Alana Cattapan

Assistant Professor, Canada Research Chair
Alana Cattapan profile picture.

Areas of Specialization

  • Gender and public policy
  • Reproductive justice
  • Public engagement
  • Community-engaged research
  • Health policy and biotechnology
  • Canadian politics


BA (Ottawa), MA (Toronto), PhD (York)

Alana Cattapan is the Canada Research Chair in the Politics of Reproduction (Tier II) and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. She studies gendered inclusion in policy making, identifying links between the state, the commercialization of the body, and reproductive labour.

Before joining the University of Waterloo, she was an Assistant Professor at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan. Prior to that appointment, she was a CIHR Postdoctoral Fellow at Novel Tech Ethics in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University, focusing on interest group organizing for infertility care, and the governance of reproductive tissues.

She has published peer-reviewed articles in Studies in Political Economy, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Public Affairs Quarterly, the Canadian Journal of Political Science, and the Journal of Medical Ethics, among others. She is also the co-editor of Surrogacy in Canada: Critical Perspectives in Law and Policy (Irwin Law, 2018).

Current Research

Dr. Cattapan is investigating the politics of reproduction in multiple ways, including the emergence of the concept of “women of reproductive age,” empirical research with surrogates and egg donors in Canada, and community-engaged work with Sanctum 1.5, a prenatal home for women at high-risk of contracting HIV/AIDS in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. These projects draw together a range of methodological approaches, using a combination of archival research, interviews, surveyes, talking circles, focus groups, socio-medical file review, and discourse analysis.

Current grants

  • 2022-2024: Elective Egg Freezing in Canada: Towards Appropriate Regulation Governing Consent. SSHRC Insight Development Grant. Co-Applicant
  • 2021-2024: Ova Obscura: Egg Donors in Canada. SSHRC Insight Grant. Principal Investigator.
  • 2020-2024: Sanctum 1.5’s Hope Through Strength. CIHR Project Grant. Co-Principal Investigator.
  • 2019-2024: Surrogates’ Voices: Exploring Surrogates’ Experiences and Insights. SSHRC Insight Grant, Co-Applicant.

Selected Publications

Levac, Leah, Alana Cattapan, Tobin Leblanc-Haley, Laura Pin, Ethel Tungohan, and Sarah Marie Wiebe. “Transforming Public Policy with Engaged Scholarship: Better Together.” Policy and Politics 50.3 (2022): 403-424.

Cattapan, Alana, Julianne Acker-Verney, Alexandra Dobrowolsky, Tammy Findlay, and April Mandrona. “Public Engagement in a Time of Confinement.” Canadian Public Policy 46.S3 (2020): S287-S299.

Moore, Samantha and Alana Cattapan. “Women’s Reproductive Health and Failure Speak.” Canadian Medical Association Journal. 192.12 (March 2020): E325-6.

Bisaillon, Laura, Alana Cattapan, Lorena Anton, Annelieke Driessen, et. al. “Doing Academia Differently: I Needed Self-Help Less Than I Needed a Fair Society.” Feminist Studies 46.1 (2020): 130-157.

Cattapan, Alana. “Medical Necessity and the Politics of In Vitro Fertilization in Ontario.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 53.1 (2020): 61-77.

Tessaro, Lara, Alana Cattapan, Jennie Haw, and Roxanne Mykitiuk. “Toxic Conceptions: The Assessment and Regulation of Male-Mediated Transgenerational Effects of Chemical Exposures.”  Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 31.2 (2019): 346-365.

Baylis, Françoise and Alana Cattapan. “Personalized Medicine and the Politics of Human Genome Transfer.” In Personalised Medicine, Individual Choice, and the Common Good. Britta van Beers, Sigrid Sterckx, and Donna Dickenson, eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2018. pp.17-36.

Cattapan, Alana and Dave Snow. “Everything and Nothing: Regulating Embryo Research in Canada.” New Genetics and Society 36.1 (2017): 43-65.

Cattapan, Alana. “Precarious Labour: On Egg Donation as Work.” Studies in Political Economy 97.3 (2016): 234-252.

Cattapan, Alana and Quinn DuPont. “Moving Forward, Looking Back: Taking Canadian Feminist Histories Online.” Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture, and Social Justice 37.2 (2016): 225-237.

Cattapan, Alana. “Good Eggs? Evaluating Consent Forms for Egg Donation.” Journal of Medical Ethics 42.7 (2016): 455-459.

Cattapan, Alana and Ashley Doyle. “Patient Decision Making on the Disposition of Surplus Cryopreserved Embryos in Canada.” Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada 38.1 (2016): 60-66.

Cattapan, Alana and Françoise Baylis. “Frozen in Perpetuity? ‘Abandoned Embryos’ in Canada.” Reproductive Biomedicine and Society Online 1.2 (2015):104-112.

Petropanagos Angel, Alana Cattapan, Françoise Baylis, and Art Leader. “Social egg freezing: risk, benefits and other considerations.” Canadian Medical Association Journal. 187.9 (2015): 666-669.

For a full list of publications and activity please see Dr. Cattapan's Curriculum Vitae (PDF) .