River Symposium “Ways of Knowing” | October 26-27, 2022

Our Speakers

Alanna Akkermans

Environmental Educator/Biologist, River Institute

Alanna is an Environmental Educator/Biologist at the River Institute. She completed her undergraduate degree in Human Environment at Concordia University in 2020. She is passionate about the environment, education, and community wellness. Her interests are: wildlife conservation, creating accessibility to scientific education, composting, lemurs, bats, turtles and aquatic ecosystems. Alanna is dedicated to providing everyone in the community an opportunity to learn about science, the River Institute’s research projects, and the St. Lawrence River!

Josh Anderson, PhD

Assistant Professor of English, University of Saint Joseph

Dr. Josh Anderson is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Saint Joseph (West Hartford, CT), where he teaches classes in American literature, Native American literature, environmental literature, and creative and critical writing. Josh is working on projects focused on the significance of the Connecticut River and its tributaries to American literature and American environmental history as well as creative writing projects inspired by his hometown of Park River, North Dakota, and his current job in Connecticut’s Park River Watershed. Josh’s recent scholarship includes work in critical animal studies in Native American literature and ecological concerns in classic and contemporary horror movies. Josh is also a creative writer, with recent works appearing in North American Review, Sonora Review, Bourbon Penn, and Essay Daily.

Michèle Andrews

Co-Founder and Executive Director, DoorNumberOne.org

Michèle Andrews is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of DoorNumberOne.org – a not-for-profit working to provide practical inspiration for the transition to a just, beautiful, net-zero and regenerated world. DoorNumberOne.org has exciting projects in Eastern Ontario at the Maitland Tower site, and in schools across Canada. Michèle is leading the new Climate Action Accelerator Program, now entering its second year, with schools in 5 provinces collaborating to implement high-impact, whole-school climate action plans.
Michèle has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters in Education. She has worked in strategy, leadership and organizational development in the private and not-for-profit sectors. For 10 years, she was the lead administrator at the Toronto Waldorf School, a pre-K through Grade 12 independent school. She is a volunteer ambassador for the International Living Future Institute, a member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project Leadership Corps, a community organizer and an avid gardener and canner.

Bailey Bedard

Bat Research Technician, Conservation Science Team at the Canadian Wildlife Federation

Bailey began studying bats in 2016 as a summer research technician at the St. Lawrence River Institute. This experience led her to pursue her M.Sc. at The University of Ottawa where she focused on mercury levels in little brown and big brown bats and molecular level responses to these mercury levels. Continuing to study her favorite species at CWF, she is now involved in a study that is taking a look at bat box use and their internal micro-climate across Canada to investigate the effects these structures have on Canadian bat species and more specifically, the endangered little brown bat, in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society and PhD candidate/lead researcher, Karen Vanderwolf.

Britney Bourdages

Environmental Projects and Remedial Action Plan Coordinator,
Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

Britney is the Environmental Projects and Remedial Action Plan Coordinator for the Northern portion of Akwesasne. Before joining the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Britney worked for local conservation authorities and angling/hunting agencies. She has helped develop and deliver a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial environmental projects, and is looking forward to incorporating this knowledge into future initiatives in Akwesasne.

Bo-jian Chen, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow and Research Scientist, Queen’s University and St. Lawrence River Institute

Bo-jian completed his BSc in Pharmacy and Psychology at Wuhan University and Huazhong Normal University, respectively. He did his master’s in aquatic biology at Chongqing Normal University and graduated with a PhD in Ecology at Beijing Normal University in China. He is interested in understanding the physiological and behavioral strategies of animals (fish, turtles and rodents) to environmental stressors and interactions between native and invasive species. He is also interested in the impact of human activity and climate change on biodiversity in the aquatic ecosystem. His current research aims to integrate GIS, niche modeling and sedimentary environmental DNA to monitor species of concern and assess amphibian diversity.

