WHO ARE WE?

The British Columbia Children’s Hospital Research Institute

Dr. Mariana Brussoni 

Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia | Scientist with the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the BC Injury Research & Prevention Unit 

Dr. Mariana Brussoni is a developmental child psychologist who has investigated child injury prevention and children’s outdoor play for 20 years.

Her research focuses on investigating and promoting the importance of outdoor risky play for children’s healthy development and well-being, and measuring the physical, psychosocial and financial impacts of injuries on children, their families and the health care system to better understand injuries in children and youth.

Dr. Brussoni and her interdisciplinary research team work closely with key stakeholders, knowledge users, and community members to promote children’s healthy, active and risky outdoor play. Her work and research findings were featured in over 300 national and international media outlets.

Book Dr. Brussoni as a speaker

Dr. Brussoni is available for speaking engagements such as plenary presentations, lectures, workshops, conferences, interviews, and podcasts. Please provide a minimum of two months notice prior to your event.  

Current Team Members

Christina Han

Research Coordinator

Christina Han is a social science researcher working with Dr. Brussoni as Research Coordinator. She oversees the implementation, management, and data analyses of several research studies in the Brussoni lab, including Playability, ECO, and ECO-RCT. Christina has 10+ years of qualitative research experience and authored over 20 peer-refereed articles (link). She is currently interested in the role of children’s sense of agency and autonomy in their development and well-being.

Dawn Mount

Research Coordinator

Dawn Mount is coordinating the PROmoting Early Childhood Outside (PRO-ECO) project in partnership with the YMCA. She has over 10 years of experience working in pediatric research, focusing on prevention and clinical practice improvements. Dawn’s background is in early childhood education and psychology. She is passionate about community-oriented initiatives that empower children and families to live their best lives.

Julia Zhu

Research Assistant

Julia Zhu is a student from the University of British Columbia, majoring in Human Geography and minoring in Urban Studies. She also has a background in communication design and a passion for urban planning. She is interested in ways children interact with outdoor space and how play interventions can help facilitate and enhance such interactions.

Emily Fox

Research Assistant

Emily Fox is an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia, double majoring in psychology and sociology. She is also a Work Learn Student for the Early Childhood Outside RCT project. She is interested in further understanding the implications reframing risk has on early childhood educators’ comfortability with outdoor play.

Hebah Hussaina

Research Assistant

Hebah Hussaina is a recent graduate from the Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia, completing her BSc. degree in the interdisciplinary studies of neurobiology, psychology, public health and anthropology. She is a Work Learn student on the PRO-ECO project. Hebah’s interests lie in supporting early child development through collaboration, and understanding adult perspectives to further promote healthy child development.

Anchal Kataria

Work Learn Student

Anchal Kataria is an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Chemistry, Life Science, and Earth Science at UBC. She is currently a work learn student at the Brussoni Lab and working on the Pro-ECO project. She is interested in studying the development of pediatric populations and pursuing a career in pediatric healthcare.

Hannah Coo

Work Learn Student

Hannah Coo is a M.Sc. student at the University of British Columbia with the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences. She is involved with the PRO-ECO project. She is interested in researching early childhood educators’ and parental attitudes towards outdoor risky play for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Mathilde Duflos

Postdoctoral Fellow

Mathilde Duflos is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on the grandparent-grandchild relationship and on emotional closeness.
Dr. Duflos is involved in the Grandparent-Grandchild Outdoor Play study where she interviews grandparents about outdoor play with their grandchildren.

Megan Zeni

Graduate Student

Megan Zeni is a PhD student in the Faculty of Education at UBC. Her research interests include developing professional learning communities with in-service teachers to bridge emerging theories with teaching practices that include unstructured outdoor play as a pedagogical approach. Megan has over 20 years of experiences as a professional educator, and currently teaches in a public school outdoor and garden classroom. To learn more about her work, visit: www.meganzeni.com.

Rachel Ramsden

Graduate Student

Rachel Ramsden is a PhD student in the School of Population and Public Health at UBC. She is interested in understanding the movements and behaviors that occur when children partake in unstructured play in order to examine the design of outdoor environments. Rachel is also the Child Care Planner at the City of Richmond, where she facilitates the design of indoor and outdoor municipal early child development settings.

Breann Corcoran

Graduate Student

Breann Corcoran is a PhD student in the School of Population and Public Health at UBC.  She has 15 years of experience working with local health authorities in BC in community development and community engagement roles.  She currently works part-time with BC Cancer’s Screening & Prevention team and is particularly interested in neighbourhood design to support healthy child development.  More recently Breann’s work has focused on the use of shade as a design tool for skin cancer prevention in early childhood settings.  

