Lab yoga at The Forks — Summer 2020


Lab gathering at The Forks — June 26th, 2019HeartsMindsLabPhoto_26June2019.jpgfront row (L to R): Heidi Barkman, Lara Penner-Goeke, Kathryn Rollins, Shaelyn Stienwandt, Lauren Kaminski, Chhavvy Narendra
back row (L to R): Elbereth Luo, Lynette Bonin, Sandra Hunter, Marlee Salisbury, Chantal Delaquis, Allyson Paton, Sydney Puhach

Principal Investigators

Leslie E. Roos, PhD – Clinical Psychology – CV
Ryan J. Giuliano, PhD – Cognitive Neuroscience – CV

Leslie_Roos_Photo   Ryan - Head shot -1497010

Dr. Leslie E. Roos is an Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba, with appointments in Psychology and Pediatrics. She aims to prevent the intergenerational transmission of stress-linked health inequities by developing scalable programs that promote parent mental health and family relationships. In her basic science research, Dr. Roos takes a multi-modal approach across neurobiology, cognitive function, and parent-child observation methods to identify opportunities to improve program efficacy. Dr. Roos also consults on program evaluation with local agencies and international teams to advance community-sourced solutions for stress-exposed families, starting in the prenatal period. Dr. Roos completed her clinical residency at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Oregon (2018). She is Junior Fellow at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, Affiliated Researcher with the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and Chair of the Academic Research Committee at the Until the Last Child Foundation. As a mother of two young children, Dr. Roos is also familiar with many parenting challenges and continually impressed with the incredible effort families put forward every day.

Dr. Ryan J. Giuliano is an Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba in the Department of Psychology. Ryan’s work emphasizes the interplay between neurocognitive function and peripheral measures of stress physiology. To this end, Dr. Giuliano primarily uses electrophysiological measures of neural activity (electroencephalography, EEG) and cardiac activity (electrocardiography, ECG; impedance cardiography, ICG) to elucidate individual differences in behaviour and brain function as a function of stress. In this work, stress is examined both in terms of chronic and acute stress, measured through a combination of self- or parent-reported experiences with various stressors and adverse circumstances, as well as through laboratory inductions of concurrent stress. Dr. Giuliano is also a proud advocate for scientific outreach and prioritizes disseminating results from the latest findings in developmental science and cognitive neuroscience in public-friendly talks aimed at non-experts given around the local community.

Post-doctoral Scholars


Emily Cameron

Emily is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychology under the mentorship of Dr. Leslie Roos and Dr. Tracie Afifi. She completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Calgary in 2020 and Clinical Residency in the Department of Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Manitoba. Emily’s research interests focus on biological, psychological and social influences on early child development. Her background is in parental factors in pregnancy and the postpartum that influence child development, with a particular interest in paternal mental health. Her postdoctoral work extends this line of research into additional sensitive periods of child development to inform the development and implementation of programs that address child and parent needs.


Charlie Rioux

Charlie is a postdoctoral fellow in Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Roos and Dr. Lianne Tomfohr-Madsen (University of Calgary). She completed a PhD in Psychology at Université de Montréal in 2018 and a first postdoctoral fellowship (2018-2021) in quantitative psychology (developmental methodology) at Texas Tech University. She conducts interdisciplinary research in prevention science with the aim of identifying early intervention targets for preventing developmental problems and has expertise in the interplay of individual and environmental factors in the prediction of psychopathology. Her background is in observational research, particularly using longitudinal cohort studies. Her postdoctoral fellowship extends that expertise to experimental, clinical research by examining for whom parenting and mental health interventions are most effective.

Graduate Students


Irlanda Gomez

Irlanda is in her 2nd year of the MA program in Developmental Psychology, with a special interest in mother-child language interactions and qualitative coding. Irlanda’s previous work has focused around fostering self-regulation and language skills in newcomer youth. She is interested in researching the effect that chronic stress at an early age plays in children’s socio-cognitive abilities. Irlanda enjoys caring for her many plant babies and spending as much time outdoors as possible.