Cristina Charette

PhD Candidate, Université du Québec à Montréal

Cristina got her B.Sc. in Marine Biology at the Université du Québec à Rimouski. She completed an M.Sc. in Aquatic Ecology from Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). She joined the River Institute as the Education Coordinator in 2015. In addition to working at the River Institute, she is currently a PhD candidate at UQAM in Dr. Alison Derry lab in partnership with the River Institute. Cristina’s PhD research addresses the impacts of invasive species in the St. Lawrence River food web. Her research combines trophic indicator methods like gut content, stable isotopes and fatty acids analyses with contaminant analyses. She is a member of the Interuniversity Research Group in Limnology (GRIL).

Cristina Cismasu

Data Specialist, The Gordon Foundation

Cristina is a Data Specialist at The Gordon Foundation, where she works on DataStream, and open access platform for sharing water quality data. In this role, she provides environmental science expertise and supports the growth of the DataStream user community in Eastern Canada. She has a background in academic research and environmental consulting, and a particular interest in promoting environmental stewardship through science education and outreach initiatives. Cristina holds a PhD in Environmental Geochemistry from Stanford University, and MSc and BSc degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of Hamburg and McGill University.

Profile photo of Jean-Louis Courteau, renowned painter and experienced diver

Jean-Louis Courteau

Renowned painter, accomplished diver, and archaeolgosit

Jean-Louis has always read and written. A talent for painting has allowed him to earn a living for nearly fifty years. He has exhibited his work in Canada, the USA, and Europe. He discovered a passion for diving in 2000. He created an Interpretation Center for the Laurentian Lakes at Lac-des-Seize-Îles, his favorite place, following extraordinary archaeological discoveries he made there. Jean-Louis Courteau is a renowned painter, an accomplished diver, and an archaeologist in spite of himself

David Bruce Conn, PhD

Berry College One Health Center and Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology

Prof. Dr. David Bruce Conn is Gund Professor of Biology at the Berry College One Health Center and Associate of Invertebrate Zoology at the Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology. He is Senior Scientific Advisor in International Health and Biodefense for the U.S. Department of State, a member of the White House OSTP subcommittee on Transboundary Disease Threats, and serves on editorial boards of several scientific journals. He was president of the American Microscopical Society and American Society of Parasitologists, and is currently Vice President of the global INVASIVESNET organization. Conn conducts research on major rivers around the world, but is especially focused on the St. Lawrence River and surrounding areas. Prof. Conn has been an active scientist for over 40 years and has received numerous honors. His research spans many areas of the life sciences from to ecosystem dissemination of emerging pathogens to biology of invasive insects and molluscs.

Kelsey Cullen

Graduate Student, Clarkson University

Kelsey Cullen completed her undergraduate degree in biology at Clarkson University and is continuing her study as a graduate student in the Interdisciplinary Biotechnology and Bioscience program. She is currently studying bacterial diversity throughout the St. Lawrence River via 16S sequencing and how it is affected by various tributaries, highly populated areas, or agricultural regions. She is also looking into possibly pathogenic microbes that pose a threat to public health, as well as bacteria that have acquired antimicrobial resistance.

Danielle Delhaes

Education Consultant, Paedagogia Inc.

Danielle is the director of Paedagogia Inc., a company offering consulting services in the expanding sustainability/climate education sector. Over the last three decades, her work has spanned a wide range of services including teaching, professional development planning and facilitation, whole-school sustainability program development and implementation, curriculum design, as well as coaching and mentoring.

She has led multiple sustainability-related projects including designing outdoor learning spaces and urban agriculture projects, organizing and facilitating student- led Earth Day summits and environmental action plans, designing and coordinating service-learning programs, co-developing character education and resiliency programs as well as developing educational guides for documentaries and global education programs.

Danielle’s lifelong passion for Nature and her love of people and communities translates into an enthusiastic and empathetic approach to teaching and learning. Her strong interest and training in biomimicry are at the root of her commitment to support and facilitate the essential role innovative thinkers can play in designing a thriving future for all life on the planet. Her leadership style is collaborative and focused on the belief that, like all other forms of life, humans must create regenerative conditions that are favourable for all life to thrive.

