Meet the Team!

Dr. Shane Sweet, Director
Shane Sweet

The overarching goal Dr. Sweet’s research is to develop a deeper understanding of programs and interventions to assist people with a physical disability to participate in daily and social activities. To achieve these goals, Dr. Sweet focused on two streams: (1) adapted physical activity and (2) spinal cord injury (SCI) peer support.

Stream 1: Adapted Physical Activity

The focus of the adapted physical activity stream is to build an understanding of the process to help people with a physical disability engage in physical activity while identifying and testing solutions to overcome important physical activity barriers. Dr. Sweet and his team of undergraduate and graduate students and research assistants lead multiple projects in collaboration with community-based partners who are knowledge users, such as community-based organizations and people with a physical disability.

Stream 2: Spinal Cord Injury Peer support

Dr. Sweet leads a pan-Canadian community-university partnership that unites students, researchers, and community-based organizations that are inspired to better understand, promote, and optimize spinal cord injury peer support programs and services ( This partnership has defined spinal cord injury (SCI) peer support as a peer interaction that aims to help individuals who share similar lived experiences adapt and/or thrive.

Zhiyang (George) Shi, PhD Candidate
George Shi

Research Interests: Identifying individual and organizational processes of integrating peer support into rehabilitation settings.

About me: I completed my undergraduate major in Sports Rehabilitation at Tianjin Medical University (China). Throughout my undergraduate degree, I became strongly interested in promoting the physical activity engagement, health, and overall well-being of people with disabilities.

I started my Master’s and PhD program at TIE Lab under the supervision of Dr. Shane Sweet. My research focuses on integrating peer support programs for people with spinal cord injuries into rehabilitation-based settings. In my spare time, I enjoy playing basketball and swimming. These activities make me feel energetic and confident every day.

Olivia Pastore, PhD Candidate
Olivia Pastore

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Degrees: Bachelor of Science with Specialization in Biology and minor in Psychology (University of Ottawa), Master of Arts in Human Kinetics (University of Ottawa), PhD (c) in Kinesiology Sciences (McGill University & University of Ottawa)

Personal Interest: I try to live by the motto Work Smart, Play Smart, Rest Smart (from my co-supervisor Dr. Michelle Fortier). Engaging in daily physical activity is as important to me as socializing with friends/family or carving aside alone time to reflect or rest. I am also closely tied to my Italian heritage and love food (especially olives)!

Research Interests: (1) Compassion Fatigue & Self-Compassion (PhD Thesis): Understanding and reducing compassion fatigue using a self-compassion program for peer mentors within spinal cord injury (SCI) community-based organizations. (2) Physical Activity Motivation and Maintenance: Understanding the use of behaviour change techniques in promoting physical activity motivation and adherence among inactive individuals. (3) Positive Education and Yoga: Exploring the impact of positive education and yoga on university students’ well-being and mental health.

Tayah Liska, PhD Candidate
Tayah Liska

Hometown: Stittsville, Ontario

Education: Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics with Honours, St. Francis Xavier University (2019), Masters of Arts in Kinesiology, McGill University (2021).

Research Interest: As an individual who is an athletic and sports enthusiast, I have always had a great interest in physical activity, exercise, sport, and health promotion. Over my graduate education, I have gained a particular interest in understanding the ways in which individuals with physical disability maintain their physical activity. Identifying key features of physical activity maintenance is part of my broader interest of positive health promotion and I am motivated to identify new and relevant ways to support individuals in their on-going physical activity participation and healthy living to improve their overall quality of life.

Personal Interest: Outside of the lab, I enjoy participating in my favourite sports and activities that include swimming, running, alpine skiing, paddling, and more. When not active outside, I’m spending time with family and friends, reading a new book, or planning my next travel destination!

Gabrielle Bedard, Master's Student
Gabrielle Bedard

Since a young age, I've always loved maintaining a healthy lifestyle while being a guiding light to empower others on their wellness journeys. This passion and dedication led me to pursue a Human Kinetics bachelor's degree at the University of Ottawa. My experience at the University of Ottawa was enriching and led me to reveal a deep interest in exercise and health psychology. Immersing myself in this topic sparked a fire in me to explore, research and advocate in exercise and health psychology to impact the lives of others around me positively. Now, I have the privilege to fuel this passion as a graduate master's student at McGill University with the TIE lab team. I am currently studying and researching the behaviour change process to empower and guide individuals with disabilities in becoming more physically active. Beyond my dedication to exercise and learning about health, I am a passionate traveler and dedicated community enthusiast. While I love immersing myself in new cities, I thrive on discovering different cultures, connecting, learning, and growing with communities around the world.

Natara Ng, Master's Student
Natara Ng

Hometown: Chelsea QC

 Education: BSc (Hons.) Specialization in Kinesiology, Queen’s University

I am a first-year master’s student in the TIE Lab. Previously, I obtained an honours BSc in Kinesiology from Queen’s University, where I first gained interest in health promotion and exercise psychology through involvement in research. These research experiences led me to the TIE Lab, where I am excited to explore physical activity behaviour for health and wellbeing for people of all abilities. Outside of academics, I enjoy running, playing the fiddle, and adventuring in the outdoors with friends and family!

