AART’s team includes the physicians, nurses and scientists profiled below. Our team is among the best trained and most experienced ART teams in Canada. All of our physicians are subspecialty trained in reproductive endocrinology, fellowship trained and are Board Certified physicians. AART’s physicians belong to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Dalhousie University where they enjoy teaching appointments and research roles at Dalhousie University’s School of Medicine. Our Outreach Associates fulfill similar roles in their communities.

We have included a brief biography for each of our team members below.

Physician Team

  • Renda Bouzayen, MD, FRCSC, Medical Director

    Dr. Renda Bouzayen

    FRCSC, Medical Director

    Dr. Renda Bouzayen was born in New York, USA and has lived in several cities in Europe and West Africa. Due to her experience abroad, she speaks several different languages, including French, German and Arabic and has a special interest in cultural diversity.

    Dr. Bouzayen graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at Tunis University, Tunisia in 1989. She completed her residency in Gynaecology and Obstetrics at the University of Montreal from 1992 to 1996. After finishing her residency program she completed a two year fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility working in the Reproductive Medicine Unit at St. Luc’s Hospital, the University of Montreal, the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal and McGill University.

    Dr. Bouzayen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics  and Gynaecology, Dalhousie University. Dr. Bouzayen joined the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dalhousie University, on August 1, 2000. As the Head of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology, she is very involved in all aspects of this program. She is one of the team members providing services in assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization. Being fluent in several languages she is often able to bridge any communication barriers that arise, leading to better patient care.

    Dr. Bouzayen is also the Director of the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) Fellowship Program which has been accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons since 2001. Five physicians have graduated from this program and are now working across Canada as subspecialists in this field.

    Dr. Bouzayen’s current research interests include the psychological aspects of infertility, the impact of Ghrelin levels as predictors of infertility, induction of ovulation, in vitro maturation and pharmaco-economics.

  • Mike Ripley, MD, FRCSC

    Dr. Mike Ripley


    Dr. Mike Ripley is a Reproductive Endocrinologist at Atlantic Assisted Reproductive Therapies and an Assistant Professor in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Dalhousie University. He completed a fellowship in Gynecologic Reproductive Medicine at the University of Ottawa’s Ottawa Fertility Centre in 2015. Prior to this, he graduated from medical school and completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Dalhousie University. His clinical interests include markers of ovarian reserve, fertility preservation, and recurrent pregnancy loss.

  • John Grantmyre, MD, FRCSC

    Dr. Grantmyre is a native Haligonian who completed his Urology training at Dalhousie University in 1989. The following year he undertook a fellowship in male infertility and andrology at Baylar College of Medicine under the training of Dr. Larry Lipshultz. Since that time, he has been the Director of the Male Infertility Clinic which is now located at the AART Centre. He has been instrumental in bringing new techniques on the forefront of male infertility such as electro and vibratory ejaculation and other sperm retrieval techniques such as microscopic vasal, epididymal, and testicluar sperm aspiration.

    Presently, Dr. Grantmyre is Associate Professor of Urology at the Department of Urology, Dalhousie University. He is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Andropause Society. He is a member of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, as well as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. He has been a moderator and invited round-table luncheon speaker at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s annual meeting in Toronto. His recent research presentations have included a comparison between one layer and two layer vasectomy reversals, a study on the use of Alpha-blockers in chronic prostatitis presented at the the Canadian Urology meeting, and a study on adjustments to sexual dysfunction after radical prostatectomy which was presented at the American Urology Association annual meeting.

  • Patricia Pearce, MD, FRCPC

    Dr. Pearce worked as a family physician in rural Nova Scotia for four years before entering psychiatric training at Dalhousie University. In the early 1990’s she helped to develop the Perinatal Psychiatric Service at the Grace Materntiy Hospital and was the first Clinical Director of this service. She has become increasingly involved with infertility and adoption issues and is currently working part-time at the Reproductive Endocrine Cente at the IWK Health Centre.

    Dr. Pearce holds the position of Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Dalhousie University and is actively involved in teaching medical students, as well as psychiatry and obstetrical residents. She has presented both nationally and locally on emotional problems related to childbearing. Her other professional interest is in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia where she has been a council member since 1996, and has recently served as president.