Biomimicry Resources

Profile photo of Emilie DeRochie, River Symposium Committee

Emilie DeRochie

River Strategy Coordinator, St. Lawrence River Institute

Emilie grew up on the St Lawrence River (Lake St Francis) and has had a love for the River since she was a child. Through working with the education team at River Institute as a summer student, she discovered passions for both environmental sciences and education. She combined these two passions when she became qualified to teach Biology, Geography and Environmental Science for grades 7-12. Emilie has taught students from kindergarten up to the post-secondary level. She has experience teaching with River Institute’s education program, local high schools and at the St Lawrence College. Currently, Emilie is teaching General Biology for the Environmental Technician Program at St. Lawrence College and is working as the River Strategy Coordinator at the River Institute.

Jessica Dolan, PhD

Mitacs Postdoctorial Fellow, Univerity of Guelph and Plenty Canada

Dr. Jessica Dolan has a B.A. in History and Social Sciences from The New School for Social Research; an MSc in Ethnobotany from University of Kent at Canterbury; and a PhD in Environmental Anthropology and Indigenous Studies from McGill University. She is a Mitacs Post-doctoral Fellow with Plenty Canada and the University of Guelph Department of Geography, Environment, and Geomatics. She has also served over the last three years, as an environmental science officer for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Environment Program, ethnobotanist consultant for Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Environment Division, and grant writer for Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance. Prior to that, she was the Canada-US Fulbright research fellow in Food Sovereignty and Indigenous Studies at University of Guelph.

Jade Dormoy-Boulanger

PhD student, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

Jade is a PhD student in Environmental Science at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. After obtaining a master’s degree focusing on how climate change affects the cyanobacterias’ dynamic in tributaries she decided to continue her studies and follow her passion for rivers. Currently, Jade is working on her PhD thesis, which explores how human activities and land use affect the spatial-temporal dynamic of dissolved organic carbon in the tributaries of the St. Lawrence River watershed. Her research interests also include bacteria metabolism, biostatistics and geomatic. She is involved in a variety of programs and committees focused on knowledge transfer with different student communities (elementary schools, high schools and university). Being a mother of two, when she’s not working on her researches, you can probably find her playing with both feet in the water with her daughters.

Diz Glithero, PhD

National Lead, Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition

Diz’s work as an interdisciplinary educator, social science researcher, and project leader that specializes in ocean, climate, and sustainability learning and civic engagement. Through 20 years of experience as an educator, researcher, Adjunct Professor (University of Ottawa), and consultant, Diz has led several regional and national projects. In 2017, Diz served as the Education Lead for Canada C3, an epic 150-day expedition from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage. Since 2018, Diz has served as the National Lead of the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition, co-leading the Understanding Ocean Literacy in Canada study (2019-2020), co-authoring Land, Water, Ocean, Us: A Canadian Ocean Literacy Strategy (March 2021), co-launching Ocean Week Canada. Internationally, Diz serves as a Steering Committee member of the IOC-UNESCO-led Ocean Literacy With All Programme; the Canadian delegate on the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance’s Ocean Citizen Awareness and Literacy Working Group; and a Governance Board member of the All-Atlantic Blue Schools Network.

Diz’s work has been honoured with an International Women of the Earth Award by the Yves Rocher Foundation (2015), a Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada (2016), the Alex Trebek Medal for Geographical Literacy from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (2020), and a Mitacs Awards for Outstanding Innovation in Research (2021). Diz lives in Chelsea, Quebec with her two kids and partner.

Yafa Goawily

Yafa Arts & Craft

Background: A child at heart, and an artist who aims to raise awareness about social issues while making the world a better and more colourful place.
Style & Media: As a filmmaker and an artist, she uses rich and colourful images to disrupt the norm and raise attention about imperative and often overlooked matters.
Themes: Yafa’s art is a vision of what she is, an accumulation of tales about Human Rights, Child Rights, and Women Empowerment – through vivid and vibrant imagery.

In a Few More Words
Art practically runs through Yafa Goawily’s veins. Coming from a family of artists, she grew up surrounded with this form of self-expression and thus, getting drawn to its allure became an inevitable fact. For Yafa, art is now an indispensable part of her identity. From performing arts to fine arts, Goawily has experimented with it all.
Goawily operates under the moniker of Yafa Arts & Craft
Yafa graduated with a degree in Fine Arts and a Filmmaking Diploma from Alexandria University in Egypt”

Kahté:raks Quinney Goodleaf

Kahté:raks is Kanien’kehá:ka and Nehiyaw, and is fortunate to have family throughout the east and west. She was raised in her home community of Kahnawá:ke, which is Kanien’kehá:ka territory. This is also the territory and Nation her name comes from as well. The waters surrounding this territory are where much of her childhood memories are; the Saint Lawrence River, and the runoff creeks from this waterway.

