Assistant Professor in Environmental Health
Department of Health and Society
Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences
University of Toronto Scarborough
Graduate cross-appointment - Dalla Lana School of Public Health
University of Toronto
CIHR Postdoctoral fellow, Université de Montréal School of Public Health (2018-2020)
FRQS Postdoctoral fellow, Université de Montréal School of Public Health (2017-2018)
PhD in biology, INRS - Institut Armand-Frappier (2012-2017)
Amira Aker, PhD
Dr Aker is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Health and Society at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), and she will be joining Prof Mélanie Lemire's team at Université Laval in 2021. Dr Aker’s broader research interests include the intersection between environmental chemical exposure and social factors on women’s health. Her research program focuses on the environmental and social factors influencing reproductive life course stages, such as pregnancy, preconception health and menopause.
As a collaborator in the From bench to communities lab, Amira is investigating the associations between exposure to hydraulic fracturing activity and mental health outcomes during pregnancy, such as anxiety and depression.
Current Graduate Students
PhD Student in biology (co-supervision)
Ghida started her PhD in biology at INRS - Institut Armand Frappier in January 2021, under the supervision of Géraldine Delbès, Cathy Vaillancourt and Élyse Caron-Beaudoin. Ghida will research the endocrine disrupting effects of environmentally-relevant concentrations of contaminants associated with hydraulic fracturing on fetal development.
After a bachelor degree in “Life and Earth Sciences-Biochemistry” at Saint-Joseph University of Beyrouth, Ghida completed a 2 year Masters at the University of Paris, where she was specialized in ‘Cellular Biology, Physiology and Pathology: Reproduction and development’. In her first year, Ghida worked on the impact of freezing on the integrity of spermatic chromatin at the Reproductive biology laboratory at Poissy hospital. Then, Ghida did her second year internship at the Neurodevelopment laboratory at Robert Debré hospital to understand the synaptic role of a poorly characterized Golgi protein whose genetic deficiency causes a neurodevelopmental disease.
MSc student in Occupational and Environmental Health
Emmanuel started a master’s degree in Occupational and Environmental Health at the Université de Montréal in January 2021 under the supervision of Marc-André Verner and Élyse Caron-Beaudoin. During his research, Emmanuel will investigate the associations between hydraulic fracturing activity in Northeastern British Columbia and indoor radon concentrations in the EXPERIVA study.
Emmanuel holds a nursing degree from the Université de Bretagne Sud and the Centre Hospitalier de Vanne (France). In addition, Emmanuel is a certified registered nurse anesthetist (Master's degree, Université de la Réunion). Emmanuel has been practicing nursing in France and Île de la Réunion since 2013.
Master of Environmental Science student
Yifan started her Master of Environmental Science program at the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences (University of Toronto Scarborough) in September 2020. As part of this professional program, Yifan will measure the levels of oxidative stress biomarkers in a cohort of pregnant women living near hydraulic fracturing activity in Northeastern British Columbia. To do so, Yifan will use biological samples collected as part of the EXPERIVA study project.
Yifan holds a BSc from the University of Toronto, where she graduated with a Pharmacology and Toxicology Specialist Program and a Global Health Major. Yifan was a research assistant on different projects during her BSc, such as the investigation of the acute toxicity of sunscreen chemical Benzophenone-3 on zebrafish.
Past Graduate Students
MSc student in Epidemiology (co-supervision)
Claudelle started a master’s degree in Epidemiology at Université Laval in September 2017 under Mélanie Lemire's supervision. Claudelle graduated in 2021. Her thesis project looked at the quality of nutrition among children and youth in four First Nations communities in Quebec. It focuses on the correlation between diet quality and exposure to contaminants in ultra-processed foods.
Claudelle’s interest in global and environmental health stems primarily from her experiences abroad and her love of nature and the outdoors.
Bénédicte Metila Ngwabika
Bénédicte is currently doing a MSc degree in occupational and environmental health. As part of her degree, she is doing an internship in the From bench to communities lab. She is currently working on conducting a literature review regarding environmental injustices in the context of hydraulic fracturing.
Hélène joined the From bench to communities lab for an internship as part of her MSc degree in occupational and environmental health at the Université de Montréal. During her internship, she worked on a systematic review regarding the effects of hydraulic fracturing. Specifically, Hélène identified toxicological studies in the context of hydraulic fracturing and extracted the data from these studies.