  • Heather Cockwell, MD, FRCSC

    Dr. Cockwell completed her medical school at the University of Western Ontario, her Obstetrics and Gynaecology training at Queen’s University, and her fellowship in REI at Dalhousie University. She has been an active member of the McMaster University Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, teaching residents and medical students, for the last seven years, and has won several awards and accolades for her lectures and teaching style. She has been the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital’s Clerkship Co-ordinator for McMaster University since their clerkship programme started there in 2017.

    Dr. Cockwell has a special interest in recurrent pregnancy loss and minimally invasive surgery, especially for advanced endometriosis and fibroids. She joined the Dalhousie Department of Obstetrics and Gynaegology in 2018, and will see patients for infertility, gynaecology and obstetrics through both Atlantic Assisted Reproductive Therapies, and the IWK Health Centre.

  • Gynaecologists

    AART has recruited several Gynaecologists including Dr. Melissa Brooks and Dr. Paula Rittenberg to help us address our wait list. Patients who have not already been seen by a Gynaecologist before being referred may be seen by one of our Gynecologists before seeing a subspecialist in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility (REI) to allow a full review of their history as well as other investigations such as blood work to be done. Some patients may have their concerns addressed directly by one of our Gynaecologists and may not require referral on to a REI.”

Nursing Team

  • Patricia Ferguson, BSc, RN, Nursing Leader

    Patricia is a graduate of Dalhousie University earning a BSc in psychology as well as a registered nurse. She received her Diploma in Nursing from Sydney City Hospital. Patricia has extensive nursing experience having worked in the neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric cardiology and the labor and delivery unit of the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    Patricia joined the AART team in 2006 and is now AART’s Nurse Leader. Her broad range of experience and warm personality are appreciated by patients and staff alike.

  • Karen MacLean, LPN

    Karen is a licensed practical nurse who has over thirty years experience in the medical field. Most of Karen’s career was with the Canadian Armed Forces where she was trained as a Medical Assistant, and later as an Operating Room Technician.

    Karen became part of AART’s team in 2007. Her attention to detail, kindness and dedication are huge assets to AART.

  • Beth Brake, RN

    Beth joined AART in February 2016.  She previously worked in Perioperative Neurosurgery at the Halifax Infirmary.  Beth is from Cape Breton and is a graduate of St. FX University holding a Bachelor of Science with an advanced Major in Nursing.  She has nursed across Canada and abroad.  Beth’s patient-focused, caring demeanor and experience is an asset AART’s nursing team.

  • Tricia MacKenzie, RN

    Tricia started at AART in 2006.  She previously worked in pediatrics at the IWK.  She is a graduate of St. FX with a BSc in Nursing with an advanced major in Neonatology. Tricia is from Cape Breton and has a very warm personality which is obvious to all who meet her.

  • Julie Forbes, LPN

    Julie joined AART in February 2013. Prior to joining AART, Julie worked in several areas of health care including hemodialysis, oncology and palliative care.  Julie is fluently bilingual and can assist patients speaking in both English and French. Her kind, empathetic and calm nature is greatly appreciated by patients and staff alike.

  • Tayler MacInnis, RN

    Tayler joined AART in 2017. She previously worked as a nurse at CReATe (a fertility clinic in Toronto). Tayler also lived in Dubai and worked as a Air Hostess for United Emirates Airlines. She is from Antigonish and is a graduate of St. FX University holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Tayler is a pleasant and positive person and is a welcome addition to the AART team.

Lab Team

  • Megan Dufton, BScH, PhD, Embryologist, Lab Director

    Megan Dufton

    BScH, PhD, Embryologist, Lab Director

    Dr. Megan Dufton officially joined the AART team in 2015 upon the completion of her post-doctoral fellowship at Dalhousie University, and in partnership with AART and the IWK Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The focus of this fellowship was to establish a Preimplantation Genetic Screening and Diagnosis Program (PGD) for AART, which has been in successful operation since 2015.

    Megan has been working with embryos for over a decade, beginning with undergraduate research at Acadia University. Following this program, Megan lived in the United Kingdom and developed skills in embryo micro-surgery at the University College of London. Upon return to Canada, Megan began her PhD studies at Dalhousie University in Developmental Biology, building upon her previous experience in embryo micro-surgery, protein and DNA analysis, and histological techniques. This background provided the skills required to explore, implement, and oversee the PGD program at AART. In addition to the role of PGD coordinator for AART, Megan is also an embryologist in the clinic providing the hands-on care during IVF and PGD cycles.