She is a daughter, a niece, an aunty, a sister and a helper. Her reason for attending this event is to bring attention to and hold space for the current conditions of the waters. The waters that she’s seen change dramatically in her short 30 years of living. The waters that unconditionally provide everything we could possibly need, and the waters that she’s been taught are intertwined with a responsibility and a need to be spoken up for.

Valerie Goodness, PhD

PhD in American Studies, and Watershed Ecosystem Scientist

Val is of Tsalagi and Chippawa Heritage. She received her PhD from University at Buffalo in American Studies through an Interdisciplinary NSF Fellowship in Environmental Engineering. She is certified in stream restoration. Val’s focus is on applications of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in watershed restoration and conservation.
Her master’s and bachelor’s degrees are in Natural Resource Sustainability from the College of Forestry at Oregon State University.
Currently Val works as a Graduate Research and Writing consultant in Oregon State University’s graduate school, is a Board Member for Organizing People Activating Leaders (OPAL) Environmental Justice and civil rights non-profit, and a Board Member for Wisdom of the Elders which records, preserves, and shares oral history, and traditional ecological knowledge of exemplary Native American elders, storytellers, and scientists. Val also works with a local non-profit that serves communities’ unhoused and poorest residents, 14% of whom are Indigenous1% of Oregon’s population.

Elizabeth Grater

Professionnelle de recherche, RIVE – UQTR

Elizabeth Grater is a Research Professional for the Centre de Recherche sur les Interactions Bassins Versants – Écosystèmes Aquatiques (RIVE) at l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR). Since obtaining her master’s degree in Environmental Science at UQTR, she has been working in collaboration with the Reseau Québec Maritime (RQM) to coordinate scientific missions throughout the St. Lawrence River on board the Lampsilis research vessel. She is also working to increase collaboration between natural scientists and other sectors of research and creation to help increase our knowledge of the St. Lawrence River. Her goal in these projects is to spark inspiration and motivation to protect this beautiful and crucial ecosystem. She is excited to participate in her third River Symposium!

Larissa Holman

Director of Science and Policy, Ottawa River Keeper

Larissa Holman is the Director of Science and Policy with Ottawa Riverkeeper. She enjoys the challenge of understanding complex river systems such as the Ottawa River and learning about the watershed collaboratively with other freshwater organizations, Algonquin Communities, various authorities, researchers and citizen scientists. Overseeing the Watershed Health Assessment and Monitoring initiative Larissa works closely with Ottawa Riverkeeper’s science team to work alongside a number of community scientists and gather data from across the watershed. This program also benefits from the guidance of the Watershed Health Committee. She feels strongly that helping to build a stronger insight of rivers and watersheds is a key way to engage with people and encourage action that protects water and waterways.

Larissa holds a BSc.H in Environmental Science from Concordia University and a Masters in Resource and Environmental Management from Dalhousie University.

Profile photo of Jessica Jock, MCA

Jessica L. Jock

Remediation and Restoration Program Manager, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Environment Division

Jessica L. Jock is the Remediation and Restoration (R&R) Program Manager for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT) Environment Division. She has worked for the SRMT Environment Division for 20-years and oversees 6-full time staff. Her program includes activities related to the Federal and State listed Superfund Sites in Massena, NY, Brownfield and Abandoned Home Sites in Akwesasne (U.S. domestic), and all things related to the St. Lawrence River Area of Concern (AOC) at Massena/Akwesasne. In 2019, she led the first of its kind State/Tribe co-coordination agreement for management of the U.S. domestic portion of the AOC in the Great Lakes. She is a contributing author to New York State Lake Sturgeon Recovery Plan 2018-2024 (NYSDEC 2018), Guidance Document on Traditional Ecological Knowledge Pursuant to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (February 2021), created Designing and Applying Ethnobotany in the Indian Meadows (aka Nikentsiá:ke or Tsi iehontakwáhta), Grasse River for the Mohawk s of Akwesasne (2017), and lead her team to the first successful freshwater mussel propagation operation in NYS.