Cici Guo

Cici is in her first year of the Clinical Psychology MA program. She graduated from Western University where her thesis focused on borderline personality traits, stigma, and treatment seeking behaviour. Currently, she is under the supervision of Dr. Leslie Roos, researching parental sensitivity and maternal mental health. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading, canoeing, and hanging out with her goldendoodle, Miffy.


Helen Harvie

Helen is entering her second year of the MA program in Developmental Psychology. Helen has previously worked as a research assistant in the Comparative Cognition Lab at the University of Manitoba, under the supervision of Dr. Debbie M. Kelly. Her work with this lab largely included research in canine cognition and stress responses. Her MA thesis will examine whether the presence of a pet dog will assist in buffering individuals from an acute stressor. In her downtime, Helen enjoys spending time with her loved ones (both two and four-legged), cooking, and being outdoors.

headshots_shunterSandra Hunter

Sandra is an Indigenous mother and grandmother who is in the first year of her PhD in Clinical Psychology. She has extensive experience working with parents and families in various forms and feels passionate about working in both group and individual settings. Sandra’s MA and PhD research involves traditional Indigenous parenting practices in Manitoba with the goal of increasing cultural identity and well-being for Indigenous families and communities. Sandra believes in focusing on the substantial value of intergenerational relationships and building support for promoting healthy families.


Kayla Joyce

Kayla is in the first year of her PhD in Clinical Psychology. Her research focuses on identifying the unmet program needs of postpartum mothers with co-occurring depression and at-risk substance use, an understudied and highly stigmatized population. Kayla’s long-term goal is to use research to inform the development of effective, evidence-based programs addressing the self-identified needs of postpartum mothers with depression and at-risk substance use. Outside of university, you will likely spot Kayla tending to her beloved cats and the kittens she fosters.


Meghan Mollons

Meghan is starting her first year of the MA program in School Psychology this fall. Her future research will focus on how Indigenous mothers and caretakers respond to and navigate the school system in light of colonialism and residential school legacies. Withinthe Hearts and Minds Lab, she has worked on projects that focused on Indigenous youth wellness within Manitoba, on supporting the mental health needs of mothers, and on preventing family separation. In her spare time she likes to cozy up with a good bookand some tea, or go on hikes with her dog.


Chhavvy Narendra

 Chhavvy is entering her first year of the MA program in Developmental Psychology. Her previous research experience largely involved the examination of acute stress responses in caregiver-child dyads, via electrocardiography and impedance cardiography measures of cardiac physiology during laboratory assessments. Her primary research interests surround understanding how caregiver-child relationship quality impacts children’s psychophysiological development. Her Master’s thesis, which is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, proposes to study the unique impact of social support on young children by examining children’s electroencephalogram physiology following an acute stressor. Outside of school, Chhavvy enjoys listening to, and learning to sing, music in various languages and spending time with family and friends.

headshots_spierceShayna Pierce

Shayna is in her second year of the MA program in Clinical Psychology. Shayna’s previous work has focused on the information needs of women in the perinatal period. She is interested in researching the effect of miscarriage, infertility, or traumatic labour and delivery on perinatal anxiety. Shayna’s long-term goal in the Clinical Psychology Program is to use her research to inform the development of medical practice guidelines for women accessing health services during the perinatal period. When not doing school-related activities, Shayna enjoys spending time travelling, hiking, or camping with friends.


Rachel Roy

Rachel completed her Honours Psychology degree at the University of Manitoba under the supervision of Dr. Toby Martin in the area of Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA). She has since had many volunteer and work opportunities in the area of ABA and with individuals with developmental disabilities. After graduation she worked as an Autism Tutor at St. Amant where she ran programming assisting young children with skill acquisition in relation to school readiness. In addition to her ABA research background, for the last two years Rachel has worked as the research coordinator for the Strategies for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) Chronic Pain Network at the University of Manitoba under the supervision of Dr. Renée El-Gabalawy, and is the acting manager of Dr. El-Gabalawy’s lab (the Health, Anxiety and Trauma lab). She is currently involved in several chronic pain research projects examining the efficacy of a variety of treatments for chronic pain as well as clinical database development upon which future research will be conducted.


