issues and experts

Updated: SFU experts available to discuss COVID-19

May 20, 2020

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

* Indicates additions to the list

Simon Fraser University faculty experts continue to be available to comment on the impact of COVID-19. The latest additions to our experts’ list include faculty in health science, business and economics, criminology, environment, psychology, media and politics.



Susan Erikson, health science,

  • Global health and technology
  • Global political economy of health
  • Medical anthropologist in Sierra Leone during 2014 West Africa Ebola pandemic
  • Government responses to pandemics (see Nature Human Behavior and The Lancet)

Julian Somers, health sciences,

  • COVID-19’s impact on addiction, homelessness, crime/prisons and health care
  • Current pandemic as a catalyst for deeper dialogue on “public health psychology”

Fiona Brinkman, molecular biology and biochemistry,

  • Self-isolation and preventing the spread of COVID-19

Lieke Ten Brummelhuis, Beedie School of Business,

  • Managing stress and stay focused while working remotely

Caroline Colijn, Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematics for Evolution, Infection and Public Health, (has limited availability)

  • COVID-19 infection, mathematical model

  • Role of data modeling in predicting disease spread
  • Effectiveness of physical distancing

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

  • Health services issues

  • Medical care at home and abroad
  • Canadian snowbirds returning from abroad, or staying abroad/accessing health services

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

  • Maintaining personal and physical health while working from home

Anne-Kristina Arnold, biomedical physiology and kinesiology,

  • Ergonomics and working from home
  • Assessing the effectiveness of work stations
  • How to make work station improvements for the longer term

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

  • Boosting immune systems

Jeff Reading, health sciences,

  • Impact of pandemic on Indigenous communities and health

Jeremy Snyder, health sciences,

  • Price-gouging during the pandemic, public health ethics e.g. the ethics of self-isolation, going out in public

Andrew Wister, gerontology,

  • Seniors vulnerability to viral diseases, such as COVID-19


Mark Wexler, Beedie School of Business,

  • Ethical issues related to COVID-19 
  • U.S. response to selling 3M ventilators to Canada and Latin America

Shahin Dashtgard earth sciences,

  • Impact of COVID-19 on oil (in particular petroleum) industry

Enda Brophy, communication,

  • Gig economy workers

  • Labour and collective organizing in media/communication industries
  • Digital and communicative dimensions of debt

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

  • Economic recovery
  • Labour issues and B.C.’s part-time and care workers

  • Privatization of long-term care, funding and over-crowding in facilities

Terri Griffith, Keith Beedie Chair in Innovation & Entrepreneurship,

  • Online learning
  • Remote work and the government's plan to mobilize industry to fight COVID-19

David Jacks, economics,

  • Impacts of COVID-19 on international trade

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

  • Challenging companies to develop technology, products and solutions for COVID-19

Geoff Mann, geography,

  • Economic impact of the pandemic
  • Social assistance programs for at-risk/economically vulnerable sections

Andrey Pavlov, Beedie School of Business, 604.763.3696,

  • Financial impacts
  • Stock markets and long-term economic prospects

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

  • Economic recovery after disasters

  • Economic resilience planning
  • Economic development for community well-being

Kendra Strauss, labour studies,

  • Labour markets
  • Wages, labour and regulation

Anastasia Ufimtseva, Beedie School of Business, (fluent in Czech and Russian)

  • Global governance
  • Political economy of natural resources

  • Impact of sliding oil prices on the global and Canadian oil and gas sector


Sarah Anne Ganter, communication,

  • Media governance and policy
  • Impact on content industries, media job and revenue losses

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

  • Disinformation

  • Media use and online discourse related to COVID-19

David Hannah, Beedie School of Business, 604.992.4516,

  • Coping with the onslaught of information

Peter Chow-White, communication, 604.603.3794,

  • Social media use during a crisis

Brian Fisher, School of Interactive Arts & Technology,

  • Visual analytics for safety and security

  • Government and industry data-based decision making
  • Advanced interactive technologies for planning and response to emergencies

