If you will be at the International Ornithological Congress in Vancouver this August, come meet our staff at the Bird Studies Canada booth! Our team has a diverse range of experience and interests, and represents a wide cross-section of our work. Who would you like to have a conversation with? Check out the bios and booth schedule below and plan your booth visit during the Bird Expo!
Jody Allair: National Advisor, Conservation Outreach
Jody Allair delivers education and outreach programs to audiences across Canada. He has banded owls on CBC’s Rick Mercer Report, has spoken about Canada Jays at Ideacity, is a regular contributor on the American Birding Association podcast, and has written numerous articles on birds, birding, and connecting with nature.
Dr. Christian Artuso: Manitoba Projects Manager
Christian coordinates the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas, Manitoba Nocturnal Owl Survey, and Golden-winged Warbler research and stewardship. He chairs the Manitoba Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas program and is actively involved in a variety of other stewardship activities, such as a partnership project on grassland species at risk recovery. He’s passionate about outreach, education, and conservation. Christian devotes most of his short summers to fieldwork, and much of the rest of the year to coordinating all other aspects of the research and conservation programs he oversees. Christian is a keen world birder and wildlife photographer who has photographed 3500 species of birds, including 140 species of owls.
Dr. David Bradley: British Columbia Program Manager
David has been interested in birds and their conservation for as long as he can remember. Prior to his current role, David completed a postdoc at Bird Studies Canada’s head office in Ontario and the University of Guelph on migration and breeding phenology in Tree Swallows. His PhD was conducted in New Zealand on the ecology and conservation of an endangered endemic bird, the North Island Kokako. He has also been involved in several behavioral studies of Neotropical birds in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia. David is currently working on several ornithological field studies in BC, including an invasive mammalian predator study in Haida Gwaii (one of his favourite natural environments) and a Long-billed Curlew migration tracking study in the Kootenay Mountains.
Gregor Beck: Senior Advisor, Citizen Science
Gregor Beck is a wildlife biologist and conservation professional with over 25 years of experience in the environmental field. He has worked on conservation, wildlife research, and educational programs throughout his career. Gregor has written numerous publications on a diversity of topics, from birds and reptiles to native plants and watershed ecology. He has directed projects for Ontario Nature, Long Point Basin Land Trust, and the Québec-Labrador Foundation, and has served in a number of senior roles at Bird Studies Canada.
Marisa Bischoff: Important Bird & Biodiversity Area (IBA) Conservation Assistant
Marisa is the summer student for our BC regional branch. Her role includes public outreach at the Vancouver Aquarium, where she engages the public in conversations about local birds, Citizen Science, and the Fraser River Estuary IBA. She has a BSc in Biology, concentrating in Marine Biology, from the University of Victoria, and is currently studying ecological restoration at the BC Institute of Technology. Marisa enjoys learning about animal ecology. She developed an interest in birds during the six years she spent volunteering and working with the Wildlife Rescue Association of BC.
James Casey: Manager, Fraser Program
After earning a master’s degree in International Environmental Policy at the University of Northern British Columbia, James had the opportunity to work with WWF-Canada on topics ranging from eelgrass and marine planning to hydropower and the Water Sustainability Act. This experience established a base of knowledge he is now applying to the context of the Fraser Estuary Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. On behalf of Bird Studies Canada, James is building support for the development of a conservation strategy for this IBA.
Andrew P. Coughlan: Québec Program Manager
Born in England, Andrew has lived in Québec since 1996. He is a biologist with a wide range of experience working with birds. Before taking up his current position, Andrew worked for 10 years as a research officer at Laval University. Before that, in England, he worked for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and the Zoological Society of London. Andrew is also a member of the Québec Breeding Bird Atlas Management Committee and the Scientific Committee of the Observatoire d’oiseaux de Tadoussac, and is secretary of the Baillie Fund.
Né en Angleterre, Andrew vit au Québec depuis 1996. Biologiste de formation, il possède une expérience de travail diversifié reliée aux oiseaux. Avant de prendre ses fonctions au sien d’ÉOC, Andrew a travaillé durant dix ans à l’Université Laval comme professionnel de recherche. Précédemment, en Angleterre, il a travaillé au sein du Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust et le Zoological Society of London. Andrew est également membre du comité de direction de l’Atlas des oiseaux nicheurs du Québec et du comité scientifique de l’Observatoire d’oiseaux de Tadoussac, et est secrétaire du Fonds Baillie.
