I am a health geographer and population health researcher with expertise in program and policy research at community and provincial levels.
Broadly, I am interested in examining the role of place (e.g., built and social environments) on the development and success of community interventions and policy changes to support health and well-being. My research lab is called the Policy, Location, and Access in Community Environments (PLACE) Laboratory. The work I do there is in the areas of community health and the environment, prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases, healthy aging, tobacco control, obesity and program evaluation. My research has involved both youth and adult populations in multiple settings (e.g., schools, communities, and so on).
My research is grounded in social-ecological theory and community-based participatory research (CBPR) perspectives through the lenses of health promotion, public health and knowledge exchange.
Most of my studies employ mixed-methods, involving both quantitative (e.g. surveys, systematic community observation) and qualitative (e.g. interviews, focus groups, photovoice) techniques. I also use geographic information systems (GIS) for mapping and spatial analysis in some of my work.
I am an applied researcher, which means that community impact (or “making a difference in the community”) is as important to me as scholarly impact. My research typically is conducted in partnership with practitioners and decision-makers in the communities (or other settings) that I am working with. My community partners help to define project research questions, and in turn, the research helps to address issues that they are working with in daily practice.
PhD, University of Waterloo, 2004
MA, University of Waterloo, 1999
BA, University of Alberta, 1997
Distinguished Academic Early Career Award, Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations, 2009
Faculty and Staff Award of Excellence, Health Promotion Graduate Students' Association, 2009
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Strategic Training Program in Tobacco Research, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 2004
Nykiforuk, C.I.J., Osler, G.E., & Viehbeck, S. (In Press). The evolution of smoke-free spaces policy literature: A bibliometric analysis. Health Policy.
Flaman, L.M., Nykiforuk, C.I.J., Plotnikoff, R.C., & Raine, K. (2010). Exploring facilitators and barriers to individual and organizational level capacity building: Outcomes of participation in a community priority setting workshop. Global Health Promotion, 17(2): 34-43.
Clark, M.I., Berry, T.R., Spence, J.C., Nykiforuk, C., Carlson, M., & Blanchard, C. (2010). Key stakeholder perspectives on the development of walkable neighbourhoods and food security. Health & Place, 16(1):43-50.
Nykiforuk, C., Raine, K., Schopflocher, D., Vallianatos, H., VanSpronsen, E., & Flaman, L. (2009). The role of the built environment in community interventions for obesity prevention. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 34(2):240.
Nykiforuk, C.I.J., Eyles, J., & Campbell, H.S. (2008). Smoke-free spaces over place and time: A policy diffusion study of bylaw development in Alberta and Ontario, Canada. Health and Social Care in the Community, 16(1):64-74.
Assessing community environments for physical activity and healthy eating: Development of innovative mixed-methods approaches for utilizing objective and subjective data
Nominated Principal Investigator
funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Alberta Policy Coalition for Cancer Prevention
funded by Alberta Health Services - Population Health Innovative Intervention
Obesity prevention and the built environment: Examining opportunities and barriers in four Alberta communities
funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada in partnership with CIHR
Aging-in-place in the suburbs of Canada’s major Prairie cities
funded by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada