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Tim Sly

Tim Sly

Professor Emeritus
EducationPhD, CPHI(C)
Areas of ExpertiseEpidemiology; Food-borne illness; Risk assessment and communication

I hold qualifications in public health from the United Kingdom and Canada, and worked in the public health field for 14 years before joining the teaching staff at Ryerson in 1982. I was the program's director for more than nine years. In addition to my faculty appointment in this school, I hold an associate faculty position with the School of Graduate Studies at Ryerson and was appointed external examiner for the University of Technology in Jamaica for eight years. I am currently professor emeritus, providing mentorship for final year research students and guest lectures upon request.

I hold a master's degree in Epidemiology from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario, and a PhD in Risk Studies from Teesside University in the United Kingdom.

I am a member of the Canadian Public Health Association, the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors and the International Society for Infectious Diseases.

I have been published in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. One of my papers on risk communication is used as a training document by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Government of New Zealand.

My consulting work has taken me to the Caribbean Region, Brazil, and to Ottawa as a member of the Auditor-General for Canada’s Expert Advisory Committee on Food Safety.

During 2005, I was invited to teach a number of sessions at national universities in Taiwan, and between 2014 and 2015 I provided courses on food-borne illnesses and risk assessment under contract to the Philippines Government Food inspection staff in Manila. I teach courses each year in research methods to internationally-trained medical doctors at the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education.

Former teaching responsibilities:


  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Research methods
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk perception and communication
  • Food-borne illnesses


Research interests:

  • Food-borne illnesses
  • Pandemic-potential diseases (SARS, Avian Influenza)
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk perception and communication
  • Writer, Global/West news service
  • Book review, Literary Review Canada


  • Statistical Analysis. (In) Procedures to Investigate Waterborne Illness (IAFP), currently in press.
  • A number of teaching awards, Ryerson University, 1996-2007