About Us

We formed the Equity and Inclusion group in November 2017. We are comprised of graduate students, faculty and staff.

The group stemmed from the Physics and Astronomy Departmental review in October 2017. As the largest minority group (25%), women in the department were asked to share their experiences with the external review committee. When we came together we realized we shared similar challenges. Thus, we decided to create a support network among ourselves by developing an official forum/group for communication.

Our mission is to represent all underrepresented groups in Physics and Astronomy. We are aiming to provide resources and publicize other local/UBC events for underrepresented groups within our department in order to develop a sense of community and inclusion. One of our major goals is to create continuity of this group and foster a sense of change.


Meet the Team

Isabelle St-Martin, Coordinator

Sam Connolly, Communications Coordinator

Theresa Liao, Operations Coordinator

Theresa Liao is the Communications Coordinator for UBC Physics & Astronomy. She oversees the department’s external communication (handling research stories, planning conferences and events, updating website content, and maintaining social media channels). She also manages the department’s K-12 outreach program.

Jonah Berean-Dutcher, Treasurer

Jonah is an MSc student in Physics. His research interests lie in the area of emergent quantum gravity and non-commutative geometry. He enjoys cycling around Vancouver and running the trails of Pacific Spirit Park.

Xi Ren, Events Coordinator

Xi is a MSc student in Medical Physics. Her research involves small animal imaging and radiation therapy towards no side effects. In her spare time, she loves photography and playing the flute. She also enjoys staying active by jogging, skating, and playing badminton.

Cariad Knight, Events Coordinator

Ryley Hill, General member

Ryley joined the E&I in PHAS team in September 2018 and has been the Events Coordinator until 2021. He is a PhD student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UBC working on galaxies, galaxy clusters, and the large-scale structure of the Universe. If you can’t find Ryley in the astronomy office then he is probably out in the mountains hiking, trail running or skiing!

Leesa Fleury, General member

Leesa joined the E&I in PHAS team in the fall of 2019 and has been the Events Coordinator until 2021. She is a PhD student in Physics working on using observations of white dwarfs to test dark matter particle models. In her free time, she enjoys doing judo and sketching.

Demet Kirmizibayrak, General Member

Demet is a PhD Student in Physics, working in Astrophysics. She mainly works on unraveling the mysteries of black holes and neutron stars. She is especially passionate about wellness, mindfulness, and equity, and thrives to connect with people in the department to facilitate these topics.

Evan Goetz, General Member

Evan is a Research Associate in the department working in the LIGO experiment.

Chris Gubbels, General member

Chris is a PhD student in Physics, working as part of the ATLAS collaboration. He was president of the PHAS GSA in 2017-18 and continues to be somewhat involved as a member of the Committee for Culture. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, watching sports, and learning the writing systems of various languages.

Adele Ruosi, General Member

Adele Ruosi is the science education specialist in PHAS and she advises faculty instructors on pedagogical improvement, curriculum revisions, and assessment of teaching and learning effectiveness. She also develops strategies that enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion in teaching in collaboration with the Equity and Inclusion Office (EIO). As a foreigner she is particularly interested in fostering the appreciation and inclusion of other cultures, and as a woman in physics she is interested in encouraging woman and other underrepresented groups in this field. Adele is one of the two PHAS representative in the Faculty of Science EDI Community of Practice.

Kirsty Dickson, General Member

Kirsty is the Undergraduate Coordinator for UBC Physics & Astronomy. She schedules courses, assists students with course registration, planning and advising, and helps out with undergraduate events (Imagine Day, graduation).

Colin Gay, Faculty Advisor

Joss Ives, Faculty Advisor

Alison Lister, Faculty Advisor

Allison Man, Faculty Advisor

Jess McIver, Faculty Advisor

Jannis McKenna, Faculty Advisor

Ingrid Stairs, Faculty Advisor

Past and founding members

Click on the following to learn more about our past and founding members.

Miriam Cabero Müller, Coordinator (Oct. 2020 - Sept. 2021)

Member (2019 - 2021)

Miriam was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the department working on gravitational-wave astronomy with the LIGO and Virgo detectors. She did her PhD in Germany and moved to Vancouver in October 2019. She was also the Vice-President Operations for the UBC Postdoctoral Association during the 2020-21 term. In her free time, she likes reading, crafting, and spending time in nature.

Elham E Koda, Coordinator (Sept. 2019 - Sept. 2020)

Member (2018 - 2021)

Elham was a PhD student working in the ATLAS experiment of the Large Hadron Collider. He loves traveling and in his free time, he enjoys learning musical instruments and cooking.


Robin Hayes, Coordinator (Jan. 2019 - Aug. 2019)

Member (2017 - 2020)

Robin is a PhD student in experimental particle physics, focusing on measuring properties of the Higgs boson using data from the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. When not doing physics, she loves spending time outdoors and cooking.


Dominique Trischuk, Coordinator (Jan. 2019 - Aug. 2019)

Member (2017 - 2020)

Dominique is a PhD student in experimental particle physics working on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. In her spare time, she likes hiking, biking and skiing.


Vanessa Wiggerman, General Member (2017-2020)

Vanessa was a PhD student in physics with a research focus on magnetic resonance imaging in multiple sclerosis. She acted as president of the PHAS graduate student association from 2014-2016, working on building a continuing community within the department. In her free time, she dances in a Mexican Folkloric Dance Group and enjoys cooking and baking.


Jared Stang, Faculty Advisor

Jeff Bale, General Member

Javiera Parada, General Member (2017-2020)

Sébastien Rettie, General Member (2018 - 2019)

Sébastien Rettie was a PhD student working with the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and he enjoys skiing and hiking in his spare time.



Emily Altiere, Coordinator (2017 - 2018)

Emily is a founding member of this group and was the first coordinator. She was a PhD student in the department of Physics and Astronomy working with the TUCAN Collaboration developing a UV laser system for xenon spectroscopy. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, hiking and skiing.



Electra Eleftheriadou, Executive member (2017 - 2018)

Electra is a founding member of this group and was a research associate in the department of Physics and Astronomy.



The following founding members of E&I, were responsible not only for the creation of this group but also instrumental in establishing E&I within PHAS and UBC at large. They did this by creating, and embedding E&I into UBC's community through the hosting of workshops, lectures, and open houses that were open to all disciplines of science. In addition to this, they were instrumental in securing funding to ensure the continued operation of the organization.

Emily Altiere

Electra Eleftheriadou

Vanessa Wiggerman

Javiera Parada

Dominique Trischuk

Robin Hayes

Leesa Fleury

Theresa Liao

Prof. Ingrid Stairs

Prof. Janis McKenna

Prof. Alison Lister