Research Team

University logos of Saint Mary's, University of Guelph, University of Manitoba, University of New Brunswick and GenderNet Plus

Dr. Evangelia Tastsoglou standing in front a tree.

Dr. Evangelia Tastsoglou is a Professor at the Department of Sociology, cross-appointed to the International Development Studies Program at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. With sociological and legal training Dr. Tastsoglou has over twenty five years of expertise in working with gender and immigrant women in Canada and internationally. As founder and leader of the Gender Domain of the Atlantic Metropolis Centre of Excellence (2003-2013) she led multiple projects on various aspects of migration with a gender-based and intersectional analysis. Past Chair of her

Department (2006-2012), President Elect and subsequently President of the RC 32 (“Women in Society”) of the International Sociological Association (2006-2014), member of the ISA Executive Committee and Research Council (2014-2018), and current President of the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association, she focuses her research on sexual and gender based violence and precarity during forced migration.

Dr. Tastsoglou is currently the principal investigator of the Canadian team (4 investigators / 4 institutions) of the CIHR-funded project “Violence against women migrants and refugees: Analysing causes and effective policy response”. This is part of the similarly titled international project developed in response to the GENDER-NET Plus Co-funded call. In addition she is currently also the PI of a SSHRC-funded project focusing on sexual and gender based violence and precarity during forced migration in the Eastern Mediterranean, comprising a team of academics from Canada and Greece.

Among her co-authored and (co)edited volumes are: Women, Migration and Citizenship. Making Local, National and Transnational Connections (Ashgate, 2006); Women, Gender and Diasporic Lives. Labor, Community and Identity in Greek Migrations (Lexington Books, 2009); Contours of Citizenship: Women, Diversity and the Practice of Citizenship (Ashgate, 2010); Immigrant Women in Atlantic Canada. Challenges, Negotiations, Re-constructions (Canadian Scholars’ Press / Women’s Press, 2011); The Warmth of the Welcome: Is Atlantic Canada a Home away from Home for Immigrants? (Cape Breton University Press, 2015); and Interrogating Gender, Violence, and the State in National and Transnational Contexts, in Current Sociology Monograph Series (Vol. 64:4, July 2016); and The Contributions and Constraints of Contemporary Immigration and Citizenship. Commemorating Canada’s 150 Years. Special Issue of Canadian Ethnic

Studies. Vol. 49.3.2017.

Contact information:

Department of Sociology

Saint Mary's University 923 Robie Street Halifax, N.S., CANADA, B3H 3C3 Tel: 902-420-5884 fax: 902-420-5121


Myrna Dawson

Dr. Myrna Dawson is a Professor and Director of the Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence (CSSLRV), College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

She is Director of the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice & Accountability and Co-Director of the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations. For more than two decades, Dawson’s research has focused on trends and patterns in and social/legal responses to violence with particular emphasis on violence against women and femicide.

She established the CSSLRV in 2005 with funding from the Canadian Foundation of Innovation to support the establishment of a research center focusing activities on understanding and preventing violence. In 2008, Dawson received funding to expand the CSSLRV to create/mobilize knowledge about effective violence prevention through rigorous research, exchange of knowledge to inform policy, and to train future researchers.

She is a long-term member of the Ontario Domestic Violence Death Review Committee, the first of its kind in Canada, which was implemented as a result of an inquest at which she served as an expert witness and co-authored the foundation paper upon which the committee was based. She is the author/co-author/editor of numerous publications and reports including Woman Killing: Intimate Femicide in Ontario, 1991-1994; Violence Against Women in Canada (Oxford University Press, 2011); and Domestic Homicides and Death Reviews: An International Perspective (Palgrave Macmillian, 2017). She is published in multiple journals; most recently, in Trauma Violence & Abuse, Child Abuse & Neglect, Violence Against Women, Journal of Research in Crime & Delinquency, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and the British Journal of Criminology.

She has presented research and delivered keynotes in Australia, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States and regularly consults with various levels of government on issues related to crime and violence.


