Past Events

Home    |    Past Events

One Society Network Seminars

Seminar Series II

December 1, 2022:
Title: The Impact of Supply Chain Capacity on Health system response to COVID19 in Canada. 
Presenter: Dr. Anne Snowdon, RN, PhD, FAAN.
Abstract: This presentation will share the outcomes of a national research program of work conducted during the first 3 waves of the COVID19 pandemic.  Features of Supply Chain Fragility and opportunities to advance supply chain resilience will be explored.
Presenter Bio:

Anne Snowdon

Dr. Anne Snowdon is a Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Odette School of Business, University of Windsor. Dr. Snowdon is leading a national research program focused on the capacity of health supply chain to enable health system responses to the COVID19 pandemic in seven Canadian provinces. This research builds on a well established program of research focused on healthcare supply chain, and health system innovation to achieve sustainability, economic value and productivity by providing support for innovators and entrepreneurs to successfully bring their discoveries to the Canadian, U.S. and world markets. Currently, Dr. Snowdon is the Vice Chair of the Board of the Directors for Alberta Innovates, and member of the Health Futures Council of Arizona State University (ASU), and the Chief Scientific Research Officer for HIMSS. She is an Adjunct Faculty at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Windsor, the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University and the Centre for Innovative Medical Technology (CIMT), at the University of Southern Denmark. Dr. Snowdon has published more than 150 research articles, papers and cases, has received over $22 million in research funding, holds patents and has commercialized a highly successful booster seat product for children traveling in vehicles and is a Fulbright Scholar. She holds a PhD in Nursing from the University of Michigan, an MSc from McGill University, and BScN from Western University

YouTube Link


November 3, 2022:
Title: Assessing Trends and Patterns of the Effect of COVID-19 on Public Transit Revenues in the City of Calgary. 
Presenter: Wenshuang Yu, PhD(c); Dr Lindsay Tedds.
Abstract: An essential municipal service that underpins local economies and which faced significant challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic was public transit. Various public health measures combined with work-from-home mandates and the closures of K-12 and post-secondary education to face-to-face learning meant that public transit ridership plummeted yet essential workers, which included not just health care workers, but also grocery, warehouse, first responders, childcare, and critical infrastructure workers, were still reliant on public transit, meaning that some base level of public transit service had to be maintained regardless of usage. What did this mean for transit revenue collected from fares which are meant to finance a large share of transit operating expenses? Using monthly public transit revenue data for the City of Calgary from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2021 we take an in-depth look at the effect COVID-19 has had on the public transit revenues in this large, urban municipality in Canada. The City of Calgary provides a poignant environment in which to conduct a case study to consider the impact of COVID-19 on a public transit. Like many of Canada’s large cities, the City of Calgary was hit very hard very early on by COVID-19 caseloads and spread. The City of Calgary was the first municipality in Canada to declare a state of local emergency, which it did on 15 March 2020, and it did so two days before the province of Alberta declared a provincial state of emergency.   Overall, the results indicate that revenues collected from transit dropped immediately and significantly after the declaration of a state of emergency in March 2020 for all types of passes, including adult, child, and low-income passes. For adult, child and low-income passes, the revenue in April 2020 was 6%, 5% and 6% of the sales in April 2019. On the other hand, we also show that revenue started to pick up slowly in May 2020. By September 2020, revenues generated from the public transit had stabilized. For adult tickets, the sales were about 50% of the 2019 sales.  For child and low-income passes, the revenue was about 70% and 60% of the revenue in 2019. These facts show that children and low-income populations are more dependent on public transit than regular adult public transit users. We then discuss policy options for increasing public transit revenues in the context of the existing academic evidence.
Presenter Bio:

Lindsay Tedds

Dr. Lindsay Tedds is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics, fully seconded to the School of Public Policy, at the University of Calgary. Her primary research fields are in tax policy, public economics, and public policy design and implementation. Her transdisciplinary approach to research harnesses the strengths of economics, law, public administration, and intersectionality in the study of public policy problems. Her objective is to make both an academic contribution and to have an impact on Canadian policy-making and policy-implementation. She recently sat on the Deputy Prime Minister’s Task Force for Women and the Economy and is currently the Co-chair of the Royal Society of Canada’s Working Group on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Women in Canada.

