Research Associates


Bio_Leonard_MachlerLeonard Machler
PhD, MA | Research Associate

Leonard Machler recently obtained his PhD in planning from the School of Community & Regional Planning (SCARP) at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Leonard holds a master’s degree in Sustainability from Arizona State University and a honours bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Waterloo. Leonard’s research focuses on housing, Smart Growth, residential preferences and neighbourhood satisfaction. Additionally, he is interested in land use planning tools to achieve Smart Growth outcomes and transportation planning. His dissertation examined whether a mix of different housing types enables households to sort into their preferred neighbourhoods.


Bio_Suzanne_KershawSuzanne Kershaw
MSA | Research Associate

Suzanne has been a member of the HCD Lab since 2012. She holds a master’s of Spatial Analysis (MSA) and a bachelor’s degree in Geographic Analysis from Ryerson University. Suzanne’s previous experience includes consultant work as a GIS Specialist for Urban Design 4 Health, Ltd. (UD4H) where she contributed to the implementation of a decision-support software tool measuring the impact of neighbourhood design on physical activity, travel, and health in Toronto as part of the Healthy Canada by Design initiative.


Bio_Nicole_Iroz_ElardoNicole Iroz Elardo
PhD | Research Associate

Nicole Iroz-Elardo received her PhD in Urban Studies from Portland State University in 2014 with a focus in urban health. Her doctoral research evaluated stakeholder participation Health Impact Assessments (HIA). She previously studied at University of Utah where she received a B.S. in Economics and completed post-baccalaureate coursework in Statistics with an emphasis in Econometrics. Dr. Iroz-Elardo has been working as an applied researcher on environmental health issues for over a decade including as Statistical Researcher in an environmental health unit at Battelle Memorial Institute (Columbus, Ohio) and as a Policy and Operations Analyst in the HIA program at Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division (Portland, Oregon). Dr. Iroz-Elardo is currently employed by Urban Design 4 Health, Inc. (UD4H) where she specializes in the development of practical tools to help planning professionals understand and embed the social determinants of health within public decision-making. At UD4H, much of her focus is on understanding how to extend land use and health modeling by monetizing and thus internalizing the health impacts of alternative modes.


Bio_Hind_SbihiHind Sbihi
PhD | Research Associate

Hind Sbihi holds an Engineering degree from Ecole Polytechnique Montreal (B.Eng) and Ecole Centrale de Paris (M.Eng), and a Master of Science in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene from the University of British Columbia (UBC). Hind recently defended her doctoral work conducted within the UBC School of Population and Public Health where she investigated air pollution exposure assessment methods for birth cohort studies of childhood asthma and allergies. Hind’s research interests are related to methods to measure environmental exposures related to the built environment for epidemiological studies of children’s health. Assessing exposures is a key element that requires rigorous and precise methods to advance our understanding of environmental contaminants source-health effects links and to determine what aspects of the urban form should and could be modified to enhance the health of different segments of the population.


Bio_Leia_MinakerLeia Minaker
PhD | Research Associate

Leia Minaker is a scientist at the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Minaker earned her PhD from the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta and her thesis focused on characterizing food environments by examining associations between features of the food environment, food purchasing behaviour, dietary intake and anthropometric outcomes. She also holds a master’s degree in Health Promotion from the Centre for Health Promotion at the University of Alberta as well as a bachelor’s degree in Health Studies from the University of Waterloo.


Bio_Eric_FoxEric H. Fox
MScP | Research Associate

Eric Fox has served as a Research Consultant with the Health & Community Design Lab (HCD Lab) since late 2014. His primary role has been to provide geospatial analysis support for variable development, spatial problem solving and best practices for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) methods for HCD Lab and graduate research projects. In addition he helps coordinate the internal sharing and delivery of GIS databases and assists with upgrades and content expansion of the HCD Lab website. Eric is also a GIS Specialist at Urban Design 4 Health, Inc. (UD4H), a position held since 2010. His key responsibilities include spatial data analysis, geodatabase development, network analysis, cartography, spatial statistics and supplementary GIS support as a principal member of the data analysis team. Eric previously worked as a Mobile Mapping Operator at Tele Atlas in British Columbia, Alberta and the Northwest Territories as well as a Remote Sensing Analyst for the Nature Foundation of Bolivia in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. He holds a master’s degree in Planning from the University of British Columbia with a focus in Transportation and Land Use Planning as well as an honours bachelor’s degree in Geography with a concentration in Spatial Information Science.


Bio_Victor_NgoVictor Ngo
MAP Student | Research Assistant

Victor Ngo is an urban planner, researcher, and consultant. He is currently a Research Associate in the Health & Community Design Lab at the University of British Columbia (UBC)’s School of Population and Public Health. Victor’s work focuses on advancing sustainable development in cities and communities through evidence-based policy and design solutions. He has over five years of interdisciplinary and applied research experience specializing in the areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation, active transportation, healthy community design, and geospatial applications for planning, urban design, and real estate.