Lab Members

Femke Hoekstra

Femke Hoekstra, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Femke earned her PhD at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Her PhD project was part of Rehabilitation, Sports and Active Lifestyle study (ReSpAct-study) and focused on the nationwide implementation of a physical activity promotion program in Dutch rehabilitation care. In November 2017, she started her postdoctoral research with Drs. Heather Gainforth and Kathleen Martin Ginis. Femke’s main research interest focuses on understanding and improving knowledge translation processes, especially in the area of rehabilitation and health promotion. Her research involves studying implementation processes of behavior interventions and trials in real-world settings from different perspectives (organization, professional, and client/patient). Outside research, Femke enjoys running/hiking, cross-country skiing and playing tennis.

Email: Femke Hoekstra || Twitter: @FHoekstra_Groot

Emily Giroux

PhD Student (3rd Year)

Emily earned her MSc with the ABC Lab in 2018, and is currently a 3rd year PhD candidate. Emily’s work focuses on supporting non-profit disability organizations to be able to authentically and equitably engage in research partnerships. Outside of the lab, Emily loves travelling, trying new foods, and spending time with friends and family.

Email: Emily Giroux || Twitter: @emilylizgiroux


Kelsey Wuerstl

PhD Student (1st Year)

Kelsey completed her MSc with the ABC Lab in 2020 and is now a first-year Ph.D. student with the ABC Lab. Through meaningful engagement with the spinal cord injury (SCI) community, Kelsey is interested in improving health promotion for persons with SCI. Kelsey’s research aims to conduct preliminary testing of a theory-based smoking cessation intervention for persons with SCI, using behaviour change theory and an integrated knowledge translation (IKT) approach. In partnership with SCI British Columbia, her research aims to co-develop smoking cessation supports and resources that can be delivered in the community. When Kelsey isn’t at school, she can be found rock climbing, kayaking, or camping in the summer and skiing Big White in the winter.

Email: Kelsey Wuerstl

Alanna Shwed

PhD Student (3rd Year)

Alanna is currently in the third year of her PhD program with the ABC Lab. She is interested in understanding how we can support researchers to implement and maintain quality partnerships to improve the relevance and impact of research findings. Her research aims to investigate and support the uptake of the new IKT Guiding Principles, and to produce and test an evidence-based resource tool to help researchers adopt the guiding principles and engage in partnerships. When she’s not working, Alanna enjoys all activities, but her favourites are swimming and trying out new baked goods.

Email: Alanna Shwed

Christina Skinner, MFA

Research Coordinator

Christina completed both her BA and MFA at UBC Vancouver. As research coordinator in the Applied Behaviour Change Lab, she coordinates a variety projects, including the IKT Guiding Principles project. She has a specific focus and expertise in communication and knowledge translation, with a wealth of experience in global and regional public health policy, research, and promotion, as well as a keen head for marketing and finance. Christina loves to work, but will also take time for the ski hill, running in the woods, drinking tea, remembering to breathe, and dreaming up new strategies for her and her team’s ongoing success.

Email: Christina Skinner

Majidullah Shaikh

Postdoctoral FellowYear)

Maji completed his PhD in sport-based youth development in 2022 and is a SSHRC post-doctoral fellow with the ABC Lab. His main focus of inquiry and action is on advancing intentional and meaningful engagement in research partnerships across the sport sector. In this endeavour, he is collaborating across the North American sport sector with several researchers and knowledge users including administrators, decision- and policy-makers at the local-to-national levels. Maji also consults in the development, implementation, and evaluation of youth sport programming and staff training. He takes a community-engaged approach in collaborating and sharing decision-making with knowledge users to design programs that best meet the needs of their beneficiaries and communities. In and beyond his research, Maji enjoys cycling, travelling, board gaming, karaoke, and spending lots of time zoning out.

Email: Maji Shaikh