Areas of study

Students in the vision science graduate program at uWaterloo's School of Optometry and Vision Science specialize in one of the following areas:

Students will work with one or more faculty supervisors in their chosen area(s).

In addition to this page, several of the faculty and research groups have their own websites: Research and lab groups.

Description of areas of study and faculty

Healthcare, education and delivery

Research in health and bioinformatics, medical education and service delivery, standards of care, service quality and delivery, distance education and innovative continuing education programs, professional communication, epidemiology and clinical research.



The advancement of understanding of the normal and abnormal development, structure and function of the ocular and visual sensory and effector/motor nervous components and the impact of neural senescence.


Ocular biology and pathophysiology

The advancement of understanding of the eye and adnexa structure, physiology, disease and toxicology using micro and macroscopic imaging and molecular & biological system techniques.


Technology and optics

Basic and applied research in the areas of fundamental optics, visual correction, contact lenses and material science, ophthalmic and vision standards (including visual ergonomics), imaging, instrument development, assistive devices and soft metrology.


Faculty research interests

"¶" indicates an Approved Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (ADDS)

Please feel free to contact faculty directly for more information about their research, or the equipment available in their lab. Note that faculty do not accept a student until a formal application has been made.

Christian, Lisa, BSc (Queen's), OD (Illinois), FCOVD, FAAO

Associate Clinical Professor; Associate Director, Clinical Education

  • Healthcare education and communication
  • Interprofessional education and collaboration
  • Amblyopia
  • Binocular Vision
  • Pediatric vision care

¶ Choh, VivianBSc (Toronto), MSc (Toronto), PhD (Waterloo)

Associate Professor; Associate Director, Research

  • The optics, molecular structure and function of the crystalline lens during accommodation
  • Molecular and cellular changes mediating and following refractive error development and retinal ganglion cell death
  • Development of neuroprotective strategies following retinal ganglion cell death

Dalton, Kristine OD (Waterloo), MSc (Waterloo), PhD (Aston University), MCOptom, FAAO, FBCLA

Associate Professor

  • Clinical aspects of optometric practice, particularly those related to athletic performance and traumatic brain injury, including refractive error correction, binocular vision, vision therapy, performance-enhancement vision training, and multidisciplinary management of patient care.
  • Understanding the role of functional aspects of vision performance in relation to sports performance, traumatic brain injury rehabilitation, and Paralympic classification for athletes with vision impairment.

Furtado, Nadine, BSc (McGill), MSc (SUNY), OD (SUNY), FAAO

Associate Clinical Professor; Head, Ocular Disease & Imaging Service

  • Public Health - access to care and healthcare system efficiency
  • Telehealth - remote delivery of healthcare locally and globally
  • Health Informatics – use of AI and machine learning to optimize the diagnosis and management of ocular disease
  • Ocular Disease & Ophthalmic Imaging
  • Interprofessional Education and Collaboration

¶ Hovis, Jeff K.OD, MSc (Ohio State), PhD (Indiana)

Associate Professor

  • Binocular color mixing
  • Modeling normal and abnormal human color vision
  • Testing for color vision deficiencies
  • Occupational vision standards.

Hrynchak, Patricia, OD (Waterloo), MScCH(HPTE) (Toronto), FAAO, DipOE

Clinical Professor

  • The scholarship of optometric education
  • Public Health
  • Healthcare service delivery

¶ Hudson, ChristopherBSc (Hons), PhD (Aston University), MCOptom, PgCUT (University of Ulster), FAAO


  • The development of non-invasive psychophysical and objective techniques to improve the clinical monitoring of retinal and systemic disease and the evaluation of new techniques in a clinical setting
  • The relationship between early visual function loss and morphological retinal disturbance
  • Diabetic retinopathy, macular edema, age-related macular degeneration, primary open-angle glaucoma
  • Neurodegenerative disease and the eye; Alzheimer’s disease/mild cognitive impairment, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cerebrovascular disease, fonto-temporal degeneration, Parkinson’s disease.
  • Clinical psychophysics; automated perimetry, colour vision, short-wavelength pathway sensitivity, frequency-of-seeing, signal detection theory, cognitive function
  • Ocular imaging techniques; scanning laser, tomography, laser Doppler, retinal oximetry, retinal oxygen delivery, angiography, spectral domain optical coherence tomography, retinal morphology, retinal sub-layer segmentation
  • Ocular/retinal hemodynamics; blood flow, vascular reactivity, ocular perfusion pressure, blood gas perturbation, autoregulation

Hunter, Jennifer, BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD (all Waterloo)

Associate Professor

  • Adaptive Optics
  • Mechanisms of light-induced retinal damage
  • Non-invasive fluorescence imaging techniques to study retinal function in healthy and diseased eyes

¶ Hutchings, NatalieBSc (Hons), MCOptom, PhD (Aston University)

Associate Professor

  • Retinal imaging, psychophysical assessment of visual function
  • Statistical methods for clinical interpretation of psychophysical data, visual fields, continuing optometric education.

