Graduate and Postgraduate Students

Katrina Abela

Katrina is a doctoral student in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour (PNB), and a trainee working under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Gonzalez in the STRoNG families lab within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University.

Graduating from McMaster (2020) and Wilfrid Laurier University (2022), Katrina’s research experience and foci include interests in children’s emotional development (i.e., emotion self-regulation), family-based adverse childhood experiences and developmental psychopathology, child resiliency and parenting strategies, and the development of evidence-based preventative intervention oriented toward children and caregivers.

Katrina is passionate about supporting children and families and deepening theoretical understandings of these research themes and their intersections. She hopes to generate research which promote the development and evaluation of accessible programming intended to foster positive child-rearing practices, adaptive emotion self-regulation strategies and adjustment in children, and improve the psychological wellbeing of children and families.

Katrina has experience collaborating with community partners to administer accessible preventative intervention with underserved youth and families, and working with child populations at the Hospital for Sick Children and Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre. Katrina’s passion for supporting children and families continues to guide her education, research, and clinical experience.

Matthew Melo

Matthew is currently a Master of Public Health student at McMaster University, who recently graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from Wilfrid Laurier University. He is currently a Research Assistant in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University.

He is passionate about investigating upstream approaches to preventing negative health outcomes in children, with a focus in epigenetics. His past research experiences include exploring the lived experiences of men with body image issues, investigating the effects of food insecurity on type II diabetes, and the effects that alcohol have on mental health.

Matthew is extremely excited to join the Promoting Healthy Families team and continue to advance his knowledge and expertise in this field at the Offord Centre for Child Studies to improve health outcomes for all children and families.

Dorsa Nouri Parto

Dorsa is a second-year medical student at Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University.

She received her Bachelor of Science in environmental science and she is passionate about social and environmental justice projects. She is interested in psychiatry as her future career, particularly working in the area of refugee mental health. In her spare time, she likes enjoying time with family and friends, reading, and language learning. Dorsa is thrilled to be a part of Strong Families to further support caregivers and communities.