Science Café and FASS Present: Navigating Cannabis and Mental Health

Science Café and FASS Present: Navigating Cannabis and Mental Health

Categories: General, Homecoming | Intended for

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM | Add to calendar

Location Details

Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre

Contact Information

Jessie Cartwright, 613-520-4388,



About this Event

Host Organization: Office of the Dean of Science and FASS
More Information: Please click here for additional details.

*Doors open at 5 p.m. for coffee and treats. Event to follow at 5:30 p.m.

Join us for an engaging event featuring award-winning Carleton University Neuroscience professors, Dr. Hellemans and Dr. Patterson, in collaboration with Dr. Jim Davies and Dr. Andrea Howard from Carleton University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

In this event, we will delve into the intricate relationship between cannabis use and mental health. Our discussion will encompass a wide range of topics, including:

What exactly is cannabis?

Who are the individuals utilizing cannabis?

How does cannabis impact the brain?

Exploring the risks, benefits, and potential harms associated with cannabis use.

This is an excellent opportunity to expand your knowledge and understanding of these subjects. Feel free to ask any questions you may have, whether they pertain to cannabis, our neuroscience program, substance use and mental health, or any other topics that pique your curiosity. Join us for an insightful and informative conversation!


Dr. Kim Hellemans, Assistant Professor, Carleton University

Dr. Kim Hellemans is an Assistant professor and the Associate Dean of Science (Student Recruitment, Wellness and Success) at Carleton University. She received her PhD from Queen’s University, where her research focused on understanding the biological basis of drug addiction. Currently, her research focusses on understanding the relationship between mental health and cannabis use among university students. Dr. Hellemans has received several prestigious awards for her passion and dedication to university teaching. Outside of the classroom, she’s the co-host of the popular podcast, Minding the Brain.

Dr. Zachary Patterson, Instructor II, Carleton University

Dr. Zachary R. Patterson received his PhD in Neuroscience at Carleton University in 2014. He worked at the Canadian Centre for Substance Use and Addiction as a Research and Policy Analyst and Knowledge Broker until 2018, where he returned to Carleton University to work as an instructor in the Department of Neuroscience. Dr. Patterson’s academic interests are related to the effects of drugs – particularly cannabis, opioids and illicit drugs – on the brain, and how these drugs impact both human behaviour and society. In addition, Dr. Patterson is a founding member and CFO of the Chance Foundation, a Canadian Registered Charity aimed at improving the lives of children through education, recreation, and support.

Dr. Andrea Howard, Associate Professor, Carleton University

Dr. Andrea Howard is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Carleton University and Director of the Pickering Centre for Research in Human Development. She completed her PhD at the University of Alberta in developmental psychology in 2010 and now studies well-being and health-related behaviors (including mental health, alcohol and drug use) in adolescence and the transition to adulthood, with an emphasis on special challenges facing university students and young people with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Dr. Howard has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers and her research has been funded by national granting agencies in Canada (SSHRC, CIHR) and the U.S. (NIH). Outside of her core program of research, Dr. Howard is active in scholarly communities promoting open science practices in developmental and clinical psychology.

Dr. Jim Davies, Professor, Carleton University

Jim Davies is a full professor in the Institute of Cognitive Science at Carleton University, where he has won awards for his teaching and research. He has degrees in philosophy, computer science, and cognitive psychology. As director of the Science of Imagination Laboratory, he explores processes of imagination in humans and machines, and specializes in artificial intelligence, analogy, problem-solving, and the psychology of art, religion, and creativity. His work has shown how people use visual thinking to solve problems, and how they visualize imagined situations and worlds.

He is author of over 50 peer-reviewed publications in the fields of cognitive science, artificial intelligence, philosophy, and psychology. He wrote the popular science books Riveted: The Science of Why Jokes Make us Laugh, Movies Make us Cry, and Religion Makes us Feel One with the Universe, Imagination: The Science of Your Mind’s Greatest Power, and Being the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are: The Science of a Better You. He has been asked to speak at four TEDx events, and is co-host of the award-winning Minding the Brain podcast.