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Meet the Team

The research team for this project includes leading scholars on technology-facilitated sexual and gender-based violence in Canada. Our team has significant experience mobilizing knowledge through academic and non-academic communities, and we collaborate with community groups to ensure our work has a positive impact on diverse populations.

 

Our team includes principal investigator Dr Kaitlynn Mendes, and co-investigators Dr Alexa Dodge, Dr Christopher Dietzel, and Professor Suzie Dunn. 

Dr. Kaitlynn Mendes

Dr. Kaitlynn Mendes is the Canada Research Chair in Inequality and Gender at Western University. She has over a decade of experience researching young people’s use of digital technologies in their sexual lives and has led three funded projects in this area that contributed to academic knowledge in the United Kingdom and Canada. She has also mobilized this knowledge through accessible educational resources that have helped over 35,000 young people, 1,400 teachers, 200 schools, and 800 members of the public to better identify and respond to technology-facilitated forms of sexual violence and sexism.

Dr. Alexa Dodge

Dr. Alexa Dodge is an Assistant Professor in Criminology at Saint Mary’s University. She has been at the forefront of Canadian research on technology-facilitated sexual violence. In addition to her major contributions to Canadian academic research, she has also written a publicly accessible report on alternative responses to technology-facilitated violence and bullying that has been consulted by provincial and federal governments. She has mobilized her knowledge in this area through several publicly accessible educational presentations on this topic for young people, policy makers, and community organizations.

Dr. Christopher Dietzel

Dr. Christopher Dietzel has conducted cutting-edge research on LGBTQ+ people’s experiences with dating apps and has contributed to broader scholarly work about creating safer digital spaces for diverse communities as well as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on marginalized communities. Dietzel’s research explores the intersections of gender, sexuality, safety, health, and technology, and he has worked in Canada, the United States, France, Singapore, and Australia. Dietzel speaks English and French, and he brings a wealth of experience in qualitative methods, knowledge synthesis, and participatory approaches that engage diverse populations in research.

Suzie Dunn

Suzie Dunn, an Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law, brings her expertise in legal responses to TFGBV. With over a decade of experience as one of the leading contributors to our understanding of TFGBV laws in Canada, she has considerable experience mobilizing knowledge for policy change on TFGBV through her work with the eQuality Project, the Centre for International Governance Innovation, the Centre for Law Technology and Society, and the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund.

Research Assistants

Emma Brion
Emma Brion

Emma Brion (they/them) is a Master’s student in the Sociology department at McGill University. They hold a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Political Science from McGill University. Through the analysis of community interactions on the social media Reddit, their research investigates the debate around the concept of hierarchy in the polyamorous community. Emma is also engaged with the Young Queer Researchers team of UdeM’s School of Public Health participating in community-based research with 2SLGBTQIA+ youth.

Caden Reyes
Caden Reyes

Caden Reyes is an undergraduate student at Western University. He is currently in his 4th year of the honors specialization criminology program, working to complete his bachelor of arts degree, with a minor in psychology. His area of passion and focus is on access to justice in the criminal legal system, and the experience of those within the legal system as an institution. Currently, he is applying to law school in Ontario, with aspirations of becoming a criminal defense attorney in the future.

Sasha Skaidra
Sasha Skaidra

Sasha Skaidra (she/her) holds a PhD in International Relations from McMaster University and is now a Killam Memorial postdoctoral fellow with the Department of Political Science at the University Alberta. She investigates cartographic aesthetics and the power they wield to represent and constitute local, regional, state, and transnational borders. Her doctoral work employs Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to conduct a counter-mapping of Ontario’s inland immigration enforcement infrastructure. Her current postdoctoral research maps the Canada Border Services Agency’s Alternatives to Detention program that subcontracts immigration detention to private charities. She is also developing a legal geographic GIS method to map the role of transnational transgender civil society in shaping the international law surrrounding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Sasha's research draws on her activist experience on refugee and migrant issues, 2SLGBTQI+ advocacy, civil liberties, and student rights. 

Mason Brooks
Mason Brooks

Mason Brooks is a PhD Candidate in Media Studies at Western University. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen’s University, as well as Master’s of Arts degree in Communication and Social Justice from the University of Windsor. His research focuses on how gun control legislation is discussed within American print media in the wake of recent school shootings. Mason also works as a Gender Based Violence Training Facilitator at the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women & Children, and as a Consultant at Anova (Women’s Community House & Sexual Assault Centre). He also delivers psycho-educational group counselling to clients, directed by the Ontario Justice System in regard to criminal charges involving domestic abuse.

Alex Pallottini
Alex Pallottini

Alex Pallottini is a master's student in the adult clinical psychology program at the University of Windsor. He graduated from Lourdes University with an honours bachelor of arts degree in psychology. His research is centred around the experiences and impacts of online sexual victimization on sexual minority men. Alongside his research, Alex is also in training to become a licensed clinical psychologist.

Hannah Rose MacCallum
Hannah Rose MacCallum

Hannah Rose MacCallum is a Research Assistant in the Criminology Department at Saint Mary’s University. Following the completion of her honours thesis on sexual homicide, she is currently contributing to knowledge synthesis efforts on the subject of technology-facilitated gender based violence among young people. As she moves on to graduate school at Simon Fraser University, MacCallum hopes to use her distinctive background in forensic science, legal studies, and social justice to advance current knowledge on sexual violence and highlight intersectionality in future criminological research.

