Research Team

Graduate Students


Photo of Kimm

Kimberly Carrière
PhD Candidate
kimberly.carriere [at]     

Kimberly Carrière is a PhD student at McGill University in Clinical Psychology. Her research explores the efficacy of mindfulness-based programs on individuals with overweight and obesity. She is particularly interested in better understanding the independent role that mindfulness plays in reducing obesity-related eating behaviours. By better understanding the underlining mechanisms of mindfulness that support successful eating regulation, it is her goal to develop weight management programs that not only support weight loss but facilitate its maintenance over time.

Currently, her research program involves the development and evaluation of a new mindful eating scale that assess four fundamental features of mindfulness applied towards the eating experience.


Learn more about Kimberly


Jessica Di Sante
PhD Student
jessica.disante [at]

Jessica is a first year PhD student in Clinical Psychology at McGill University. With a passion for physical and mental wellbeing through the practice of mindfulness, Jessica joined the Health Psychology Lab to gain experience in mindfulness and acceptance-based practices in the context of behavioral interventions in health.

Her research and clinical interests reside in the mechanisms through which the cultivation of mindfulness, self-acceptance, and self-compassion may play a role in the development and maintenance of health behaviors in relation to emotional eating, physical activity, and weight management. She is particularly interested in understanding how interventions aimed at increasing compassionate self-responding in the context of binge-eating/emotional eating as well as body image inflexibility can play a role in developing sustainable health self-management as well as physical and mental wellbeing. In her free time, she likes to read good books, eat great food, stay active, and spend time with her family and friends.


Learn more about Jessica


Huma Shireen
PhD Student
huma.shireen [at] 

Huma is a PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program at McGill University. She has completed her Master of Psychology (MPsy) in Counselling Psychology from Adler Graduate Professional School in Toronto and her MA in Clinical and Counselling Psychology from the University of Toronto. She has clinical experience working with clients with schizophrenia, borderline tendencies, histories of trauma and domestic abuse, attachment issues, anxiety, and depression, as well as clients with pedophilia within the parole system. Her research experience includes pharmaceutical clinical trials in schizophrenia and research that aims to understand the conceptualization of mindfulness in western clinical settings.

Her current research interest lies in the application of mindfulness-based practices to increasing wellbeing by bridging the gap between the western utilization of mindfulness and the Buddhist roots from where it originated. Within this realm, she is interested in exploring the conceptualization of the “self” (or one’s identity) by integrating knowledge from psychology, neuroscience, and contemplative practice. Her goal is to apply this nuanced understanding of the conceptualization of one’s self to the reduction of stress and clinical disorders and in increasing wellbeing and happiness. In order to enrich and inform her research and clinical work, she diligently maintains her own personal daily mindfulness practice and regularly engages with meditation teachers in the field.


Learn more about Huma


Other Research Team Members


Nellie Siemers
Research Coordinator
nellie.siemers [at]

Nellie recently completed her undergraduate degree at McGill University in Psychology, Behavioural Science, and Science. She is a Research Coordinator at the Health Psychology Lab and assists in projects related to mindfulness and weight related outcomes. 

Her academic and research interests involve mindfulness, disordered eating, weight management and overall health behaviours. This year she will be focusing her research on the components of mindful eating interventions and volunteering for the McGill Eating Disorder Resource and Support Centre.

During her leisure time she enjoys gluten-free baking, kayaking, skiing, and spending time with her cat, Horton.


Picture of Sabrah

Sabrah Khanyari
Research Assistant
sabrah.khanyari [at]


Sabrah recently completed the Honours Psychology program with a minor in Anthropology. She has prior experience conducting research in health psychology, specifically regarding emotional eating. The past year, she worked on her senior honours thesis, which is a systematic review of the self in mindfulness.

She is also interested in social psychology, especially research related to threats in romantic relationships. In the future, she aims to pursue a career in industrial/organizational psychology.


Odessa Grimard
Research Assistant
natasha.grimard [at]


Odessa Grimard is a 4th year Honours Psychology student minoring in Neuroscience. This year, she'll be completing her senior honours thesis in the lab, partnering with the McGill Comprehensive Health Program (CHIP) to look at an online weight reduction and wellness intervention for veterans. Her prior experience includes experimental research on autobiographical memory and imagery, as well as on autobiographical memory and depression, with the Sheldon Memory Lab. 

Her long-term research interests primarily revolve around trauma, PTSD, and equitable access to mental health treatment. She aims to one day work clinically in marginalized communities, and to later work on mental health policy at the governmental level.  

Outside of the lab, Odessa works as a floor fellow in McGill's residences, supporting first year students as they start their University years. She also leads the planning working group for McGill's upcoming conference on reimagining the field of Global Health. Amidst these strange times, she enjoys biking around Montreal and baking increasingly improbable forms of focaccia for her friends. 





Amanda Gossack
Research Assistant
amanda.gossack [at]


Amanda recently completed her undergraduate degree at McGill University in the Honours Psychology program, with a minor in Social Studies of Medicine. She joined the Health Psychology Lab in the summer of 2020 as a PURA recipient and has been helping with a systematic review investigating the efficacy of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy interventions for the improvement of disinhibited eating behaviours.

She is interested in the study of mindfulness, wellbeing, health and coping behaviours, and particularly how mindfulness techniques can help mitigate symptoms such as anxiety, depression, or maladaptive eating habits. In the future, she plans to pursue graduate studies in Clinical Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, going on walks, volunteering with several mental health-related organizations, and exploring cafes and restaurants in Montreal. 




Andreea Angelescu
Research Assistant
andreea.angelescu [at]

Andreea obtained her undergraduate degree at McGill University in Psychology, Behavioral Science, and Italian studies. This year she will complete her honours-equivalent research course by assisting in a project aiming to reduce emotional eating through an online Acceptance and Commitment Therapy intervention. Her research interests include emotional eating, mindfulness-based interventions, and health psychology.

Outside the lab, Andreea works with the elderly population in a program that aims to prevent delirium in hospitalized patients. At work as well as in her volunteer positions, she promotes health behaviors and always tries to brighten others' days. In her free time, Andreea can be found hiking, drinking coffee, or petting dogs.






Samantha Castelli
Research Assistant
samantha.castelli [at]


Sam is a 4th-year psychology student minoring in religion. She is currently completing an undergraduate research project in the Health Psychology lab on emotional eating and self-concept. She has previous research experience in health psychology looking at psychosocial oncology programs in Canada. Her research interests include trauma, mindfulness, and motivation.

Outside of the lab, Sam works as a personal trainer and enjoys being active and spending time outside. 





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