Stacks Image 110282

What: Symposium on Health & Wellness Behavior
Where: Burlington, VT USA
When: September 5-7, 2018

Symposium on Health & Wellness Behavior

  • Agenda
    Wednesday 5 September
    Peter Dodds, Happiness and the Hedonometer
    Participant Introductions
    Chris Danforth, Social media and mental health
    Nicholas Allgaier - Science of Willpower - Neuroscience of Addiction and the Frontal Lobes
    Welcome Reception upstairs balcony - Echo Center Aquarium
  • Logistics
    Symposium Location:
    ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center
    1 College St
    Vermont 05401

    Stacks Image 110253

    Symposium Organizer

    Juniper Lovato
    Director of Outreach for Complex Systems
    UVM Complex Systems Center

    802.656.7839 (office)
    505.603.2215 (cell)

    Stacks Image 110070
    • General: Early Bird $2,403 (After Early Bird: $2,603)
    • Academic, Non-profit, Government: Early Bird $1,363 (After Early Bird: $1,563)
    • Student/Educator/UVM Affiliates: Early Bird $843 (After Early Bird: $1,043)

    Early Bird pricing ends July 20, 2018

    We aim for this course to be an intimate experience, space is very limited and is available first-come-first-served.

    A limited number of partial waivers will be given on the basis of merit and need (please contact

    Stacks Image 110174

    Allison Kurti
    Integrating behavioral and digital technology to promote health behavior

    University of Vermont, Vermont Center on Behavior and Health / Department of Psychiatry

    I am interested in behavioral approaches to promoting health in vulnerable populations, with a focus on reducing cigarette smoking among women of reproductive age. I am also interested in increasing the use of technology in behavioral interventions to increase their attractiveness and their reach. Alongside the treatment research, I am also interested in studying alternative tobacco product use among women of reproductive age using publicly available national datasets, as well as in how broader public health efforts or regulatory policies might reduce tobacco use among this population.

    Stacks Image 110184

    Chris Danforth
    Social media and mental health

    University of Vermont, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Flint Professor of Mathematical, Natural, and Technical Sciences; Member, The Vermont Complex Systems Center

    Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.

    Stacks Image 110194

    Dario Robleto
    History of the Human Heartbeat


    Robleto has had numerous solo exhibitions since 1997, most recently at the Menil Collection, Houston, TX (2014); the Baltimore Museum of Art (2014); the New Orleans Museum of Art (2012); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver (2011). His work has been profiled in numerous publications and media including Radiolab, Krista Tippet's On Being, and the New York Times. In 2008 a 10-year survey exhibition, Alloy of Love, was organized by the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York. Accompanied by a major monograph, Alloy of Love traveled to the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington.

    Stacks Image 110262

    Diann E Gaalema
    Behavioral economic principles that motivate health-related behavior change

    University of Vermont, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

    Dr. Gaalema is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Vermont. She received her PhD in Experimental Psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has a long-standing interest in behavioral science and has focused her career on measuring and changing a variety of behaviors. Her current research interests include motivating health-related behavior change and the use of tobacco in vulnerable populations such as those with chronic medical conditions. Currently she is the PI on a NIH funded project aimed at increasing cardiac rehabilitation participation among low income patients and is the site-PI on a NIDA/FDA funded project examining the effects of cigarettes of varying nicotine levels on behavior in those with depression or anxiety disorders.

    Stacks Image 110204

    Laurent Hébert-Dufresne
    Network Theory and the Unexpected Consequences of Behavior

    Assistant Professor, University of Vermont Department of Computer Science; Member, The Vermont Complex Systems Center

    Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.

    Stacks Image 110272

    Matt Bonds
    The Ecology of Poverty: understanding the root causes of poverty and disease

    Matt is an Assistant Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School; and Co-CEO and Co-Founder of PIVOT.

    Matt has PhDs in economics and disease ecology and is the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of PIVOT. He is currently on the faculty of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Previous to this, he lived and worked with Partners In Health in Rwanda for five years.

    Stacks Image 110456

    Nicholas Allgaier
    Science of Willpower - Neuroscience of Addiction and the Frontal Lobes

    Nicholas is a Postdoctoral Associate in Psychiatry at the University of Vermont. One of his main research interests is in Reverse Engineering the Human Brain

    A detailed characterization of the human brain, its structural and functional underpinnings, remains on the frontier of modern science. Neurological research is important not only for its intrinsic interest, but for the purpose of better understanding (diagnosing and treating) neurological disorder as well. Happily, along with many other fields, neuroscience is entering an era of "Big Data" in which a new approach is possible: analyze the data, using some new and exciting computational methods, to generate hypotheses about brain function, which can then be tested on independent data. Using data from functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), and computational techniques inspired by biological evolution, we attempt to discover interactions among regions of the brain while a subject is either at rest, or performing certain tasks. This approach allows the discovery of meaningful information about brain function that an MRI researcher might not hypothesize directly. Futhermore, the method makes no linear assumption, and can thus uncover brain function not discoverable by standard analytic techniques.