    Most recently, Megan has returned from a Faculty position at Yale University, working within the Yale Fertility Centre. During her time there, she was able to further develop and refine her embryo oocyte and embryo manipulation and culture techniques. Upon her return from Yale, Megan has been appointed as Lab Director for AART and will utilize knowledge gained in her guidance and oversight of the AART’s laboratory.

    IVF has given Megan a way to use her passion for embryology and developmental biology to support patients in their hopes to grow their families.

  • Danielle Paquet, BSc, MLT, Embryologist

    Danielle joined AART’s embryology team in 2005. She holds a BSc with Honours from Dalhousie University. Prior to joining AART, Danielle spent 12 years at Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre in a molecular biology research environment and over two years in the Department of Cytogenetics at the IWK Health Centre. Danielle was born in Quebec City and is bilingual. She is available to help our French speaking patients. Danielle’s extensive laboratory background is an asset to the embryology team.

  • Frankie Slade, MSc, BScH, Andrologist

    Originally from rural Newfoundland, Frankie completed her BSc. with Honours and MSc. at Memorial University. Her research focused on molecular cell biology, developmental genetics and inheritable diseases. Frankie joined AART in 2016 as an Andrologist, and is currently completing Embryology training. Frankie completed the ESHRE Basic Semen Analysis Course presented by the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society and hopes to continue to broaden her knowledge of reproductive therapies. Frankie’s analytical abilities, positive demeanour and desire for results make her a great asset for the AART team.

  • Courtney d'Entremont, BSc, MSc, Embryologist

    Courtney joined AART’s laboratory team in 2012. Courtney is originally from CBS, Newfoundland. She moved to Halifax in 2002 where she completed a BSc. with Honours and MSc. from Saint Mary’s University. Prior to joining AART, Courtney spent a year as a Lab Technologist at Innovascreen Inc and two years as a Research Technician in a cardiac physiology lab at Dalhousie University in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics.

    Courtney’s research background, great work ethic and passion for helping people makes her a perfect fit for the AART team.

  • Jen Witmer, MSc, Embryologist

    Jen joined AART in the summer of 2019. She completed her Masters in Clinical Embryology from the University of Leeds in 2010. Jen is a certified Embryologist with the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society in addition to Embryology and Andrology Certification with the American Board of Bioanalysis as a Technical Supervisor.

    We are happy to have Jen join our team at AART as she comes with over 14 years of embryology experience on the clinical side of IVF. She has an extensive embryology background working in various clinics across Canada and in the US. Her love of the outdoors and ocean has brought her and her family to AART.

Administrative Team

  • Julie Keizer, Chief Operating Officer

    Julie Keizer

    Chief Operating Officer

    Julie joined AART’s team in October 2016.  Julie brings a great deal of diverse leadership experience from the public and private sectors.  She previously worked in the gaming and oil industries in a variety of leadership roles encompassing operations, strategy, government relations, contract management, marketing and project management.  Julie holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Saint Mary’s University.  Julie’s well-developed business acumen, positive leadership style and collaborative approach are a great asset to the AART team.

  • Tracey Kakembo, Accounting Coordinator

    Tracey joined AART’s team in the position of Accounting Coordinator in October 2016.  She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Saint Mary’s University and is pursuing her Chartered Professional Accountant designation.  Tracey is responsible for accounting, payroll and collections for AART and Fertility Pharmacy Services.  Tracey’s warm personality and work ethic make her a great fit for the AART team.

  • Stephanie Ward, Medical Administration

    Stephanie has been AART’s receptionist since the Clinic opened in 2005. Having worked as a receptionist at the Reproductive Endocrine Centre at the IWK before joining AART, her past experience has been a great asset. Stephanie’s pleasant personality and helpful nature is greatly appreciated by all of AART’s patients and staff.

  • Kendra Martell, Medical Administration

    Kendra has been part of AART’s team since 2009. With past experience in medical transcription, she was initially hired to fill that role at AART. It quickly became evident that Kendra had excellent interpersonal skills which resulted in her promotion to Receptionist. Both Stephanie and Kendra are delighted to be of assistance to AART’s patients and they make a wonderful reception team.