Meet our Researchers

Current Research Team

Kirti Agarwal

Kirti Agarwal

Westland Researcher | Masters Student | Spring 2020 - present

Background: Kirti is currently enrolled in the Master of Counselling Psychology program at Adler University. She did her undergrad in India, with a major in Psychology and minor in English Literature, graduating with a B.A. (Hons.) in Psychology and a Diploma in Liberal Studies.

Why Sexuality Research? For her undergraduate dissertation, Kirti conducted research on sexual consent and the grey areas around it. She realized that the taboo attached to sex makes it difficult to have conversations around sexuality and consent. With an aim to normalize sex and promote sex-positivity, Kirti intends to expand her research areas and incorporate them in her future practice.

Topics of interest: Gender and sexuality, kink, non-monogamy, cultural contribution to taboo and consent, relation of consent to harassment, repression of sexual urges.

Stephanie Koutsoulianos

Stephanie Koutsoulianos

Westland Researcher | Masters Student | Spring 2020 - present

Background: In 2016, Stephanie graduated from the University of Guelph with a BA in Psychology with a Minor in Family and Child Studies. After volunteering for an organization that offered undergraduate students drop-in peer support, she became passionate about working with the post-secondary population to address their varying mental health concerns. This led her to pursue a Masters in Counselling Psychology at Adler University. She has also worked in research on child health, specifically on childhood injury prevention in a pedestrian context. 

Why Sexuality Research? There is an irony regarding the overtness of sexuality in media; it seems to be everywhere, and despite this, it is an undereducated topic and often only regarded as a biological process in clinical settings. It is important to encourage current and future practitioners to become aware of the psychological influences of sexuality (and asexuality) by continuing education to be better able to help clients over the long-term.

Topics of interest: Stephanie is particularly interested in factors affecting development throughout late adolescence and early adulthood. Relationships and sexuality play an integral role in healthy functioning and she is interested in how the development of sexual identity across all genders relates to overall wellbeing. She hopes to support those experiencing sexual concerns to overcome them.

Sophia Murray

Sophia Murray

Westland Researcher | Masters Student | Fall 2019 - present

Background: In 2017, Sophia graduated from UBC with a dual degree in Visual Arts and Psychology. Her experience ranges from working in art galleries to volunteering at a crisis line call centre. She began to synthesize her two areas of study more fully once she started Adler University’s Master of Counselling: Art Therapy program in fall of 2019. She intends to continue to explore the cathartic nature of artistic creation as she works toward a career in counselling art therapy.

Why Sexual Health Research? Sophia was inspired by the lectures of the sex therapist, Dr. Jason Winters, and the sexual health educator, Maureen McGrath. They made her aware of the gaps in sexual health research and in the knowledge base of many medical and counselling professionals. She became motivated to volunteer at Dr. Rosemary Basson’s Sexual Health Lab at VCH, which is currently leading the research on provoked vestibulodynia (a female genital pain disorder). Sophia aims to help Westland contribute to community wellness through the power of education.

Topics of Interest: Art therapy is designed to help clients use the art-making process as a means to work through trauma. Sophia’s work at Westland will help her to better address client traumas that are of a sexual nature.

Hazel Hughes

Hazel Hughes

Westland Researcher | Masters Student | Fall 2019 - present

Background: In 2014 Hazel graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BA in Psychology. Post-graduation she followed her love of nature and adventure, spending two years living and working throughout Japan. She moved back to Vancouver in pursuit of a masters degree in Counselling Psychology at Adler University.

Why sexuality research? Hazel believes that accessibility to informed and sex-positive services is important for healthy societies. She is interested in sex education and the policies that govern this field. She understands the value that collaboration, advocacy, education and access to services bring to individuals, professionals and communities.

Topics of interest: Hazel’s interests are wide reaching but some specific areas to note include reproductive rights, sexual expression and creativity, how sexuality affects wellness and self-esteem, therapeutic touch, stigmas and relationships.

Hasan (Hus) Mawani

Hasan (Hus) Mawani

Westland Researcher | Masters Student | Fall 2019 - present

Background: Hus is currently a student at Adler University’s Master’s of Counselling program. He holds a BA Double Major in English Literature and Political Science from the University of Western Ontario, an Associate of Arts in Psychology, and a Diploma in Sport Science. He has been working as clinical support staff at the Fraser Health Crisis Line since 2016.

Why Sexual Health Research? Hus believes that sexuality is a fundamental facet of human experience that everyone uniquely connects (or disconnects) to. While sexuality can deepen intimacy and trust in relationships and lead to fulfillment and satisfaction, stigma, miscommunication, and barriers to honest sexual expression can be detrimental to people’s well-being. He values evidence-based research promoting health and wellness.

Topics of Interest: The promotion of sex-positive practices to deepen relationship satisfaction and the alleviation of help-seeking stigma around sexual health. He has many research interests including the causes of and treatments for erectile dysfunction throughout the lifespan, the correlate effects on individuals and couple’s mental health, and its mediators.

Veronica Chase

Veronica Chase

Westland Researcher | Registered Professional Counsellor - Candidate | Fall 2019 - Present

Background: Veronica graduated from Rhodes Wellness College, then pursued her Registered Professional Counselling – Candidate (RPC-c) designation, under the Canadian professional Counselling Association (CPCA) in 2017. After working at Deborah’s Gate, as a first responder to human trafficking and labour exploitation, she wanted to help others in trauma informed therapy and sexual education through sex-positivity. She became more interested in clinical counselling and is currently moving towards getting her Master of Counselling.

Why sexuality research? Open communication about wants, needs or desires, was not discussed growing up and she soon realized its importance for transparency. She now helps others who might be shy or interested in learning more about the sex-positive community by helping them find and express what their desires, wants and needs are in their relationships.

Topics of Interest: Her main interests are sexuality, relationship dynamics and trauma. However, she hopes to continue her development in the field of sex therapy and the clinical aspects that can arise within life, and how to help others navigate them with ease.

Interested in joining our passionate volunteer research team? We have a variety of roles available for enthusiastic students, advocates, and allies looking to lend their research skills and gain additional experience, join team consultations, and increase their knowledge in the field of sex and sexuality. Contact us here for more information.

Research Alumni

Deema Abu-Hannoud

Research Alumni 2019

Jennifer Parlee

Research Alumni 2018 - 2019

Abisheikh (Abi) Sharma

Research Alumni 2018 - 2019

Elyssa Carroll Goldman

Research Alumni 2018

Aysha Dhala

Research Alumni 2016 - 2018

Alaina Chun

Research Alumni 2016 - 2017

Mason Shell

Research Alumni 2017

Chelsea Cameron

Research Alumni 2016 - 2017

Veronica Li

Research Alumni 2015 - 2016

Emily Hanson

Research Alumni 2015 - 2016

Brittany Underhill

Research Alumni 2014 - 2015

Mia D.

Research Alumni 2019

Brittany Young Tenn

Research Alumni 2018 - 2019

David Mahadevan

Research Alumni 2018 - 2019

Simone Deahl

Research Alumni 2015 - 2018

Qingsheng Qiu (Ryan)

Research Alumni 2018

Adrianna Xue

Research Alumni 2016-2017

Diana Sadat

Research Alumni 2016 - 2017

Teah Scotten

Research Alumni 2016 - 2017

Jules Ku-Lea

Research Alumni 2014 - 2015

Codie Jordan

Research Alumni 2014 - 2015

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