Dr. Kulkarni supervises graduate students in the MSc Epidemiology, PhD Epidemiology and PhD Population Health programs. There are a limited number of positions for graduate students at INSIGHT, which are allocated based on space, funding and fit. If you are interested in undertaking your thesis research on a topic related to INSIGHT's research program please contact Dr. Kulkarni to discuss potential opportunities.

Prospective Students

Current Students

Jameeta Kurji, PhD Candidate

Jaameeta Kurji is an epidemiologist who has mainly worked in the area of maternal and child health in resource-constrained settings. She received her training at McGill University and the University of Toronto, and is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Ottawa where she is assessing the effectiveness of optimally functioning maternity waiting homes in improving health outcomes and maternal service coverage in Ethiopia. Additionally, she is conducting spatial analyses and intervention fidelity assessments. Her work is part of an IDRC-funded implementation study led by her supervisors (Dr. Manisha Kulkarni and Prof. Ronald Labonte) and colleagues from Jimma University, Ethiopia.

Andreea Slatculescu, PhD Candidate

Andreea is a doctoral student studying the molecular and spatial epidemiology of Lyme disease emergence in Eastern Ontario. She is a long-time student at the University of Ottawa, having previously completed an MSc in microbiology and immunology and a graduate diploma in population health risk assessment and management. In her spare time, Andreea moonlights as a baker and cake decorator for her mom's shop, paints abstract scenes and portraits, and takes headshots of her superstar cat.

Jay Logan, PhD Candidate

Jay is a doctoral student whose research interests are emerging vector-borne disease epidemiology and the impacts of geographic variance on risk of vector-borne disease exposure. His experience brings an interdisciplinary approach, having previously earned an MGIS through Penn State University after his work examining blood-borne pathogen exposure risk with GIS technology and social network analysis techniques. Jay has previously worked as a spatial analyst and GIS web developer for various government agencies and private companies, and fences in his spare time.

Charles Thickstun, PhD Candidate

Charles is a doctoral student in epidemiology who is conducting research on the spatial epidemiology of malaria and implications for the design of malaria vector control trials. He completed his MSc in epidemiology in the INSIGHT lab, where his thesis project examined the spatial variations in risk factors for malaria in Muleba, Tanzania. For his doctoral research, Charles will be part of an international research team with partners in from the Pan-African Malaria Vector Research Consortium. Bringing an interdisciplinary approach to his work, Charles has research interests in global health, development economics, population movements, neglected tropical diseases, disaster preparedness and response, and spatial analysis. 

Jessica Sutinen, MSc Candidate

Jessica is a master's student in epidemiology with a research interest in viral epidemiology. Her thesis project focuses on identifying comorbid conditions as risk factors of severe neurological disease following West Nile virus infection. In addition, she is part of a team at Health Canada that is conducting monitoring and surveillance of climate-related impacts on health.

Aisha Barkhad, MSc Candidate

Aisha is a Master of Science in Epidemiology student whose research interests include, but are not limited to, vector-borne disease epidemiology, neglected tropical diseases, and globalization and health equity. Aisha’s background concentrated on biochemistry, microbiology, and immunology with emphasis on pathogen-host interactions. At the INSIGHT Lab, Aisha is currently working towards completing her major research paper highlighting trends in malaria burden in Tanzania using Malaria Indicator Survey data.

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Research Team

Benoit is an outdoorsy and well-travelled person who enjoys encountering wildlife and local communities around the world. He is also passionate about how species may affect other species that are associated with them, such as seen in systems of hosts, parasites and pathogen, an interest which influences his current and past projects. Broadly, he is interested in how vectors and reservoirs of human and animal illnesses spread through the landscape and adapt to local environments. He currently collaborates on projects throughout the Americas on mosquito-borne West Nile virus and Zika virus, and on tick-borne Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme Disease. His goal is to identify landscape factors affecting vector abundance and spread and their associated pathogens. Feel free to message him to discuss biology, geography, the outdoors, travel, or any other interest you may have in common.

Dr. Roman Kryuchkov, Research Technician

Roman is a research technician in the INSIGHT lab whose research interests include vector-borne disease epidemiology, geographic distribution of disease vectors, arthropod-host interactions, and assessment of vector potential and capacity. 

