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Conference Speakers

Scientists who will be lecturing at this year's PCRC

Invited Speakers

Joe Baker

Joe Baker


School of Kinesiology and Health Science,

York University,

Joseph (Joe) Baker, PhD is full professor and head of the Lifespan Health and Performance Laboratory at York University, Canada. His research examines the varying factors affecting skill acquisition and maintenance across the lifespan, from issues of high performance athlete development to predictors of successful aging. Joe has held visiting researcher positions in the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany. He is the Past President of the Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology, past Director and founding member of the York University Centre of Aging Research and Education (YU-CARE) and the author/editor of 8 books, 4 journal special issues and more than 200 peer reviewed articles and book chapters.

Kirk Erickson

Kirk Erickson

Associate Professor,

Department of Psychology,

University of Pittsburgh,

Kirk I. Erickson Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and a Faculty Member for the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh. He also holds an appointment in the School of Medicine. He graduated with a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2005 and was a post-doc at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois until 2008. Dr. Erickson has published >140 articles and 13 book chapters on cognitive changes which occur as a function of physical health and aging as well as in the development of training and physical activity and exercise trials which have been shown to enhance cognitive and brain function in late adulthood. He has been awarded several NIH grants for this work and has received numerous awards for his research including the Neil Miller Award from the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research in 2013, the Senior Beckman Institute Fellowship in 2014, and the Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. He was named as a Fellow of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research in 2016. He is also currently serving as the Chair of the Brain Health Subcommittee for the 2018 Federal Physical Activity Guidelines Committee.

Eli Puterman

Eli Puterman

Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Health (Tier 2),

School of Kinesiology,

University of British Columbia,

Eli Puterman studies how adverse experiences from childhood to older adulthood can speed up the aging of our immune systems. His research shows that physical activity may delay immune aging in people who have experienced significant adversity. His research has repeatedly shown that the impact of adversity on aging and disease is stronger in those who are less physically active, and greatly reduced or eliminated in those who are more active. Dr. Puterman’s research aims to deepen our understanding of how becoming physically active can make highly stressed individuals more resilient. By figuring out who can benefit psychologically and biologically from physical activity—and how—he and his research team may be able to develop strategies to help people living with adversity before they develop disease.

Dr. Puterman completed undergraduate degrees in Physiology (McGill) and Psychology (Concordia), a MA in Clinical Psychology and PhD in Health Psychology (UBC). He completed his postdoctoral work and held his first Assistant Professor position at The University of California San Francisco. In 2015, he was awarded a Canada Research Chair Tier 2 in Physical Activity and Health and moved to UBC as an Assistant Professor in the School of Kinesiology. He has won several international young investigator awards, including from The Society of Behavioural Medicine in 2014 and The Academy of Behavioural Medicine Research 2015. In 2016, Dr. Puterman was named a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar.

Taina Rantanen

Taina Rantanen

Professor of Gerontology and Public Health,

Department of Health Sciences,

University of Jyväskylä,

Taina Rantanen obtained her PhD in 1994 at the University of Jyväskylä. After that she worked in various faculty positions at the University of Jyväskylä. In 1997-1998 she worked as a Visiting Fellow at the National Institute on Aging in the USA, and after as a Senior Global Health Leadership Fellow in the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Returning to Finland she was elected the Academy of Finland Research Fellow. In 2005 she was nominated the professor of Gerontology and Public Health at the University of Jyväskylä.

Professor Rantanen wanted to create knowledge that will help older people to be involved in meaningful life situations for as long as possible according to their goals and abilities. She has a long term interest in research on promoting physical activity and functioning in old age and as a result she has led several studies on this topic: The Finnish Twin Study on Ageing (FITSA); Screening and Counseling for Physical Activity and Mobility (SCAMOB); Work, Retirement and Active Ageing (WRACA); Volunteer Work, Outdoor Activities and Wellbeing of Older People (VOW); and Life-Space Mobility in Old Age (LISPE). She has published more than 250 original articles on this topic and mentored 40 early career researchers. She has received several honors during her career including the Knight (1st class) awarded by the President of Finland, the Science dissemination price awarded by University of Jyväskylä and the Schildt Price awarded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. In 2016 the European Research Council awarded her a highly competitive ERC Advanced Grant for her study entitled Active Ageing – Resilience and External Support as Modifiers of the Disablement Process (AGNES).

Catrine Tudor-Locke

Catrine Tudor-Locke

Professor and Chair,

Department of Kinesiology,

University of Massachusetts

Dr. Catrine Tudor-Locke is a professor and department chair in the department of Kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a walking behavior researcher and is a recognized world leader in objective physical activity assessment and promotion, specifically focused on pedometer or accelerometer-determined ambulatory activity captured as steps/day across the lifespan. Professor Tudor-Locke is a trained program evaluator and adult educator focused on practical applications in objective monitoring measurement and intervention. She has also published on clinical vs. free-living gait analysis, including interpretation of cadence as a simple indicator of ambulatory patterns. In addition, she published work documenting the relationship between time spent in sedentary behavior and relatively low ambulatory activity, measured as steps/day.

Professor Tudor-Locke has led the field in elevating the acceptance of step counting using a variety of body worn motion sensors for researchers, practitioners, and lay audiences. She set benchmark values for interpretation, standardized measurement protocols, and developed program templates centered around step counting. She recently pushed the field into using free-living indices of cadence to further describe ambulatory behavior in terms of “natural effort.” She also established a step-defined index for sedentary behavior that has been applied by many researchers and practitioners.

Claudia Voelcker-Rehage

Claudia Voelcker-Rehage

Professor of Sports Psychology (focus on Prevention and Rehabilitation),

Department of Sports Psychology,

Technical University Chemnitz,

Claudia Voelcker-Rehage is Full Professor of Sports Psychology (with focus on Prevention and Rehabilitation) at Technische Universität Chemnitz, Germany (since 2015). She graduated in 1998 and received her PhD in 2002 from University of Bielefeld, Germany. After that she was Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Applied Physiology, Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA, USA) and at International University Bremen (Germany). From 2007 she was University Lecturer at the Jacobs Center on Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development of Jacobs University Bremen (Germany), where she was appointed Full Professor of Human Performance in 2010. Claudia is Vice President Finance and Managing Director of the German Society for Sport Psychology and Editor in Chief (Deputy) of the German Journal of Exercise and Sport Research. She is Review Editor at Frontiers in Movement Science and in the Editorial Board of the European Review of Aging and Physical Activity; the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, and OBM Geriatrics. Her research interests include the neurocognition and control of movement, learning and plasticity and the role of physical activity for cognitive development and health. She examines both children and adolescents as well as, in particular, older adults.

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