Profile photo of Henry Lickers, Canadian Commissioner, IJC

Henry Lickers

Canadian Commissioner, International Joint Commission

Henry Lickers, a Haudenosaunee citizen of the Seneca Nation, Turtle Clan. He was the Director of the Department of the Environment for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne for 32 years and the Environmental Science Officer, six years before his retirement in 2019. Throughout his career, Mr. Lickers has been instrumental in incorporating First Nation’s Peoples and their knowledge into environmental planning and decision making.

Prior to his appointment as IJC Commissioner in 2019, Mr. Lickers was a member of the IJC’s current Great Lakes Science Advisory Board (SAB) since 2014. Mr. Lickers also served as a SAB member from 1987-91 and 1997-2000. He has been a principal investigator on the EAGLE (Effect on Aboriginal in the Great Lakes Environment) Project and the Naturalized Knowledge Systems Project/the First Nations’ Community Health Indicators Project. Henry has been a Director, Ontario Professional Foresters Association, Scientific Co-Chair of The Haudenosaunee Environmental Taskforce, Vice President of the Board of Directors, St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences and a member of the Board of Directors for the Eastern Ontario Model Forest.

The recipient of a number of awards recognizing his lifelong service to the St. Lawrence River, and service to many environmental and government organizations over his career, Mr. Lickers was given the Royal Canadian Institute Sanford Fleming Metal 2008 and an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from the State University of New York, Syracuse 2014.

He holds a Bachelor of Science (Biology and Geography), Trent University and undertook graduate studies at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. He also served on the Trent University Ph D. Elder Council.

He has been married to his wife, Bev for 52 years, has three grown children and 2 granddaughters. He resides in Akwesasne, Ontario.

Profile photo of Henry Lickers, Canadian Commissioner, IJC

James Liu

Undergraduate Student, Queen’s University

James is a 3rd year undergraduate student studying biotechnology. His interest in biotechnology stems from his interest in mysteries, as both use critical thinking to apply different tools to solve specific unknowns. In his pursuit of expanding his repertoire of biological tools, he has worked in labs studying plant immunology, plastic degrading bacteria, and most notably, the Lougheed and Wang lab at Queen’s University studying molecular techniques to detect invasive species. James’ project in the Wang lab and Lougheed lab involves the comparison of older DNA amplification techniques(qPCR) against newer ones (LAMP) to determine whether one is necessarily better than the other.

Stafford Maracle

PhD student, Queens University

Stafford is from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory and part of the Bear clan. He is a 2nd year PhD student in Biology at Queen’s University. He completed his Bachelor of Science at Queen’s with a specialization in Environmental Biology, where he also completed his undergraduate thesis on “Effective Incorporation of Indigenous Knowledge into Biological Field Stations/Place-based Research Institutes”. His current research focuses are on the development of a non-invasive and multi-disciplinary approach to ecosystem health assessments using aquatic and sedimentary environmental DNA of fish populations and local Indigenous knowledge along the St. Lawrence River and Bay of Quinte.

Kirsten Martin, PhD

Associate Professor of Biology, University of Saint Joseph

Dr. Kirsten Martin is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Saint Joseph (West Hartford, CT). Kirsten is an environmental scientist who focuses on freshwater systems. She is currently researching the impacts of shoreline alterations on emergent dragonfly behavior, and the impacts of nutrient and pharmaceutical pollution on aquatic life. Kirsten is the current chair of the Women LEAD (lead, empower, advance, discover) in STEAM group, and is also a member of a group focused on integrating the arts into the curriculum. She is working with Dr. Josh Anderson on a documentary film focused on the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge and is coordinating a speaker series called “Embracing our Environment: Integrating the Natural World with the Arts”. Kirsten is also heavily involved in local watershed conservation, water monitoring, and citizen science projects.

