Based out of the Trent Centre for Aging & Society, in Peterborough, Ontario, one of Canada's most rapidly aging rural regions, Trent University's Rural Aging Research Program works towards building new knowledge, collaborations and capacity aimed at better understanding and informing how rural communities are responding to population aging.
Featuring collaborative, community-based research projects across Canada and internationally, Dr. Elizabeth Russell, Dr. Mark Skinner and their team are looking to uncover how older residents, volunteers, service providers, community leaders and policymakers are adapting, often in innovative ways, to the challenges and opportunities of aging in rural communities.
Trent's Rural Aging Research Program carries out projects related to rural aging, aging rural communities, rural age-friendly sustainability, social inclusion and voluntarism, the pedagogy of aging, rural planning and policy, and interdisciplinary aging studies. Project funders include the Canada Research Chairs Program, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and Trent University's Office of Research & Innovation.
The Rural Aging Research Program was awarded Trent University’s inaugural 2021 Research Impact Award for its work stewarding original and impactful research that makes a significant contribution to society. The program was initiated in 2016 as part of Dr. Mark Skinner's Canada Research Chair in Rural Aging, Health and Social Care. It continues to be expanded by the co-leadership of Dr. Elizabeth Russell who was awarded a 2022 Early Career Researcher Award and the 2023 Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Dr. Elizabeth Russell
Elizabeth Russell, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychology at Trent University, and the Director of the Trent Centre for Aging & Society.
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Dr. Mark Skinner
Mark Skinner, Ph.D., is Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Trent University, where he also holds the appointment of Professor of Geography in the Trent School of the Environment. A leading rural aging scholar, Mark was the founding director of the Trent Centre for Aging & Society (2013-2018).
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Amber Zapletal, M.A., is Coordinator of both the Rural Aging Research Program, and the Trent Centre for Aging & Society. She graduated in 2018 with the Collaborative Specialization in Aging Studies from the Masters of Arts in Sustainability Studies program at Trent University.
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*On leave until August 2024*
Erika Snowden is a Research Assistant for the Rural Aging Research Program and Administrative Assistant for the Trent Centre for Aging & Society. She is also a 4th year honours thesis student in Trent's Department of Psychology.
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