Catherine Bigonnesse

Assistant Professor

Political Science

1 506 453 4853

Catherine Bigonnesse was appointed Canada Research Chair in Healthy Aging in 2022. Her research program explores the impact of social policy on older adults’ health in Canadian provinces experiencing an accelerated aging of their populations. Her work is dedicated to the development of the Atlantic Observatory on Aging, a data centre monitoring the evolution of aging population in Atlantic provinces and the Healthy Aging Policy Innovation Lab, a living lab focusing on the development of policy innovations in partnership with older adults, community stakeholders, and policymakers.

Dr. Bigonnesse is an environmental gerontologist with a multidisciplinary background in social work and psychology. She is interested in better understanding how social and physical environments influence older adults’ well-being. Her research expertise includes aging in place processes, innovative models of housing and community-based support services for older adults, the meaning of home and experience of place in later life, age-friendly communities, and qualitative and participatory research methods. Dr. Bigonnesse teaches Qualitative Methods in Political Science.

Dr. Bigonnesse holds a Ph.D. in Gerontology (Simon Fraser University), a MA in Social Work (Université de Sherbrooke) and a BA in Psychology (Université de Sherbrooke). Prior to joining the Department of Political Science, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Research Centre on Aging of Université de Moncton. She remains involved at the Research Centre on Aging as an associate researcher.

Recent publications

Bigonnesse, C., & Chaudhury, H. (2021). Aging in place processes in the neighbourhood environment: A proposed conceptual framework from a capability approach. European Journal of Ageing, 19, 63–74.

Dupuis-Blanchard, S., Bigonnesse, C., Andrew, M., Gould, O., & Maillet, D. (2021). Impact of social frailty on relocation of older adults. The Journal of Frailty & Aging, 10(3), 254–258.

Dupuis-Blanchard, S., Maillet, D., Thériault, D., LeBlanc, F., & Bigonnesse, C. (2021). “Be Their Advocate”: Families Experience with a Relative in LTC During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue Canadienne Du Vieillissement, 40(4), 628–638.

Bigonnesse, C., & Chaudhury, H. (2019). The landscape of “aging in place” in gerontology literature: Emergence, theoretical perspectives and influencing factors. Journal of Aging and Environment, 34(3), 233–251.

Mahmood, A., O’Dea, E., Bigonnesse, C., Labbé, D., Mahal, T., Qureshi, M., & Mortenson, W. B. (2019). Stakeholders Walkability/Wheelability Audit in Neighbourhoods (SWAN): User-led audit and photographic documentation in Canada. Disability & Society, 35(6), 902–925.

Weeks, L. E., Bigonnesse, C., McInnis-Perry, G., & Dupuis-Blanchard, S. (2019). Barriers faced in the establishment of cohousing communities for older adults in Eastern Canada. Journal of Aging and Environment, 34(1), 70–85.

Bigonnesse, C., Mahmood, A., Chaudhury, H., Mortenson, W. B., Miller, C. W., & Martin Ginis, K. A. (2018). The Role of Neighborhood Physical Environment on Mobility and Social Participation among People using Mobility Assistive Technology. Disability & Society, 33(6), 866–893.