Ivana Lexa-French

Graduate Student

Ivana Lexa-French is a graduate student at UBC’s Department of Landscape Architecture. Raised by American artists in Denmark, she grew up valuing multiculturalism and creativity. She completed her undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, and thereafter spent ten years teaching in Laos before moving to Vancouver. Ivana’s current focus is on playscapes and designing with Indigenous ways of knowing.

Willow Leahy

Volunteer

Willow Leahy is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying Kinesiology at Queen’s University. She is also pursuing a certificate in business and has directed her research interests toward the study of disabilities and physical activity intervention. Willow is aiding Dr. Brussoni and her research team in the investigation of the importance of risky play for the positive development of children with exceptionalities.

Past Team Members

Allison Ezzat

Graduate Student

Physical Activity Participation and Health-Related Outcomes in Adolescent Females following Sport-Related Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury: A Mixed Methods Study

Amalie Lambert

Graduate Student

Playability Study (PLAY)

Amy Schneeberg

Graduate Student

Burden of Injury Study (BOI)

Andrew Wilson

Research Assistant

Playability Study (PLAY)

Erica Zallen

Research Assistant

Burden of Injury Study (BOI)

Fritha Munday

Graduate Student

Early Childhood Outside Study (ECO)

Genevieve Creighton

Graduate Student

 Father’s Injury Prevention (FIP)

George Ko

Medical Student

Burden of Injury Study (BOI)

Grace Chan

Medical Student

Child Home Safety Study and Mothers’ Risk Engagement and Protection Study (REPS)

Hannah Zimmering

Volunteer

Burden of Injury Study (BOI)

Janae Vlaar

Graduate Student

Playability Study (PLAY)

Jaspreet Dhillon

Work Learn Student

Playability Study (PLAY) and Go Play Outside Study (GPO)

Jessica Flores

Graduate Student

The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) and ED Injuries’ Psychological Dimensions Study

Kathryn Soo

Work Learn Student

Playability Study (PLAY), Go Play Outside Study (GPO), Early Childhood Outside (ECO), and Early Childhood Outside RCT (ECO-RCT)

Keeva Lupton

Medical Student 

Burden of Injury Study (BOI)

Kendra Wong

Work Learn Student

Child Home Safety Study, Fathers’ Risks Engagement and Protection Study (REPS), and Burden of Injury Study (BOI)

Kerry Walker

Medical Student 

Validity and Reliability of the EQ5D among a Paediatric Injury Population Study and Burden of Injury Study (BOI) 

Lise Olsen

Graduate Student

Burden of Injury Study (BOI) & Father’s Injury Prevention (FIP)

Matthew Hanna

Work Learn Student

Aging Road Warriors: An Emerging Public Health Concern

Michelle O’Kane

Graduate Student

Playability study (PLAY)

Morgan Yates

Graduate Student

Playability Study (PLAY)

Nelson Luk

Volunteer

Burden of Injury Study (BOI) and Fathers on Child’s Play Masculinities in Rural and Urban Canada

Ricky Zhang

Volunteer

Examining Childhood Risk Appraisal Measurements using Electroencephalography

Sami Kruse

Research Coordinator

Burden of Injury Study (BOI)

Sara Brunelle

Graduate Student

Play worth remembering I

Sarah Foster

Medical Student 

Urban Versus Rural Fathers’ Ideas of Risk and Risk Prevention

Tak Ishikawa

Graduate Student

Go Play Outside! Study (GPO)

Tina Cheng

Volunteer

Early Childhood Outside Study (ECO)

Vincent Li

Work Learn Student

Playability Study (PLAY)

Yingyi Lin

Research Assistant

Playability Study (PLAY) & Go Play Outside! Study (GPO)

For Potential Students

Become a Graduate Student

Dr. Brussoni supervises graduate students through the UBC School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) and the Experimental Medicine Program. If you are interested in pursuing graduate studies, you can check program requirements through SPPH or Experimental Medicine.

Become a Work Study Student or Volunteer

Work/Learn is a program at the University of British Columbia that provides students with opportunities to gain professional skills. At the Brussoni lab, Dr. Brussoni and the research team place a strong emphasis on students’ learning experience. Many students have had the opportunity to gain research experience through working or volunteering in the Brussoni lab.

If you would like to work or volunteer at the Brussoni lab, please contact the research coordinator at playoutside@bcchr.ca, visit the Work/Learn program website, and/or apply for a position in UBC Career Services Online.