Lily White, Master's Student
Lily White

My name is Lily, and I am from Bradford, Ontario. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph, where I majored in Psychology. It was during my third year that I developed a strong interest in health psychology and in conducting research. In particular, I became interested in understanding and implementing ways to improve the quality of life of individuals with physical impairments. I am very excited to be living in Montreal - in my free time, I love going on long walks to explore the city and discovering new cafes and restaurants. I also enjoy going to the gym, and am currently working on getting better at cooking!

Nour Saadawi, Research Assistant
Nour Saadawi

Master’s thesis title: Optimizing Staff Training to Improve Adapted Physical Activity Service Provision for Two Community Organizations: Co-Construction and Implementation Evaluation

Leading an active lifestyle has always been something I am passionate about, whether it is playing sports or going out for a run. This led me to study Exercise Science at Concordia University and become a certified kinesiologist. My hands-on experience with diverse patients sparked my interest in research, especially in motivation and physical activity behaviour change.

As a master's student, I conducted research in collaboration with community organizations serving individuals with disabilities, focusing on developing and implementing training modules in motivational interviewing and behaviour change techniques for kinesiologists.

Upon graduating, I continued my work as a research assistant at the TIE lab and in collaboration with community organizations, and at Fitness Access McGill (FAM) as a kinesiologist.


Jacques Comeau, Research Assistant '23 

Nour Saadawi, M.A. '23

Supervisor: Dr. Shane Sweet

Thesis title: Optimizing Staff Training to Improve Adapted Physical Activity Service Provision for Two Community Organizations: Co-Construction and Implementation Evaluation

Meaghan Osborne, M.A. '22

Supervisor: Dr. Shane Sweet

Thesis Title: Implementation Evaluation of a Pilot RCT: The Roles of Peers and Functional Tasks in Enhancing Exercise Training for Adults with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Dr. Jordan Herbison, Post-Doctoral Fellow '22

Dr. Herbison was a post-doctoral fellow the TIE Lab from 2021 to 2022. As a post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Herbison used his expertise in group dynamics and ecological sampling methods in two areas: 1) To help develop guiding resources for establishing quality powerchair sport programs in Canada, and; 2) To better understand the risk and protective factors contributing spinal cord injury (SCI) peer mentors’ well-being in SCI peer mentorship programs. Dr. Herbison is now a Professor at Vancouver Island University. 

Emilie Michalovic, PhD '21

Supervisor: Dr. Shane Sweet

Dissertation title: Participation in daily and social activities in individuals living with COPD: The role of peer support and physical activity

Pierre Lepage, Research Assistant

Supervisor: Dr. Shane Sweet

Research Interests: Adapted physical activity and the impact of peer-mentorship in physical activity interventions.

Natasha Kaushik, M.A. '20

Supervisor: Dr. Shane Sweet

Thesis title: Exploring the physical activity experiences of women with a physical disability in India

Dr. Nianhong Li, visiting professor '20

Research Interests: Sports psychology, Exercise and health psychology, particularly in the field of physical activity and psychological health promotion research among the adolescent, the elderly and the drug withdrawal population.

François Jarry, M.A. '19

Supervisor: Dr. Shane Sweet

Thesis title: The effect of model similarity on exercise self-efficacy among adults recovering from a stroke

Meredith Rocchi, Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Meredith Rocchi started her postdoc at the TIE lab in August 2016 and completed it in December 2019. She actively engaged in multiple research projects in the lab and provided fellow students with mentorship. Now, Meredith is an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa.

Samantha Taran, M.Sc. '15, PhD Candidate '18

Supervisor: Dr. Shane Sweet

Research Interests: Understanding what psychological and physiological factors contribute to sedentary behavior in order to develop an evidence-based intervention to reduce sedentary behavior in the aging population; health promotion in older adults; quality of life in older adults.

Jeff Caron, Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Jeff Caron was a postdoctoral fellow in the TIE lab from 2016 to 2018. During that time he worked with both Dr. Sweet and Dr. Duncan. In Dr. Sweet’s lab, the main project that Jeff worked on was funded by the Canadian Disability Participation Project. Specifically, he and the team developed of a measure of experiential aspects of participation (MeEAP). While in Dr. Duncan’s lab, Jeff was the Project Director for an International Olympic Committee-funded grant that examined the effects of a videogame intervention to prevent doping and the use of supplements in sport. Jeff is now an Assistant Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Physical Activity Sciences at Université de Montréal.

Keryn Chemtob, M.A. '17

Supervisor: Dr. Shane Sweet

Thesis title: Using tele-health to enhance leisure time physical activity and motivation in adults with spinal cord injury: A pilot randomised control trial

Eric Hutt, M.A. '17

Supervisor: Dr. Lindsay Duncan

Thesis title: Factors Associated with Physical Activity in Primary Spousal Caregivers of Men with Cancer

Martina Marien, M.A. '16

Supervisor: Dr. Lindsay Duncan

Thesis title: Using a Think-Aloud Protocol to Explore Affective Experiences during Exercise in an Insufficiently Physically Active Population

Jamie Rebner, M.A. '16

Supervisor: Dr. Lindsay Duncan

Thesis title: Talking Your Way to Record Times: Instructional vs. Motivational Self-Talk and 10 km Time Trial Performance

Chelsey Saunders, M.A. '16

Supervisor: Dr. Shane Sweet

Thesis title: Physical Activity and Well-being Post-Cardiac Rehabilitation: Adopting the Empirical Model of Well-being






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