Zoe Crysler: Motus Coordinator and Analyst
For the past five years, Zoe has been involved with the Motus Wildlife Tracking Systems in every aspect, from station setup to tag deployment to data analysis. Her experience puts her in a great position as Motus Coordinator and Analyst, with a current focus on expanding the network in western North America.
Peter Davidson: Senior Advisor
Pete is something of a long-distance migrant – he is originally from the UK and arrived in Canada via a decade in Asia. He is now a Metro Vancouver homeowner and permanent resident, although currently based remotely in East Africa for much of his year. A lifelong birder and passionate conservationist, Pete brings a global perspective to Bird Studies Canada’s local-to-hemispheric conservation science program. Prior to his current role, Pete served as our BC Program Manager.
Catherine Jardine: Data Analyst
As Data Analyst at our National Data Centre, Catherine is working to facilitate data sharing from large scale monitoring programs to support research and conservation. Her primary projects include the Canadian Wind Energy Bird and Bat Monitoring Database and the Motus Wildlife Tracking Network. Catherine is also passionate about engaging people in the wonders of the natural world. She acts as a guide in Antarctica, coastal BC, and Iona Island Bird Observatory.
Kathy Jones coordinates volunteers for the Ontario Program and the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey. With a background in science, volunteer management, and client service, she is well suited for her role coordinating Citizen Scientists and the data they collect.
Stuart Mackenzie: Migration Program Manager
Stuart Mackenzie began exploring the natural world in the womb, and has been birding since the age of two. He is responsible for the Motus Wildlife Tracking System, Long Point Bird Observatory, and aspects of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network. Stuart has conducted a wide variety of research, monitoring, and training projects on a wide variety of taxa throughout the Western Hemisphere. He is the past-president of the Ontario Bird Banding Association and Chair of the North American Banding Council.
Kyla Makela: Manager of Development
Kyla has been working for wildlife conservation for nearly 20 years. Her experience in the non-profit sector began with coordinating school-based wildlife education programs in South Florida. During this time, she had the opportunity to work with hundreds of different wildlife species – both hands-on and through binoculars – and with thousands of youth. While in a director role for a wildlife hospital, she discovered she could help our environment the most by helping to raise much-needed funding. In her current role, she is energized by innovative partnerships, and passionate about helping people to connect to their philanthropic interests.
Dr. Denis Lepage: Director & Senior Scientist, National Data Centre
Denis oversees the development and management of the National Data Centre at Bird Studies Canada, which support the Motus Wildlife Tracking System, NatureCounts, Breeding Bird Atlases and many other programs.
Steven Price: President
Steven Price has served over 35 years in the non-profit conservation sector. Prior to his current role, Steven worked at World Wildlife Fund Canada, where he was Director of Conservation Science. He enjoys birding, canoeing, and cottage life. Most importantly, he has maintained clean, well-stocked bird feeders for 40 years, and is never happier than when looking out the window at feeding chickadees.
Dr. Sonya Richmond: Conservation GIS analyst
Sonya’s interest in birds was sparked by a volunteer position nest searching in Algonquin Provincial Park. She completed an undergraduate degree in Biology and Environmental Resource Science at Trent University. This led her to complete an MSc on the effects of matrix land-use on Wood Thrush and Ovenbird demography in forest fragments. From there she moved on to the University of Toronto, where she completed a PhD in the Faculty of Forestry on the effects of single-tree selection logging on Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. For the past six years, she has worked at Bird Studies Canada, first as a post-doctoral research fellow, and currently as a Geographic Information Systems Analyst. In 2019, Sonya will begin a three-year hike across Canada on the Great Trail, promoting the conservation of birds and their habitats.
Graham Sorenson: British Columbia Program Coordinator
Graham grew up in Vermont, where his passion for nature, conservation, and birds began. He did his undergraduate degree at Kenyon College in Ohio and completed his Master’s degree at the University of Windsor in Ontario, where he studied Thick-billed Murre physiology and foraging patterns. He has worked throughout North America on a variety of bird research projects including studies of Leach’s Storm-Petrels, Island Scrub Jays, and Common Loons. He currently lives and works in British Columbia where he is always trying to explore new places while birding, hiking, camping, and skiing.
Dr. Doug Tozer: Ontario Program Scientist
Dr. Doug Tozer is Program Director for the Long Point Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Program. He is keen to chat with prospective graduate students interested in waterfowl and wetlands research.
Ellen Jakubowski: Communications Specialist
And keep your eyes peeled for Ellen, who will be popping up all over the congress and bird festival! She would love to chat with you about Bird Studies Canada’s media and communications activities.