October 28th & 29th 2020

Zoe Armstrong

Queen’s University

Zoe is a PhD student in Biology at Queen’s University. Her research uses invertebrate subfossil remains to track the effects of multiple stressors in Great Lakes Areas of Concern with the goal of improving ecosystem management. She has a BSc in Environmental Science from Mount Allison University, where her honours research examined the effects of climate change on zooplankton in over 40 lakes across New Brunswick. She is passionate about connecting with stakeholders and ecosystem managers in order to communicate her results and ensure meaningful research outcomes.

Bailey Bedard

University of Ottawa

Bailey is a previous summer student of the St. Lawrence River Institute where she worked as research assistant supporting Dr. Brian Hickey’s bat research and contributed to the River Institute’s youth education programming. She is now a M.Sc. student at The University of Ottawa where she continues to research bats, specifically the molecular effects that are caused by high levels of mercury found in two local bat species under the supervision of her co-supervisors Jan Mennigen and Brian Hickey.

Cristina Charette

Université du Québec à Montreal (UQAM)

Cristina Charette began her post-secondary education at the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR), where she completed a BSc in Marine Biology. She earned a MSc in Aquatic Ecology from Université du Québec à Montreal (UQAM) in 2015. Her past research focused on the effects of climate on intraspecific variation in zooplankton effect traits through pond food webs. She joined the River Institute in 2015 as the Education Coordinator/Biologist where she has delivered hundreds of environmental education programs to thousands of students. Since 2018, she is a PhD candidate at UQAM in Dr. Alison Derry’s lab where she is conducting a research project in partnership with the River Institute. Her current research is assessing the impacts of the non-native invasive round goby on the nutritive quality and contaminant loading of nearshore food wed in the Upper St. Lawrence River.

Steven Cooke

Fish Ecology Expert

Cooke is a Professor of Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. His work spans the natural and social sciences with a particular focus on developing solutions to problems facing fish and other aquatic organisms. He has much experience working with practitioners, policy makers and stakeholders to co-create useable knowledge. Cooke founded the Canadian Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation and is working with diverse partners to build capacity for evidence synthesis in his various roles in the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence. He has published more than 700 peer reviewed papers on topics such as conservation science, knowledge mobilization and enabling interdisciplinarity but recognizes that bi-directional knowledge exchange with potential knowledge users is even more rewarding. Check out his website at www.FECPL.ca or follow him on twitter @SJC_Fishy

Keynote Speaker Thursday @ 10:00am

Fin Donnelly

Founder & Chair, Rivershed Society of British Columbia

From 1990 to 2000, he made 14 environmental marathon swims, covering more than 3,200 kilometres in BC’s rivers, lakes and ocean; including twice swimming the 1,400 km length of the Fraser River in 1995 and 2000 to draw attention to the declining health of these water bodies and to encourage communities to engage in environmental advocacy.

Fin served as a member of Coquitlam City Council from 2002-2009 and as Member of Parliament for Port Moody-Coquitlam and New Westminster-Coquitlam from 2009-2019. While in the House of Commons he founded the All-Party Oceans Caucus.

As NDP Fisheries & Oceans critic, Fin introduced many bills to protect West Coast waters including legislation to ban oil tankers off BC’s north coast; transition West Coast open-net salmon farms to land-based, closed containment and ban the importation of shark fins to Canada, which became law in 2019.
In 1997, Fin was honoured with the name Iyim Yewyews, which means Blackfish, Orca or strong swimmer, by the Squamish Nation, for his stewardship work.

Fin has a Philosophy degree from the University of Victoria. He grew up in Port Moody and lives in Coquitlam with his wife Lynda.

Guest Speaker Thursday @ 1:00pm

Abraham Francis

Environmental Science Officer for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne- Environment Program

Abraham Francis has a BS in Microbiology, 2014, and MS in Natural Resources, 2019, from Cornell University. His past experiences include community empowerment, engagement, and research with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and a variety of other community-based organizations. His Masters’ Thesis focused on applied research to develop a biocultural land stewardship strategy for existing and newly settled Native American Land Claims on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, Akwesasne. His research interests are at the intersection of environmental studies, Indigenous methodologies, community engagement, education, health, social services, law, and cultural foundations as a means for empowerment and healing within Indigenous Communities.