Wenshuang Yu

Wenshuang Yu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Economics at the University of Calgary. Her research interests are in international trade and public economics, with a focus on firm innovation, immigration, transit and applied econometrics.

YouTube Link


October 24, 2022:
Title: Wise Practices for Reconciliation.
Presenter: Dr Lisa Richardson, Associate Dean, Inclusion & Diversity; Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

YouTube Link

Seminar Series I

June 16, 2022:
Title:Indigenous-Engaged Research and Scholarship: Lessons Learned and Methodological Approaches.
Presenter: Laurel Wheeler, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Alberta.
Abstract: COVID-19 has affected population groups heterogeneously, with marginalized populations bearing a larger share of the health and economic burden. To quantify the burden in a comprehensive way, it is necessary to elevate the voices of people belonging to these marginalized groups. This seminar provides suggestions about how to do that in the context of Indigenous communities. I will begin by sharing stories about my research beginnings and challenges, and about the lessons I have learned along the way. I will conclude by proposing methodological approaches for conducting Indigenous-engaged research.
Presenter Bio:

Laurel Wheeler

Dr. Laurel Wheeler is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Alberta. She holds a PhD and an MA in Economics from Duke University, an MSc in Economics for Development from the University of Oxford, and a BA in Political Science from the University of Florida. Dr. Wheeler is an Applied Microeconomist whose main research interests are in development economics and labor economics. Her current research agenda focuses on Indigenous economic development, wealth and income disparities, and labor markets in low-income countries.


May 26, 2022:
Title: Spatial Allocation of Scarce COVID-19 Vaccines: When Does an Allocation Rule Based on Relative Population Size Perform Well?
Presenter:  François Castonguay, PhD. Formerly: PhD student at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). Currently:  Public Health Analytics and Modeling Fellow in the Health Economics and Modeling Unit (HEMU), Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections (DPEI), National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
DISCLAIMER: This presentation represents work done while I was a graduate student at UC Davis and represents my work and opinions while I was a graduate student. The findings and conclusions in the presentation are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Abstract: The COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) is a World Health Organization (WHO) initiative that aims for an equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Despite potential heterogeneous infection levels across a country, countries receiving allotments of vaccines may follow WHO’s allocation guidelines and distribute vaccines based on a jurisdiction’s relative population size. Utilizing economic–epidemiological modelling, we benchmark the performance of a population size-based allocation rule by comparing it to an optimal one that minimizes the economic damages and expenditures over time, including a penalty representing the social costs of deviating from the relative population strategy. The relative population rule performs better when the duration of naturally- and vaccine-acquired immunity is short, when there is population mixing, when the supply of vaccine is high, and when there is minimal heterogeneity in demographics. Despite behavioural and epidemiological uncertainty diminishing the performance of the optimal allocation, it generally outperforms the relative population rule.

YouTube Link

Presentation Link

Presenter Bio:

François Castonguay

François Castonguay is an Applied Economist with a background in bioeconomic and infectious disease modelling. He holds a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis. He joined the Health Economics and Modeling Unit (HEMU) at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in August 2021. He has been deployed to the COVID-19 Incident Management Response to help with the modelling needs of the Contact Tracing and Innovation Section of the State, Territorial, Local, and Tribal Task Force (Note: See DISCLAIMER above).


May 19, 2022:
Title:  The Impact of Threshold Decision Mechanisms of Collective Behaviour on Disease Spread.
Presenter: Bryce Morsky PhD, Queen’s University, Postdoctoral Fellow.
Abstract: Humans are a hyper social species, and transmission of infectious diseases crucially depends on social dynamics such as impacting non-pharmaceutical interventions. Further, the infectious pathogen in turn can be affected via the environment fostered by these socio-biological forces. How do social dynamics impact epidemiology? How does public health policy best take into account these impacts? Here we develop a model of disease transmission that incorporates human behaviour and social dynamics. We use a tipping-point” dynamic, previously used in the sociological literature, where individuals adopt behaviours given a sufficient frequency of the behaviours in the population.