Department of Sociology & Anthropology
University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, CANADA N1G 2W1

Tel: 519-824-4120, x53523

Dr. Catherine Holtmann

Dr. Catherine Holtmann is the Director of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research (MMFC) and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. Her research program touches the areas of gender and religion, domestic violence, and immigrant women. She is the academic co-chair of the Violence Against Immigrant and Visible Minority Women Research Team at the MMFC which includes partners from the New Brunswick Multicultural

Council, the New Brunswick provincial government, front line service providers from immigrant settlement and domestic violence agencies, as well as newcomer women. The research team recently completed a project funded by Status of Women Canada entitled “Overcoming Structural and Systemic Barriers: a Coordinated Community Response to Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence Experienced by Immigrant Women in New Brunswick.” Some of the deliverables created by the project team are reference and resource guides for service providers working with immigrant survivors of domestic violence ( The team partnered with the Asian Heritage Association of New Brunswick in the creation of the film Breaking Barriers Moving Forward ( featuring the stories of New Brunswick newcomer Asian women.


Holtmann, C. (2018). Who Cares? Religious Immigrant Women, Social Networks, and Family Violence. In Religion, Gender and Family Violence: When Prayers are Not Enough, C. Holtmann and N. Nason-Clark, eds. Pp. 38-59. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

Holtmann, C. (2018). Immigrant Women and Religious Social Networks. In Exploring Religion and Diversity in Canada: People, Practice and Possibility, C. Holtmann, ed. Pp. 11-34. New York: Springer.

Holtmann, C. and Rickards, T. (2018). Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence in the Lives of Immigrant Women: A New Brunswick Response. Canadian Journal of Public Health 109(3), 294-302.

Conference Papers:

Holtmann, C. and Gautreau, G. (2019). “Collaborative Community Response to Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence Against Immigrant Women in New Brunswick,” paper presented at the Canadian Metropolis Conference, Halifax, NS, 22 March.

Holtmann, C. (2018). Organizer of the session “Religion, Gender and Family Violence” for the Religion and Society Research Cluster at the International Sociological Association Congress, Toronto, ON, 18 July.

Contact information:

Phone: 506-458-7442

Mailing address: Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research, University of New Brunswick, P. O Box 4400, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5A3, Canada.


Lori Wilkinson

Dr. Lori Wilkinson is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. Her program of research centres on the integration experiences of immigrants and refugees. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Alberta in 2000 and wrote her dissertation on the resettlement experiences of refugee youth in Canada. Since that time, she focused her studies on the school-to-work transitions of refugee youth and on the health and well-being of refugee and immigrant children and youth after resettlement. She is currently conducting a study of the privately sponsored refugees and another study examining the resettlement experiences of refugee children and their families. As a public sociologist, her focus is on helping non-profit organizations with their work on refugee resettlement issues.

She has won several awards including Visiting Researcher Queen Elizabeth House University of Oxford in 2004; the 2015 Shastri-Indo Canadian Research Fellowship at Jadavpur University in Kolkata India; and several awards from the University of Manitoba including: Professor of the Year Faculty of Arts in 2008; the Teaching Excellence Award in 2017; Fellow of the Year for St John’s College in 2017; and the Dr and Mrs Ralph Campbell Award for her work with the community in 2018.

She is currently the director of Immigration Research West, a multidisciplinary and multisector group of over 150 members interested in working with immigrants and refugees in Canada. Our members include academics, students, community service providers and policy makers from the federal and provincial governments. She has served on the boards of several provincial organizations that serve the needs of immigrants and refugees including the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies (AMSSA) in British Columbia, Immigrant Partnerships of Winnipeg, the Immigrant Centre (Winnipeg), the Islamic Social Services Association (Winnipeg).

Contact Information:

Lori Wilkinson, PhD
Professor of Sociology
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of International Migration and Integration
University of Manitoba
Tel: +1 204 474-8491
Fax: +1 204 261-1216


Devjani Sen (Ph.D., Carleton University)

She conducted her Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Ottawa, at the Department of Communication. She currently teaches courses in Psychology, Media Studies and Victim Services. She has also taught courses at Carleton University on Social Media. She has been an invited speaker at the Police Academy at Algonquin College, CapCHI (a Human Factors group in Ottawa, Canada) and the Educational Development Center at Carleton University. She has guest lectured at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.

She has published extensively on the nuances of information presentation in a variety of contexts across three continents. Her research interests include trauma-informed practices, psychology of trust, social media, communication breakdowns, sustaining socio-economic growth for women in developing countries and health psychology including the design of innovative technologies in the area of healthcare and community preparedness for emergency events. Her research and other work have been funded by the International Development Research Center (IDRC), The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) and The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. In 2009, she co-authored a paper on the topic of communication breakdowns during emergency events that won a Best Paper award (International).

She is co-author and co-editor of Privacy Concerns Surrounding Personal Information Sharing on Health and Fitness Mobile Apps (IGI Global). She has served as an Editor for Interacting with Computers, MMI-Interaktiv and a Review Editor for Frontiers in Health Communication.

