Meet our researchers

Our team is made up of leading scholars and practitioners from across Canada and internationally

Gene Allen
Historical Innovation in Explanatory Journalism

Gene Allen is a Professor in the School of Journalism at Ryerson University and a faculty member in the Ryerson-York Joint Graduate Program in Communication and Culture. His research focuses on the history of media and communication, with a special interest in the history of journalism. Gene is the author of Making National News: A History of Canadian Press and he recently completed a biography of Kent Cooper, the general manager and executive director Associated Press from 1925 to 1951.

Gene had an extensive and varied career as a television news and documentary producer – including a position as director of research for the CBC/Radio-Canada television series Canada: A People's History -- and as an editor and reporter for The Globe and Mail before joining Ryerson's Journalism faculty in 2001.

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Axel Bruns
Global Engagement

Prof. Axel Bruns is a Professor in the Digital Media Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society.

His books include Are Filter Bubbles Real? (2019) and Gatewatching and News Curation: Journalism, Social Media, and the Public Sphere (2018), and the edited collections Digitizing Democracy (2019), the Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics (2016), and Twitter and Society (2014). His current work focusses on the study of user participation in social media spaces such as Twitter, and its implications for our understanding of the contemporary public sphere, drawing especially on innovative new methods for analysing ‘big social data’. He served as President of the Association of Internet Researchers in 2017–19. His research blog is at http://snurb.info/

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Jean Burgess
Global Engagement

Jean Burgess is Professor of Digital Media in the Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC) and School of Communication at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). After serving as the DMRC’s founding Centre Director from 2015-2020, she became Associate Director of the national ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, as well as Convenor of its QUT node, in August 2020. 

Her research focuses on the social implications of digital media technologies, platforms, and cultures, as well as new and innovative digital methods for studying them. She is co-author or editor of more than 120 scholarly publications on these topics. Her latest book is Twitter – A Biography (with Nancy Baym, New York University Press, 2020). She is a current member of the ARC College of Experts, and Co-Editor of the International Journal of Cultural Studies.

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Candis Callison
Indigenous Media Engagement

Candis Callison is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, jointly appointed in the School of Journalism, Writing and Media and the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies. She is the co-author of Reckoning: Journalism’s Limits and Possibilities (Oxford U Press, 2020) and the author of How Climate Change Comes to Matter: The Communal Life of Facts (Duke U Press, 2014).

Candis is Tahltan, and a regular contributor to the podcast, Media Indigena. In 2019, Candis was inducted into The American Academy of Arts and Sciences and became a Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Fellow. Prior to her academic work, Dr. Callison produced, wrote, and reported for television, the Internet, and radio in Canada and the United States. She currently sits on the board of The Narwhal.

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Sibo Chen
Uptake and Explanatory Journalism

Dr. Sibo Chen is an Assistant Professor in the School of Professional Communication at Ryerson University. As a critical communication scholar by training, his areas of interest include transcultural political economy of communication, environmental communication, energy-society relations, and critical discourse analysis. Before joining ProCom, he was a SSHRC Vanier Doctoral Fellow in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. 

Currently, Sibo serves as Co-Chair of the Emerging Scholar Network section in the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) as well as Executive Board Member of International Environmental Communication Association (IECA). You can find more of his research at: https://ryerson.academia.edu/SiboChen

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Robert Clapperton

Dr. Robert Clapperton is an Assistant Professor in the School of Professional Communications at Ryerson University. Robert earned his PhD in English Language and Literature with a Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Science at the University of Waterloo.

He specializes in Computational linguistics, rhetoric, critical discourse and data analysis with an emphasis on the critical application of natural language understanding in a number of fields including education, politics, commercial, and social enterprise. Robert’s teaching focuses on the digital enterprise and communication research methods.

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Charles Davis
Uptake and Explanatory Journalism

Charles H. Davis is Professor in the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, where he holds the ES Rogers Sr Research Chair in Media Management and Entrepreneurship. He also serves as Associate Dean for Scholarly Research and Creative Activities for Ryerson’s Faculty of Communication & Design.