Further, this model incorporates behavioural heterogeneity where individuals have varying perceived risks of the disease and preferences for social conformity, and thus varying thresholds at which behaviours are adopted. The thresholds at which individuals adopt behaviours is impacted by the perceived risks of infection: prevalence and death rate. We show how such social dynamics can drive an epidemic, such as by generating waves, and where they can frustrate public policy. In particular, (mis)information is highly important as it shifts the population’s sensitivity to adopting disease mitigating behaviours. This can blunt the spread of disease initially, but cause it to spread quickly once relaxed. Additionally, end epidemic results are sensitive to timing of the behavioural response. Near the optimal response, small errors can result in large increases in the total number infected during the epidemic.

YouTube Link

Presentation Link

Presenter Bio:

Bryce Morsky

Bryce Morsky is an Applied Mathematician and Postdoctoral Fellow at Queen’s University, who develops mathematical models of biological and social systems. His research program is primarily concerned with behavioural, ecological, and evolutionary processes often in a game theoretical framework, and spans a variety of settings including infectious disease, social norms, and public goods games.


May 12, 2022:
Title: COVID-19 and the Canadian cattle/beef production system: Developing a Causal Loop Diagram for modelling the unstructured problem of the pandemic
Presenters: Cheryl Waldner PhD, DVM, FCAHS, Professor, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Saskatchewan & NSERC/Beef Cattle Research Council Industrial Research Chair in One Health & Production Limiting Diseases; Jo-Anne Relf-Eckstein, BSA, MPP, PAg, Research Associate, Qualitative Research Support, University of Saskatchewan.
Abstract: This seminar explores a systems-thinking approach to describe the complexity of COVID-19’s effect on the people, processes and places constituting the cattle/beef supply chain during the early part of the pandemic. We begin by mapping out the relationships of variables identified in the literature. In the next phase of this project, we will work to develop a Canadian beef supply chain causal loop diagram (CLD) as a step towards integrating different types of data and information from a variety of sources, to better understand and communicate how infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, expose systems-level vulnerabilities and can inform lessons for future pandemics.

YouTube Link

Presenter Bios:

Cheryl Waldner

Dr. Cheryl Waldner is a Professor of Epidemiology from the University of Saskatchewan and the NSERC/Beef Cattle Research Council Senior Industrial Research Chair in One Health and Production Limiting Disease. She is particularly interested in antimicrobial use and resistance as well as the prevention and control of infectious diseases. Her current research is focused on the use of system science tools, including system dynamics and agent-based models, to understand the impact of rapid diagnostics and infection prevention measures on the transmission of infectious disease among livestock and within the food chain and environment. Dr. Waldner has more than 250 peer-reviewed publications, has a h-index of 41, an i10-index of 158 and more than 6100 citations. She was elected as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in recognition of her wide-ranging contributions to human and animal health.

Jo-Anne Relf-Eckstein

Jo-Anne Relf-Eckstein is a Professional Agrologist, who was born, raised and operated a mixed operation family farm in southeast Saskatchewan with her mother and father. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and a Masters of Public Policy from the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan, and graduated from the NSERC/OneHealth leadership program, Integrated Training Program in Infectious Diseases. She is particularly interested in innovation systems and public, private and not-for-profit organization (nfp) decision-making, as well as the productivity and profitability of the agriculture and agri-food sector in Canada. Her current work is focused on management of an nfp producer organization and academic research supporting interdisciplinary projects and the use of qualitative and systems-thinking approaches, to understand the impact of rapid diagnostics and infection prevention measures on the transmission of infectious disease among livestock, and within the food chain and environment. Ms. Relf-Eckstein has policy and agriculture research publications in peer-reviewed journals, has a h-index of 6, research interest of 90.4 and 119 citations.


Apr 21st, 2022:
Title: The Interaction Between COVID-19 and Educational Outcomes: What Have We Learned 2.5 Years Into the Pandemic?
Presenter: Maggie Jones, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
Abstract: Ever since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, educators, economists, and other social scientists have been particularly concerned with the interactions between COVID-19 and educational outcomes.  In this seminar, we summarize related research that has been conducted globally, and we discuss how Canadian data may be well-positioned to address remaining questions.  Existing research is summarized in two broad areas: (i) the impact of COVID-19 and related policies on education outcomes; (ii) the relationship between COVID-19 policies and spillovers from the spread of COVID-19 in schools.  Research on all levels of educational attainment is considered.

