sherilee harper

EcoHealth Research with Indigenous Communities


New Publication! Water quality and health in northern Canada

Congratulations to Carlee Wright on her first first-author publication!  Carlee worked with the Rigolet Inuit Community Government to examine potential associations between stored drinking water and acute gastrointestinal illness in Labrador Inuit. Continue reading


Indigenous Maternal Health Research in Uganda

Written by Julia Bryson, Undergraduate Researcher

PhD Candidate Kate Patterson and Research Assistants Julia Bryson, Mackenzie Wilson, and Emma Windfeld, along with two core IHACC students Grace Asaasira and Phiny Smith of Makerere University, have been working in Uganda researching maternal health among Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Kanungu District. Here is an update on their work and adventures! Continue reading


Anna Reports from Russia: The Collaborative Arctic Summer School in Epidemiology

Written by Anna Manore, MSc Candidate

After many long flights, I landed in Arkhangelsk, Russia, to begin a week of learning with the Collaborative Arctic Summer School in Epidemiology (CASE). CASE is a meeting of epidemiology faculty and students from the United States, Canada, Norway, and Russia. It’s a great opportunity to meet with other researchers working in Arctic contexts, and I’m fortunate because this was my second time attending! A few other CASE participants from Alaska had been on my flight from Moscow, and after waiting for the rest of the participants’ flights to arrive, we set off on a 3.5-hour drive to Golubino. Continue reading


Indigenous Maternal Health Research in Uganda

Written by Emma Windfeld, Research Assistant

Kate Patterson, a PhD student at the University of Guelph, is completing her thesis on maternal health among Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. Kate and three research assistants—Julia Bryson, Mackenzie Wilson, and Emma Windfeld—are conducting fieldwork in Buhoma, where they will spend a total of five weeks. When they arrived in Buhoma two weeks ago they were welcomed into the “Monkey House,” which they are very happy to call home for their time here. The Monkey House is a quiet and welcoming accommodation built on a hill above Bwindi Community Hospital. It is named after the mischievous red-tailed monkeys that scamper around the roof and swing through the trees that surround the house, and that occasionally cause a stir by fighting with the chickens that roam the backyard. Kate, Julia, Mackenzie, and Emma often enjoy working on the back porch but have to be careful that the monkeys don’t snatch their pens or phones.

For the past two weeks here in Buhoma, the four researchers have traveled by car or on foot to nearby communities in Uganda’s Kanungu District to gather maternal health data through surveys of the local women. Continue reading


Nia King wins both top undergraduate convocation awards!

Congratulations to Nia King for winning the top undergraduate convocation awards at the University of Guelph:

  • Winegard Medal: “The Winegard Medal is the University of Guelph’s top convocation award to an undergraduate student. Named for former University of Guelph president Dr. William Winegard, the medal is awarded in recognition of both academic achievement and contributions to university and community life.”
  • Governor General Medal: “Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third Governor General after Confederation, created these Academic Medals in 1873 to encourage academic excellence across the nation. Over the years, they have become the most prestigious award that students in Canadian schools can receive.”

Continue reading


The Harper Lab welcomes Teddy to Guelph!

Written by Chloe Zivot, Undergraduate Research Assistant

It’s with great pleasure that we welcome Teddy Kisembo to the Harper Lab as she completes a course in EcoHealth at the University of Guelph this summer. While she has only been here one month, her energy and knowledge have brightened the department since her arrival, and we look forward to having her here with us until July! Continue reading


Congratulations to Laura Jane for winning a Vanier Scholarship!

Sincerest congratulations to Laura Jane Weber for winning a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, one of Canada’s most prestigious scholarships!

Laura Jane is a PhD Candidate in Epidemiology and International Development Studies at the University of Guelph.  She is working with Northern partners to explore the role of place in Inuit maternal health and wellness.  Her advisory committee includes Drs. Harper, Dewey, Cunsolo, Healey, and Humphries.

Click here to read the news story. Continue reading


Lessons from the Labrador Research Forum: Truth, Respect and Reciprocity, Humility, & (Re)framing Research as (Re)conciliation

Written by Alexandra Sawatzky, PhD Candidate

Between April 30 and May 3, Jacquie, Mel, and I were privileged to attend the first biennial Labrador Research Forum in the Upper Lake Melville Region of Labrador. This gathering involved the communities of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Sheshatshiu First Nation, and North West River, and engaged the three Indigenous nations of this region: the Innu, Nunatsiavut Inuit, as well as NunatuKavut Inuit. Over 150 delegates, including researchers, government representatives, community leaders and organizations, and the broader public came together to engage in dialogue and co-learning surrounding research in the North, by the North, for the North. Continue reading