We are an interdisciplinary team dedicated to increasing physical activity in the population

Daniel Fuller

Assistant Professor

Physical activity is important for the prevention and treatment of many diseases including diabetes, mental health, and some cancers. Unfortunately, physical activity is notoriously difficult to change. Only 15% of the Canadian population meet physical activity guidelines, with more educated and higher income people being more active.

Working closely with cities and local community organizations, and using mobile health technologies my research examines the best ways to design and build cities and towns that equitably increase physical activity for the entire population.

Melissa Tobin

MSc. Student

I am a graduate of the Bachelor in Kinesiology Honours (Co-op) Degree at Memorial University. My honours research project, supervised by Dr. Fuller, focused on how playground features and proximity affect children’s playground based physical activity levels. As a co-op student, I had the opportunity to work with the City of St. John’s to help form the Healthy Communities Movement on the Northeast Avalon. I am passionate about increasing physical activity levels for all members of our community. I am very excited to work with Dr. Fuller and his BEAPLab team in the area of population health and physical activity.

Kassia Orychock

MSc Student

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology from St. Francis Xavier University, where I developed an interest in researching chronic disease, and population health. This brought me to Memorial’s MSc Kinesiology program where I am able to focus my research around the socio-cultural effects of chronic disease among Canadians. My research at Memorial will involve the overall goals of decreasing sedentary behaviours among Canadians by promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, as well as chronic disease management and prevention.

Bo Simango

MSc Student

I earned a Bachelor of Engineering from Memorial University. With my professional and academic experience, I wish to make a positive contribution to the BEAP Lab team and influence innovative and transformative work in the field of population health. In the attic of my mind, I am a firm believer that diversity of ideas is the rocket fuel for innovation.

Arastoo Bozorgi

Web Developer

I received my master degree in Software Engineering from Shahid Beheshti University with a thesis about influence maximization in online social networks. Currently, I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science, Memorial University. I am developing a distributed file system for online social networks with the main purpose of preserving user data from a centralized authority and guarantee the data availability.
My main task in Walkabilly team is to develop a web-based mapping platform called WebGIS besides server maintenance and GIS related back-end developments.

Machel Rayner

MPH Practicum Student

I am graduate of a Bachelor of Kinesiology (Bkin) with honours from the Memorial University. I am in the final semester of my Masters of Public Health. I hope to have an impact on the healthcare industry by educating the public on the importance of been active through fitness, strength and conditioning and lifestyle management. I am a highly motivated and energetic individual who creates a positive environment for my surrounding. I am driven by the need to help his individuals achieve their uttermost goal to their best of their ability.

Becky Maher

MSc Student

I am a graduate of Bachelor of Kinesiology Honours Degree here at Memorial University.  My honours research project with Dr. Anne-Marie Sullivan looked at the outcomes of becoming a mother during post secondary education and furthermore the effect it had on the leisure life of a student mother. Currently I am working with Dr. Erin McGowan and Dr. Daniel Fuller at Memorial to complete my Masters of Science in Kinesiology, in particular the psychology of sport, exercise and recreation. My interests include the psychological benefits of physical activity and the positive effect it can have on ones wellness. I am driven by a passion to work in the healthcare field and to increase the physical activity of Canadians to improve their overall quality of life.

Jonathan Slaney

MSc Student

The incidence of non-communicable diseases is rising, along with physical inactivity. After obtaining honours in Kinesiology at Memorial University as a dual-varsity athlete, I pursued professional triathlon. During this time I gained 5 years of clinical experience working directly with clients as a Kinesiologist. I excelled at helping people at the individual level, but I seek an opportunity to have a larger impact. I am currently working on a project with the BEAP lab and ITHIM to quantify the exposure to air pollution among active, motorized and public transportation users in 7 different cities. Pursuing my masters in Kinesiology with the BEAP lab provides the opportunity to focus my passion for physical activity to larger populations. Experience gained from working with the BEAP lab will allow me to help the people of our province and country. Utilizing preventative medicine, interventions, data science and research will prepare me for a future career as a physician. In my spare time, I like to run, garden and once in a while I play a silly little game called golf. I also love nature, hunting, and cannot get enough of walking.

Nana Abekah

Web Developer

I am computer science major working toward an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree. I enjoy working as a full-stack developer as well as a robotics engineer. I have an obsession with robots. I have been building robots and competing in robotics competitions since grade 9. At the lab, I have worked as a full-stack software developer in the past, and I am currently working as a web developer. On my free time, I play sudoku or watch youtube videos.

Javad Khataei

Data Scientist

I have a master’s degree in computer science from Memorial University. At the BEAP lab, I enjoy working with data and applying machine learning algorithms to it. R and python are my favourite languages, and I like developing packages to help other R users too. At our lab, We work on different problems, and I try to use various artificial intelligence techniques to solve the challenges of the physical activity field. 

