The University of Waterloo has a number of faculty prepared to offer expert commentary on various aspects of COVID-19.
Experts can be contacted directly via email and will be available for phone calls or online video conversations (via various methods, to be confirmed with each expert).
If there is a topic not covered by these experts, please continue to reach out to Rebecca Elming, Manager, Media Relations.
The University of Waterloo will endeavour to fill all requests for expert commentary.
Experts available to media:
Chris Bauch: Research chair in the Department of Applied Mathematics who has done extensive research into SARS and the 2009 pandemic influenza. He is a specialist in mathematical and computer modeling of infectious disease outbreaks, vaccination, and social distancing measures.
Privacy and Tracking COVID-19
Urs Hengartner: Professor Hengartner a founding member of the Cryptography, Security, and Privacy research group where he develops security and privacy solutions for mobile platforms with a focus on smartphones. Professor Hengartner can speak to the potential to use cellphones to track the spread of the pandemic and the potential privacy concerns of doing so.
Ian VanderBurgh: Director of the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, one of Canada’s largest organizations devoted entirely to mathematics and computing education, since 2004. The CEMC has created free online resources that cover almost all of the Canadian mathematics curricula.
Lennart Nacke: Professor Nacke is the Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Games Group and can speak to gamification in education and also more broadly, on gaming during times of crisis.
Michael Barnett-Cowan: Professor Barnett-Cowan teaches in the Department of Kinesiology where his focus is virtual reality (VR); he can speak to using VR as a means to stay connected while staying home.
Neil Randall: Professor Randall is Executive Director of the Games Institute; he can speak to how gaming can create positive social connections during the pandemic.
Christine Purdon: Professor Purdon teaches in the Department of Psychology; she can speak to the fear and anxiety people are feeling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
David Moscovitchthe nature and treatment of social anxiety. Professor Moscovitch can speak to fear and anxiety around COVID-19 and effective coping strategies.
Dillon Browne: Professor Browne teaches in the Department of Psychology. He is a clinical psychologist with expertise in family relationships, child behaviour, parenting, and mental health during times of trauma, stress, and economic strife.
Igor Grossmann: Professor Grossmann is the Director of the Wisdom and Culture Lab. Professor Grossman has expertise in cultural and societal change and can speak to emotional regulation and maintaining wisdom in times of uncertainty.
James Danckert: Professor Danckert teaches in the Department of Psychology, he can speak to the issue of boredom in quarantine - which was a significant issue during SARS.
Shana MacDonald: Professor MacDonald teaches in the Department of Communication Arts and is co-founder of the qcollaborative, a feminist research lab situated at the Games Institute which specializes in the relationship between technology and public discourse. Professor MacDonald can discuss how information is flowing across a variety of social media platforms, and how this affects change and impacts the public’s worldview during times of crisis.
Craig Janes: Director of the School of Public Health and Health Systems. Professor Janes can comment on many dimensions of COVID-19, especially the efficacy of social interventions (travel restrictions, quarantines, etc.).
Ellen MacEachen: Professor MacEachen teaches in the School of Public Health and Health Systems and can talk about workplaces and COVID-19. Especially precarious employee workers and how difficult it is for them to admit they are sick and take time off.
George Heckman: Dr. Heckman is a practicing physician specialized in geriatric and internal medicine, and a Professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems. In addition to collaborating closely with Dr. Hirdes on several COVID-19 related projects, he can speak to managing COVID-19 in long-term care homes and in the home care system.
Kelly Grindrod: Professor Grindrod teaches in the School of Pharmacy; she can comment on the necessity of protective equipment for medical professionals and has general expertise in epidemiology.
Peter Hall: Professor Hall teaches in the School of Public Health and Health Systems. Professor Hall can comment behavioral aspects of the COVID-19 spread, including social distancing.
Shannon Majowicz: Professor Majowicz is an infectious disease epidemiologist in the School of Public Health and Health Systems, who worked with the Public Health Agency of Canada prior to joining Waterloo. She could speak to outbreaks, and the decisions of public health, individuals and organizations/institutions around how their guidance is being rolled out, and the nature of public health guidance in general.
Steffanie Scott: Professor Scott teaches in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management. Professor Scott can comment on food security and COVID-19; her work has a particular focus on the Chinese context.
Zahid Butt: Professor Butt teaches in the School of Public Health and Health Systems; he can comment on pandemic preparedness and public health responses to COVID-19 in developed and developing countries. Professor Butt can also discuss how underlying health conditions could impact individual responses to the COVID-19 infection.
Zhenzhong Si: A researcher in the fields of China’s food system and agricultural policy. He is an adjunct researcher in the Department of Geography & Environmental Management. He can speak about wet markets in China in relation to the virus. He can also speak about Chinese people’s everyday experiences of the COVID-19 crisis, and about how they accessed food, as well as policies put in place by the Chinese government to support this.
Brian Dixon: Professor Dixon teaches in the Department of Biology, and teaches the immunology class; he can speak to the immune response to viruses and the development of vaccines.
Jozef Nissimov: Professor Nissimov is a virologist in the Department of Biology; he can speak on the ecology of viruses, virus evolution and the molecular biology of viruses.
Andrew Bauer: Canada Research Chair (in Taxation, Governance and Risk) and Professor, School of Accounting and Finance. Professor Bauer can comment on the use of tax incentives to encourage behaviour or tax relief to lessen financial burden, including measures enacted in Canada following national or global crises.
James Thompson: Professor Thompson teaches finance in the School of Accounting and Finance. Professor Thompson can speak about banks and financial markets in general and as they pertain to COVID-19 more specifically. He can also speak about the role of insurance versus governments when it comes to bearing risk such as that presented by COVID-19.
Jean-Paul Lam: Professor Lam teaches in the Department of Economics. Professor Lam can speak about the economy in general and the decisions of central banks around COVID-19 more specifically.
Sue Horton: University Research Chair and Professor (Health Economics), School of Public Health and Health Systems. Professor Horton can comment on economic effects of health issues, both for high income and low- and middle-income countries. Professor Horton can take a wider international lens, she recently commented on what would happen if an international leader contracted the disease.
Daniel Henstra Centre for International Governance Innovation; he can speak to the governance of complex policy areas such as emergency management at all levels of government.
Emmett Macfarlane: Professor Macfarlane teaches in the Department of Political Science; he can speak to government policy during the pandemic and can offer insight into the constitutional and Charter of Rights implications.
Heather MacDougall: Professor MacDougall is an historian who specializes in the history of disease and health policy. Drawing on research comparing the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic response in Toronto to its experience with SARS in 2003, she is prepared to discuss prevention and the lessons learned from history as they apply to COVID-19.