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Paula Gardner, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Health Sciences, Brock University
500 Glenridge Ave.
St. Catharines, ON  L2S 3A1
To contact Paula through her Brock University email, please click here.
Affiliate Scientist, Bridgepoint Collaboratory for Research and Innovation

To contact Paula through her Bridgepoint Collaboratory email, please click here.


"Through Their Eyes" was created for Paula's undergraduate course, "Developing Healthy Communities", at Brock University, about the experiences of seniors in the St. Catharine area and their everyday difficulties faced with age-related health issues. It can be viewed here.
To view Paula's lecture from Bridgepoint Collaboratory for Research and Innovation, '"Think with your senses, feel with your mind" - Analyzing multisensory data in qualitative research', please click here.
In the lecture, "Through an Age-Friendly Lens: Planning for an Inclusive and Economically Vibrant Niagara", Paula explroes the principles of age-friendly work and provides global examples. The lecture is available for viewing here

"Mobility Games" is a multi-project endeavour which crafts and explores multiplayer, mixed reality entertainment for people who use mobility devices such as mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs. To view the website, click here.


Paula Gardner is a social gerontologist with a PhD from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She is Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Sciences and an affiliated faculty member at the Social Justice Research Institute at Brock University, and a Research Scientist at Bridgepoint Collaboratory for Research and Innovation in Toronto. Her program of research explores aging from a critical community-based perspective with a particular focus on community mobility. She has published in this area most recently in the Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation. Paula has accumulated a range of research experience from multiple perspectives, including at the community level through participating in the Age Friendly New York City Project (New York Academy of Medicine); and from the lens of clinical practice as a Research Scientist at a rehabilitation hospital (Bridgepoint Hospital, Toronto, ON). At Bridgepoint, Paula led a program of research called “Moving ON!” aimed at understanding and improving the transition from hospital to home for people with mobility disabilities. Paula has published and presented her work nationally and internationally. Her research has been supported by various granting agencies including CIHR, MOHLTC, Green Shield Foundation, and Manulife Financial.

As founding member of the Pacific Rim Gerontological Research Network (PRGRN), Paula also maintains an international program of research on Active Aging (partners: Korea, Japan, New Zealand, India, Hong Kong, USA).

Research Interests

Paula's research interests include: the social factors that influence community mobility; active ageing; the role of culture in aging experience; health and design; transdisciplinary scholarship; transformative research methodologies; and visual methods.


Paula is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Brock University where she has been recognized as an outstanding educator receiving the Brock University Award for Excellence in Teaching for Early Career Faculty.

Paula also co-teaches the CQ workshop Moving Beyond Interviews: Using Creative Methods in Qualitative Health Research.

Sample Publications

Gardner, P., Muller, M., Prior, B., So, K., Tooze, J Eum, L., & Kuchur, O. (2014). Wheelchair Cleaning and Disinfection in Canadian Healthcare Facilities: “That’s Wheelie Gross!” American Journal of Infection Control, 12, 1173-7.
Gardner, P. (2013). The role of social engagement and identity in community mobility among older adults aging in place. Disability & Rehabilitation. DOI 10.3109/09638288.2013.837970
Gardner, P., et al.  (2012). “Not for the fainthearted”: Engaging in cross-national comparative research. Journal of Aging Studies (2012), doi:10.1016/j.jaging.2012.02.004.
Gardner, P., Netherland, J., Kamber, T. (2012). “Getting Turned On”: Using ICT training to promote active ageing in New York City. Journal of Community Informatics, 8 (1).
Gardner, P. J.  (2011) Natural Neighborhood Networks – Important social networks in the public lives of older adults aging in place. Journal of Aging Studies, 25, 236-271.
Gardner, P. & Campagna, P. (2011). Pedometers – measurement tools and motivational devices: New insights for researchers and practitioners. Health Promotion Practice. 12, 55-62.
Netherland, J., Finkelstein, R., Gardner, P. (2011). The age-friendly New York City project: An environmental intervention to increase aging resilience. In B. Resnick, L. Gwyther & K. Roberto (Eds.), Resilience in Aging:  Concepts, Research, and Outcomes (pp. 273-287). New York, NY: Springer.
Gardner, P. (2009). The public life of older people: Neighbourhoods and networks. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 13, S542.
Gardner, P. & Poole, J. (2009). One story at a time: Narrative therapy, older adults and addictions. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 28, 600-620.
Poole, J. & Gardner, P., Flower, M., Cooper, C. (2009). Narrative therapy in a group for older adults. Practice, research and recommendations. Social Work with Groups, 32, 288-302.
Freij, M., Gass, J., Trezza, C., Wiener, A., Egan, J., Melly, J., Gardner, P. & Weiss, L. (2009). Aging in place in urban settings: The significance of peer support. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Urban Health, ICUH 2009.