Pauli Gardner, PhD

Associate Professor, Health Sciences

Paula Gardner PhD

Office: STH 313
905 688 5550 x6176

I’m a critical qualitative health researcher, educator and meditator. My research interests include the social factors that influence community mobility among older adults; health and design; critical, visual and transformative research methodologies and mindfulness and mental health among post-secondary students.

I love to teach and appreciate both sharing what I know and learning from my students. Feeling strongly that ‘experience is at the root of understanding’ I integrate a range of experiential education opportunities into my courses and embrace a critical, participatory and mindful approach to my teaching.

  • Aging and Place
  • Community Mobility
  • Mindfulness and Mental Health
  • Mindfulness and Teaching and Learning

Sibley, K.M., Gardner, P ., Bentley, D.C., Khan, M., McGlynn, M., Shing, P., Shaffer, J., O’Hoski, S., & Salbach, N.M. (2021). Exploring factors influencing physiotherapists’ perceptions of measuring reactive balance following a theory-based multi-component intervention: A qualitative descriptive study. Disability & Rehabilitation . DOI:

Gardner, P. (2020). Contemplative Pedagogy: Fostering Transformative Learning in a Critical Service Learning Course. Journal of Experiential Education. DOI:

Elliott, M.,  Gardner, P.,  Narushima, M., & McCleary, L. (2020). Music Lessons: Exploring the role and meaning of music for older adults with dementia who are aging in place.  Canadian Journal on Aging, 39 (4) DOI:

Gardner, P. & Kerridge, K. (2019). Everybody Present: Exploring the use of an in-class meditation intervention to promote positive mental health among university students. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, 37(4), 1-13. DOI: 10.7870/cjcmh-2018-022

Gardner, P. & *Alegre, R. (2019). “Just like us”: Increasing awareness, prompting action and combating ageism through a critical intergenerational service learning project. Educational Gerontology, 45(2), 146-158. DOI: 10.1080/03601277.2019.1584976.

Sibley, K.M., Bentley, D., Salbach, N.M., Gardner, P. , McGlynn, M., O’Hoski, S., … Jaglal, S.B. (2018). A theory-based multi-component intervention to increase reactive balance measurement by physiotherapists in three rehabilitation hospitals: An uncontrolled single group study. BMC Health Services Research, 18(724), 1-10.

Gardner, P. (2016). MAPx (Mobility Aid Personalization): Examining why older adults ‘pimp their ride’ and the impact of doing so. Disability & Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 5,1-7.

Elliott, M., & Gardner, P. (2016). The role of music in the lives of older adults with dementia aging in place: A scoping review. Dementia: The international journal of social research and practice, 17(2),199-213.

Egan, M., Ceci, C., Gardner, P . Kessler, D., King., J., Lanoix, M., Malhotra, R., McGrath, C. & Rudman, D. (2016). Seniors, risk and rehabilitation: Broadening our thinking. Disability & Rehabilitation, 39(13),1348-1355.

Sibley, K., Brooks, D., Gardner, P. , Janaudis-Ferreira, T., McGlynn, M., O’Hoski, S., McEwen, S., Salbach, N., Shaffer, J., Shing, P., Straus, S., & Jaglal, B. (2016). Development of a theory-based intervention to increase clinical measurement of reactive balance in adults at risk of falls: A case report. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy, 40, 1-7.

Seaborn, K., Edey, J., Dolinar, G., Whitfield, M., Gardner, P ., Branje, C. & Fels, D. (2016). Accessible play in everyday spaces: Mixed reality gaming for adult power chair users. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 23(2), Article 12.

Egan, M., Kessler, D., Rudman, D., McGrath, C., Sikora, L., Gardner, P. & Ceci, C. (2016). Problematizing risk in stroke rehabilitation. Disability & Rehabilitation, 38(23), 2334-2344.

Rudman, D.L., Egan, M.Y., McGrath, C.E., Kessler, D., Gardner, P ., King, J., & Ceci, C. (2016). Low vision rehabilitation, age-related vision loss and risk: A critical interpretive synthesis. The Gerontologist, 56(3), e32-e45.

Alvaro, C., Wilkinson, A., Gallant, S.N., Kostovski, D., & Gardner, P. (2016). Evaluating intention and effect. The impact of healthcare facility design on patient and staff well-being. Health Environments Research & Design (HERD) Journal, 9(2), 82-104.

Gardner, P. , Grose, J. (2015). Mindfulness in the Academy – Transforming our work and ourselves ‘one moment at a time’. Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching (CELT), 8, 35-46.

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, 42, 1173-7.

Gardner, P. (2014). The role of social engagement and identity in community mobility among older adults aging in place. Disability & Rehabilitation. 36, 1249-1257.

Gardner, P. , et al.  (2012). “Not for the fainthearted”: Engaging in cross-national comparative research. Journal of Aging Studies, 26, 253-261.

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), 1-16.

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.

Published Book Chapters

Gardner, P. (August 15, 2018). Qualitative Interviewing: More than asking questions and getting answers Learning and Teaching Qualitative Research in Ontario: A Resource Guide. Retrieved from:

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.


  • Public Health
  • Community Health
  • Mental Health
  • Qualitative Research


  • Gerontology
  • Public Health
  • 2018 Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching. 全球电竞直播 , St. Catharines, ON.
  • 2016 全球电竞直播 Chancellors Chair for Teaching Excellence ($15,000). 全球电竞直播 , St. Catharines, ON.
  • 2014 全球电竞直播 Award for Excellence in Teaching for Early Career Faculty ($1000). Brock
  • 2018 Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching. 全球电竞直播 , St. Catharines, ON.

Graduate students interested in working with Dr. Gardner should be committed to the following skills, knowledge and interests:

Approach to graduate study

  •  Curious
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Critical and reflexive
  • Independent and self-motivated
  • Collaborative and participatory
  • Mindful

Approach to Health

  • Health is a social phenomenon (produced through social, political and economic processes)
  • Health is contextual (culturally, physically, politically, economically, historically constituted)
  • Health is determined by a range of social determinants (environment, income, ethnicity)

Approach to Research

  • Qualitative
  • Critical
  • Theoretical
  • Reflexive

Topic Areas

A. Aging

  • Critical gerontology
  • Geographical gerontology
  • Gerontological Rehabilitation

B. Mindfulness

  • Mindfulness, Meditation and Mental Health
  • Mindfulness and Teaching and Learning

Interested students should

  • Review Dr. Gardner’s websites and publications to ensure both the approach and areas of research match their own, then, well in advance of the application deadline,
  • Contact her directly with their CV, introduction, and interests
The Mobility Project,

The Mobility Project

The Mobility Project  is about  movement  – about people getting  where  they want to go and  how  they got there.  It’s about engaging people and sparking a dialogue about bodies & barriers, resilience & resistance, passion & determination, creativity & courage, stigma & disability.

Through Their Eyes Project

Through Their Eyes Project

Through Their Eyes  is a community-campus partnership that gets undergraduate students who are studying public health out into the community to learn firsthand the strengths, challenges, and opportunities for making communities healthy places!