School of Geography

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Stephanie Coen

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences



I am a critical health geographer with an overarching concern for how everyday social and material contexts matter for health and health equity. I am particularly interested in how taken-for-granted-and often unquestioned-features of our day-to-day environments become implicated in the production of health outcomes, behaviours, and inequities. My current focus in this stream of work is on the role of place in the gendering of physical activity, which I have explored via gyms and other micro environments. I also have an interest in qualitative and creative methods as a substantive research area, particularly in relation to questions of rigour and empirically evaluating potentially innovative techniques. Cross-cutting these interests is my commitment to making research more useful and applicable in the real-world so that it can be used as an instrument for positive change. Part of this work involves my collaboration on multidisciplinary initiatives, including the Sex/Gender Methods Group, to understand how sex and gender shape the very production of health research knowledge and to develop tools to better integrate sex and gender considerations in health research practice.

I completed my BA Honours (2004) and MA (2006) in geography at McGill University (Canada) with Prof Nancy Ross & Prof Sarah Turner. I then gained experience as a Research Manager and a Knowledge Translation Manager in multidisciplinary health research environments before pursing my PhD (2017) in geography at Queen's University (Canada) with Prof Mark Rosenberg & Dr Joyce Davidson. I undertook postdoctoral training at the Human Environments Analysis Laboratory (HEAL) in the Department of Geography at Western University (Canada) with Prof Jason Gilliland. My PhD and Postdoctoral Fellowship were supported by awards from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Click here for my ORCID page.

My pronouns are she/her/hers.

Recent Publications

Media coverage

  1. "A message to every single man who feels the need to give women 'advice' at the gym" (27 April 2019). Research cited in article by Poorna Bell in Stylist:

  2. "A Gender Gap at the Gym Is Keeping Women From Working Out" (5 March 2019). Interviewed in article by Garnet Henderson in Glamour magazine:

  3. "New study looks at gender and the gym" (6 Dec. 2017). Interview with 94.9fm Radio Western:

  4. "Study explores how gender defines the gym" (30 Nov. 2017). Interviewed in article by Angie Wiseman in Western News:

  5. "Gender and the gym" (21 Nov. 2017). Interviewed in article by Rob Rombouts for Western Social Science:

  6. "Western study finds gender affects how we act at the gym" (6 Dec. 2017). Interviewed in article by Martin Allen in The Western Gazette:

Blog posts

Coen, S. E. (2019). "How you feel in the gym matters. It's a matter of social justice." Geography Directions (blog of the Royal British Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers publications):

Coen, S. E. (2018). "Tackling inequalities in physical activity." Blog of Women's Strength Coalition:

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