INTERACT hiring national coordinator

October 2017

The INTERACT Team is recruiting! We are looking for a skilled and enthusiastic national research coordinator now! Check position here.

The Chair in Urban Intervention and Population Health present at IMGS 2017!

July 2017

We will be at the 2017 International Medical Geography Symposium to talk about how built environment context relates to active living and social networks among older adults. Presentations will talk about detected Hawthorn effect among participants wearing wearable sensors for daily mobility and physical activity tracking, and Social Network Analysis metrics of socio-spatial networks!  Link to : http://www.irdes.fr/imgs2017/program.htm

INTERACT in motion in Victoria!

may 2017

The recruitment of people who cycle at least once a month in Victoria has started! INTERACT has launched a five-year study to uncover how the implementation of Victoria’s All Ages and Abilities (AAA) Bike Network is impacting physical activity, social participation, and wellbeing – and whether these impacts are felt equally across different socioeconomic groups. We are currently recruiting adults who bike in Victoria to help us learn how the AAA Bike Network influences your cycling patterns and engagement in everyday city life. Participating is a rare opportunity to contribute to innovative research that will guide and inspire our cities to be healthier places for all Canadians. Sign up at http://www.teaminteract.ca/victoria

INTERACT hiring research coordinator

February 2017

The INTERACT Team is recruiting! We are looking for a skilled and enthusiastic national research coordinator now!  (Person recruited) 

CIHR funds the Environment and Health INTERACT Team for five years

December 2016

The Environment and Health INTERACT intervention research project was funded by CIHR! Interventions to the built environment occuring in four Canadian cities (Victoria, Vancouver, Saskatoon, Montreal) will be studied as natural experiments. New population-based cohorts will be recruited, and online questionnaires and wearable sensors will be used to track changes in health behaviour and well-being. Project web page with more to come here!

The research Chair obtains a grant from the Quebec ministry of Familial affairs!

December 2015

The Office for Seniors grants the Research Chair for a 3-year Research action project. This will be in collaboration with the TCAIM (Montreal Consultative Board of Seniors) and the local stakeholders. The objective is to monitor the daily mobility, physical activity and social participation of 100-150 seniors during 6 phases. Read more 


Rania Wasfi's PhD Oral defense

October 2015

Rania Wasfi will also defend her Ph.D. thesis, entitled 'The Influence of the Urban Built Environment on Utilitarian Walking and Body Mass Index: Trip Diary and Longitudinal Studies of Canadians'. The defense will be on October 29th, 9 am. at McGill University, Burnside Hall, Room 426. Abstract


Mathieu Carrier Thesis Defense

October 2015

Mathieu Carrier will defend his Ph.D. thesis 'La distribution spatiale des polluants atmosphériques et du niveau de bruit provenant du transport routier: un cas d'équité environnementale', Novembrer 9th, 2 p.m. at INRS, 385 Sherbrooke W, Montreal


Cédric Sueur obtains a grant from the French national research agency

August 2015

Cedric Sueur's Team obtains a grant from "Agence nationale de la recherche" for his project intitled "Healthy Aging in Cities: The combined role of built environments and socio-spatial networks". This project will be in continuity with the CURHA Study and involve Yan Kestens, Benoît Thierry, Julie Vallée, Basile Chaix and Philippe Gerber. Congratulations!


Camille Perchoux Thesis Defense

June 2015

Camille Perchoux will defend her Ph.D. thesis 'Accounting for residential and non-residential environments to measure contextual effects on health behavior: The case of recreational walking behavior'. June 15 at 10 a.m., room 3019, ESPUM, 7077 du Parc, Montreal. Summary


New funded research project for Julie Vallée!

May 2015

Julie Vallée, regular researcher at CNRS (Géographie-Cités) and invited researcher at SphereLab, obtained a three-year funding from Université Sorbonne Paris Cités for her project Relat'Health : Pour une approche relationnelle des effets de lieu sur les inégalités de santé à Paris et à Montréal. This project will be based on the data from the ISIS survey in Montréal RECORD survey in Paris. Two SphereLab members, Yan Kestens and Benoit Thierry will be part of this project involving french and canadian researchers in geography, urban planning and social epidemiology. Congratulations Julie!


Discover our tools and download our fact sheets!

May 2015

Four fact sheets are now ready for download to (re)discover the tools and methods that are developed and used by our team. You can download them here : 

Wearable sensors for objective measures of health

Ekogito and concept-mapping

Spatial VERITAS Interface

Social VERITAS Interface


Open position - Post-doctoral Fellowship in Environmental Epidemiology and GIS

February 2015

We are offering a Post-doctoral Fellowship to work on built and social environment correlates of cancer starting as of May 1st, 2015 . More info for applicants 

Launch of the CURHA Study: 100 elderly people have already responded in Montreal and Sherbrooke!