YouTube Link

Presentation Link

Presenter Bio:

Maggie Jones

Maggie Jones is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Victoria. Her research is focused on understanding the impacts of historical and contemporary policies on the labour market outcomes of marginalized communities and individuals, with a particular focus on these issues in relation to Indigenous populations. Her 2018 PhD dissertation, which evaluated the impact of federal education policies on educational attainment among Indigenous populations, was funded by an SSHRC doctoral award. Her recent work in this area includes an evaluation of the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy, a demand-driven suite of labour market interventions designed for Indigenous peoples. In addition to her academic work, she has several years of experience in economic consulting for Big River Analytics, an economic consulting firm that works primarily with Indigenous nations and organizations. More recently, her work on firm-level discrimination against African Americans in the United States was funded by the National Science Foundation.

Mar 24th, 2022:
Title: Not a Monolith: Transportation & the Pandemic.
Presenter: Kate Harback, PhD, Associate Director of Economics, Institute of Health Economics, Alberta.
Abstract: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on transportation cannot be understood without breaking down the sector into its elements and allowing for diversity of transportation activities across distinct modes. This seminar explores that impact through the datasets available to characterize the modes and activities across the pandemic. Additionally, we will look at different frames of reference for transportation modelling in considering how to pursue connections between infectious disease and public health modelling.

YouTube Link

Presentation Link

Presenter Bio:

Kate Harback

Kate Harback is the Associate Director of Economics at the Institute of Health Economics (IHE) in Alberta. As an economist, she has over 15 years of experience working on and leading work in applied microeconomics. In addition to health economics, her work has focused on the fields of transportation, computable general equilibrium, and environmental economics. Her work at IHE includes managing economic research for Alberta Health, leading IHE’s portfolio of economic evaluation work on mental health interventions, as well as overseeing diverse projects for regional governments, non-profits, and universities. Leveraging previous experience in aviation and transportation economics, she is leading the efforts focused on transportation within the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) funded One Society Network. From 2018 to 2021 she served as the Chair of the National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board (TRB) Aviation Economics and Forecasting Committee, and remains a member. Dr. Harback received her PhD in Economics from the University of Delaware, where she was awarded the Ryden Prize, the University’s sole dissertation prize in the Social Sciences.

Mar 10th, 2022:
Title: Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Economic Outcomes within the Health Care Sector
Presenters: Ellen Rafferty, PhD, Health Economist, Institute of Health Economics & Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health, University of Alberta; Danica Wolitski, MA, Health Economist, Institute of Health Economics, Alberta.
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant shifts within health care systems worldwide. The consequences of these shifts in Canada will be felt both within the health sector and in the broader economy for years to come. A few common examples include health care worker labor shortages, delayed procedures, reallocation of health care funds (e.g., increase in ICU beds) and the switch to virtual care. In this seminar we will present the early results of a scoping review that seeks to map the links between the COVID-19 pandemic, economic outcomes within the health care sector, and the impact of those changes on the broader economy in Canada. We will outline how gaps in the literature, identified by the scoping review, are informing the design of the One Society Network Health Care team’s research linking epidemiologic and economic models from a health care perspective, to capture the wider impacts of pandemic control strategies.

YouTube Link

Presentation Link

Presenter Bios:

Ellen Rafferty

Ellen Rafferty’s research focuses on the epidemiologic and economic impact of public health policies and infectious diseases, such as estimating the cost-effectiveness of immunization programs. As a Co-investigator and Project Manager of the One Society Network she is working to incorporate an intersectoral perspective into pandemic response. She has a PhD in Epidemiology and Health Economics, and a Master of Public Health from the University of Saskatchewan.

Danica Wolitski

Danica is a Health Economist at the Institute of Health Economics (IHE), Alberta, and an NSERC and One Society Network Research Associate with the OSN Health Care research team. She has a Master of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Alberta. She is interested in multidisciplinary research, particularly in the links between epidemiology and economics.