Profile photo of Jerome Marty- Executive Director of IAGLR

Jérôme Marty, PhD

Executive Director, International Association of Great Lakes Research (IAGLR)

Jérôme is the Executive Director of the International Association of Great Lakes Research (IAGLR). He has a background in limnology, with experience in science and policy. Prior to joining IAGLR in 2022, he was a research scientist at the St. Lawrence River Institute, a regional director of environment at WSP Canada, a science advisor at Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), and most recently a project director at the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA). He is a Canadian member on the Science Advisory Board of the International Joint Commission. As a freshwater expert, he continues to advise governments on water related issues. When not working, he can be found biking, paddling, or playing accordion.

Profile photo of Jerome Marty- Executive Director of IAGLR

Laura Murray, PhD

Co-Director of the Cultural Studies Graduate Program, Queen’s University in Kingston

Laura Murray has focused much of her recent research and energies very locally, aiming always to make research outcomes responsive to community needs. The Swamp Ward and Inner Harbour History Project (2015-2018) built oral and archival history into walking tours, a photography exhibit, and podcasts. Laura was a core member of Wellington X, a community group that successfully stopped the construction of a road through Douglas Fluhrer Park by the Cataraqui River. She has also researched the eighteenth-century treaty history of the north shore of Lake Ontario, bringing together archival sources with Mississauga cultural and ecological knowledge; see “’We are the ones that make the treaty’: Michi Saagig Lands and Islands in Southeastern Ontario,” forthcoming 2023, Ethnohistory. 

Laura is also co-lead, with Dr. Dorit Naaman & Dr. Erin Sutherland, on the Belle Park Project, funded by the Social Science and Research Council of Canada. Belle Park (in Kingston, Ontario) was used as a landfill from 1954-1974, and converted to a golf course that operated until 2017. At its entrance stands an unmarked totem pole carved by Indigenous inmates at the Joyceville penitentiary in 1973, and the park’s peninsula ends with a bridge leading to Belle Island, a known location of Indigenous remains. The park and island are surrounded by wetlands and the Cataraqui River. Belle Park in recent years has often been considered a “problem” and approached through various scientific, management, legal and social policy frameworks. Recognizing toxic histories and ongoing challenges, the Belle Park Project nonetheless seeks to see the space as a generator of questions, relationships, and life. We hope that our work with Belle Park is not only of significance for people in Kingston/Ka’tarohkwi, but also for those seeking to understand or inhabit similarly complex sites in other cities.

Profile photo of Jerome Marty- Executive Director of IAGLR

Gabi Parent-Doliner

Director, Water Rangers

Gabi Parent-Doliner is the Director of Water Rangers, building internal systems, managing water data, and nurturing community engagement. In addition Gabi serves on the board of the Great Lakes Beach Association and is a leader in community based water monitoring, CBWM data, and open data. She also currently serves on an IJC Health Practitioners Advisory Board reporting on Beach Sanitary Survey/Environmental Health and Sanitary Survey. She has a strong background and expertise in Great Lakes beach water quality monitoring, data sources, monitoring practices, and government guidelines. Parent-Doliner worked closely with community volunteers, and project collaborators on the strategy for and delivery of the Lake Erie Guardians program and University of Regina monitoring program. She supports the Water Rangers’ volunteers across the country in their data collection, data management, and sharing.

Maria Pelusi

Master’s student, Clarkson University

Maria is a Master’s student in the Institute for a Sustainable Environment at Clarkson University working under Dr. Michael Twiss. She is studying the use of water quality sensors to identify sources of pollution and spatial water quality in the St. Lawrence River.

Jessica Reid

Masters student, Carleton University

Jessica Reid is a current Master’s student at Carleton University in the Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Lab. Under the supervision of Drs. Steven Cooke, Jon Midwood, and Sean Landsman, she is exploring the movements of freshwater fishes in an urban river impacted by various human activities. She uses telemetry techniques to uncover where and when fish move through the river and within restored areas. Jessica is a FishCAST trainee, working closely with community partners such as local angling clubs and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, and she also collaborates with both national and international partners to conduct freshwater evidence syntheses. Upon graduation she is keen to remain in aquatic ecology, working in long-term monitoring and project management.