Kaeley Simpson

Kaeley is in her second year of the MA program in School Psychology at the University of Manitoba. Kaeley’s research focuses on promoting family well-being and supporting the mental health and service needs of parents and their children. Her Master’s thesis research, which is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council examines online social support forum usage of mothers with depression and how engaging in online communities impacts maternal mental health, well-being, and self-compassion.

headshots_sstienwandt.jpeg Shaelyn Stienwandt

Shaelyn holds a Master’s degree in School Psychology and is beginning her first year of the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at the University of Manitoba. Shaelyn’s research interests and previous work examines dyadic parent-child interactions and their impact on the intergenerational transmission of psychopathology. Shaelyn is also passionate about supporting families through parent skills training as they navigate various aspects of their child’s development. During her free time in the summer, you can find Shaelyn golfing, backcountry camping, or on the lake. In the winter she enjoys trips to the mountains to hit the slopes on her snowboard with friends and family.

Affiliated Graduate Students

headshots_lberardLindsay Berard

Lindsay is a PhD Candidate in the Clinical Psychology program. Working under the advisement of Dr. Corey Mackenzie, Lindsay’s research has explored the process of psychological help-seeking, to better understand when and how individuals come into the mental health system, to identify ways the health system can better support individual needs. Within the Hearts and Minds Lab, Lindsay has contributed to the development and facilitation of the parent skills training programs. A mom herself, Lindsay is passionate about working with mothers and parents to enable them to access the support they need during the perinatal period and while navigating the changes and challenges that come during parenthood.

headshot_lgoekeLara Penner-Goeke

Lara is in her final year of an Honours Psychology degree at the University of Winnipeg and a research coordinator for the BEAM project. Her research interests include examining the intergenerational transmission of psychopathology and evaluating parenting interventions, particularly for families facing additional life stressors. In addition to her work in the Hearts and Minds lab, Lara is a research assistant for the Trans Youth Can! project, a national study examining medical, family and social outcomes for transgender youth seeking clinical care. In her spare time, Lara can be found outside hiking and canoeing with friends, family and a dog or two!

headshot_krollinsKathryn Rollins

Kathryn is a Combined MCISc/PhD student in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Western Ontario. Her research focuses on parent-led intervention for children who are late-to-talk and how early language interventions influence parent-child interactions. Kathryn previously received a CHRIM Summer Studentship and an Undergraduate Research Award for her work in the Hearts and Minds Lab. When not in front of her laptop, Kathryn can be found enjoying the many outdoor adventures Manitoba has to offer with her family and friends.


Marlee Salisbury

Marlee is currently at PhD student in Clinical Psychology at York University, who continues to collaborate on research in the Hearts & Minds Lab. Her primary research interest is in understanding how early life stress affects social-emotional development and attachment, particularly in children who are at risk for intergenerational trauma and mental illness. The long-term goal of Marlee’s research is to inform clinical practice and interventions for managing the psychological impact of chronic stress in early life. Aside from her clinical research, Marlee is a self-professed cat lady and professional thrifter!

Lab Coordinator

profile_AllysonPaton Allyson Paton

Allyson obtained her Honours degree in Psychology at the University of Manitoba. She has been with the Hearts and Minds lab since 2019 and started as the lab coordinator in Summer of 2021. Her previous research focused on adapting a stressor paradigm for use in virtual settings and the impact of maternal depression on children’s stress system reactivity and recovery. Her research interests include the impact of childhood adversity on development and the intergenerational impacts of mental health.

