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Kyly C Whitfield, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Human Nutrition

Dr. Whitfield leads the MAMA Lab. She is passionate about nutrition in the first 1,000 days, from conception to two years, and her research program aims to explore both the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of feeding during this time. Learn more at Home/About.
Kyly earned her PhD in Human Nutrition at the University of British Columbia (Dr. Tim Green), and joined the Mount as an Assistant Professor in July 2016. She was the inaugural recipient (2019) of the Mount Saint Vincent University Early Career Research Award.
Kyly loves babies (especially her niece and two nephews), and is happiest when she’s travelling and tasting new foods around Canada and the globe!


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Caroline Anderson, MSc AHN Student

Caroline is a 2nd year graduate student, and a group exercise and yoga instructor who is passionate about mental health. Given a rise in popularity bodybuilding and physique competitions, and her interest in the effect of the intense eating and exercise regimes on the mental health of the competitors, Caroline is studying the potential relationships between eating disorders/disordered eating, muscle dysmorphia and exercise addiction among bodybuilding men.


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Jolene Bianco, MSc AHN Student

Jolene completed her BSc in Applied Human Nutrition at the Mount, where she found a passion for maternal and infant nutrition. In her free time she has travelled to 38 countries and is excited to have the opportunity to combine travel and maternal-infant nutrition with her MSc research. Jolene is conducting a cross-cultural assessment of the feeding environment and maternal-infant interactions during breastfeeding in the first 6 months in Cambodia and Canada. Her study will be completed alongside the Trial of Thiamine Supplementation in Kampong Thom province, and the REFINE study in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


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Kathleen Chan, MSc AHN Student

Kathleen is completing her MSc in Applied Human Nutrition and holds a BSc in Environmental Biology and a BSc in Applied Human Nutrition (Dietetics). Kathleen had the pleasure of completing her honours research on infant feeding knowledge and attitudes in the general public under the supervision of Dr. Whitfield. For her masters research, she working with the Trial of Thiamine Supplementation in Cambodia project, a multidisciplinary study exploring thiamine deficiency diseases in rural Cambodia. Kathleen's analysis will specifically examine salt consumption among lactating mothers to assess salt as a potential fortification vehicle for thiamine. She was thrilled to spend a year with fellow student Jelisa Gallant in Cambodia, and to learn more about the world of international nutrition and public health.

Keep up to date with my research at MAMA Lab on the Move.


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Hillary Fry, MSc AHN Student

Hillary has recently begun her MSc AHN at the Mount, having previously attained a BSc in Biochemistry Nutrition from Memorial University in 2017, as well as a BSc in Nutrition and Dietetics from Acadia University in 2019. During her time at Memorial, Hillary became fascinated by the biochemical, physiological, and psychological components of breastfeeding, while her education in dietetics opened her eyes to the societal pressures and struggles around infant feeding that new moms face. She is currently working on the REFINE study, examining similarities or differences in feeding practices during bottle- and breastfeeding. In the future, Hillary hopes to support new moms as they navigate the world of infant feeding through dietetic practice and certification as an IBCLC.


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Jelisa Gallant, MSc AHN Student

Jelisa earned a BSc in Biochemistry Nutrition from Memorial University in 2015, and a BSc (Hons.) in Applied Human Nutrition with Dietetic Internship in 2018 from Mount Saint Vincent University. She has an interest in infant feeding, specifically breastfeeding, and aspires to empower and support women through their breastfeeding journeys as a future Registered Dietitian and Lactation Consultant. Jelisa spent the last year living in rural Cambodia to conduct her master’s research with the Trial of Thiamine Supplementation Project, alongside fellow MAMA Lab grad student Kathleen Chan. Jelisa master’s thesis is focused on determining the exact daily dose of thiamine required to optimize breast milk thiamine concentrations, as a means of preventing infantile thiamine deficiency and beriberi.

Keep up to date with my research at MAMA Lab on the Move.


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Ksenia Kholina, MSc AHN Student

Originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, Ksenia has experience in clinical medicine, which along with an interest in chronic disease and passion for prevention, led her to the field of nutrition and dietetics in 2016. Ksenia is currently exploring the impact of the mode of breastfeeding (direct breastfeeding vs. bottle-feeding human milk) on growth and development of infants. Outside of academia, Ksenia is passionate about feminism, environmental sustainability, and social justice. Ksenia speaks three languages (English, Russian, and German) and recently started studying French. Ksenia loves learning new languages and hopes to take up a few more in the future.


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Olga Levin, MSc AHN Student

Olga is a Registered Dietitian from Israel, specializing in Pediatric Nutrition. Olga has experience counselling families and children in both community and clinical settings. Since moving to Halifax, Olga has been pursuing her licensure to practice Dietetics in Nova Scotia. Her MSc Applied Human Nutrition research will focus on better understanding the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs around infant feeding among various population sub-groups in Nova Scotia. Olga is passionate about children and maternal health. Her professional goal is to integrate clinical work with a nutrition-related research position to create a stronger impact on public health. In her free time, Olga is enjoying her own two daughters, Arbel (4) and baby Mia.