Silvia Rodriguez

Masters student, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

Silvia Rodriguez, originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, obtained her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Guadalajara in 2015. Currently, she is pursuing a master’s degree in Environmental Science at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (Trois-Rivières, QC) in partnership with the River Institute (Cornwall, ON) through a Mitacs scholarship. Silvia’s master’s project focuses on the St. Lawrence River (SLR), where she is investigating the structure of bacterial communities within the river. She is also interested in exploring the relationship between anthropogenic inputs, bacterial diversity, and changes in fecal coliform within the SLR. Through her master’s project, she had the opportunity to work on the Lampsilis research vessel.

Outside of her studies, Silvia has followed her interest in environmental protection, working as a technical and administrative support in a Natural Protected Area (Mexico), as an environmental and social impact supervisor for Driscoll’s (Mexico), as an environmental impact analyst (Mexico), and as a laboratory assistant (University of Guadalajara). She has also volunteered for different projects, such as the Great River Rapport and FINS with the River Institute in Cornwall (2019-2022), a Mushroom Identification project on Steward Island, New Zealand (2018), and a water quality monitoring program for the Ecology Society at Stanley Park in Vancouver (2017).

Profile photo of Yanik Rozon, River Symposium Committee

Yanik Rozon

Graduate Student, Univeristy of Northern British Columbia

Yanik Rozon is a graduate student in the Masters of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies program at the University of Northern British Columbia. Her research focuses on nature-based solutions for adaptation to the cumulative impacts of climate change and human activities through a case study of a marine protected area in Fiji. Yanik received a Bachelor of International Development Studies from the University of Guelph where she specialized in Environmental Development. She has worked with informal settlement communities throughout Fiji in adapting to climate change impacts, as a project coordinator for the St. Lawrence River Strategy and as a research assistant for the Great River Rapport. Yanik’s work and research engages with different ways of knowing to address environmental issues and climate change impacts at the local scale through participatory practices and initiatives.

Todd Royer

Todd served for 17 years as a Waldorf Teacher at Toronto Waldorf School.  He served as a Class Teacher, moving with his class from Grade One to Grade 8, developing daily lessons uniquely for the students in the class based on their developmental stages and needs. He taught the core curriculum including the arts, music, literature, literacy, drama, math, algebra, geometry, history, and sciences (zoology, botany, astronomy, geology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, physics, life systems). He served for 6 years as Faculty Chair of the school, has trained, mentored and evaluated teachers and has consulted with Waldorf School across North America and in China. 

Prior to Waldorf, Todd served as a minister in the United Church of Canada, working on social justice and climate issues with youth. He is a trained Climate Reality Leader, and is currently helping his long time friend manage the development of a Living Building Challenge project in Maitland Ontario, while on the side raising a small herd of free thinking goats and making cheese. 

Shannon Seneca, PhD

Rosewell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Center for Indigenous Cancer Research

Shannon Seneca, PhD, REHS/RS, EIT is a Haudenosaunee environmental engineer with her Bachelor of Science in Physics. Her master’s work was focused on drinking water treatment while she gained expertise in geochemistry, contaminant hydrology and groundwater remediation during her doctoral studies. Dr. Seneca obtained ecosystem restoration training and experience through the University at Buffalo’s National Science Foundation IGERT Ecosystem Restoration through Interdisciplinary Exchange (ERIE) program. She was the first Native American woman to earn her PhD in Engineering at UB in 2012. For almost a decade, Dr. Seneca worked with the Seneca Nation and served as the Seneca Nation Health System’s Environmental Health Director. She recently joined the Center for Indigenous Cancer Research at Roswell Park as an assistant faculty member to respond to Indigenous community desires to see more active environmental health cancer research. She brings in much diversity as an Indigenous person and an environmental engineer delving into environmental health to tackle the impact of environmental contaminants on human health. Dr. Seneca strives to be a part of many interdisciplinary teams as each individual brings unique backgrounds to the table to solve large scale problems together.