His current research and teaching interests include media audiences, media product and service innovation, and management of firms in creative industries. Before joining Ryerson, taught in the Faculty of Business at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John. He holds a Ph.D. in ‘histoire et sociopolitique des sciences’ from the Université de Montréal.

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Elizabeth Dubois
Policy Implications

Dr. Elizabeth Dubois (PhD, University of Oxford) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society at the University of Ottawa.

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Alfred Hermida
Journalism Innovation and Media Startups

Alfred Hermida, Ph.D., is a professor at the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media at the University of British Columbia. He is co-founder of The Conversation Canada and co-lead of the SSHRC-funded Global Journalism Innovation Lab. 

With more than two decades of experience in digital journalism, his research addresses the transformation of media, emergent news practices, media innovation, social media and data journalism. His books include Data Journalism and the Regeneration of News (Routledge 2019), co-authored with Mary Lynn Young, and Tell Everyone: Why We Share and Why It Matters (DoubleDay, 2014), winner of the 2015 National Business Book Award. Hermida was a BBC TV, radio and online journalist for 16 years, including four in North Africa and the Middle East, before going on to be a founding news editor of the BBC News website in 1997.

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Sheldon Levy

Sheldon Levy is a higher education leader and visionary with a passion for innovation, entrepreneurship and the digital economy. Sheldon has been an instrumental figure in Toronto’s innovation ecosystem in the last decade, spearheading the creation of such organizations as Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ), the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, and Scale Up Ventures, Inc.

Florian Martin-Bariteau
Policy Implications

Dr. Florian Martin-Bariteau is an Associate Professor of Law and Technology at the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, the Director of the University of Ottawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society, and the Scientific Director of the AI + Society Initiative.

As a legal scholar, his research focuses on Technology and Intellectual Property Law; with a special interest in Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Secrets and Whistleblowers. Profile link: https://techlaw.uottawa.ca/people/martin-bariteau-florian

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Jessica Mudry

Dr. Jessica Mudry is an Associate Professor of Professional Communication at Ryerson University in Toronto. Her research focuses on the history and relationships of quantitative scientific language and public health policy. Jessica’s essays have been published in several international venues, and she is an active member of the Congress of Science Producers, who address issues in mediated science communication.

Gordon Pennycook

Gordon Pennycook is an Assistant Professor of Behavioural Science at University of Regina’s Hill/Levene Schools of Business. He is also an Associate Member of the Department of Psychology. His research focuses on understanding reasoning and decision-making.

In particular, he is interested in why people make errors during reasoning. Most recently, he has done work on why people believe and share misinformation online. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, including in top outlets such as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, among others. He won Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network Researcher of the Year in 2017, was a finalist for the Behavioral Science & Policy Association’s New Investigator award in 2019, and won the Vincent Di Lollo Early Career Award from the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science in 2020.

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Michelle Reidlinger
Global Engagement

Michelle Riedlinger is a Chief Investigator in the Digital Media Research Centre at the Queensland University of Technology. She is co-editor of Communicating Science: A Global Perspective (ANU Press, 2020). Her research interests include digital communication of environmental, agricultural and health research and emerging roles for “alternative” science communicators. 

Michelle has been a co-investigator on two SSHRC-funded projects, a Partnership Engage Grant with the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada on Mapping the new landscape of science communication in Canada and an Insight Grant on Sharing health research: The circulation of reliable health science in a changing media landscape. She is particularly interested in how research institutions can effectively engage with digital communities to address urgent needs for social and environmental transformation.

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John Shiga

Dr. John Shiga is an Associate Professor and Chair of the School of Professional Communication at Ryerson University.  His research and teaching focus on communication and media in intercultural, political and scientific contexts. Professor Shiga earned his B.A. in Mass Communication and Creative Writing at York University and his M.A. in Communication at McGill University.

