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Research Commons: Staff

Nicole White, Head, Research Commons

Since May 2012, Nicole White has been the Head of the Library’s Research Commons.  She is responsible for coordinating graduate focused services, workshops, and tutorials that will support graduate students at all stages of graduate research, writing, and publishing.  Nicole has worked as a liaison librarian at SFU Surrey and SFU Burnaby since 2004.

Phone: 778.782.3268

Heather De Forest, Community Scholars Librarian

Heather leads the Community Scholars Program, liaising with nonprofits and charities around access to scholarship. Her interests include knowledge exchange, community-led librarianship, and engagement practices. 

Heather is on leave in 2019/2020.

Rebecca Dowson, Digital Scholarship Librarian

Rebecca supports researchers at all levels who are engaged with digital humanities through project consultations, digital skill development workshops, and coordinating the Library's resources in digitization and project hosting. She is also responsible for administering SFU's Open Access Fund and supporting researchers with scholarly communication. Her research interests include the intersection of libraries and digital humanities, with a particular interest in digital cultural heritage projects, digital skill building, and new forms of scholarly publishing.  Rebecca joined SFU Library in 2009 as the English and History Liaison Librarian.  She joined the Research Commons team in 2015.

Phone: 778.782.5869

Julie Jones, GIS & Map Librarian | Liaison Librarian for Geography (on leave until January 2020)

Julie supports researchers from all disciplines using GIS and maps in their work through consultations, workshops, and developing the Library's geospatial data and map collections. She also serves as the Librarian for Geography at SFU. Julie graduated with a Master of Library and Information Studies from McGill University in 2008. Prior to joining SFU, Julie worked for as an Assistant Librarian at McGill University with the liaison portfolio Geography, Urban Planning, and Social Work (2010-2015). From 2008 to 2010 she held concurrent positions as a librarian at Metro Vancouver's Harry Lash Library and the Fraser Valley Regional Library. She joined the Research Commons team in May 2015. Julie is interested in the ways spatial thinking and GIS can empower citizens, make complex data more accessible, and help us better understand each other. Her recent research has included climate change research syntheses and the examination of the role of librarians in systematic reviews.

Phone: 778-782-9704


Sarah Zhang, GIS & Map Librarian | Liaison Librarian for Geography 

Sarah supports researchers from all disciplines using GIS and maps in their work through consultations, workshops, and developing the Library's geospatial data and map collections. She also serves as the Librarian for Geography at SFU. Sarah is interested in ways of lowering the bar to using GIS, encouraging critical use of geospatial data and GIS tools, and connecting GIS to the trends in teaching/learning and scholarly communication, such as digital pedagogy and community engagement. 


Carla Graebner, Research Data Services Librarian and Librarian for Government Information

Carla is responsible for research data management support including data curation, data management planning, data deposit in SFU Radar and providing access to data resources. As the Government Information Librarian, she provides support in navigating and accessing government resources. She joined the Research Commons team in December 2014.

Phone: 778.782.6881

Alison Moore, Digital Scholarship Librarian


Phone: 778.782.5344

Ask Ali about: 

  • Research impact, research metrics, and bibliometrics
  • Online research profiles, scholarly networks, and researcher visibility
  • Knowledge mobilization
  • Tableau for data visualization
  • Programming for faculty

Effective Fall 2019, you can also ask Ali about: 

  • Scholarly communications practices
  • SFU's Central Open Access Fund
  • Funder OA requirements, publication venues, and author rights
  • New forms of scholarship / dissemination 

*For questions related to OJS or the PKP suite, please contact Kate Shuttleworth in the Digital Publishing Division (

Chloe Riley, Research Commons Librarian


Chloe coordinates Research Commons programming and services for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows across disciplines, including coordinating Thesis Boot Camps, Thesis reBoots, and the All in a Day workshop series. She facilitates workshops, consults, and support for qualitative data analysis software (NVivo) and citation management (Zotero and Mendeley).

David Chokroun, Assistant for Theses

Phone: 778.782.4747

Catherine Louie, Library Assistant

Catherine joined the Research Commons in October 2013. She provides administrative support for the Research Commons as well as backup support to the Assistant for Theses.

Phone: 778.782.9703

See also:  Graduate peer learning / writing facilitators - Graduate writing services team