We’re a boutique firm that applies
psychology and data science
to real-world challenges.
Our team & partners
Brian Cugelman, PhD
Senior Scientist and Director
Since 1997, Brian has built an extensive career in social mobilization, digital engagement, and program evaluation. Brian obtained his PhD in Online Social Marketing with the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group, a world-leading Internet research team. He obtained his Masters in Business and Computers.
He is published in JMIR, the world’s top e-health journal. The United Nations General Assembly has recognized the impact of his digital campaigning work. He has been invited to act as an expert advisor for the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the annual International Conference on Persuasive Technology. Even the Pentagon invited Brian to present his research on persuasive design to the Cyber Influence Project.
Prof Mike Thelwall
Partner & Scientific Advisor
As a world leading professor in online big data and social scientific research Mike Thelwall holds many titles, including Professor of Information Science and leader of the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group at the University of Wolverhampton, Docent at the Department of Information Studies at Åbo Akademi University, and Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute.
Mike has developed numerous tools for gathering and analyzing web data, including hyperlink analysis, sentiment analysis and content analysis for Twitter, YouTube, Myspace, blogs and the web in general.
His 400+ publications include 244 refereed journal articles and two books, including Introduction to Webometrics.
With AlterSpark, Mike and his research team collaborate on online big-data for our largest projects, such as our many evaluations for the United Nations. Mike also advises on AlterSpark’s innovative R&D projects on large-scale predictive personality detection.
Leonardo Restivo, PhD
Scientific Advisor & Product Developer
For over 17 years, Leo has worked as a Behavioral Neuroscientists, for numerous universities, with a focus on experimental neuroscience. He has published over 20 scientific papers, many on the neuroanatomy of memory and behavior.
He is also a founding partner for Hubbian, Inc., an information design company specialized in the development of data solutions and web applications for the biomedical and life sciences fields, where Leo participates in product development, UI/UX development, strategic planning, web-analytics and conference analytics.
Leo collaborates with AlterSpark on developing neurologically-based personality assessment tools, lexical parsing engines, and predictive algorithms aimed at integrating neuroscience with online behavior. He also provides backstopping support on AlterSpark’s training on using neuroscience for interactive design and marketing, to ensure AlterSpark’s training is grounded in the latest brain science.
Content Support & Events Coordinator
Debra Weinryb has over 7 years of experience working in communications, consulting and journalism. She has agency and client-side communications experience, having worked as a Communications Consultant for Sheer Concepts NYC, as a Communications Associate for The Regional Municipality of York, as an Editorial Contributor for the Markham Review Newspaper, and most recently, as the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Ecotour Magazine.
Debra has a Graduate Certificate in Corporate Communications from Seneca College and an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto in Environmental Studies. She also completed the Accelerator for Centennial Community Entrepreneurs and Leaders program at Centennial College.
In her role at AlterSpark, Debra supports community relations through web editing and supporting influencer relations, and community announcements for workshops and the scholarship program. Debra also supports marketing and logistics for AlterSpark’s digital psychology workshops across North America.
email: debra (at) alterspark.com
phone: (888) 977-2055 ext 105
Senior Digital Strategist
Michael has 12 years of business and marketing experience, working at all levels of B2C accounts. Having worked the big digital agency circut, and started up the social media wing of a mid-sized Toronto agency, Michael brings a broad and deep understanding of social media engagement, and when it comes to social, nobody shoots from the hips faster or straighter than Michael.
Michael assists AlterSpark with social media projects on a project-by-project basis.
Interactive Designer, Co-founder
Rena Cugelman has worked in the print and web industry for over 15-years, working for commercial and social sector clients. Rena possesses an impressive design portfolio that includes hundreds of websites, microsites and print campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, TV stations, and brands.
She has designed promotional websites for 20th Century Fox, Time Warner, Pepsi, Smirnoff, Fuji, Miller, Kellogg Canada, Glow by J-Lo, and Sarah McLachlan, to name a few. Moreover, her designs have been showcased on MuchMusic, CityTV, CityLine, Bravo, Star!, Space, and ChumLimited. Rena has a formal education in graphic design and website development.
Rena is no longer active in the day-to-day operations at AlterSpark, but holds a special role as our co-founder, who provides ongoing advice on design and visual strategy.
Want to talk?
If you’re interested in learning how we can help you, get in touch.
We look forward to speaking with you.