Nikita Kalwani
Nikita Kalwani

Nikita Kalwani (she/her) is a master’s student in the School and Applied Child Psychology program at Western University. Nikita graduated from McMaster University with an Honours science degree in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour, with a specialization in Mental Health. She has an interest in research that informs school- and community-based interventions that support the mental health outcomes of marginalized youth who may experience systemic barriers to accessing care. Her MA thesis is focused on evaluating the outcomes and feasibility of implementing a healthy relationships and mental health promotion program for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth within GSAs.

Estefania Reyes
Estefania Reyes

Estefania Reyes (she/her) is a Ph.D. student in Sociology at Western University. She also holds a Master's degree in Media, Gender and Social Justice from the University of Leicester. Her research is centred around the intersection of gender, body politics, and feminist activism, specifically focusing on menstrual justice and sexuality. She has shared her expertise through various educational resources for young people, humanitarian organizations, and community groups in the Global South. She brings experience in using participatory techniques and qualitative methods to engage young people in research.

Wisaal Jahangir
Wisaal Jahangir

Wisaal Jahangir is a law student at the McGill Faculty of Law (BCL/JD). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Management from McGill University. Wisaal's areas of interest include privacy harms, data protection, and access to justice (particularly for youth, racial minorities, and LGBTQ+ communities). She is also interested in the application of critical scholarship to avenues for transformative justice, with a focus on racial justice and gender justice movements within and outside of the law.

Arturo Tejeda Torres
Arturo Tejeda Torres

Arturo Tejeda Torres is a PhD candidate in Cultural, Social and Political Thought at the University of Lethbridge. His research focuses on political and public discourse analysis, social movements, polarization, and digital technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Psychology from the Autonomous University of Queretaro and a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Guanajuato. Currently, he is working on ways of theorizing and analyzing how public and political discourses on social media frame recent protests against gender-based violence in Mexico. Additionally, he has designed and delivered various Sociology courses at the University of Lethbridge, integrating central themes of his research into practical programs.

Aubrianna Snow
Aubrianna Snow

Aubrianna Snow (she/her) is a master’s student in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta. She holds a Bachelor of Communications from MacEwan University and has focused her career on educating the public about sexual and reproductive health rights. Her work has been published in Chatelaine, Muskrat Magazine, and the Edmonton Journal. Aubrianna’s research interests include sexual violence prevention, Indigenous approaches to sexuality education, and the impact of activism on policy.

Ashlea Tait
Ashlea Tait

Ashlea Tait has been working as a Registered Nurse in the Sexual and Reproductive Health clinics with Alberta Health services for nearly 2 years, where she counsels and educates youth and young adults. She is currently a Masters of Counselling student at the University of Lethbridge, with the goal of becoming a Registered Psychologist. Ashlea recently completed her Graduate Certificate in Sexual Health through the University of Alberta in Spring of 2023. Ashlea is passionate about educating and empowering all to live healthy and informed lives.

Anastasia Berwald
Anastasia Berwald

Anastasia is a PhD Candidate in law at the University of Ottawa. They also hold a Master’s degree in law from McGill University. Their research focus is the intersection of data protection, privacy and equality. Anastasia brings experience in gender-based analysis+ and feminist research. They have been involved with feminist organizations such as the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL/ANFD) and Law Needs Feminism Because.

Christine Taylhardat
Christine Taylhardat

Christine Taylhardat (she/her) is a master's student of Sociology at Western University. She graduated with an Honours Specialization in Sociology and a Major in Geography Environment and Health. Christine’s research interests surround youth, climate change, social movements, and digital activism. She is currently working as a Teaching Assistant for the Sociology department at Western University.

Chloe Kemeni
Chloe Kemeni

Chloe (she/her/elle) is currently a law student at the McGill Faculty of Law.  Chloe graduated from McGill University with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Gender, Feminist and Social Justice where she heavily participated in student government while spearheading equity initiatives on campus. For the last 8 years, Chloe has dedicated her time and developed expertise in racial justice, policy and sexual violence prevention. She sat on McGill’s highest Board of governance as Senator, worked in Parliament and provided front-line supports for students and community members experiencing violence in the Montreal area and the back in the region of Halton, where she has grown up. Her approach to anti-sexual violence centres on racial justice, black feminism and anti-racism. She hopes to bring these experiences to the project in order to highlight how Black and racialized youth experience violence.

Charlotte Nau
Charlotte Nau

Charlotte Nau (she/her) is a Ph.D. candidate in Media Studies at Western University. She holds a Master’s degree in Communication from the University of Memphis, USA, and a Magister degree in Mass Communication and Political Science from Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, Germany. Charlotte’s research concentrates on how social media enable and constrain marginalized groups, social movements and organizations in their advocacy work. She is also curious about online harassment and sexual expression. Charlotte has more than a decade of experience in quantitative and qualitative research methods covering surveys, experimental research, thematic analysis and content analysis.

Funding provided by:

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