Principal Investigator

Shawn Beaudette, PhD

Shawn is an Assistant Professor with research specialties in spine biomechanics, sensory feedback and neuromuscular control. Shawn’s research program integrates aspects of biomechanics, neurophysiology and data science to understand how spine movement is controlled with a focus on the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of low back disorders. Shawn’s research program is aimed at objectively quantifying spine neuromuscular function to inform clinical and industrial decision-making processes.

Post Doctoral Fellowship: University of Ottawa, School of Human Kinetics (Supervisor: Dr. Ryan B. Graham)

MSc/PhD: University of Guelph, Human Health & Nutritional Sciences (Supervisor: Dr. Stephen H.M. Brown)

BSc: University of Guelph, Human Health & Nutritional Sciences (Supervisor: Dr. Lorraine Jadeski)

Graduate Students (PhD)

Jarrett Norrie, PhD(c)

Jarrett completed his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at The University of New Brunswick, and Masters of Science at the University of Guelph.

Jarrett’s research aims to understand how variability in spine movement may be linked to distinct muscle activation and spine loading patterns. This stream of research aims to identify person-specific (individualized) spine movement patterns, and to understand if these patterns can be adjusted with strength and endurance training. Currently, Jarrett is working on developing custom software to classify spine movements during activities of daily living (i.e. walking, squatting, traversing stairs, golfing, gardening, etc.) based on wearable stretch sensor data. This novel approach will provide a more objective way to quantify spine movement in every-day life. Jarrett’s PhD work is funded through a Brock Research Training Award and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

Chris Vellucci, PhD(s)

Chris completed his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and Masters of Science in Kinesiology at Brock University. 

Chris’s I interest lies in human performance, data science and AI, biomechanics technologies and neuromuscular control. Chris’s research aims to use data driven approaches to quantify key differences in how people perform. His current research project looks to use wearable sensors to identify key biomechanics differences between novice and advanced sprinters using a data driven approach. He hopes that this research will help sport practitioners to objectively quantify sport technique in addition to answering fundamental questions regarding sprint performance. 

Graduate Students (MSc)

Aurora Battis, MSc(c)

Aurora completed her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science at Brock University before continuing onto her Master of Science.

During her undergraduate degree, her research focused on diurnal variation in the development of standing-induced lower back discomfort. Specifically, investigating how trunk stabilizer muscle activity, ground-force reactions and spine posture may vary between people, when standing for prolonged periods throughout the course of a day. Her current research focuses on wearable sensor mediated sensory biofeedback and how it can elicit changes in the biomechanical control of the spine during movement tasks. Aurora’s research interests include pain science and sensorimotor control, specifically relating to the low back, and she is passionate about integrating research into clinical practice.

Carl Alano, MSc(s)

Carl completed his Bachelor of Science in Medical Sciences at Brock University.

While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Carl’s research focused on investigating the changes in spatiotemporal coordination of rowing movements after a fatigue-inducing rowing trial. Carl’s current research project aims to use artificial intelligence to create a data-driven tool to diagnose lower back pain dysfunction. He hopes to that this research would help allied healthcare professionals extract meaningful information about a patient’s movement, to inform their patients about their diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment. This would drastically increase accessibility and allow clinicians to have access to those in a rural community or someone that doesn’t otherwise have access to receive care.

Nick Eck, MSc(s)

I completed my Bachelors of Kinesiology degree at Brock University. During my undergraduate degree I discovered a passion for the field of strength and conditioning. Through training athletes and assisting in a sprint performance research study in Dr. Beaudette lab, I started to develop an interest in sports performance research. My specific interests lie in the use of motion capture, data science, and dynamical systems theory to better understand sports performance. I hope to use these tools to develop a better understanding of sports performance and how to potentially improve sports performance.

Undergraduate Students

Hannah McMaster, NSERC USRA Student

Hannah is currently completing a Bachelor of Health Sciences in the faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University. She is working alongside Aurora Battis on a research project regarding the implications of diurnal variation in the development of standing low back pain (LBP), funded through the NSERC USRA program.

There is a constant gravitational compressive load acting on the spinal column over the course of a day-night cycle (i.e., diurnal variation) that can lead to states such as decreased intervertebral disc height. Her project is aiming to both quantify diurnal changes in perception of standing LBP and to determine the roles of posture and standing balance in the development of standing LBP. The findings of this study will expand current knowledge concerning how within-day changes in spine mechanics impact the perception(s) of standing LBP, and the control of standing balance.

Hannah hopes to gain more in-depth research experience and develop transferable skills through this project. This will aid in helping her determine future degree paths to pursue following the completion of her undergraduate degree.



Undergraduate Thesis Students

  • Aurora Battis (BMED Undergraduate Thesis)
  • Carl Alano (HLSC Undergraduate Thesis)
  • Jennifer Wator (HLSC Undergraduate Thesis)

Undergraduate Directed Study Students

  • Geoff Canal (KINE Undergraduate Directed Study)
  • Mitchell Ianiero (HLSC Undergraduate Directed Study)