January 2015

The data collection for the international study of daily mobility and active living using wearable sensor across aging cohorts (CURHA Study) is progressing rapidly. Read more (Release)

Canadian Public Health under siege according to L. Potvin, Editor of Canadian Journal of Public Health

January 2015

We here provide an Editorial written by Louise Potvin regarding the threats posed to Public Health in Canada. An important read! Click here to get the editorial.

Madeleine Steinmetz-Wood presents at the 17th Annual student, intern and resident conference of the CRCHUM  

December 2014

Her presentation was about: " The modifiable areal unit problem: implications for the relationship between land-use mix and active transportation". Read more (in french)


Basile Chaix visiting SPHERELab and giving a talk Wednesday 10:00 a.m.

October 2014

Dr. Basile Chaix from INSERM is currently in Montreal working with us at SPHERELab. He will be giving a talk on Wednesday the 8 of October at CRCHUM, 10:00 a.m. Tour St-Antoine 4th Floor Room S04-730. His talk will be about 'Nouvelles approches en santé environnementale basées sur le suivi en continu de la mobilité, de l’activité, des expositions et de la santé'.

SPHERE Seminar - Invited speaker: Thierry Ramadier, Université de Strasbourg & CNRS 

May 2014

SphereLab is happy to welcome Thierry Ramadier from the SAGE Lab at CNRS and Université de Strasbourg for a seminar intitled 'Quand la mobilité se pense: Évolution de la recherche scientifique sur les déplacements géographiques'. Thursday 29th of May 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., CRCHUM, 850, St-Denis, Pavillon St-Antoine, S04-730.

Martine Shareck thesis defense!

March 2014

Congratulations to Martine Shareck who has successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis 'Moving beyond the residential trap for studying place effects on social inequalities in health', on April 1st 2014!

Paper in SSM shows social inequalities in activity space exposure among young adults 

March 2014

New paper out from Martine Shareck exploring social inequalities in residential and non-residential exposure using data from the ISIS Study. Link.

New paper on wearable devices for clinical interventions

February 2014

New paper out in International Journal of Pediatrics showing how wearable tracking devices (GPS, accelerometry, heart rate monitors) can be used to support a lifestyle interventions among children with cardiometabolic risk factors! Link.

Brand new offices!

October 2013

The SPHERELAB just moved to our new offices downtown. All members of the CRCHUM will now be together under one roof! Give us a visit! See new address on Contact page.

Julie Vallée - Invited speaker to IRSPUM Seminar (Montreal, 21th of October).

October 2013

Julie Vallée called for the need to consider people’s spatial practices when studying place-based effects on health. From emprical data collected in Montreal and in Paris, her research investigates inequalities in access to urban and health ressources accounting for people’s abilities to experience their neighbourhood of residence and to move within the whole city. See here for more details.

Interested in doing a Masters', Ph.D. or Postdoc on healthy aging?

August 2013

In the context of an international research project on healthy aging, we are looking for Masters', Ph.D. or Postdoc candidates in public health / community health, urban planning, environmental planning or electrical engineering. Successful applicants will have the support of established researchers to help them build applications for funding from relevant organisms for the autumn 2013 competition. See call for proposals in English or French.

New concept of representativity published in IJBNPA

July 2013

A new paper by Christelle Clary is now online at International Journal of Behavior and Physical Activity which proposes a new concept of representativity for the assessment of the validity of secondary database to be used in built environment and health research. Using the canadian DMTI enhanced points of interest data, validity has been assessed through ground truthing. By allowing for false positives and false negatives to compensate each other within a give area, a new measure of representativity is proposed (provisional pdf).

Six presentations from Spherelab team members at IMGS 2013

June 2013

Spherelab team members have given six talks at the 2013 edition of the International Medical Geography Symposium in East Lansing, MI. Talks included use of activity space data in relation to smoking, mental health, and methodological contributions using VERITAS survey data, GPS tracking. Results based on great data from the RECORD and ISIS cohort studies!


A novel algorithm to extract activity locations from raw GPS data

March 2013

new paper published in International Journal of Health Geographics presents our novel kernel-based algorithm that aimed to improve the identification of activity places from raw GPS data. Identified activity places can then be used to assess more precisely exposure to multiple environments and their relations to health. 

New paper on use of GPS data in health and place research

March 2013

A new paper published in Health and Place discusses the challenges of using GPS data to improve exposure assessment and to improve causal inference. Check it out here !


Research position open for healthy aging project (Luxembourg)

March 2013

Our research partners from CEPS/INSTEAD in the internationally funded research project on urban environments and healthy aging, lead by Spherelab, are looking to fill a full time position as researcher. Candidates should hold a Ph.D. in urban studies and have expertise in analysing survey data and GIS. Update: Position now filled. Thanks to all candidates.


Julie Vallée from France joining our lab as an invited researcher

January 2013

Julie Vallée, a researcher from French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique has joined the CRCHUM and our lab for a period of two years. She will be working on various projects and sharing her expertise on spatial processes in health inequalities with us. She will also  spend some time at IRSPUM, to work with Kate Frohlich using the ISIS Cohort, looking at inequalities in smoking among young adults in Montreal.


Funded ERA-AGE 2 Project on Healthy Aging

November 2012

​Our team obtained funding from the European Research Area in Ageing 2 (ERA-AGE 2) competition, for a three year project aiming to better understand the relations between urban contexts and healthy aging. Together with teams from France (RECORD Cohort, Basile Chaix) and Luxembourg (CEPS, Philippe Gerber), we will follow mobility and physical activity patterns of older adults from existing cohorts using the multisensor wearable device that was developped in our lab. In Canada, participants from the NuAge Cohort will be part of the sample. Canadian funding is provided by CIHR and FRQS.


New paper in AJPM on the map-based VERITAS application

December 2012

A new paper published in AJPM presents the interactive map-based VERITAS questionnaire we developed in collaboration with the RECORD Group (Basile Chaix, France). VERITAS is currently used in the RECORD Cohort and is being adapted to studies on adolescents and children in New Zealand, with Scott Duncan. If interested in using or adapting VERITAS for your own studies, don't hesitate to contact us!


New paper on food environment and obesity in PLOS One

August 2012

​A new paper published in PLOS One reports our findings on exposure to food environments and obesity. The originality of the approach is that we used travel survey data to estimate multiple place exposure to food sources. Findings show that activity space exposure is more strongly associated to risk of obesity among men, but residential exposure is more strongly associated among women.


Funded ERA-AGE 2 Project on Healthy Aging

November 2012

​Our team obtained funding from the European Research Area in Ageing 2 (ERA-AGE 2) competition, for a three year project aiming to better understand the relations between urban contexts and healthy aging. Together with teams from France (RECORD Cohort, Basile Chaix) and Luxembourg (CEPS, Philippe Gerber), we will follow mobility and physical activity patterns of older adults from existing cohorts using the multisensor wearable device that was developped in our lab. In Canada, participants from the NuAge Cohort (will be part of the sample. Canadian funding is provided by CIHR and FRSQon.


Marie-Lyse Bélanger doing an internship in France

July 2012

​Marie-Lyse Bélanger from SPHERE Lab is doing an internship this summer with Yan Ropert-Coudert at the CNRS Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien in Strasbourg, France. She is working on the validation of accelerometry data collected with our nove multisensor device. Dr. Ropert-Coudert’s team is mostly working with animals, but we, humans, are not so different – are we?


Understanding urban context and quality of life

June 2012

​We welcome Guoying Zeng and George Parker who have joined our lab to work on urban correlates of mental health, using data from the Zone Épidémiologie Psychiatrique du Sud-Ouest de Montréal (ZEPSOM) project, lead by Jean Caron, from the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. Guoying Zeng is a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Planning interested in the relation between urban density and quality of life. George Parker will explore questions relating to urban planning caracteristics and quality of life. They are both supervised by Lisa Bornstein, from the McGill School of Urban Planning.



Daniel Fuller, Ph.D.!

June 2012

​Congratulations to Daniel Fuller who successfully defended his Ph.D. Thesis on June 14 at  Université de Montréal. His thesis is entitled 'Potential of Built Environment Interventions Involving Deployment of Bicycles to Increase Utilitarian Cycling: The case of BIXI in Montreal, Quebec'. Daniel was supervised by Lise Gauvin and co-supervised by Yan Kestens. We all wish Daniel a great career and hopefully lasting collaborations! You can still follow Dan's tribulations on his blog.



New paper in Plos One !

June 2012

​The SPHERE Lab has collaborated to a study with the RECORD Group (Basile Chaix, INSERM, Paris) that showed that supermarket characteristics were associated with body fat. The paper was published in Plos One and received a lot of media attention! Read more on Plos One...


GPS Workshop at the ISBNPA Conference

May 2012

​During the ISBNPA Conference, Yan Kestens from the SPHERE Lab gave a talk with Basile Chaix (RECORD Group, Paris) on the use of novel technologies in the context of a GPS workshop organized by Scott Duncan, in Austin, Texas. Here is the Prezi of this talk, entitled "Assessing activity places in neighborhood and health research: Contributions of surveys of regular destinations and GPS tracking" By the way, check out the GPS Health Research Network that Scott is heading!


Marie-Lyse Bélanger in Rome, Italy!

May 2012

​Congrats to Marie-Lyse Bélanger, Master's student at the SPHERE Lab, who just gave a talk at the 8th International Conference on Diet and Physical Activity Methods. She presented some of her work on weight status and validity of accelerometry-derived step counts, under supervision of Marie-Eve Mathieu and cosupervision of Yan Kestens.


The SPHERE Lab welcomes Elisa Keo!

May 2012

​We welcome Elisa Keo who has joined our team at SPHERE Lab for her final internship. Elida is completing her Engineering Degree in Electronics at École de Technologie Supérieure. She will work with us this summer to contribute to the development of our novel Multisensor device.