Meet our Researchers
Current Research Team
Westland Researcher | Doctoral Student | 2018-present
Background: Jennifer graduated from York University with a BA in Psychology. After working at a psychiatric hospital for several years, she moved to Vancouver to continue her education. She is currently enrolled in Adler University’s doctoral program for clinical psychology.
Why Sexuality Research? Aware of the lack of education and training in sexuality in most clinical circles, Jennifer is interested in learning more in order to inform her future practice and theoretical orientation.
Topics of Interest: Although Jennifer is primarily interested in trauma, mood and anxiety disorders, she would like to incorporate sex-positive practices in her clinical work. She is also interested in teaching, and hopes to use her experience at Westland to help her communicate complex ideas in interesting and accessible ways.
Westland Researcher | Undergraduate Student
Background: Alaina is currently completing her last year of her undergraduate degree at University of British Columbia but will be graduating from the University of Western Ontario in May 2017. She is currently pursuing a double major in biology and GRSJ (gender, race, sexuality and social justice). In her spare time, she tutors children and volunteers in the downtown east side.
Why Sexuality Research: Alaina eventually plans to work in women’s health and believes that sexuality is a large and often overlooked part of this field. She believes that sex education should be more inclusive and more sex positive. She is thrilled to be part of a team that promotes both of these things and works to destigmatize sexuality.
Topics of interest: Alaina is particularly interested in the anatomical systems of the body as they pertain to sex, unconventional relationships and the female orgasm – anatomically and the social stigma surrounding it.
Background: Simone holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Ottawa. She lives in Toronto, where she works as a caregiver for people with disabilities.
Why Sexuality: As an undergraduate student, Simone took classes with sex therapist Dr. Peggy Kleinplatz and was inspired by her stories. She wants to become a sex therapist herself, and be able to help people understand themselves and find healing, joy, and intimacy.
Topics of interest: Optimal sexual experience, female libido, and the impact of systems of privilege and power on sex and relationships.
Qingsheng Qiu (Ryan)
Background: Ryan recently graduated from University of British Columbia with a BA in psychology. He currently works full time for a gaming company but plans to return to school to become a sex therapist.
Why sexuality research: Ryan grew up in an open-minded family in which sex was a normal dinner table conversation topic. He realized that a lot of the stigmas and judgement that people have against other people’s life choices are often times a result of lack of knowledge. He believes that everyone has as much right to pursue pleasure with their body, as they do with the mind. That a conversation or a Tweet about sex should be treated the same as one about songs or books. He believes that in order to eliminate shame and stigmas, we need to start by normalizing sex through education and communication with an open mind.
Topics of interest: The many expressions of orgasm and the relation they have to psychology and anatomy. Exploring the representation of sex in gender power imbalance and mental health and wellness for Sex workers and how that relates therapy practice.
Westland Researcher | Masters Student
Background: Aysha is currently enrolled as a student at Adler University in the Master’s of Counselling Psychology program, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies from Simon Fraser University. She is a Leather hetero-queer, progressive humanist feminist, passionate about providing service to LGBQAI2+, Trans*, kink explorers, fetishizers, and the BDSM community.
Why Sexuality: Besides sex therapy, she is passionate about sexual health education and sex-positive activism. She is a sexual pluralist, and a kinky Switch (both a Sadist and service bottom) and has been mentored and formally trained in a broad spectrum of Sadomasochistic activities, except rope.
Topics of interest: High protocol power exchange relationships i.e. Masters/slaves, Gor, Leatherpeople, Dominants/submissives, individuals with paraphilias, and other fringe or alternative sexualities.
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.