WCS Canada

Our Staff

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Piia Kortsalo
Geomatics Specialist
Piia Kortsalo is a Geomatics Specialist, providing spatial analysis and remote sensing support to the WCS Canada Northern Boreal Mountains and Arctic Beringia conservation programs in Whitehorse, Yukon. Piia has a Master's degree in Physical Geography from University of Oulu, Finland, where she used GIS methods to study the effects of boreal landscape structure on the distribution and breeding success of resident songbirds. While studying, she also taught basic and intermediate spatial analysis courses and supported other GIS projects at her university. Prior to joining WCS Canada in 2017, Piia worked as a Geospatial Analyst examining climate data and climate change scenarios for environmental projects in Alaska. Piia also volunteered for a conservation organization providing fieldwork support study how gray wolves and snow leopards in Central Asia.
Stephen Insley
Associate Conservation Scientist, Arctic Beringia Program
Dr. Stephen Insley is a member of the WCS Arctic Beringia program based in Whitehorse, Yukon, with a geographical focus on the western Canadian Arctic spanning west across the Arctic Beringia region including Alaska and Russia. His marine conservation program focuses on the effects of climate change on Arctic ecosystems and northern communities. To date his research has had three general themes: (1) animal acoustic behaviour (e.g. vocal recognition); (2) the application of behavioural ecology principals and techniques to conservation biology (e.g., noise impacts, fisheries interactions); and (3) conservation through local stewardship (e.g. community-based ecological monitoring). His approach has involved experimental field biology, mostly with pinnipeds and seabirds, and working with remote subsistence communities. He has conducted his research in a wide variety of field locations including the Bering Sea, the North and South Pacific and the North Atlantic Oceans. He is an Adjunct Professor of Biology at the University of Victoria, B.C.
William Halliday
Associate Conservation Scientist, Arctic Beringia Program
William is an Associate Conservation Scientist in WCS Canada’s Arctic Beringia Program. He is based out of the Department of Biology at the University of Victoria, and works closely with Dr. Steve Insley in WCS Canada’s Whitehorse office. William studies marine mammals and fish in the western Canadian Arctic using passive acoustic monitoring (i.e. underwater listening). He examines how climate change and ships influence these animals, and is particularly interested in noise pollution and the development of effective marine spatial planning. Previously, William was a post-doctoral fellow with WCS Canada, completed his PhD at the University of Ottawa, and his MSc and BSc at Lakehead University. Check out his website (wdhalliday.weebly.com) and follow him on Twitter (@wdhalliday) to learn more about the work he is doing.

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