    Stacks Image 110465

    Paula M. Gardiner, MD
    Chronic Pain Treatments without Opioids

    Assistant Director for the Program for Integrative Medicine and Health Care Disparities at Boston Medical Center. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.

    She completed a three year Clinical Research Fellowship in Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research and Faculty Development at Harvard Medical School. She received her MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. Additionally, she has been awarded a five year NIH K award grant focusing on CAM use, stress, and dietary supplement in the inner city under served medical patients. Her research concentration is patient-oriented research regarding chronic pain and evidenced based integrative medicine access in low income patients. Current research is focused on the adaptive role of an Integrative Medicine Group Visit (IMGV) which combines Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and a Medical Group Visit to support health behavior change and reducing pain and stress. With funding by Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI), she is the primary investigator on a comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trial of IMGV compared to a primary care visit in Boston for participants with chronic pain (N=124). Her research focuses on innovative technologies such as Embodied Conversational Agents and Our Whole Lives; a Holistic online toolkit that teaches mind body techniques. Dr. Gardiner lectures nationally and internationally. She has published over 78 reviewed papers on chronic pain, technology, dietary supplements, pregnancy, preconception care, stress, and complementary medicine in under served patients.
    Stacks Image 110214

    Peter Dodds
    Happiness and the Hedonometer

    Director, Vermont Complex Systems Center

    Dodds's research focuses on system-level, big data problems in many areas including language and stories, sociotechnical systems, Earth sciences, biology, and ecology. His foundational funding was an NSF CAREER award granted to study sociotechnical phenomena (2009-2015). Together with Chris Danforth, he co-runs the Computational Story Lab.

    Stacks Image 110224

    Ross A. Hammond
    Obesity from a complex systems perspective

    Director - Center on Social Dynamics and Policy
    Senior Fellow - Economic Studies

    Ross A. Hammond is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, where he is director of the Center on Social Dynamics and Policy. His primary area of expertise is modeling complex dynamics in economic, social, and public health systems using mathematical and computational methods from complexity systems science. His current research topics include obesity etiology and prevention, food systems, tobacco control, behavioral epidemiology, crime, corruption, segregation, trust, and decision-making.

    Stacks Image 110234

    Ryan McGinnis
    Wearable and mobile technologies for improving human health and performance

    Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering, University of Vermont

    Ryan earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering, graduating summa cum laude with honors, from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, before completing his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan, where he also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Kinesiology. He previously worked as a Senior Algorithms engineer at MC10 Inc., as a Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Vermont, and as a R&D consultant for a variety of companies in the health technology, sports equipment, and sports training spaces. His research interests focus on the use of wearable and mobile technologies for improving human health and performance. Projects apply concepts from human biomechanics, dynamics, signal processing, and machine learning to enable technology-based solutions to pressing problems facing society.

    Stacks Image 110243

    Additions to speaker list coming soon!

    Stacks Image 110295

    Symposium Organizer

    Juniper Lovato
    Director of Outreach for Complex Systems
    UVM Complex Systems Center


    At the Vermont Complex Systems Center, Juniper works across generations and geographical limits to make resources and knowledge on cutting-edge complexity science more accessible to those with a hunger and curiosity for learning and exploration. Juniper came to Burlington in 2018. She previously served as the Director of Education for the Santa Fe Institute, an independent complexity science research center. She is also a co-founder of MAKE Santa Fe, a not-for-profit community makerspace in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Juniper received her Master’s in the Western Classics from St. John’s College in 2013 where she completed a thesis on the nature of pleasure in work in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.
  • Participant Bios
    Stacks Image 109834
    Participant list coming soon!