¶ Irving, Elizabeth L., OD, MSc, PhD (all Waterloo)


  • Oculomotor development and binocular vision
  • Refractive development
  • Animal models of myopia
  • New methods of visual assessment
  • Patient eye care knowledge and education
  • Environmental adaptation of the eye and visual system
  • Spaceflight associated neuro-ocular syndrome
  • Vision and gaze-behaviour in aviation

Jones, Deborah, BSc, FCOptom, FAAO

Clinical Professor

  • Myopia control
  • Pediatric vision
  • Eye care in Indigenous communities
  • Healthcare education and communication

¶ Jones, Lyndon W., BSc (Hons) (Wales), PhD (Aston University), DSc (Aston University), FCOptom (Wales), DipCLP, DipOrth, FAAO, FIACLE, FBCLA

Professor (Optometry, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics)

  • Contact lens material development and testing

  • Dry eye

  • Impact of material composition on tear film deposition

  • Impact of care systems on ocular comfort and in vivo wettability

  • Myopia control

  • Ocular drug delivery

  • Ocular response to daily and extended wear of contact lenses

  • Role of the tear film in contact lens wear

Kelly, Krista

Assistant Professor, MA and PhD (York University)

  • Effects of atypical visual experience on the developing brain
  • Ocular motor dysfunction in amblyopia and strabismus
  • Functional consequences of common pediatric eye conditions (amblyopia, strabismus, anisometropia, cataract) on reading and motor skills

¶ Lakshminarayanan, Vasudevan

Professor (Optometry, Physics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Systems Design Engineering)

  • Classical optics – aberration theory, optical systems, optical fibres, ophthalmic and visual optics, etc.
  • image processing  algorithms
  • AI/deep learning/machine learning for  ophthalmic disease diagnosis
  • Visual perception -   psychophysics, models
  • Quantum information and computing
  • Mathematical methods in optical science and engineering
  • History of Optics
  • Science policy

¶ Leat, Susan J.BSc (Manchester), PhD (Cardiff), FAAO, FCOptom,

Professor Emerita

  • Low Vision - the effectiveness and models of Low Vision Rehabilitation; assessment of visual function and development of assessment tools; visual function in post-stroke; glare disability
  • Infant and child vision - acuity testing; visual development; visual processing skills and reading; correction of refractive error; HARS syndrome
  • Special populations - accommodation; vision assessment
  • Aging and Vision - falls and vision; visual attention; falls and vision in hospital populations

McCulloch, Daphne, OD (Waterloo), PhD (Indiana),


  • Normal and abnormal visual development
  • Visual electrophysiology

Murphy, Paul, BSc (Hons) (Cardiff), MBA (South Wales), PhD (Glasgow Caledonian), FCOptom, FAAO, FBCLA, FEAOO,


  • Anterior ocular surface including contact lens wear, tear film physiology, ocular surface temperature, corneal epithelium and corneal sensation
  • Instrumentation; development of new clinical and research instruments including evaporimeter, corneal aesthesiometer, ocular surface thermography
  • Bibliometrics; use of bibliometrics in research comparisons
  • Workforce studies including attitude of optometry students to studying optometry, and expectations/aspirations for future career

Ngo, William, OD (Waterloo), PhD (Waterloo)

Assistant Professor

  • Human clinical testing related to the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye disease and meibomian gland dysfunction.
  • Cellular physiology and their response to stress and damage.
  • Discovery of drugs and biologics for modulating inflammation.  

¶ Simpson, Trefford, L.Dip.Optom (Tech. Wit., South Africa), MS, PhD (Houston)


Corneal sensitivity related especially to contact lens wear, binocular visual function, especially inhibitory binocular interactions. The psychophysics of parallel visual processing. Psychophysical and electrophysiological clinical visual tests.

Thompson, Benjamin, BSc (Sussex), PhD (Sussex)


  • Human visual cortex development and plasticity
  • Amblyopia
  • Binocular vision
  • Functional MRI
  • Non-invasive brain stimulation
  • Ocular imaging and visual rehabilitation