At the Offord Centre, we value faculty mentorship and the cultivation of high-quality, student-led research. In return, we learn so much from our students and we enjoy supporting them on their interdisciplinary academic journeys. Our post-doctoral fellows and trainees belong to the next generation of leaders in child and youth health research. Learn more about our seven post-doctoral fellows and their current activities below!

Dr. Amber Rieder

STRoNG Families Research Team // Email:

Education: Postdoctoral Associate at Duke University, 2019; Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) & the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Child and Family Mental Health & Community Psychiatry, 2015; PhD (Neuroscience) from McMaster University, 2019.

Research Interests: ACEs and IPV, caregivers & families, implementation, community-based participatory research

Bio: Dr. Amber Rieder is a Postdoctoral Fellow at McMaster University under the mentorship of Dr. Andrea Gonzalez working primarily on the Promoting Family Relationships Project. Amber completed her PhD in Neuroscience at McMaster in 2019, and is returning to the Offord Center following a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Duke University in the Department of Psychiatry, Division of Community Psychiatry & Child and Family Mental Health and the Center for Autism and Brain Sciences. Amber’s research is focused on the development and evaluation of culturally-anchored and community-engaged (low-intensity, non-specialist delivered, and/or technology-assisted) mental health assessments and intervention programs for children, caregivers, and families focused primarily on caregiver support, family strengthening, and violence prevention in Canada, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Liberia and the USA.

Education: PhD in Mental Health, Ulster University Northern Ireland

Research Interests: psychiatric epidemiology, adverse childhood experiences and trauma associations to mental health problems, psychopathology, evidence-based policy

Bio: Dr. Emma Nolan is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, working within the Advancing Youth Mental Health team. Emma received her PhD in Psychology from Ulster University, Northern Ireland (NI), and worked as a Research Associate and Data Analyst for the groundbreaking Northern Ireland Youth Wellbeing Survey. Emma’s current research is in Psychiatric Epidemiology, exploring child and adolescent psychopathology and wellbeing at the population level, and understanding the impact of COVID-19 on mental health. Emma strives to develop and leverage her research to provide information that enhances evidenced-based policies and improve child and youth wellbeing and development. Emma has published on topics related to mood and anxiety disorders, psychosis, eating disorders, the COVID-19 pandemic, adverse childhood experiences and trauma. She is an Associate Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, an Associate Editor for Child Abuse Review, and has won awards for her research and scientific public speaking.

Dr. Emma Nolan

Advancing Youth Mental Health Research Team (AYM) // Email:

Dr. Jordan Edwards

Advancing Youth Mental Health Research Team (AYM) //

Education: PhD in Epidemiology & Biostatistics from Western University

Research Interests: child and youth mental and related health disparities, mental health services, migrant mental health, data linkage, surveillance methodology

Bio: Jordan Edwards is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, supervised by Dr. Kathy Georgiades. Jordan received his Ph.D. from the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University. Jordan has extensive experience using linked survey and health administrative data sources and has published on topics related to the surveillance of child and youth mental disorders and associated service use, barriers in accessing mental health care, migrant mental health, mood and anxiety disorders, and first episode psychosis. Jordan’s work can be found in the journals of Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, Psychological Medicine, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, and the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

Education: BScH – Queen’s University; MSW – University of Toronto; PhD – McMaster University, Neuroscience

Research Interests: early adversity, executive functions and biological processes, community engagement, preventive parenting and family interventions, systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Bio: Krysta Andrews is a postdoctoral fellow working with Drs. Andrea Gonzalez and Terry Bennett in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University. She received her undergraduate degree at Queen’s University in Biology and a Master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Toronto. Krysta completed her doctoral degree in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at McMaster University as well as a Mitacs Elevate funded postdoctoral fellowship where she examined the intergenerational transmission of trauma. Krysta’s research interests include understanding the effects of early adversity on children’s cognitive, physiological and behavioural outcomes, increasing access to parenting and mental health programs for marginalized communities, and evaluating the efficacy of evidence-based preventative interventions in supporting, educating, and strengthening families.

Dr. Krysta Andrews

The STRoNG Families Research Team and The Family Checkup Canada Research Team // Email:

Dr. Mackenzie Salt

McMaster Autism Research Team (MacART) //

Education: PhD – Cognitive Science of Language, McMaster University 2019; M.A. – Linguistics, University of Western Ontario 2011; Specialized Hons B.A. – Linguistics and Language Studies, York University, 2009

Research Interests: Autistic adults, research methods, qualitative research, co-design/community engagement, autism policy

Bio: Mackenzie Salt (PhD) is an Autistic autism researcher and a CIHR Postdoctoral Health System Impact Fellow with the McMaster University Autism Research Team and the Autism Alliance of Canada. He is currently working on a number of projects, all involving learning from the experiences of autistic adults. His largest project is the Canadian Autistic Adult Needs Assessment project. The first phase of the project is a co-designed national survey of Autistic adults about daily needs and quality of life. He completed his PhD in Cognitive Science of Language in 2019 at McMaster University and has a background in qualitative linguistic research as well as research and study design involving autistic participants. He is also currently the Editor-in-Chief of the all-autistic editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Autism Equity.

Education: BSc (Honours Bachelor of Science in Health Studies) from the University of Waterloo; MPH (Master of Public Health) from Queens University; PhD in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University

Research Interests: life course epidemiology, healthy aging, trajectory analysis, chronic disease prevention

Bio: Vanessa’s research interests are primarily in life course epidemiology, where she aims to explore how factors across the life course (e.g., early life adversity, cumulative stress, physical activity) are linked to adulthood outcomes, including chronic disease prevention and healthy aging. Her postdoctoral work will focus on developing and understanding trajectories of healthy aging among participants in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Vanessa is also currently working as a Research Consultant with the Department of Maternal, Newborn, Adolescent Health and Aging at the World Health Organization.

Dr. Vanessa De Rubeis

The STRoNG Families Research Team, also supervised by Dr. Parminder Raina // Email:

Dr. Yun-Ju (Claire) Chen

McMaster Autism Research Team (MacART) and Advancing Youth Mental Health Research Team (AYM) // Email:

Education: PhD (Occupational Science), University of Southern California.

Research Interests: autism, neurodevelopmental disorders, longitudinal methodology, behavioural phenotyping, outcome measurement

Bio: Claire is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, supervised by Dr. Stelios Georgiades. She received her Ph.D. in Occupational Science at the University of Southern California in 2021. Her research interests span the fields of occupational science/therapy, developmental psychology/psychopathology, and child psychiatry, with a focus on the heterogeneous behavioral manifestations across the lifespan among children on the neurodevelopmental spectrum. She is particularly interested in applying quantitative approaches (e.g., longitudinal modeling, measurement/psychometrics) that are better suited to address the complex and dynamic nature of typical and atypical development. For more information about her past and ongoing research projects, please visit her website at

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