Dr. Celia Laur

Celia completed her PhD at the University of Waterloo in the School of Public Health and Health Systems under the supervision of Professor Heather Keller. Her work focused on understanding healthcare professionals’ perspectives on implementing, spreading and sustaining nutrition care activities in hospitals across Canada. To apply the lessons learned to another context, she has also explored how Family Health Teams started to set up nutrition screening. Celia is a Registered Public Health Nutritionist in the UK, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Life Member of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge. She completed her BSc Honours in Health Sciences at Carleton University in Ottawa, a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education at the University of Dundee, Scotland, and a Masters in Public Health Nutrition at the University of Southampton, UK.

PhD graduate, 2019

Thesis title: Implementing new nutrition care practices in healthcare: learning from the experience of health professionals in hospitals and Family Health Teams

Sarah Awwad

Sarah Awwad is a Registered Dietitian who worked in long-term care homes in Ontario and was inspired through her professional experience to pursue a MSc in nutrition and aging. She completed her MSc in physiology and nutrition in the Department of Kinesiology in 2019. Sarah's thesis project focused on both residents’ and care staffs' perceptions of using 3D printed pureed food in Ontario’s long-term care homes.

MSc graduate, 2019

Thesis title: An Exploration of Residents' and Care Partners' Perspectives on 3D Printed Pureed Food in Long-Term Care Homes in Ontario

Sabrina Iuglio

Sabrina completed her MSc in physiology and nutrition in the Department of Kinesiology in 2017. During her time in the Nutrition and Aging lab, she was involved in the Making the Most of Mealtimes (M3) project run by Professor Heather Keller and colleagues. Sabrina's thesis project focused on investigating the mealtime dining experience in Long Term Care (LTC) to explore how the environment can improve food intake and quality of life of residents.

MSc graduate, 2017

Thesis title: Dining Environments in Long Term Care: Prevalence of Features and Construct Validity of Two Measures

Vanessa Vucea

Vanessa completed her MSc in physiology and nutrition in the Department of Kinesiology in 2017. During her time in the Nutrition and Aging lab, she was involved in the Making the Most of Mealtimes (M3) project. Vanessa’s thesis project specifically focused on modified texture diets in Long Term Care (LTC). The aim of her work has helped determine the prevalence of modified texture diets in LTC, the nutrient quality of planned menus for modified texture diets, the consumption of modified texture diets, and the association between malnutrition and modified texture diets. This work contributes to an understanding of the role modified texture diets play in food intake and malnutrition among residents living in LTC and has informed current practices and interventions. 

MSc graduate, 2017

Thesis title: Modified Texture Diet and Long Term Care: A Secondary Data Analysis of Making the Most of Mealtimes (M3) Project

Tara McNicholl

Tara completed her MSc in physiology and nutrition in the Kinesiology department in 2017. During her time in the Nutrition and Aging lab, Tara was involved in the “More-2-Eat” project lead by Professor Heather Keller and colleagues. Tara’s thesis project investigated frailty and malnutrition among older adults in acute care to predict and reduce length of hospital stay using frailty measures such as handgrip strength and the five meter walk, and to determine predictors for quality of life post discharge.

MSc graduate, 2017

Thesis title: Frailty and Health Related Outcomes in Acute Care

Jimmy McCullough

Jimmy completed his MSc in physiology and nutrition in the Department of Kinesiology. He tested the validity and reliability of tools meant to identify poor food intake and barriers to intake in hospital patients. He also worked on other aspects of this hospital research, including the Integrated Nutrition Pathway for Acute Care.

MSc graduate, 2016

Thesis title: My Meal Intake Tool (MMIT) and the Mealtime Audit Tool (MAT) - Criterion Validity and Inter-rater Reliability Testing of two Novel Tools for Improving Food Intake in Acute Care

Kaylen Pfisterer

Kaylen completed her MSc in physiology and nutrition in the Department of Kinesiology. Her project investigated vitamin B12 status in Ontario Long Term Care (LTC) homes. Vitamin B12 deficiency may impact quality of life, especially in older adults, so the aim of this work was to determine the prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency at admission to LTC (i.e., What proportion of residents have a vitamin B12 deficiency?), describe the state of policies and procedures in place for vitamin B12 testing and treatment in Ontario LTC homes (i.e., What are LTC homes doing about it?), and use the results to inform best practice guidelines for an industry partner and leader in providing excellent quality of care in LTC. Kaylen worked in collaboration with the Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging (RIA) to answer these practice-relevant questions.

MSc graduate, 2016

Thesis title: Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Older Adults Living in Ontario Long-Term Care Homes: Protocols, Testing Procedures and Prevalence

Lisa Pizzola

Lisa completed her MSc in the Department of Nutrition at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

She completed a research project with the Nutrition and Aging Lab under the supervision of Professor Keller from 2012-2013 studying the validity and reliability of a tool to assess mealtime satisfaction among retirement home residents. 

Manuscript: Construct Validation and Test–Retest Reliability of a Mealtime Satisfaction Questionnaire for Retirement Home Residents

Ivy Lam

Ivy is a Registered Dietitian with an MSc in physiology and nutrition in the Department of Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo received under the direction of Professor Heather Keller. Her thesis project investigated vitamin and mineral interventions in Long Term Care (LTC), identifying issues and opportunities for improvement. Her research accomplished phase one of a multi-phase study, with the overall research objective of investigating the potential for micronutrient malnutrition in LTC and identification and development of food-first strategies to improve micronutrient intake. This work provides foundation for a micronutrient food fortification strategy to address malnutrition in LTC.

Besides food and nutrition, Ivy also has a keen interest in culinary arts and has taken Culinary Arts and Food Writing at George Brown College. She has a passion for food in every aspect: from production, to preparation, to consumption, to digestion and absorption (and the health benefits and consequences).

Ivy authored several research articles focusing on strategies to meet vitamin and mineral needs for older adults, and the importance of mealtimes and eating together for older adults.

MSc graduate, 2015

Thesis title: Micronutrients in Long-Term Care (LTC): Issues and opportunities for improvement