Guest Speaker Thursday @ 9:00am

Elizabeth Grater

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Groupes de recherche interuniversitaire en limnologie

Driven by a love for aquatic ecosystems and sustainably, Elizabeth completed a B.S. in Environmental Science at Florida State University in 2017 and is finishing a M.S. in Environmental Science at the
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. Focusing on fluvial systems, she has studied a variety of ecosystems, including small rivers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the St. Lawrence River (SLR) in Canada, and the Mara River in Tanzania. During her master’s project, she gained a unique view of the SLR while conducted research aboard the R.V. Lampsilis. Outside of the lab, she is passionate about combating environmental justice issues through sustainable urban initiatives. Currently, she is involved in an interdisciplinary project that brings together scientists and artists to develop effective outreach materials and art installations related to the SLR. Their goal is to connect the Montreal community with the SLR in order to spark inspiration and motivation to protect this beautiful and crucial ecosystem.

For more information about her past and present projects: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethgrater/

Lawrence Gunther

President, Blue Fish Canada

In 2012 Lawrence Gunther founded “Blue fish Canada”, a charity dedicated to water quality, fish health, and informing and inspiring the next generation of conservation-minded outdoor enthusiasts. Having earned his Masters in Environmental Studies from York University, Lawrence is now North America’s only blind conservationist, outdoor writer, podcaster, blogger, film maker and TV host. He’s a frequent contributor to Outdoor Canada Magazine, where you can also find episodes of his weekly podcast “Blue Fish Radio”. His award-winning documentary “What Lies Below” currently airs on CBC’s Documentary Channel.

Jacey Hall

Mohawk Council of Akwesasne- Environment Program

Jacey Hall was born and raised on the traditional Mohawk territory of Akwesasne. She grew up on the St. Lawrence River, spending most of her childhood summers with her grandparents and family at their cabin. It was here that she learned to appreciate and love all aspects of nature. Jacey enjoys learning and is always ready and willing to learn new skills. To further her knowledge, understanding and experience with nature, wildlife, science and culture, she attended the University of Guelph and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology and Conservation. She also completed the Environmental Technician program at St. Lawrence College. She began working with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s Environment Program as a summer student several years ago. In 2019, she became an Environmental Field Technician, with a focus on studying Akwesasne’s wetlands.

Jaclyn Hill

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

After a decade of aquatic research with the Centre for Biological Control, and the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) in South Africa, Jaclyn Hill joined Fisheries and Oceans Canada as a research scientist. Her research focuses on freshwater ecosystem responses to multiple stressors (i.e. invasion, anthropogenic disturbance, regime shifts, climate change), community trophic dynamics and the drivers underpinning changes in ecosystem structure and function.

Nicholas Kiulia

Université du Québec – Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS)

Kiulia is an environmental microbiologist and currently a PhD fellow at Université du Québec -INRS. Kiulia is conducting research related to biomonitoring of stream ecosystem and developing novel tools that can be used to supplement the routinely used stream biomonitoring approaches.

Kiulia has also extensive experience in environmental microbiology/virology especially wastewater based epidemiology approaches that has been used over the years to provide data for policy and decision making in the control and prevention of enteric pathogens.

Jérôme Marty

Project Director, Council of Canadian Academies

Jérôme Marty is a project director at the Council of Canadian Academies in Ottawa where he has been working at the interface between science and policy. His current work at the CCA involves 2 main topics, one the links between natural disasters prevention and climate adaptation and the second on circular economy. Prior to joining the CCA in 2016, Jérôme held positions as a research scientist at the St. Lawrence River Institute, as director of environment in a large consulting firm (WSP Canada), and as a science advisor at Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Jérôme is a past President of the International Association of Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) and the Society of Canadian Limnologists (SCL). He is a Board member of Watershed Canada and a member of several scientific advisory committees working on water science and governance. In 2019, he became the Chair of Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE) and was nominated on the Science Advisory Board of the International Joint Commission (IJC). As a freshwater expert, he continues to advise governments on water related issues. When not working, he can be found biking, paddling with his family, or playing accordion.

Mark MacDougall

Project Coordinator, River Institute

Mark joined the River Institute in 2014, and led a wide range of collaborative projects with RiverLabs, the Institute’s applied research group. His work has focused on understanding environmental change as a result of the cumulative impacts of human activity, using innovative approaches. As a result, his research has focused on two primary areas; first using spatial modelling to examine ecological shifts as a result of the presence of disturbance and pollution, and second, understanding contemporary community-level responses to road salt in lakes. Mark holds a M.Sc. in Biology from the University of Waterloo and a B.Sc. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Guelph. Additionally, Mark is a Certified Engineering Technologist and holds a Project Management Professional designation.

