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Alexa Ferdinands, PhD, RD

Assistant Professor

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Personal profile

Research Interests

I'm an applied public health nutrition researcher and dietitian. Through community-based research, I aim to promote equitable food environments for people to grow up and live in. Currently, I'm involved in research projects related to food insecurity, rural development, weight stigma, and postsecondary education as a social determinant of health. I tend towards qualitative and mixed methods research projects. I previously worked for Alberta Health Services as a clinical dietitian, and now I collaborate with AHS dietitians on projects such as piloting a mobile app to assess local food environments.

Personal profile

I am an Assistant Professor in Health & Nutrition in the Faculty of Science and Technology at Athabasca University. I completed my dietetics training at the University of British Columbia, my dietetic internship through Island Health, and my MSc/PhD training in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. As a Vanier scholar, I used institutional ethnography in my dissertation research to explore how youth experience weight stigma and co-create recommendations to reduce it. During my PhD, I was also part of the Benchmarking Food Environments team which produced Alberta's Nutrition Report Card on Food Environments for Children and Youth, an annual assessment of how local food environments support or inhibit healthy eating practices. More recently, as a CIHR Postdoctoral Fellow with the Community-University Partnership at the University of Alberta, I worked with the Town of Drayton Valley to examine how their tuition assistance program functions as a health promotion intervention.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Health Promotion and Socio-behavioral Sciences, University of Alberta

… → 2021

BSc in Food, Nutrition and Health (Dietetics Major)

… → 2012

External positions

Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, University of Alberta

… → 30 Jun. 2026


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