Contact Information:

Shiva is a first-generation immigrant from Iran who made the beautiful province of Nova Scotia her home in 2008. 

She has been working for the Province of Nova Scotia since 2021. Prior to that, she worked for a community organization, the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia, for three years in the field of Violence Against Women. She also teaches at the Department of Global Development Studies part-time at Saint Mary's University, Halifax, and is a Research Associate on the CIHR-funded project Violence Against Women Migrants and Refugees: Analyzing Causes and Effective Policy Response" (PI: Dr. Evangelia Tastsoglou). She is a collaborator on the SSHRC-funded Insight Development Grant: "Developing a domestic violence prevention agenda: Learning from domestic violence death reviews" (PI: Dr. Myrna Dawson).

She holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from Dalhousie University (2017), and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Guelph (2021). She has several publications in the field of refugees and temporary/precarious migrants, and violence against women.  

She has been a Board member of Halifax Refugee Clinic, a non-profit organization offering pro bono legal and settlement services to refugees in the region, since 2011, as well as a member of the Steering Committee of the NS branch of Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and the Board of Directors of the Muriel McFergusson Centre for Research on Family Violence.  


Camila Reis

Camila Reis is a second-year master’s student at Saint Mary’s University in International Development Studies. She has over 10 years of experience as a practising psychologist in Brazil. She also has work and volunteer experience with various NGOs in Brazil, Egypt and Canada.

Her research interests focus on issues related to gender-based violence, resilience and migration.



Dr. Chantelle Falconer

Dr. Chantelle Falconer was a postdoctoral fellow in Sociology and International Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Chantelle has a broad interest in development and wellbeing, and in the past has conducted qualitative, ethnographic research in Ecuador and Nicaragua with organic farmers, school teachers, and anti-mining activists.

Her Ph.D. research in post-neoliberal Ecuador examines the way people engage with environmental transformation, extractive development, and state expansion. She recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Western Washington University.



Dr. Mia Sisic

Dr. Mia Sisic was a postdoctoral fellow in Sociology and International Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her research focuses on men's violence against women. She is a graduate of the Applied Social Psychology Doctoral Program at the University of Windsor where she completed her doctoral dissertation, A Focus on Strength-based Outcomes of Wartime Sexual Violence in a Sample of Ethnically Diverse Women from Bosnia and Herzegovina.



Pallabi Bhattacharyya

Pallabi Bhattacharyya was a postdoctoral fellow in Sociology and International Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her Ph.D. research focuses on agency and empowerment among Refugee Women and Youth Resettling in Canada.

She has over 12 years of research experience working with youth, women, and marginalized groups in Canada, India and Sri Lanka. Her major research experiences include projects sponsored by organizations such as UNICEF and UNESCO India; British Council India and Sri Lanka; Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council programme; Canada-Germany Integration project – The Child and Youth Refugee Research Coalition project by European Union; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC); Immigration Research West; and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Most of her project outcomes involve government and non-profit organizations' policy recommendations.


Labe Songose

Labe Songose is a second-year master's student in Sociology (Immigration) at the University of Manitoba. Her area of research interest is in Immigrant and Refugee Women and children studies. Her master's thesis aims at analyzing how violence against immigrant and refugee women can affect their psychological well-being and integration process in Canada.



Clothilde Parent-Chartier

Clothilde Parent-Chartier is a doctoral candidate in International Development at the University of Ottawa. She obtained a master's degree in International Development and Globalization from the University of Ottawa as well as a bachelor's degree in International Relations and International Law from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her research interests focus on issues related to gender and international development, access to resources by minorities and studies on migration. Clothilde has worked with NGOs in Senegal and Malawi. She also holds an accreditation as a Canadian immigration consultant and supports groups of citizens who sponsor refugees in Quebec.


Busra Yalcinoz-Ucan is a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at the University of Stavanger, Norway. Her project investigates the transformative use of digital technologies in the context of gender-based violence and immigration. She previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Waterloo in a community partnership project examining the effectiveness of psychological interventions and support programs in the gender-based violence sector in Canada. She completed her Ph.D. in 2019 at the Department of Clinical Psychology, Bogazici University, Turkey. She is also an external research associate with the Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence (CSSLRV) at the University of Guelph, Canada, and an expert panel member of the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability (CFOJA).

Contact us

CIHR Funded Research Project
Mailing address:
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 3C3