Research Staff

  • Elizabeth Mahar, PhD

    Elizabeth Mahar, PhD

    she/her

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    Liz completed her PhD in social psychology at the University of Florida in 2021. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2013 with her BSc, double majoring in neuroscience and psychology. She received her MSc in experimental psychology at Villanova University in 2016. Her research focuses on romantic and sexual relationships, human sexuality, and well-being. Liz is a postdoctoral fellow, under the supervision of Drs. Lori Brotto and Kyle Stephenson. She is a co-lead on the eSense study; this project aims to improve access to treatment options for female sexual dysfunction.

  • Raveena Gowda

    Raveena Gowda

    she/her

    Study Coordinator

    Raveena completed her Bachelor of Science (double major in Biology and Psychology) at the University of British Columbia in 2022. She is the research coordinator of the eSense study, a randomized clinical trial assessing two online psychological interventions for treating sexual difficulties amongst women. Her research interests include understanding how biological and sociocultural factors impact the development of sexuality and sexual dysfunction. In the future, she wants to pursue the MD/PhD program in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology.

  • Brett Makarenko, Bsc

    Brett Makarenko, Bsc

    she/her

    Research Assistant

    Brett recently completed her BSc in Biology with a minor in Psychology at the University of British Columbia in 2017. She is a Crisis Line and Educational Outreach Volunteer for WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women), where she provides anti-oppressive emotional support to survivors of sexualized violence. Her research interests include psychophysiological manifestations of sexual dysfunctions, long-term effects of sexualized violence against women, and improving sex education. She is working towards being accepted into a Clinical Psychology graduate program in order to pursue her interests of human sexuality

  • Brynn Lavery, BA

    Brynn Lavery, BA

    she/her

    Communications Assistant

    Brynn is a 2017 BA Psychology graduate from UBC with a minor in Critical Studies in Sexuality. Passionate about the field of sexual health, she volunteers with Options for Sexual Health on their Community Relations team, with BLUSH (Bold Learning for Understanding Sexual Health) as a Youth Educator, and in the past as a research assistant in the UBC Sexuality Lab. Brynn is the Social Media and Participant Recruitment Coordinator for the lab and runs their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages and is also a research assistant on the DESIRE and SUPPORT studies. Her research interests include sexual education, women’s sexual disorders, and paraphilias

  • Shannon Woo, Msc

    Shannon Woo, Msc

    she/her

    Study Coordinator

    Shannon recently moved from London, England after completing a MSc Health Psychology at City University of London. She completed a research study on how people evaluate the acceptability of a treatment. She also worked as a researcher and clinic manager of an osteopathic clinic and research centre which reported on various patient reported outcome measures including psychosocial measures of wellbeing. She plans to continue training in clinical and counselling psychology. Shannon joined the team in January 2020 as a Research Coordinator for the BREAST study, a randomized clinical trial assessing psychosocial interventions for survivors of breast cancer who experience sexual difficulties following cancer treatment. This project is a collaboration between the UBC Sexual Health Lab (UBCSHL) and the Tom Baker Cancer Agency (Calgary).

  • Kira McNamee, BBA

    Kira McNamee, BBA

    she/her

    Lab Manager

    Kira has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and over 10 years of experience in project and team management working on multidisciplinary projects in research and technology. She has held roles in project management, change management, and organizational development. Working on this team gives her opportunity to pursue her interest in women’s health.

  • Bozena Zdaniuk, PhD

    Bozena Zdaniuk, PhD

    she/her

    Research Associate

    Bozena has a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh (1999), a postdoc from Carnegie Mellon university, and she has held multiple roles as a data analyst, methodologist, research associate, and writer. She is particularly strong at aggregating complex sets of data into usable units for analysis, and she has ushered several projects through to completion and knowledge translation. Working on this team gives her opportunity to pursue her ongoing interest in female sexuality research.