Megan DeVries

Lab Manager

Megan De Vries is a Master’s student in Political Science at Memorial University. Her research mainly focuses on environmental issues, public policy and natural resources. She works as a Lab Manager coordinating research activities for the Walkabilly lab. Her biology minor in undergrad did not prepare her for this much computer science!

Past Lab Members

Hui (Henry) Luan

Post Doctoral Fellow

I obtained my PhD in Planning from University of Waterloo, 2016. My research focuses on spatial and spatio-temporal modeling of health-related phenomena (e.g., food access and crime) using Bayesian approaches. The main aim is to detect spatial and spatio-temporal clusters of these phenomena and identify risk factors that contribute to the geographical disparities. Analysis results provide evidence for establishing public health intervention programs. I also strive to use more computationally efficient approaches to implement Bayesian models, i.e., Integrated Nested Laplace Approximation (INLA), other than Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC).

Jonathan Low

Research Assistant

I have a Bachelor of Science in Public Health at Brigham Young University, where I developed my passion for and understanding of human movement.  

I am excited to be working alongside Dr. Fuller and the BEAPLab team to assist in the much needed research in infrastructure planning to increase physical activity, and to further the dialogue of how this can be done so that everyone, irregardless of socioeconomic status, can enjoy the benefits of physical activity!

Samantha Breslin

Research Assistant

I completed my Ph.D. in Anthropology at Memorial University of Newfoundland and BMath in Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. My research centres on the politics of technology education and design, particularly in relation to gender and political economy. As part of the BEAPLab I am working on questions of research ethics for the use of wearable devices with vulnerable populations.

Faramarz Dorani


I am an MSc student in computer science. My research is about data mining and machine learning particularly their applications on high dimensional data (e.g. genomic data). I work with Python, R, and Javascript to do machine learning and data visualization. As a member of the Walkabilly team, I will be working on data preparation, machine learning, and data visualization.

Desiree van Heerden

Research Assistant

I am a BEng student at Memorial University, completing my first work term as part of the Walkabilly team. I am hoping to enter the field of biomedical engineering once I have completed my bachelor’s degree. My role as part of the Walkabilly team is to find efficient ways collecting and analyzing data from wearable devices. I am very excited to learn more about the relationship between technology and monitoring population physical activity.

Majid Beheshti Mohtasham

Research Assistant

I am a Master’s student in Computer Science at Memorial University of Newfoundland. I am doing research examining a hybrid approach using Quantum Evolutionary Algorithm and Support Vector Machine to classify genetic data of the type 2 diabetes.

I am also working with Walkabilly team, on recognizing transportation modes by analyzing data from mobile smart devices.

Javad Rahimipour Anaraki

Data Scientist

I have a Master of Engineering in Artificial Intelligence at Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman. I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science, Memorial University, working on a new robust and scalable feature selection method by analyzing geometric characteristics of datasets. As a BEAPLab team member, I contribute to the analysis of accelerometer, GPS, and wearable device data.

Nathan Taylor

MPH Practicum Student

I am a Master’s of Public Health student at Memorial University with a keen interest in population health data, interventions and policy. Working with a local non-profit I have organized a Healthy Cities exploratory group seeking to improve health in the cities of the Avalon region. I joined Dr. Fuller’s Walkabilly lab to learn more about the potential for data collection, the technical aspect of data analysis and to advocate for a physically active region. As a practicum student I will be implementing the Neighbourhood Activity Living Potential (NALP) metric within St. John’s and promoting the Healthy Cities approach to municipal governance.

Richard Buote

Research Assistant

As many people know, maintaining a physically active lifestyle is important to one’s health and wellbeing. Regardless of this, many Canadians remain sedentary and inactive. This has given me an interest in exploring the factors that determine one’s physical activity levels and how we may improve activity levels within the population. I have recently completed my master’s degree at Memorial University where I tested a behaviour change intervention aimed at helping older breast and prostate cancer survivors increase their physical activity. From this project, I have developed an interest in population and community health and has led to my enrolment in the PhD in Medicine program in Memorial’s Community Health department.

Ann Marie Kieley

Research Assistant

I am currently studying recreation and psychology, working toward beginning the BRec program at Memorial University of Newfoundland next Fall. I am also interested in health promotion, and attempt to create a dialogue on healthy lifestyles through radio and social media. Prior to returning to Memorial, I did the Programmer Analyst (Business) Co-operative program at College of the North Atlantic and spent the following years working in development, media, analysis, and hardware repair. My role in the BEAPLab is centred around the development of WalkMaps, an app to collect data on factors contributing to walkability in built environments.

Emily Colwell


I earned a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology (Honours) from McMaster University, and am currently a Masters candidate in Memorial’s MSc Kinesiology program, specializing in Biomechanics and Ergonomics. My role in BEAP Lab is centred around assisting lab members in getting projects across the finish line, be it by editing content, submitting papers, or conducting data analysis.