Ahmed-Al Rawi, communication,

  • Social media, news, global communication, disinformation


Rylan Simpson, criminology,

  • Policing, police appearance and police effectiveness during COVID-19
  • How police balance virus exposure risk with providing services
  • Implications of police enforcement of governmental health orders


Eugene McCann environment,

  • Urban public spaces, social and political activism
  • Urban inequality, social movements and activist groups trying to overcome inequality

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

  • Impact of COVID-19 on environmental resilience, equity and sustainability

Tom Gunton, director of resource and environmental planning program,

  • Impact of sliding oil prices on the Canadian oil and gas sector

Mark Jaccard, director of resource and environmental management, (fluent in French)

  • Impact of falling oil prices on Canadian climate policy and clean energy sector


Irene Pang, international studies, (fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin)

  • State and societal responses to COVID-19 in China and Hong Kong

Anis Rahman, communication,

  • Race and media coverage

  • International communications

  • Geopolitics and disinformation
  • Cross-border platform regulations


Jeremy Carpendale, psychology,

  • Child development and development of knowledge

  • (was home-schooled, and home-schooled his own children; not researched the topic)

 Kris Magnusson, education, 778.822.0732,

  •  Why career development is more important than ever during and after the pandemic
  •  The impact of the pandemic on confidence and hope
  •  Radical changes in the nature of work, and how to adapt
  • 5 career survival skills that will be needed

Stephen Smith, education,

  • Physical activity and physical education programs during physical distancing
  •  Interactive ways that children and adults compensate for the loss of the social dimensions of games and sports, dance, outdoor and community recreations

* David Kaufman, education, Health Sciences and Gerontology,

  •  Enhancing social connectedness and lifelong learning in older adults through digital storytelling courses and digital games


Charlotte Waddell, health sciences, director of SFU’s Children’s Health Policy Centre,

Grace Iarocci, psychology,

  • COVID-19’s impact on autism community
  • How autism community can cope with anxiety post COVID-19

Lara Aknin, psychology,

  • Prosocial behaviour, well-being, happiness and social relationships

Tanya Broesch, psychology, 604.369.0128,

  • How parents can talk to their kids about COVID-19
  • Social learning
  • Child development and culture

Andrew Feenberg, communication,

  • Online communities and education

Yuthika Girme, psychology,

  • Social support, social distancing, and relationships

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

  • Social distancing and staying connected


Sanjay Jeram, politcal science,

  • Government power and federalism in times of crisis
  • Political conflict over types of response

Stewart Prest political science,

  • Political impacts and political responses to pandemic

Andy Yan, The City Program,

  • Housing, rental market, government assistance announced for renters, urban planning and COVID-19's impact on cities


Parin Dossa, sociology and anthropology,

  • Social relationship between aging and gender
  • Ethnographic storytelling and social justice

Gloria Gutman, gerontology,

  • Senior's housing, long-term care, health promotion
  • Age friendly hospitals and communities
  • Seniors and emergency preparedness

 Dan Levitt, gerontology,

  •  Seniors care, assisted living, and long-term care
  •  Leadership and ageism

Andrew Sixsmith, gerontology,

  • Social isolation, technologies to connect people, technology policy and the digital divide

Andrew Wister, gerontology,

  • Seniors vulnerability to viral diseases, such as COVID-19

* Habib Chaudhury, gerontology,

  • Built environment and ageing, seniors housing
  •  Long-term care, age-friendly community, dementia friendly community

* Atiya Mahmood, gerontology,

  • Senior's housing, aging in place, universal design and accessibility
  • Age-friendly communities
  • Neighbourhood- and urban design for mobility and access of seniors
  • Senior's housing insecurity
  • Innovative and intergenerational housing

* Barbara Mitchell, sociology and gerontology,

  • Aging families and intergeneration relations
  • Related health-related issues in terms of cultivating and maintaining positive social connections during uncertain and stressful times

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