Feb 24th, 2022:
Title: Economics, the Environment, and the Covid-19 Pandemic: An Overview and Research Agenda
Presenters: Vic Adamowicz, PhD, FRSC, Professor and Vice Dean, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Science – Deans Office, University of Alberta; Patrick Lloyd-Smith, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Saskatchewan; Tsegaye Gatiso, PhD, NSERC and One Society Network Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, University of Alberta
Abstract: This presentation will provide an overview of the connections and pathways between the economy, the environment, Covid-19, and the policies used to address Covid-19. The approaches used by environmental economists, and their relevance to the evaluation of Covid-19 policies, will be outlined. The presentation will describe some of our ongoing and planned research about the valuation of mortality risk reductions, air quality, and values of environmental amenities and recreation during the pandemic. It will also highlight potential connections between economists and epidemiologists for an improved understanding of pandemics and policy responses.

YouTube Link

Presentation Link

Presenter Bios:

Vic Adamowicz

conducts research focused on the economic valuation of environmental amenities and ecosystem services, and the incorporation of environmental values into economic analysis. Applications have included forestry, water quality, air quality, endangered species and agriculture. His research also involves the analysis of choice behavior with applications to food demand, recreation, and environmental quality. Vic is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Academy II – Social Sciences (awarded in 2007), and was awarded the Canadian Institute of Forestry’s Canadian Forestry Scientific Achievement Award in October 2004

Patrick Lloyd Smith

conducts research on the valuation of environmental resources and the integration of these values into economic analysis. He is also a member of the interdisciplinary Global Institute for Water Security and the Global Water Futures research program, where he contributes his economics expertise to ongoing work modelling Canada’s water future.

Tsegaye Gatiso

is an NSERC and One Society Network Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, University of Alberta. He received his PhD in Economics from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in May 2021. Tsegaye’s research broadly focuses on climate change resilience, gender, the environment, and development


Feb 10, 2022:
Title: On Modelling the Economic Impacts of Policy Responses to Pandemics
Presenters: Huw Lloyd-Ellis, PhD. Professor in the Department of Economics at Queen’s University; Frédéric Tremblay, PhD. NSERC and One Society Network Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Economics at Queen’s University.
Abstract: This seminar discusses the ongoing need for estimates of the economic costs of pandemics to inform real-time policy choices for Canadian provinces. The complex impacts of COVID-19, and the policy responses to it, present significant challenges to economic modelling. The practical applicability of existing approaches in this context are often limited due to their inflexibility, long-term perspective, lack of regional focus and/or lags in data availability. We provide an overview of a prototype framework, the STUDIO model, designed to address these challenges. We highlight the framework’s key inputs and outputs, as well as its limitations. STUDIO has been applied throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to track its ongoing economic costs and assess the impacts of alternative provincial policy responses to a variety of epidemiological scenarios. We summarize some of the broad implications so far and the potential costs of alternative scenarios going forward. We also identify areas in which the framework could be improved and extended to expand its applicability to future pandemic modelling.

YouTube Link

Presentation Link

Presenter Bios:

Huw Lloyd-Ellis

Huw Lloyd-Ellis conducts academic research in a broad range of areas, including economic development, growth and inequality, economic fluctuations, fiscal policy and housing. His research is regularly published in leading journals. Huw teaches development economics and macroeconomics at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and has taken on several administrative roles at Queen’s, including department head. He is also an Academic Economic Advisor for Limestone Analytics where he has recently worked on projects related to trade and food security in East Africa for USAID, employment impacts of development interventions for the World Bank and the economic impacts of COVID-19 in Ontario.

Frédéric Tremblay

Frédéric recently completed his PhD in Economics at Queen’s University where he researched savings groups as a financial inclusion intervention in international development. In the last year, he also worked on the modelling of the economic impact of COVID-19 and the associated lockdown policies, analysis which has shaped provincial and federal policy. Frédéric also has extensive experience in tax policy modelling and tax expenditures estimation. Before his PhD, he worked as a tax policy officer at Finance Canada and participated in the modelling and design of Canada’s federal carbon price as part of the federal-provincial-territorial Working Group on Carbon Pricing Mechanisms. More recently, he has performed tax policy analysis in Ethiopia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda and Saudi Arabia as a consultant for GIZ, the IMF and the World Bank.