To learn more about his past and present projects visit his LinkedIN profile

Katherine Moir

Queen’s University

Katherine is a Ph.D. candidate in the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory at Queen’s University. Her current research investigates how different stressors such as high nutrient concentrations, metals, and climate-change impacts affect assemblages of algae on the St. Lawrence River. She has been involved with the River Institute since 2014, when she completed the Environmental Technician program at St. Lawrence College, following which she completed a Master’s of Environmental Studies at Queen’s University, co-supervised by Brian Hickey. She continues to work with the River Institute, with Jeff Ridal co-supervising her Ph.D.

Katherine Moir’s email address: katherine.moir@queensu.ca

Patrick Nadeau

Executive Director, Ottawa Riverkeeper

Protecting the beauty and diversity of life on Earth… that’s what makes Patrick tick! A biologist by training, he is a dynamic and engaging communicator with a solid track-record of effective government relations. Patrick has held leadership roles in the environment sector for over a decade, acquiring significant experience in nonprofit management (i.e. strategic planning, human resources, fundraising, spokesperson). He has also developed broad policy expertise (e.g. water quality and management, protected areas, forestry, fossil fuels, endangered species, nuclear waste), in addition to having developed successful partnerships with several aboriginal communities (i.e. Cree, Inuit, Innu, Algonquin). Patrick is proud to be the Executive Director of Ottawa Riverkeeper, an organisation which works both in Québec and Ontario to protect the health of our watershed – so that we can continue to swim, drink, and fish for generations to come.

Amanda Nurse

University of Western Ontario, Neff lab

Amanda has recently graduated with a BSc in biology from the University of Western Ontario and completed a thesis project in Dr. Bryan Neff’s lab. The aim of her thesis project was to validate methods of DNA extraction from water samples to monitor salmonid populations using nuclear, microsatellite genes. She will be presenting this new approach to environmental DNA monitoring. She has also been volunteering for the River Institute working on the Great River Rapport and has been helping in monitoring fish species in the St Lawrence River using netting techniques.

Catherine Paquette


Catherine is a Freshwater Specialist on WWF-Canada’s Restoration and Regeneration Team. Since joining WWF-Canada in 2014 she has worked on Watershed Reports, the first national picture of the health of and threats to Canada’s fresh water ecosystems. She has led the 2020 reassessment of the reports, launched in September 2020. Catherine also manages WWF-Canada’s participation in STREAM (Sequencing the Rivers for Environmental Assessment and Monitoring), with partners from ECCC (Environment and Climate Change Canada), Living Lakes Canada and the Unviersity of Guelph. STREAM works with community groups, providing capacity, training and resources , to create or expand benthic invertebrate monitoring programs.

Mary Ann Perron

Mitacs Postdoctoral Fellow

Mary Ann is a freshwater biologist with expertise in wetland ecosystems and urban ecology. She grew up in a small town in northern Ontario and spent her free time outdoors, usually on the water. She completed her B.Sc. Honours in Biology with a specialization in conservation and restoration ecology from Laurentian University in Sudbury (2010-2014). She then went on to complete her Ph.D. in Biology specializing in wetland ecosystems, entomology and urban ecology from the University of Ottawa (2014-2020). She has experience teaching in the classroom and in the field as well as running workshops for youth organizations. Mary Ann is a certified wetland evaluator with skills in wetland plant identification, multivariate statistics and spatial analyses. She is currently involved in leading citizen science programs and collaborate in international efforts in insect conservation and is a Mitacs Postdoctoral Fellow at the River Institute.

Jessica Taylor

Carleton University

Jessica is a research biologist and project coordinator at the Canadian Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation at Carleton University and leads the conduct of evidence syntheses, including systematic reviews and systematic maps, for clients here in Canada including Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Parks Canada as well as in the USA, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Jessica is an endorsed trainer for the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE) and has co-developed an introductory evidence synthesis workshop for government employees. Jessica is also the Communications Officer for the CEE and the Secretary of the CEE Board of Trustees.

Matt Windle

Research Scientist, River Institute

Matt Windle is a biologist with experience in environmental science, freshwater ecosystem ecology, spatial analyses, contaminant analyses, and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). He completed a BSc in environmental science from Queen’s University, and a M.Sc. in Biology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. In addition to his work as a Research Scientist at the River Institute, he is also a professor in the Environmental Technician Program at St. Lawrence College. Matt possess certifications for open water SCUBA, the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP), Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) fish identification workshops, advanced operations and flight reviewer status for RPAS from Transport Canada, and the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System (OWES).