Frederick W. Schueler, PhD & Aleta Karstad

Research curators, Fragile inheritance Society

Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad have been a biologist-artist team for half a century. When not on an expedition, they reside in Bishops Mills, Ontario. They spend most of their time documenting, in
one way or another, everything they see, do, and think. You will find them engaged full time in measuring, databasing, painting, drawing, journaling, blogging, e-mailing and self-publishing. Their subjects of interest range from the edible herbs that grow in their yard, to poetry, to satirical definitions of words and terms, to fine art & biological illustration, to species at risk, and tracking invasions of introduced plants and animals. They try to teach what they know, and show people what they’ve found.

Beth Shepherd

Visual Artist

Beth Shepherd is an Ottawa-based visual artist working primarily in printmaking, mixed media, video and text. With a Master’s in Art History and degrees in biology and psychology, she takes an interdisciplinary approach in her research-oriented art practice. Focusing on local and global environmental issues and animal advocacy, her art often features animals or things that don’t otherwise get noticed in order to move them up on the “mattering scale.” The American eel (Anguilla rostrata) is a good example; it is possible that the species could go extinct without many people in the region even knowing they were ever here. See more about her work at https://bethshepherd.ca.

Allen (Haolun) Tian

PhD Student, Queen’s University

Allen (Haolun) Tian is a PhD student in the Lougheed and Wang Labs in the Queen’s University Department of Biology. He is broadly interested in the impact of aquatic invasive species, particularly mollusks, on the phytoplankton assemblage and downstream food web interactions. He uses environmental DNA in his research. In his spare time, Allen pursues drone photography, which he uses for research, outreach, and recreation. He is also interested in wildlife and landscape photography, applying CAD design and 3D printing to research, and citizen science. Allen organized the Ontario Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution Colloquium in 2022, and is currently a finalist in the 2022 NSERC Science Exposed photo contest.

Orianne Tournayre, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Queen’s University

Orianne is a molecular ecologist with research interests in conservation biology. She has worked with a broad range of biological models (ants, bird ectoparasites, rodents, bats) and since completing her PhD in 2019, she has applied different environmental DNA-based approaches (metabarcoding, qPCR and ddPCR) for the detection of invasive species, species of concern, freshwater biodiversity, and fecal eDNA metabarcoding to the study of trophic interactions. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Lougheed lab at Queen’s University (Ontario, Canada).

Kathleen Vaughan, PhD

Professor of Art Education and Concordia University Research Chair in Art + Education for Sustainable Futures

Kathleen Vaughan (MFA, PhD) is an artist-researcher who integrates visual art and storytelling in studio- and community-based projects on social and environmental themes related to the dynamic ecosystems of rivers, forests and skies. Kathleen leads the interdisciplinary four-year arts-science research project, Learning With the St. Lawrence, which explores the River as environmental entity and imaginary, via artists’ works and community outreach. Initially trained as an artist in painting, drawing and photography, she is increasingly promoting sustainable art-making and earth-friendly materials choices. Her own practice now emphasizes textiles both to explore diverse cultural and industrial histories and to create art that can eventually ‘rot’ – subside into the earth with limited environmental footprint. A lifelong knitter, Kathleen is also exploring wool as a sustainable, beautiful material that can improve our lives and our world. She holds the Concordia University Research Chair in Art + Education for Sustainable and Just Futures, is Professor of Art Education and feels happiest with her hands in materials, walking wildish pathways with her standard poodle, and collaborating with others for the love of our beautiful planet. https://www.akaredhanded.com/ and http://re-imagine.ca/

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).

Mackenzie Wylie-Arbic

Research Assistant, River Institute

Mackenzie Wylie-Arbic is a Research Assistant at the St. Lawrence River Institute. Starting in this position in the summer of 2021, she had just completed her Bachelor of Science at Queen’s University with a specialization in Environmental Biology. Her knowledge and curiosity for freshwater species/interactions grew as she was a part of the Fish Identification Nearshore Survey (FINS) and had the chance to observe and document the varying habitats along the Upper St. Lawrence River. Mackenzie is currently working as a researcher for the Great River Rapport, focusing on fish populations and invasive species ecology in the river. In addition, Mackenzie is also involved in communications and outreach to aid in broadening public knowledge on River Institute projects. Her passion for the environment is not limited to work as she uses any opportunity to spread awareness on individual action and innovative solutions to influence others to make positive change.