issues and experts

Updated: SFU experts available to discuss COVID-19

March 31, 2020

Shradhha Sharma ; University Communications and Marketing, 604.202.2504,
Melissa Shaw; University Communications and Marketing, 236.880.3297,

Interviews can be done through phone, email, or video.

International Relations

Irene Pang, international studies,

Irene can speak to the state and societal responses to COVID-19 in China and Hong Kong.

She is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin.

Anis Rahman
, communication,

Can speak to race and media coverage, international communications, geopolitics and disinformation, cross-border platform regulations.


Caroline Colijn, Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematics for Evolution, Infection and Public Health,

Can speak about the COVID-19 infection, mathematical models on effectiveness of physical distancing, role of data modeling in predicting disease spread.

Limited availability

Priyanka Mishra
, Pio Lab, molecular biology and biochemistry, 210.454.1341,

Can speak to boosting immune systems.

Fiona Brinkman
, molecular biology and biochemistry,

Can speak to what the average person can do to self-isolate and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Valorie Crooks
, Canada Research Chair in Health Service Geographies, 604.417.9007,

Can speak to health services issues, medical care at home and abroad, and Canadian snowbirds returning from abroad or staying abroad and accessing health services. 

Jeremy Snyder,
 health sciences,

Can speak to price-gouging during the pandemic, public health ethics e.g. the ethics of self-isolation, going out in public.

Jeff Reading
, health sciences,

Can speak to impacts of pandemic on Indigenous communities and Indigenous health.

Andrew Wister
, gerontology,

Can speak to how older adults/seniors are more vulnerable to viral diseases, such as COVID-19. 

Education and Psychology

Tanya Broesch, psychology, 604.369.0128,

Can speak to how parents can talk to their kids about COVID-19, social learning, child development and culture. 

Lara Aknin,

Can speak to prosocial behaviour, well-being, happiness and social relationships. 

Yuthika Girme,

Can speak to social support, social distancing, and relationships.  

Carman Neustaedter,
 School of Interactive Arts & Technology, 604.754.1191,

Can speak to social distancing and staying connected.

Andrew Feenberg
, communication,

Can speak to online community, online education.

Working from Home

Lieke Ten Brummelhuis, Beedie School of Business,

Can speak to how to manage stress and stay focused while working remotely. 

Scott Lear
, Pfizer/Heart & Stroke Foundation Chair in Cardiovascular Prevention Research, health sciences, 604.454.8542,

Can speak to maintaining personal and physical health while working from home. 

Business and Economics

Marjorie Griffin Cohen,
 political science & gender, sexuality and women's studies,

Can speak to economic recovery and labour issues, notably the problem in B.C. of part-time and poorly paid care workers, particularly in the long-term care sector. Also on problems with the privatization of long-term care and the tremendous over-crowding in too many of these facilities, especially from the perspective of how B.C. funds these private facilities.

Anastasia Ufimtseva, Beedie School of Business,

Can speak to global governance and the political economy of natural resources, and impact of sliding oil prices on the global and Canadian oil and gas sector.

She is fluent in Czech and Russian. 

Jeremy Stone, director of SFU’s community economic development program,

Can speak to economic recovery after disasters, economic resilience planning and economic development for community well-being.

Geoff Mann, 

Can speak to economic impact of the pandemic, especially social assistance programs announced for at-risk/economically vulnerable sections.

Terri Griffith
, Keith Beedie Chair in Innovation & Entrepreneurship,

Can comment on online learning, remote work and the government's plan to mobilize industry to fight COVID-19.

Kendra Strauss
, labour studies,

Can speak to labour markets, wage labour, labour and regulation.

David Jacks
, economics,

Can speak to the impacts of COVID-19 on international trade. 

Andrey Pavlov
, Beedie School of Business, 604.763.3696,

Can speak to financial impacts, including stock markets and long-term economic prospects. 

Sarah Lubik,
 director of entrepreneurship and innovation, Beedie School of Business,

Can speak to challenging innovative companies to develop solutions, technology and products to address COVID-19 issues.

Enda Brophy
, communication,

Can speak about gig economy workers, labour and collective organizing in the media and communication industries, digital and communicative dimensions of debt.

Politics and Misinformation

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, 
SFU’s Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media in the School of Communication,

Can speak about disinformation, media use and online discourse related to the novel coronavirus.

Stewart Prest
, political science,

Can speak to political impacts and political responses to pandemic. 

David Hannah
, Beedie School of Business, 604.992.4516,

Can speak about how people can cope with the onslaught of information about coronavirus and how to distinguish fact from statements that are made with a disregard for the truth.

Andy Yan
, The City Program,

Can speak to housing, rental market, government assistance announced for renters, urban planning and COVID-19's impact on cities. 

Peter Chow-White
, communication, 604.603.3794,

Can speak about social media use during a crisis.

Brian Fisher
, School of Interactive Arts & Technology,

Can speak to visual analytics for safety and security, working with government and industry in data-based decision making, operational analysis for threats in general, advanced interactive technologies for planning and response to emergencies.

Ahmed-Al Rawi,

Can speak to social media, news, global communication, disinformation.


Deborah Harford, 
executive director, adaptation to climate change team (ACT),

Can speak to the impact of COVID-19 on environmental resilience, equity and sustainability.

Tom Gunton, 
director of resource and environmental planning program,

Can speak to the impact of sliding oil prices on the Canadian oil and gas sector.

Mark Jaccard, 
director of resource and environmental management,

Can speak to impact of falling oil prices on Canadian climate policy and clean energy sector.

He is fluent in French.


About Simon Fraser University: 

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 35,000 students. The university now boasts more than 160,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.