In 2009, he received his Ph.D. in Communication at Carleton University and was awarded the Carleton University Medal for Outstanding Work at the Doctoral Level. John’s dissertation analyzed cultural anxieties in law, science and popular culture about the impact of digital and genetic technologies on human identity. While pursuing his Ph.D. at Carleton, he taught courses in digital media, communication law and policy, media theory, and popular culture in Carleton’s School of Journalism and Communication.

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Catherine Schryer

Professor and former Chair of Professional Communication, Dr. Catherine Schryer has her doctoral degree in the area of Rhetoric and Composition studies. She has a general interest in issues related to advanced literacies in the professions and a specific interest in genre theory and healthcare communication. Her work combines qualitative data analysis together with forms of discourse analysis.

In 2000, for her study of insurance writing she won the National Council of Teachers of English award for best article reporting empirical research. Catherine also has completed two Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) supported studies. The first explored the role of case presentations in socializing students in Medicine, Optometry, and Social Work. The second investigated the role of genres such as consult letters, reports and medical records as sites of discursive negotiation between health care professions. She is currently conducting SSHRC supported studies on healthcare team communications.

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Heidi Tworek
Historical Innovation in Explanatory Journalism

Dr. Heidi Tworek is Assistant Professor in International History at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, as well as a non-resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. Her work combines history and policy to research communications.

She has co-edited and written three books, including the award-winning News from Germany: The Competition to Control World Communications, 1900-1945 (Harvard University Press, 2019). She has published or has forthcoming over 30 articles and book chapters on the global history of news and communications. She is co-editor of Journal of Global History. Alongside writing for a wide range of media in English and German, she also writes policy papers on the future of social media governance in North America and Europe. Finally, she appears regularly on radio and TV in Canada, the US, UK, and Germany.

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Scott White

Scott White is CEO and Editor-in-Chief of The Conversation Canada. Previously, he was Editor-in-Chief of The Canadian Press and VP Content Strategy and Business Development at Postmedia. He has an MBA from the Rotman School of Management and is a graduate of the journalism program at Ryerson University.

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Vinita Srivastava
Journalism Innovation and Media Startups

Vinita is the producer and host of Don’t Call Me Resilient and a senior editor at The Conversation. She is a journalist, educator and media innovator with experience in South Asia, South Africa and North America. She has reported and edited for the New York Times Magazine, VIBE, the Village Voice and Savoy.

She cohosted the Asia Pacific Forum at WBAI radio and Masala Mixx at CKLN for over a decade. She has taught media for NGOs in Canada, the U.S. and Rwanda and at the Ryerson School of Journalism as a professor of journalism.

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Mary Lynn Young
Journalism Innovation and Media Startups

Mary Lynn Young (PhD) is a Professor at the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media at the University of British Columbia. She is co-founder of The Conversation Canada and co-lead of the Global Journalism Innovation Lab.

She has held a number of academic administrative positions at UBC, including associate dean of the Faculty of Arts and director of the UBC School of Journalism (2008–2011). She has two recent co-authored books: Reckoning: Journalism’s Limits and Possibilities (Oxford, 2020), with Candis Callison; and Data Journalism and the Regeneration of News (Routledge, 2019), with Alfred Hermida.

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Frauke Zeller
Uptake and Explanatory Journalism

Dr. Frauke Zeller is Associate Professor in Ryerson’s School of Professional Communication She completed her Habilitation (the highest academic degree in Germany) in 2011, working on computational methods to analyze online communities. She received her PhD (Dr.phil.) from Kassel University, Germany, in 2005 in English Linguistics and Computational Philology.

Frauke has extensive experience in Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) studies combining her backgrounds in the humanities, social sciences and HRI. She is also the co-creator of hitchBOT, Canada’s first hitchhiking robot. From her media and communication studies background, Frauke brings methodological expertise in big data analytics, predictive analytics, sentiment analysis, natural language processing and user studies. Frauke has been awarded with a range of major research grants, among them a Marie Curie Fellowship (2011-2013), one of the most prestigious grants in Europe, and more recently a SSHRC Insight Development Grant as well as international grants. Frauke is also the director of the FCAD Audience Lab and the CCK, Centre for Communicating Knowledge.

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