Faculty and Staff
Faculty in the School of Health Sciences
Chair for The School of Health Sciences
PhD University of Manitoba, MA and BA University of Shiraz
Professor, School of Health Sciences
Dr. Bird completed her B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Waterloo and M.Sc. and Ph.D in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Guelph, where she specialized in Nutritional Toxicology. She has been recognized by the American Association for Cancer Research for her discovery of a novel method to identify early precancerous changes in the colon. This process is now used internationally to identify the risk of developing colon cancer, and potential cancer- preventing agents.
In 1991, Dr. Bird received the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council's Women in Science Career Award at the University of Manitoba, where she served as professor, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, and the Dean of the Faculty of Human Ecology. In 2003, she was appointed Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Waterloo.
R. Luke Harris
Associate Professor PhD (Alberta) BSc (Acadia)
Dr. R. Luke Harris teaches undergraduate and graduate physiology and seminar courses and he is the Project Leader of the Northern BC Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) Research Laboratory.
Luke, his students, and his colleagues use non-invasive instruments in the NIRS Research Lab to study the fundamental properties of muscles and of the nervous system—collectively referred to as the neuromuscular system. Dr. Harris is interested in understanding how the neuromuscular system adapts to injury and exercise, with particular emphasis placed on respiratory rehabilitation; recovery after brain injuries—from concussions to strokes; applications of sports science in both competitive and recreational athletes; and how to better manage aging- and dementia-associated declines in function and independence.
PhD MB ChB (New Zealand) MA (Belgium)
Dr. Margot Parkes is a Professor at the School of Health Sciences. Margot works with others - across all sectors, disciplines and cultural contexts - to enhance understanding of land, water and living systems (ecosystems) as foundational for health and wellbeing. Margot grew up and completed her medical training in New Zealand, prior to work and training in public health, human ecology and ecohealth in Europe, the Americas and the Oceania region. She came to UNBC in 2009 as Canada Research Chair in Health, Ecosystems and Society.
Margot's research and international collaborations are integrative, partnered and Indigenous - informed, with an emphasis on ecological and equitable approaches to improving health and well-being. Areas of research focus include watersheds and catchments as settings for intersectoral action to improve health; on the cumulative health, environment and community impacts of land and water governance; and on designing for 'co-benefits' that link ecosystems, equity and health (e.g. linking climate justice and regenerative catchments/ watershed practices with community health and well-being). A focus on education runs through all her work, teaching classes on health promotion, ecosystem approaches to health (or, ecohealth), and ecosocial approaches to public health, and designing intergenerational teaching and training programs (e.g. bridging youth, adults and elders in place-based, experiential education initiatives).
Margot's work continues to be informed by Indigenous knowledge and leadership across Oceania and the Americas. She is engaged with a range of research, education and capacity - strengthening initiates that foster next - generation approaches to learning and collaboration to address complex health, equity and sustainability concerns.
PhD (McMaster) MSc (McMaster) BKinH (Acadia)
Dr. Chelsea Pelletier came to UNBC in 2015 after completing a PhD in Kinesiology at McMaster University and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. She is an exercise physiologist with experience working with individuals with chronic disease and physical disabilities, and evaluating clinical exercise rehabilitation interventions. Her emerging research program includes a growing partnership with community members, the non-profit sector, and health system decision makers to understand the context, adaptation and implementation of physical activity interventions in northern, rural, and remote communities.
PhD MSc BSc (Waterloo)
Dr. Mamdouh Shubair is a population and public health epidemiologist. Dr. Shubair started his faculty appointment in the Health Sciences Programs at UNBC in January 2009. He came from McMaster University where he was teaching at the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. At UNBC, Dr. Shubair's research and teaching interests are focused around chronic disease epidemiology, particularly obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2D), and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Rural/Remote and Aboriginal populations. Mamdouh is also interested in Disability Management issues where he supervises several graduate students in the Disability Management (DISM) program.
PhD MSc (Northern British Columbia) BA (British Columbia)
Dr. Klassen-Ross has a PhD in Health Psychology. The areas of research Dr. Klassen-Ross studies in include pain management and non-verbal communication of pain using Facial Action Coding system. She is also part of the Northern Medical Program (NMP) providing guidance to the NMP students.
Sarah de Leeuw
Canada Research Chair
Professor, Northern Medical Program
PhD (Queen's) MA (Northern British Columbia) BFA (Victoria)
Cross-Appointed; Northern Medical Program
PhD (Edinburgh) MA BA (Toronto) RN
Cross-appointed; Professor, School of Nursing: Northern Health-UNBC Knowledge Mobilization Research Chair
Dr. Martha MacLeod comes from a professional and practice background in nursing management and continuing education. She has been at UNBC since 1994.
She is currently the Northern Health - UNBC Knowledge Mobilization Research Chair and Co-Leader of the UNBC Health Research Institute.
Martha is professor in both the School of Nursing and the School of Health Sciences. Martha teaches in the areas of leadership, knowledge development and moving evidence into practice. Her research, broadly speaking, takes a qualitative approach to examining health services and health human resources, particularly in rural and northern settings. Martha has published and presented widely on rural and northern nursing issues, nursing practice, nursing education, knowledge translation, and network development.
Professor - Emeritus
PhD MA BA (British Columbia) R.Psych
Dr. Ken Prkachin's research deals with health psychology, clinical psychology, pain expression, and the biobehavioural determinants of heart disease. Dr. Prkachin also directs the activities of the Psychophysiology Laboratory.
Staff in the School of Health Sciences
Administrative Assistant, School of Health Sciences