  • Further Reading
    • The effect of a prudent adaptive behaviour on disease transmission. Samuel V. Scarpino, Antoine Allard and Laurent Hébert-Dufresne, Nature Physics 12, 1042-1046 (2016) [Full-Text] [arXiv]
    • Instagram photos reveal predictive markers of depression. Chris Danforth, Andrew G. Reece. EPJ Data Science, 2017. [Full-Text] [arXiv]
    • Forecasting the onset and course of mental illness with Twitter data. Scientific Reports, Andrew G. Reece, Chris Danforth, Andy Reagan, Katharina L. M. Lix, Peter Sheridan Dodds, Ellen Langer. 2017. [Full-Text] [arXiv]
    • Happiness and the Patterns of Life: A Study of Geolocated Tweets. Chris Danforth, Lewis Mitchell, Morgan Frank, Peter Sheridan Dodds. Nature Scientific Reports, 2625, 3, 2013. [Full-Text] [arXiv]
    • Kurti AN, Davis D, Skelly JM, Redner, R, Higgins ST. Comparison of nicotine dependence indicators in predicting quitting among pregnant smokers. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2016 Feb;24(1):12-7. PMCID: PMC4822339. [Journal Link]
    • Kurti AN, Davis DR, Redner R, Jarvis BP, Zvorsky I, Keith DR, Bolivar HA, White TJ, Rippberger P, Markesich C, Atwood G, Higgins ST. A Review of the Literature on Remote Monitoring technology in incentive-based interventions for health-related behavior change. Transl Issues Psychol Sci. 2016 Jun;2(2):128-152. PMCID: PMC5074560. [Journal Link]
    • Kurti AN, Logan H, Manini T, Dallery J. Physical activity behavior, barriers to physical activity, and opinions about a smartphone-based physical activity intervention among rural residents. Telemed J eHealth. 2015 Jan;21 (1):16-23. PMCID: PMC4346555. [Journal Link]
    • Geographic Variations in Cardiac Rehabilitation Use: Regional Variations in Medical Care or in Patient Behaviors? Ades PA, Gaalema DE. Circulation. 2018 May 1;137(18):1909-1911. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.033255.PMID: 29712695. [Journal Link]
    • Addiction Potential of Cigarettes With Reduced Nicotine Content in Populations With Psychiatric Disorders and Other Vulnerabilities to Tobacco Addiction. Higgins ST, Heil SH, Sigmon SC, Tidey JW, Gaalema DE, et al. JAMA Psychiatry. 2017 Oct 1;74(10):1056-1064. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.2355. PMID: 28832876. [Journal Link]
    • Epidemic Cycles Driven by Host Behavior. Benjamin M. Althouse and Laurent Hébert-Dufresne. J. R. Soc. Interface 11 20140575 (2014). [Journal Link]
    • Poverty trap formed by the ecology of infectious diseases. MH Bonds, DC Keenan, P Rohani, JD Sachs. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 277 - 2010. [Journal Link]
    • Poverty, Disease, and the Ecology of Complex Systems. CN Ngonghala, MM Plucinski, MB Murray, PE Farmer, CB Barrett, Donald C. Keenan, Matthew H. Bonds. PLoS Biology 12 (4), e1001827. - 2014. [Journal Link]
    • Universal behavior in a generalized model of contagion. PS Dodds, DJ Watts Physical Review Letters 92 (21), 218701 - 2004. [Journal Link]
    • The economic impact of obesity in the United States. Ross A Hammond and Ruth Levine. PMC PMC3047996. 2010. [Journal Link]
    • Smart food policies for obesity prevention. Dr. Corinna Hawkes PhD, Trenton G Smith PhD, Jo Jewell MSc, Prof Jane Wardlec, Ross A Hammond PhD, Prof Sharon Friel, Anne Marie Thow PhD , Juliana Kain MPH. [Journal Link]
    • RS, McGinnis, EW, Muzik, M, Hruschak, J, Lopex-Duran, NL, Perkins, NC, Fitzgerald, K, Rosenblum, K. Movements indicate threat response phases in children at-risk for anxiety. IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics: (2017) 21, 1460-1465. [Journal Link]
    • McGinnis, RS, Hough, J, Perkins, NC. Accuracy of wearable sensors for estimating joint reactions. ASME Journal of Computational and Nonlinear Dynamics: (2017) 12, 041010. [Journal Link]
  • Restaurant Guide
    Stacks Image 110026
    • Hen of the Wood - Farm to Table - 55 Cherry Street Burlington Vermont M-SU 5-10PM. Reservations suggested. $$$
    • Honey Road - Middle Eastern Cuisine - 156 Church St Burlington, VT 05401 M-SU 4-9PM. Reservations suggested. $$
    • Four Corners of the Earth - Amazing Gourmet Sandwiches - 310 Pine St, Burlington, VT 05401 TH-S 12-10PM SU 12-6 M12-4PM. $$
    • Monarch & the Milkweed - Cocktails, Brunch and Bakery - M-SU 8AM-11PM. $$
    • Juniper Bar & Restaurant - American Cuisine - 41 Cherry St Burlington, VT 05401 M-SU 7AM-2PM 5-10PM. $$
    • Misery Loves Company - Cocktails and Farm to Table Cuisine. 46 Main St Winooski, VT 05404. T-F 3-10PM S 10AM-10PM SU 10SM-2PM. $$


    • Zero Gravity - Brewery - 716 Pine St Burlington, VT 05401 SU-TH 12-9PM F-S 12-10PM
    • Foam - Brewery - 112 Lake St Burlington, VT 05401 M-TH 12-9PM S-SU 12-11PM SU 12-7PM
    • Switchback - Brewery - 160 Flynn Ave Burlington, VT 05406 M-S 11AM-8PM SU 11am-7PM
    • Magic Hat - Brewery - 5 Bartlett Bay Rd South Burlington, VT 05403 M-S 11AM-7PM SU 12-5PM

    Stacks Image 109968

Stacks Image 110035