Research Advisors

Faculty in the School of Physiotherapy engage in a broad range of research crossing all areas of physiotherapy practice including:

Musculoskeletal Health

Dr. Cheryl Kozey

Dr. Cheryl Kozey
Professor, Co –Director of the Dynamics of Human Motion Laboratory

BPE (UNB) MSc (Waterloo), PhD (Dal)

Cross-appointments: School of Biomedical Engineering (BME)

Nova Scotia Health Authority Affiliate Scientist, Department of Surgery

Maritime SPOR Support Unit, Research Associate

Office: Room 316B, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-2635
Email: cheryl.kozey@dal.ca

Research interests: The Innovation in Musculoskeletal Heath and Physical activity Team (IMPACT) is multidisciplinary, including researchers from engineering, physiotherapy, kinesiology and strong clinician scientist collaborations. IMPACT is interested in promoting “Mobility for Life” through research aimed at reducing the limitations in physical function associated with the high prevalence of bone and joint disorders. Dr. Kozey is the Co-Director of the Dynamics of Human Motion laboratory with Dr. Astephen Wilson in the School of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Kozey’s primary research interest is in understanding functional decline in those with bone and joint problems, primarily knee joint osteoarthritis and low back conditions. Her goal is to provide innovative solutions to keep people with these problems moving to maintain their joint health and subsequently overall general health through improving their physical functional. Her research is showing the importance of joint level biomechanics and specifically the role that the knee joint muscles play to maintain joint health. Indeed inappropriate joint biomechanics and muscle activity can create a negative joint environment adding to the worsening or pain and joint damage. This research is leading to identifying biomechanical targets that can form the basis for early non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical interventions.

Sample projects that graduate students have worked on include:  i) cross-sectional studies looking at how OA severity changes joint and muscle function, ii) looking at pre and post total knee arthroplasty outcomes and predicting poor outcomes, iii) examining the effects of conservative treatments such as bracing on the joint and muscles as well as on physical activity levels, iv) follow up study to determine what factors are related to increase risk of progressing to a total joint replacement surgery, v) comparing muscle activation patterns between those who do not have a low back injury to those recently recovered from a low back injury to determine who is at greater risk for re-injury, vi) determine the amount and intensity of physical activity for those with knee osteoarthritis and how does this impact pain and joint damage, vii) looking at differences in the trunk muscle activation and control in older adults and what implication that this has for increased risk of falls and viii) looking at trunk muscle control and spinal stability in those with a low back injury and the risk of re-injury.

Recurrent Low Back Injury Prediction
The goal of Dr. Cheryl Hubley-Kozey's research is to better understand recovery from a low back injury and to use this information to develop a prediction model for those who reinjure.

Dr. Rebecca Moyer

Dr. Rebecca Moyer
Assistant Professor

BScH (Queen's),  BPHE(Queen's),  MPT(Western), PhD(Western)

Office: Room 316C, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-2028
Email: rebecca.moyer@dal.ca

Research interests: Dr. Moyer’s clinical research program is focused on individuals with musculoskeletal conditions with a specialization in rehabilitative and surgical interventions for patients with osteoarthritis. Her work consists of various research designs that incorporate clinical gait biomechanics, radiographic, performance-based and patient-reported outcomes to improve mobility and activities of daily living. Dr. Moyer’s interests also include imaging outcome measures of disease progression using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – derived measures of knee and hip morphology, and their use in clinical research methods. This research aims to clarify the relationships between mechanical, biological and structural markers of osteoarthritis progression, how these markers differ across patients with osteoarthritis and how they respond to novel strategies. Visit Dr. Moyer's lab for Clinical Biomechanics and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Derek Rutherford

Dr. Derek Rutherford
Associate Professor
Interim Director

Hon BSc (UWO), BScPT (Toronto), MSc (Rehabilitation Research) (Dal), PhD (Dal)

Office: Room 418, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-2616
Email: djr@dal.ca

Research interests: Dr. Rutherford specializes in understanding how lower limb joints are affected by injury and disease to develop and evaluate conservative and surgical management and approaches. His current focus is in the areas of hip and knee injuries and osteoarthritis.

As a physical therapist, focused in Musculoskeletal Health and research in biomechanical aspects of human movement and electromyography, Dr. Rutherford provides a unique skill set to understand the implications of joint injuries and disease on human function. 

