About the CEMPPR Lab

Our Work

The Collaboration on Emergency Management, Policy, and Preparedness Research (CEMPPR Lab) conducts research aimed at assisting emergency managers to better protect the public. Our research is use-inspired, user-driven, and oriented at supporting real-world practice and decision-making.

Empirical Research

CEMPPR members conduct research on a variety of issues related to disaster and emergency management, policy, and preparedness. The lab focuses on research related the intersection between emergency management and the following topic areas:

  1. Decision-making: We explore the cognitive and behavioural dimensions of disasters to better understand why and how people prepare for disasters. We investigate how communities and practitioners plan for, respond to, and recover from disasters. We develop decision support systems to aid these processes and help to overcome barriers to improving disaster resilience and response.

  2. Expertise: We’re driven to understand how emergency managers and responders practice their craft. We study training, professional practice, and program evaluation, looking for opportunities to partner with managers, responders, and other experts to help support their practice.

  3. Policy: We study how decisions get turned into policy, rules, and regulations. We investigate how these procedures shape our decisions and behaviours, and seek ways to improve emergency response and resilience through better policy and policy literacy.

  4. Research and Evaluation Methods: We care about producing – and helping others to produce – robust knowledge that communities can trust. We provide training and advice on how to conduct solid research and program evaluation, and partner with public safety and community organizations to conduct (and support) their efforts to figure out how to improve.


We are grateful to the many research grants and funders that have supported our research:

  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council (2020 COVID-19 grant; 2020 Insight Development Grant)

  • BC Ministry of Health (2018 Research Grant)

  • TD Insurance (2020 Research Grant)

Our Members

Danielle Ball

Danielle is currently a Master's student in the Disaster and Emergency Management program at York University. She received an Honours Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University, with a major in Marketing and double minor in Economics and Geography in 2019. During her undergraduate studies, Danielle was part of the Top 200 program, and was awarded the Kucher Award for overall excellence. Danielle's interests include the role of media in disaster and emergency management, as well as how charities and non-profits can build capacity to assist in disaster response and recovery. She is currently working on a research project studying media portrayal of natural disasters.

Dyllan Goldstein

Dyllan holds a Bachelor of Disaster and Emergency Management from York university. He has a background as a first responder, giving him insight into the practical and applied aspects of emergency management. Additionally, he has worked with York University's Office of Emergency Preparedness to provide research aiding in the development of a HIRA and pandemic response plan. He joined CEMPPR in 2019 with the hope to contribute to the field's literature. His research interests include disaster ethics, emergency management education, search and rescue methodologies, and disaster behavioral studies. He intends to pursue graduate studies focusing on disaster management in 2021.

Dr. Eric Kennedy

Dr. Eric Kennedy is the founder and director of the CEMPPR Lab. Kennedy (PhD/MSc Arizona State University, BKI University of Waterloo) is an Assistant Professor at York University in the Disaster and Emergency Management program. His research focuses on the intersection of decision-making, expertise, and emergency management. He works primarily on topics related to wildfire management, incident management, and research/evaluation, although teaches in an all-hazards program and is happy to support students working on a variety of topics.

Jayme Paterson

Jayme graduated from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program at McMaster University in 2014 and has worked as a Registered Nurse ever since. Her career has focused primarily in the emergency department. In 2020 she began the Master’s of Disaster and Emergency Management program at York University, focusing in healthcare emergency management. Jayme is passionate about disaster training and education for healthcare workers, and hospital emergency preparedness. She is currently working on a research project studying how hospitals debrief after a mass casualty event.

Tiana Putric

Tiana is a York University President’s Scholar pursuing a Bachelor of Disaster and Emergency Management Specialized Honours. Tiana works with York University’s Office of Emergency Preparedness as an Emergency Management Assistant and Lead Editor of the University’s Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment. Tiana has researched issues such as human health, food insecurity, extreme weather, flooding, transportation, intentional hazards, cybersecurity, and nuclear hazards. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, playing the piano, riding horses, studying postmodern literature, and philosophizing about the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Celeste Scott

Celeste is an undergraduate student at York University in the Disaster and Emergency Management program. Currently, Celeste an awardee through York University's DARE grant program, and is investigating best practices and lessons learned in wildfire evacuation. Celeste's goal is to work in disaster planning focused on helping the vulnerable populations that are drastically impacted by natural, technological, and human-induced disasters.

Our Past Members

Lab Alumni

  • Taylor Kidd-Milne (MDEM 2019; now working with Calian – nuclear solutions, emergency management, environmental protection)

  • Jamie Rockingham (BDEM student; now working with Emergency Management Ontario – emergency operations centre duty officer)