Our Team

Dr. Nichole Fairbrother

Director, Perinatal Anxiety Research Lab
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UBC

Nichole Fairbrother is the director of the Perinatal Anxiety Research Lab at the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of British Columbia in 2002. She subsequently completed a post-doctoral fellowship in women’s reproductive health through the Child and Family Research Institute and the UBC Department of Health Care and Epidemiology. Dr. Fairbrother is currently a research associate with the University of British Columbia’s Departments of Psychiatry and Obstetrics & Gynecology and a member of the Women’s Health Research Institute at B.C.’s Women’s Hospital.

Dr. Fairbrother’s research is in the area of reproductive mental health with a focus on anxiety disorders that affect pregnant and postpartum women. Her research projects include a study of maternal thoughts of harm related to the newborn, a theoretical model of postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder, a pilot study of the prevalence of anxiety disorders among pregnant and postpartum women, and several surveys of reproductive-aged women’s knowledge and attitudes pertaining to reproduction, childbirth and infant feeding.

Graduate Students

Ambar Abrar

Ambar Abrar is an IMG, with years of clinical practice and research experience. She is a graduate student at University of Victoria’s Social Dimensions of Health program under Dr. Nichole Fairbrother’s supervision. She has been associated with PAR lab since September 2016 and worked on New Mothers’ Thoughts of Harm, Childbirth Fear, and Modern and Open Relationship Experiences studies. Currently she is assisting with Clinical Trial A randomized controlled trial of internet-based CBT for ppOCD planning project.

Debra Torok

Debra is a master’s student in the Clinical Psychology Lifepsan Program at the University of Victoria. She is interested in studying how previous traumatic experiences influence couple adjustment and sexual functioning as they transition into parenthood.

Research Assistants


Study Coordinator, Fear of Childbirth Study

Becca graduated with a Bachelor of Education from UBC in 2012, and has been working in the educational field for the past four years. She is really excited to be part of the Perinatal Anxiety Lab as the Project Coordinator for the Childbirth Fear Study. In terms of her interests, Becca loves cats, and wants to learn more about the intersection between mental health and the law.


Brianna is a second year medical student in the UBC Island Medical Program, who has previously finished a Kinesiology degree from the University of Victoria. She is interested in maternal health and hopes to be a care provider for mothers and their babies in the future.


Lorenzo is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Minor in Biochemistry from the University of British Columbia. He has been with the Perinatal Anxiety Research Lab since February 2017. With previous experience in research ranging from the lab bench to the Emergency Department at BC Children’s Hospital, he is very interested in pursuing a career as a clinical scientist, hoping to specialize in paediatric oncology and haematology. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, canoeing, weightlifting, yoga, and playing the guitar.


Meriah is currently in her fifth and final year at the University of Victoria, completing a degree in BioPsychology. She is pursuing her honours project under the supervision of Dr. Fairbrother, and is investigating frustration levels of pre- and postpartum couples as they are exposed to infant crying.


Peter is a fourth-year undergraduate at the University of Victoria, studying biology. He is interested in women’s reproductive and mental health.


Sarah is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the University of British Columbia School of Nursing’s BSN Program. She joined the PAR Lab team in September 2017 as a Research Assistant in the Childbirth Fear Study. Sarah is particularly interested in the intersection between mental health and medical care and aims to integrate quality mental health care into her clinical nursing practice.