Dr. Flavia Furtado, Visiting Researcher

Flavia is a professor at the Federal University of Maranhão (UFMA) - Brazil where she conducts public health research with an emphasis on epidemiology, and maternal and child health. Currently, she is a visiting researcher at the University of Ottawa, working on the spatial analysis of congenital syndrome cases caused by Zika virus in the state of Maranhão - Brazil. The data collected in Maranhão - Brazil will be assessed in the INSIGHT lab under the supervision of Dr. Manisha Kulkarni. This work is part of a study led by colleagues from UFMA - Brazil.

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Past Students

Mariame Ouedraogo, MSc Epidemiology

Mariame received her MSc in epidemiology in 2018. Her thesis focused on underlining some of the strategies, barriers, and determinants to optimal maternal and child health (MCH) in Jimma Zone, Ethiopia. More specifically, she assessed the quality of MCH data collected within the health management information system and how women utilize key preventive measures for pregnancy complications and malaria. Mariame now works at SickKids Centre for Global Child Health in Toronto.

Isha Narula, MSc Epidemiology

Isha completed her Master's in epidemiology in 2017 examining Spatiotemporal trends in Lyme disease emergence in Eastern Ontario. She is currently an MD candidate at the University of Toronto.

Shruti Mallya, MSc Epidemiology

Shruti's Master's thesis project looked at factors predicting the occurrence of human West Nile virus cases in southern Ontario. Climate data as well as mosquito surveillance data were used in a generalized linear mixed model to forecast risk of disease in an upcoming season. The time lag between the appearance of positive mosquito clusters and human case clusters was also explored. Since graduating, Shruti has worked as a data analyst at the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health in Toronto and is currently a health analyst at Peel Region Public Health.

Esha Homenauth, MSc Epidemiology

Esha completed her Master's degree in epidemiology in 2016. Her thesis focused on evaluating multilevel risk factors associated with malaria and arbovirus prevalence in regions of Tanzania. These research findings have assisted in guiding policy decisions regarding surveillance efforts as well as informed where and when to prioritize interventions. Esha is currently an epidemiologist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.

Andrew Tomayer, MSc Epidemiology

Andrew earned his Master's in epidemiology in 2016 with his thesis "Impact of Indoor Residual Spraying and Insecticide-treated Bed Nets on Malaria Transmission in Sub-Saharan Africa Using Mathematical Modelling" and was co-supervised by Dr. Manisha Kulkarni and Dr. Robert Smith. Andrew was also a research assistant for Dr. Kulkarni throughout the duration of his degree, developing GIS models of mosquito populations in Moshi, Tanzania. He currently works as a data analyst at the Canadian Association of Pediatric Health Centers as part of the Canadian Pediatric Decision Support Network.

Ananya K Mallubhotla, BHSc (Hon)

Ananya performed volunteer work for the Lyme disease project at the INSIGHT lab during her 3rd year undergraduate studies (Honours program in Health Sciences along with a minor in Public Administration). She wishes to pursue a combination of Law and Masters in public health after her undergraduate studies. In her spare time, Ananya loves painting, participating in public speaking and debate events, and writing essays and poetry. She is also a trained Indian classical dancer and has recently started learning Indian Carnatic music.

Jean-Paul Soucy, BSc (Hon.) Biology

Jean-Paul obtained his BSc in biology with a minor in mathematics from the University of Ottawa. For his undergraduate thesis project, he worked in the Kulkarni lab on modelling the vector of Lyme disease in Ontario, and was co-supervised by Jeremy Kerr. He is currently a Doctoral student in epidemiology at the University of Toronto, having recently completed his Master's in epidemiology at McGill University where he worked with Dr. David Buckeridge on modelling the relationship between antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance in Québec. He is also collaborating with the INSIGHT lab on projects on Lyme disease and Zika virus vectors in North America.

Merlin Caron-Levesque, BSc (Hon.) Biology

Merlin completed an undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Ottawa. His honours project was on the spatial trends of West Nile virus vectors within Ottawa. Merlin also worked as a research assistant on Dr. Kulkarni's project for Lyme disease surveillance in Ottawa, helping to capture and identify the ticks, test the ticks for Lyme disease, and conduct spatial analyses. Merlin is currently a Master's of Biology student at the University of Ottawa. 

Marianne Lahaie Luna, BSc (Hon.) Environmental Science

Marianne received an Honours BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Ottawa in the spring of 2018 and will begin a Masters of Science in Public Health at McGill University in the fall of 2018. For her undergraduate thesis project at the Kulkarni lab (co-supervised by Dr. Manisha Kulkarni and Dr. Laurie Chan), she worked on identifying potential Lyme disease risk areas to human populations in urban and rural areas in the city of Ottawa. Marianne is currently an MPH student at McGill University.

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