FoodNOW Team (2020-2023)

Use the tabs below to learn more about the FoodNOW team!

Dr. Phillip JoyDr. Phillip Joy

Dr. Phillip Joy is an Assistant Professor at Mount Saint Vincent University. He is a Registered Dietitian with a background in qualitative and arts-based methods in nutrition and gay men’s health. He has worked within HIV research in the past for his PhD project, doing research on how social aspects of HIV, and health impact the experiences of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Dr. Joy’s main areas of research include: 1) LGBTQ+ nutrition, body image, and health, 2) Community advocacy and, 3) training.



Dr. Shannan Grant

Dr. Shannan Grant

Dr. Shannan Grant Grant is an Associate Professor at ‘The Mount’ and a Registered Dietitian. She is also a Clinician Scientist at IWK Health, and an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University. Her research program focuses on knowledge synthesis (JBI and Cochrane), medical nutrition therapy, clinical trials, and community-based program development. She is passionate about supporting equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in the training of healthcare providers and scientists. With two decades of experience in healthcare provision for people who have been marginalized, including people living with HIV or AIDS, she has worked in/with urban, rural and remote communities. This, combined with her passion for self-development, is why she has been a recipient of several awards for her contributions to leadership, patient care, communication and education; including The 2021 Alumni Early Career Teaching Award and 2020 Diabetes Canada Award of Excellence.

Dr. Barbara Hamilton-Hinch

Dr. Barbara Hamilton-Hinch is an Associate Professor in the School of Health and Human Performance and the Assistant Vice Provost of Equity and Inclusion at Dalhousie University. Her work looks at the impact of structural, systemic, and institutional racism on diverse populations, particularly people of African descent. Dr. Hamilton-Hinch’s research interests include HIV testing, institutional racism, racism and health, opportunity gaps in the education system for students of African descent, reintegration of individuals who have been incarcerated and their family, cancer, and COVID research, to name a few. She is an asset to the FoodNOW team by providing critical insights and perspectives on inclusion of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) throughout the research project.


Dr. Mary LynchDr. Mary Lynch

Dr. Mary Lynch has decades of experience helping people living with chronic pain and doing pain research. Her research interests have focused on three major areas: 1) new ways to treat chronic neuropathic pain, 2) the role of complimentary therapies in the management of chronic pain, and 3) service delivery. Dr. Lynch has been an advocate for improving access to care for people suffering with chronic pain. In recent years, her focus has shifted to the importance of nutrition in healing and health promotion. This research led her to co-found a company that makes an organic plant based meal replacement to assist with promotion of health and healing. With the FoodNOW project, Dr. Lynch looks forward to learning more about nutrition and food needs in people living with HIV or AIDS as an initial step towards a solution.


Dr. Patricia WilliamsDr. Patricia Williams

Dr. Patty Williams is a Professor in the Department of Applied Human Nutrition, and the Director for the Food Action Research Centre (FoodARC) at MSVU. Recognized as a national leader in food security research, she currently holds funding from the Canadian Government to engage mothers with experience of food insecurity in ‘Cooking as Inquiry.’ Dr. Williams wants to make meaning of, translate, and apply this knowledge in new and creative ways to support policies and programs that improve the lives of those who experience food insecurity. Dr. Williams has led several national and provincial studies on food security-related policy change and the use of plain language knowledge translation tools in building capacity for policy change across Canada. She has also led seven cycles of research co-creating and co-learning from a unique model of participatory food costing in Nova Scotia.


Dr. Irene Ogada

Dr. Irene Ogada is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Human Nutrition at the Mount. She holds a PhD (Food, Nutrition & Dietetics) from Kenyatta University, a Master of Food Science and Nutrition from Gent University, and a Master of Public Health (Health Promotion & International Health) from Maseno University. Her research interests include maternal and child nutrition, the Social Determinants of Health, intersectionality in nutrition and health, and community nutrition programming. Her expertise in health promotion and community nutrition programming was an asset throughout the development of the FoodNOW Questionnaire.

Jessica MannetteJessica Mannette

Jessica Mannette (Research Coordinator 2021-2023) completed her masters in Anthropology with a thesis and fieldwork in urban community-level food security and food waste. Her research interests lie in community-based research and how this relates to policy change. She is trained in the JBI Scoping Review method and brings her background in Social Science to the project and values the community-informed and joint effort of FoodNOW. In addition to FoodNOW, Jessica is involved as a researcher for FoodARC’s Cooking as Inquiry project, as well as a scoping review at Dalhousie University which is funded by The Nova Scotia Advisory Commission on AIDS for the CIHR Best Brains Exchange on sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections. Jessica enjoys working with food and nutrition through the Applied Human Nutrition lens (and beyond) and looks forward to continuing the work to improve food security for all in Nova Scotia.


Abigail Clarke

Abigail Clarke (Research Assistant 2021-2022 and Research Coordinator 2023) completed a dietetic internship and Bachelor of Science with Honours in Applied Human Nutrition at MSVU. Abby’s honours thesis was a sub-study of the FoodNOW project, looking at the needs of service providers of food and nutrition-related programs for people living with HIV or AIDS in Nova Scotia. She has worked as both a Research Assistant and Research Coordinator with the FoodNOW team, and will soon be a Registered Dietitian. Abby’s research interests include medical nutrition therapy, food security, food costing methods, and food-related program development.



Gloria Chinonso Acholonu

Gloria Chinonso Acholonu (Research Assistant Summer 2022) completed a Master of Science degree at MSVU in the Department of Applied Human Nutrition. Gloria is a Community Based HIV counselor from Nigeria and has done research with surveys, nutrition, health education and HIV for nine years. Gloria has a passion for community progress and growth through health, communication, and being part of programs based on results, with local and global organizations.


Winta Tesfatsion

Winta Tesfatsion (Research Assistant Summer 2021) is a recent graduate from the Mount’s Applied Human Nutrition program. She conducted interviews to learn more about the experiences of individuals providing food and nutrition programs for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other people of colour) living with HIV or AIDS. Her research interests include food insecurity and nutrition issues among people of minorities.