of service provided by aeromedical training and support, promoting operational effectiveness and safety

Deyar Asmaro, PhD

Aerospace Neuroscience

Dr. Deyar Asmaro completed his Ph.D in 2014. His work during this time utilized electroencephalography (EEG) to extract event-related potentials (ERPs) that were elicited by affective visual cues (particularly those depicting addictive substances). While conducting this neuroscience research, he also began working with Dr. Peter Suedfeld and Dr. Phyllis Johnson at the University of British Columbia where he started studying psychological and sociocultural factors that contribute to astronaut functioning in extreme environments. He completed novel research in collaboration with Sherri Ferguson (Director of the Environmental Medicine Physiology Unit at SFU) during his doctoral studies and has a number of publications to date.

Jeff Kerrie, MD

Diving Hyperbaric Medicine

Dr. Jeff Kerrie is an Internal Medicine Physician who practices in Victoria and Vancouver. He also focuses on Hyperbaric medicine and works in the Vancouver General Hyperbaric Unit as well as practices as a Hyperbaric Physician for Simon Fraser University's Environmental Medicine and Physiology Unit. As a pilot and diver, Dr. Kerrie spends time working as a Diving Physician and is a Clinical Ethicist and the Medical Director of Ethics and Quality and Safety for Island Health

Damian Haworth, MD

Flight Surgeon CAF

Dr Damian Haworth works as a civilian flight surgeon and specialist in aviation medicine for the RCAF in Alberta. He attended medical school in Scotland and graduated from the University of Dundee in 1992. In 2000, he immigrated to Canada, eventually joining the Canadian Armed Forces. During his thirteen years in uniform, he attended the US Navy Residency in Aviation Medicine in Pensacola and obtained a Master’s in Public Health for the University of West Florida in 2015. He is board certified with the American Board of Preventative Medicine. His work has been mainly in aeromedical standards, publishing a ten year study on medical grounding of RCAF pilots in 2021. 

Cheris McLaren

Industry Advisor

Cheris started working in the Aviation industry over 20 years ago as a Flight Service Specialist for NavCanada at two of Canada’s busiest uncontrolled airports – Nanaimo and Fort McMurray. After obtaining her CPL, she started flying bush planes in the northern prairies (Cessna 206 and Cessna Caravan), to small remote communities. Cheris went on to spend over 5 years in the Arctic as a Training Captain on the Beech 99 then on the Dash-8, flying out of Yellowknife, Iqaluit, Inuvik, and many airports in between. After 6 years at WestJet flying the Boeing 737, Cheris now flies as First Officer on the Airbus A320 at Air Canada where she is also an instructor in the flight simulator. Cheris is a passionate advocate for quality training as the foundation for safety and professionalism in the Aviation Industry.

Sam Doesburg

Biomedical Neuroscience

Following an H.B.Sc. in psychology at the University of Toronto (2002), Dr. Sam Doesburg completed his Ph.D. in neuroscience (2008) and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia (UBC).  Dr. Sam Doesburg began as in independent investigator as a Scientist in the Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute and an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medical Imaging and Psychology at the University of Toronto. In 2015 Dr. Doesburg joined the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology at Simon Fraser University. Dr. Doesburg studies how brain network communication develops throughout childhood and adolescence and contributes to the maturation of cognitive abilities, together with how such developmental processes are altered in populations such as children with autism. In tandem, he researches the effects of hypoxia and hypobaric conditions on neurophysiological processes using EEG.


Biomedical Neuroscience

Evan is a PhD candidate at SFU who has utilized the hypobaric chamber for his PhD thesis investigating potential neurophysiological differences between normobaric and hypobaric hypoxia, utilizing an EEG inside the chamber. He has also worked part time as a hypobaric chamber tender since 2016, and has taken part in a large number of high altitude indoctrination training sessions and also the testing of equipment inside the hypobaric chamber at simulated altitudes. Evan has been fascinated with altitude physiology since his undergrad and his honours thesis performing a meta-analysis on the differences in high altitude adaptations between different high altitude populations. His current interests are on how high altitude impacts the brain, and one day he hopes to perform an EEG field study on high altitude populations in the Himalayas.