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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
April 21, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Present Team Members


Dr. Pamela J. Bryden Professor After completing her BA from the University of Western Ontario, Dr. Bryden completed both her M.Sc. and Ph.D. at the Univeristy of Waterloo. Currently she holds tenure as a Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University and has recently taken the role as the Associate Dean of Student Services. Her program of research is an attempt to understand lateral preference and performance first from a bottom-up perspective to determine the motor requirements for particular tasks, and secondly, from a top-down perspective of how the brain is lateralized for skilled movement. This research to date has attempted to answer why there is a preferred-hand advantage in motor tasks and how this advantage is related to hand preference, in order to understand handedness and manual asymmetries, as well as how the hemispheres are organized for motor control in complex, goal-directed movement.


Dr. Michael E. Cinelli Professor Graduated with a M.Sc. (Biomechanics) in Kinesiology and a Ph.D. (Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience) in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo, Canada. Following the completion of his Ph.D. he went on to complete a two-year CIHR-funded post doctoral fellowship at Brown University, USA. Since 2008 he has been a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada. His research interests are in understanding how perception guides action during collision avoidance situations over the life span, determining the changes in balance control and visuomotor processing following a concussion, and using novel techniques to improve the dynamic stability of older adults.


Amy Hackney PhD Candidate Graduated with a BA in Kinesiology and Physical Education at Wilfrid Laurier University. Currently, Amy is a 2nd year Master of Science student working with Dr. Michael Cinelli. Her research focuses on obstacle avoidance and locomotion over a lifespan and how these actions change with age. Her research is currently funded by the Ontario Graduate Scholarship. In the fall of 2012, Amy plans to begin her PhD in the Kinesiology (Neuroscience) department at the University of Waterloo with Dr. Jim Frank. A native from St. Thomas ON, Amy skates competitively with Team Velocity from Woodstock, ON.


Sara Scharoun PhD Candidate Sara graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Human Performance, with a minor in Biology from the University of Louisville. She completed her Master of Science degree at Wilfrid Laurier University under the supervision of Dr. Pam Bryden. Her Masterís thesis investigated motor control, motor planning and the development of hand preference and performance. Sara is currently in her second year of doctoral studies at the University of Waterloo in the Department of Kinesiology (Neuroscience), working with Dr. Pam Bryden and Dr. Eric Roy. The goal of Saraís doctoral research is to further elucidate how the perceptual motor system plans and executes end-state comfortable movements of the course of development. Sara is interested in the motor skills and functioning of neurotypical individuals and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Luke Denomme PhD Candidate Luke graduated with a M.Sc. in Kinesiology & Physical Education from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2013. His thesis focus was in the area of sensorimotor control of balance. Following his M.Sc., Luke went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Kinesiology (Neuroscience) at the University of Waterloo, where he is currently studying. His research interests involve understanding how the Central Nervous System helps support and maintain balance control in humans.


Adam Harper MSc Candidate Completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2010. His current supervisor is Dr. Michael Cinelli who has advised Adam throughout formulating his thesis. Adamís research interests include assessments of concussions through the use of biomechanics. Adam grew up just north of Kingston, Ontario in a little town called Harrowsmith.


Brittany Baxter MSc Candidate Graduated in 2012 from Laurier with a BSc in Honours Biology and Psychology. Brittany is now in her second year of her MSc (Kinesiology & Physical Education) at Laurier and is supervised by Dr. Michael Cinneli. Her previous research focused on the effects of concussion in regards to static stability and upper-limb coordination. Her current focus is still on a young adult population, while now considering challenges to the dynamic balance system. Specifically, she will be investigating the role of vision and stability during the avoidance of multiple obstacles.


Carmen Baker MSc Candidate Having completed her Honours BSc Kinesiology at Laurier, Carmen is continuing her studies at Laurier with Dr. Michael Cinelli. She is interested in how different populations (older adults, children with ASD, athletes, previously concussed individuals) use vision to guide their actions. Her MSc thesis will focus on age-related differences of visual fixations on an obstacle avoidance task.


Steph Ramautar MSc Candidate Graduated with a BSc in Honours Life Sciences at McMaster University. Currently in her second year of her Master's degree, Steph is working under the supervision of Dr. Michael Cinelli. Her thesis work focuses on cognitive function in concussed varsity athletes, specifically how cognitive function recovers over time following a concussion. She hopes to pursue physical therapy in September 2014

Nicole Williams MSc Candidate Completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Honours Kinesiology, from the University of Waterloo. Currently in her second year of the Masterís program, Nicole is working with Dr. Pam Bryden. Her research interests are in the continual development of hand preference across the lifespan. Currently, Nicole is examining the development of motor control, and how it may be influenced by the increasing complexity of a task.


Tanya Karn MSc Candidate Tanya has just recently completed her Bachelor of Science degree in the Kinesiology and Physical Education program at Wilfrid Laurier University, with a minor in both Biology and Psychology. This fall, she began working with Dr. Michael Cinelli on her MSc in the Kinesiology and Physical Education program at WLU. She will be studying the differences in somatosensory integration during dynamic balance tasks between a control group of young adults and professionally trained dancers. She is interested in this particular clinical population because she has been dancing professionally since she was only 15 years old in a variety of movies, television shows, music videos and live performances. Tanya hopes to continue her research in the future by applying her findings to other clinical populations.


Gordon Young MSc Candidate Gordon completed his BSc at McMaster University in Science Kinesiology. Currently in his first year of the Masterís program, he will be working alongside Dr. Pam Bryden at the LPMB lab, with future research looking at handedness and laterality in healthy adults for his thesis.


Nicole Reinders MSc Candidate Completed her Honours BSc in Health Science at Wilfrid Laurier University. Nicole is currently in her first year of the Masterís program at Laurier, conducting her research under the supervision of Dr. Pamela Bryden and Dr. Paula Fletcher. She will be working with several dance studios in Southwestern Ontario that offer specialized dance programs for children with special needs. The purpose of this research is to explore the social, physical and psychological impact of participating in a recreational dance program, primarily for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).


Andrew Kanmacher BA Candidate Currently in his fourth year working towards the completion of his undergraduate Kinesiology major in addition to a biology and psychology minor at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is currently working on his undergraduate thesis under the supervision of Dr. Pamela Bryden. His research includes primarily the effect of laterality and 2D:4D ratios in elite level athletes.

Russell Kennedy BSc Candidate Currently completing his fourth year undergraduate degree as a BSc Kinesiology major, minoring in Chemistry and Biology. His research interests include factors that affect and influence the avoidance of obstacles, comparing strategies used in athlete populations and young adults. Russell is currently conducting his undergraduate thesis under the direction of Dr. Michael Cinelli in the LPMB lab.


Amanda Forsyth BSc Candidate Currently a 4th year Honours BSc Kinesiology student at Laurier and is working towards the completion of her undergraduate thesis under the supervision of Dr. Bryden. Her current research is in the field of gender and fine motor performance in regards to manual laterality.