Publications:

ORCID

Google Scholar

 

Neuroscience and Neurorehabilitation

Dr. Shaun Boe

  Dr. Shaun Boe
Professor
Associate Dean (Research)

Hon BPhEd (Kin) (Brock), PhD (UWO), MPT (UWO)

Office: Room 429, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-6360
Email: s.boe@dal.ca

Research interests: The goal of Dr. Boe’s research program is to inform, develop and test interventions that aim to improve learning in health and disease. His lab approaches this goal through basic and applied research approaches. Basic research focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying brain function and plasticity associated with learning. Applied research in the lab focuses on learning and recovery in patients post-stroke to understand the mechanisms underlying recovery, and how we can apply this understanding to improve interventions used in neurorehabilitation. In addition to neuroscience and rehabilitation, Dr. Boe’s research and teaching has an entrepreneurship and commercialization focus in the area of neurotechnology. Visit Dr. Boe's Laboratory for Brain Recovery and Function website.

 

 

Physical Activity, Exercise and Special Populations

Dr. Marie Earl

Dr. Marie Earl
Assistant Professor

BSc (PT) (University of Western Ontario), PhD (Waterloo)

Office: Room 316C, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-2633
Email: marie.earl@dal.ca

Research interests: Much of Dr. Earl's work deals with factors that affect the balance and mobility of older adults. She places particular emphasis on sensory integration (vestibular, hearing, proprioception, and vision systems) and effective recruitment of muscles to control balance during routine standing and walking tasks. This provides the basis for developing appropriate assessments, and for learning how properly prescribed exercise can prevent the impairments and activity limitations that affect the health and independence of seniors who live in the community, in hospital, and in continuing care settings.

Care and Construction: Assessing Differences in Nursing Home Models of Care on Resident Quality of Life
Dr. Marie Earl is part of a multi-disciplinary team looking at different models of care in nursing homes and the impact on resident quality of life. Visit the Care and Construction website.
Review the complete Care and Construction overview document. [PDF - 888kB]

Prototyping Medical Devices for Hearing and Balance Research
Balance problems and falls have a substantial impact on health and function. Dr. Marie Earl’s research examines the potential of balance biofeedback to alleviate balance problems that arise due to impaired sensory function.

Dr. Scott Kehler

Dr. Scott Kehler
Assistant Professor

BPE, BKin, MSc, PhD (UofM)

Office: Room 402, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-2822
Email: scott.kehler@dal.ca

Research interests: Scott’s research focuses on the clinical and epidemiological aspects of frailty and aging, with a special interest in patients living with cardiovascular disease. In particular, he studies the impact of physical activity and sedentary behaviours for the prevention and treatment of frailty.

Publications:

Researchgate

Dr. Caitlin McArthur

Dr. Caitlin McArthur
Assistant Professor

BScKIN (Waterloo), MScPT (UofT), PhD (Waterloo)

Office: Room 405, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-1371
Email: caitlin.mcarthur@dal.ca

Research interests: Dr. McArthur’s research focuses on improving the effectiveness of and access to rehabilitation for people living with chronic health conditions across the continuum of care, particularly home and long-term care. She is interested in fall and fracture prevention and improving functional mobility for clinically complex older adults.

Publications:

Google Scholar

Research Gate

Dr. Adria Quigley

Dr. Adria Quigley
Assistant Professor

BScKin (UofS), MScPT (UofT), PhD (Dal)

Office: Room 430, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-2734
Email: adriaquigley@Dal.ca

Research

Dr. Quigley’s research is focused on rehabilitation for people living with HIV and other people living with episodic conditions. She is specifically interested in mobility, balance, and dual-tasking ability in people living with HIV. Her other research interests include rehabilitation and Long COVID and improving access to rehabilitation for equity-deserving groups.

 

Publications:
Pubmed
Google Scholar

 

 

Dr. Olga Theou

Dr. Olga Theou
Canada Research Chair
Assistant Professor

BSc (Greece) MSc (USA) PhD (UWO)

Office: Room 316A, Forrest Building
Tel: (902) 494-4248
Email: olga.theou@dal.ca

Research interests:
  • Epidemiological and clinical aspects of frailty and aging
  • Epidemiological and clinical aspects of physical activity, sedentary behaviors, exercise, and mobility
Publications:
    •    Pubmed
    •    Google Scholar