The 2022-23 CAnD3 Annual Report is here!

Fellows Feature: Leigh-Ann Waldropt-Bonair & Alexander Lam

As the 2023/2024 academic year begins to come to a close, our Fellows are currently focused on completing their final deliverables, which include creating a data visualization for our annual Dragon's Den competition. The finalists of the competition will present these to a live audience next month when they join us in Montreal for the annual CAnD3 Keynote Address. This year we are thrilled to be welcoming our amazing speakers Dr. Arjumand Siddiqi and Dr. Mabel Carabali who will discuss Structural Health Inequities. We're eagerly looking forward to connecting with our Fellows and Partners face-to-face very soon!

In the meantime, we caught up with two of our current Fellows, Leigh-Ann and Alexander, to ask about their experiences with the CAnD3 program thus far. Read on to learn about their research and what they hope to achieve during the remainder of the program and beyond.

Feature image: Leigh-Ann Waldropt-Bonair (left) and Alexander Lam(right)

Leigh-Ann Waldropt-Bonair (she, her, hers)

Leigh-Ann is a second-year Sociology PhD student at the University of Alberta from the island of Trinidad and Tobago, in the Caribbean. As a migrant from the Caribbean, Leigh-Ann Waldropt-Bonair has witnessed firsthand the shifts in the region that have influenced migration patterns. This has fueled her passion to explore these phenomena with a nuanced perspective, aiming to contribute meaningful insights to the discourse on migration and climate change.

Leigh-Ann's research delves into the intricate dynamics of migration in the Caribbean, a multifaceted issue that intersects with various other domains. Her particular focus is on examining the ramifications of climate change on Caribbean migration to Canada, a topic that resonates deeply with her personal experiences and professional expertise.

Her professional journey has been marked by significant roles within the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, where she served as a senior officer in key ministries such as National Security and Social Development. This rich background has equipped her with a comprehensive understanding of migration-related issues, “Accordingly, I transitioned to the role of Research Consultant in 2012 and successfully executed survey research and qualitative studies in the areas of irregular migration, labour migration, migrant tracking systems, socio-economic development, and substance use disorders, “she shares.

As a Research Consultant, Leigh-Ann has effectively carried out surveys and qualitative studies across a range of subjects. Her published work, "Invisible Immigrants: A Profile of Irregular Migration, Smuggling of Migrants, and Trafficking in Persons in Trinidad and Tobago," stands as a testament to her expertise and dedication.

Joining the CAnD3 training program, Leigh-Ann aims to enhance her data analytical skills, particularly in R programming, and gain proficiency in data visualization techniques. “Additionally, the CAnD3 program offers an ideal environment for networking with my peers and professionals in the field of research,” Leigh-Ann shares.

Outside of her academic and professional pursuits, Leigh-Ann enjoys engaging in sports like badminton and cycling, relishing nature through activities like hiking. Her love for cultural exploration and culinary adventures reflects her vibrant and multifaceted interests, adding depth to her perspectives as a researcher and individual.

Learn more and connect with Leigh-Ann.

Alexander Lam (He, Him, His)

Alexander Lam is currently pursuing a master's degree at the Bieler School of Environment and the Department of Geography at McGill University, he has collaborated on projects related to global health and climate modeling, honing his skills in data analysis and interpretation.

Alexander's research focuses on understanding the behavior of urban heat islands at a microscale within urban environments involves examining how heat is distributed and localized in small areas within cities. This includes mapping these heat islands, studying heat distribution in cities, and developing accurate models. “I'm very passionate about this area of study because of its significant impacts on population well-being and health, especially for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and disadvantaged populations,” he shares.

With a varied professional background including computer science, statistics, mathematics, and environmental studies, Alexander's problem-solving approach is shaped by a statistical and empirical perspective. Alexander sees great potential for policy intervention to mitigate urban heat islands and is eager to contribute to the development of these strategies.

Joining the CAnD3 training program, Alexander aims to integrate population health insights into his research and learn how to effectively communicate complex data for policy impact. He is excited about the potential of research to drive actionable measures and hopes to explore machine learning applications for social sciences during the program. “I'm looking forward to exploring domain-specific applications of machine learning for social scientists and participating in hands-on experiences like the Dragon's Den activities for population data visualization,” he shares.

Alexander loves hiking out of the academiaIn his free time, Alexander is passionate about nature, traveling, physical fitness, music, and computers. He enjoys activities like judo, powerlifting, and running/hiking outdoors, balancing his active lifestyle with moments of relaxation at home. His upcoming plans include competing in powerlifting and running events, reflecting his dedication to both physical fitness and intellectual pursuits.

Learn more and connect with Alexander.

About the training program

The Population Analytics in an Aging Society Training Program is a rigorous one-year fellowship hosted by the Consortium on Analytics for Data-Driven Decision-Making (CAnD3), funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and based at McGill University. The program upskills rising researchers in Master's, PhD, and postdoctoral programs in the areas of population data science and computational population social science from a multidisciplinary lens. It also connects Fellows to experiential learning opportunities, which include hands-on research projects and internships with government, not-for-profit, and private sector CAnD3 partners. Since the first year of the program in 2020, CAnD3 has trained 52 Fellows and welcomes 22 new Fellows for the 2023-24 Academic Year.

Back to top