Project Coordinators

headshot_lboninLynette Bonin

Lynette Bonin recently completed her undergraduate psychology honors thesis on maternal dyadic interactions and child stress physiology. Lynette’s lab experience has included creating parenting materials, conducting child assessments, childcare, and video coding. She has more recently been involved with collaborating on contactless assessments and Indigenous youth wellness research. Lynette is currently completing her double major in theatre and studying as a playwright with the Manitoba Theatre Centre. She is interested in cooking, drama-based research, creating theatre, and environmental issues.


Sydney Levasseur-Puhach

Sydney is entering her final year of an undergraduate Honours degree in Psychology at the University of Manitoba and plans to pursue a Master’s in Clinical Psychology in 2022. She is focused on research concerning Indigenous child and family wellness and culturally safe research methodology. She has been a member of the Hearts and Minds lab since May 2019 where she is supported in her research endeavors. Sydney hopes to continue her career in community mental health care and maintain a connection to her traditional Anishinaabe roots.

profile_KaileyPennerKailey Penner

Kailey recently completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology and plans to continue her studies as a masters student in grad school. Kailey is interested in mental health promotion for children, youth and families. In her spare time, she likes to play with her dog, do puzzles and watch Netflix.

profile_NicoleTongolNicole Tongol

Nicole is currently pursuing an undergraduate Psychology Honours degree at the University of Manitoba. Her research interests include stress in the context of family systems, self-esteem, child resilience, and barriers to family well-being and service access. Her long-term goals are to research family mental health and treatment efficacy, particularly for underrepresented populations. She greatly enjoys coordinating and supporting multiple studies in the lab. Additionally, Nicole works in the SAID lab, and volunteers for A&O Support Services and Kids Help Phone. Nicole enjoys playing with her cat, drawing, crocheting, and gaming with friends.

Undergraduate Students

Madeline Belows (Undergraduate Research Award recipient)

Janelle Bobula (Undergraduate Research Award recipient)

Caelan Budhoo

Allie Conway

Cynthia Cote (Undergraduate Research Award recipient)

Meghan Cowley

Kyra Cebula

Rachel Cluett

Victoria Gutscher (Honours 2022)

Isabelle Hadley

Tara Haji Abbasi

Julia Hall

Angela Jagnyziak

Ragheeba Khan

Avaline Konkin

Nadine Maranan

Michael Newman

Karen Ng (PURE Award recipient; Honours 2022)

Chester Nguyen

Enameka Parhar

Danial Peirson (Honours 2022)

Sherry Peters (Honour 2022)

Diana Prince (Honours 2022)

Sydney Puhach (Honours 2022; Undergraduate Research Award recipient)

Thomas Rawliuk (Honours 2022)

Samantha Steele-Mitchell (Honors 2022)

Louise Andrea Torre (Honours 2022)

Lexie Tencha

Nicole Tongol (Honours 2022 with Dr. Jessica Cameron)

Kaitlin Zeiler (Honours 2022)

Gillian Zinko (Honours 2022)

Lab Alumni

Ashley Allan (Honours 2020)

Heidi Barkman (Honours 2020)

Alanna Beyak (Honours 2021)

Lynette Bonin (Honours 2020)

Daniella Castro (Honours 2020)

Chantal Delaquis (Honours 2020; Undergraduate Research Award recipient)

Barbie Jain (Honours 2021)

Lauren Kaminski (Graduate student)

Elbereth Luo (Honours 2021 with Dr. Toby Martin; Emerging Leader Award recipient)

Carly McFall (Honours 2020)

Braeden Mitchell (Honours 2021)

Chhavvy Narendra (Honours 2021)

Allyson Paton (Honours 2021; Undergraduate Research Award recipient)

Kailey Penner (Honours 2021)

Kathryn Rollins (Undergraduate Research Award recipient)

Marlee Salisbury (Masters 2021)

Julia Sulymka (Honours 2021)

Trevyna William (Honours 2021)