A native of Twillingate, Newfoundland (“Iceberg Capital of the World”) growing up in Toronto, Ontario, Heather Watkins has been working as Neuropsychiatric Epidemiologist and Research Coordinator at the Centre for Neuropsychiatric Sciences (CNS) in St. John’s, NL, since January 2010. Heather has completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biochemistry-Nutrition and Minor in French from Memorial University of Newfoundland (2007) and went on to pursue and complete a Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Epidemiology from Memorial shortly thereafter (2012). Heather is currently completing a Masters degree in Epidemiology from the University of London via the school of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and hopes to graduate in the year 2020.  

Heather has experienced brain injury, both personally and in loved ones, and has dedicated her life to improving outcomes for brain injury survivors based on these experiences. Heather has a passion and thirst for knowledge, particularly as they relate to brain injuries of diverse causes. Since working for CNS, her research interests and experience have been heavily relating to Autism and Traumatic Brain Injury, but also other aspects of the discipline of Neuropsychiatry itself. She particularly enjoys the sense of empowerment working for CNS, where team members are encouraged to pursue their own research interests and provided with the tools needed to fulfill their professional dreams and aspirations. 

Heather has been a long time volunteer with the Neuropsychiatric Patients’ Association of Newfoundland and Labrador since 2010 and has helped out in many areas of the organization, including Advocacy, Administration, Fundraising, Board, Research, Human Resources and anywhere else she may be needed. She brings, not only her research skills, community and personal experiences to her new role with Brain Injury Canada, but also a deep passion for the cause and looks forward to making a real difference to the brain injury community across Canada in the coming weeks and months.

When not doing research or volunteering, you can probably find her enjoying the great outdoors, hiking, gardening, or a good campfire in the backyard. Passionate about the environment, animals, languages and cultures, Heather hopes one day to be proficient in the main romance languages and to travel to all 7 continents! Heather has taken piano lessons in the past and also dreams of one day completing all 10 levels of the Royal Conservatory of Music in piano.