WCS Canada

Our Staff

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Marilyn Katsabas
Office Manager
Marilyn Katsabas grew up in Toronto, Ontario and came to WCS Canada on a part-time basis in the fall of 2007. Marilyn has 20+ years administrative and bookkeeping experience previously working in both large corporate and small business environments. Marilyn has contributed to various community volunteer programs in the Toronto area.
Martin Robards
Arctic Beringia Coordinator
Dr. Martin Robardsis the Director of the WCS's Arctic Beringia Program and has 20 years of Alaska research experience, having worked extensively with indigenous communities and their representatives in the Arctic. Dr. Robards also worked for two years in Washington D.C. at the Marine Mammal Commission, informing policy makers about the challenges of implementing regional-scale policies concerning the conservation of marine mammals in remote subsistence-dominated environments. He has published over 30 scientific articles, served as a reviewer for numerous scientific journals, and is affiliate faculty with the University of Alaska.
Martin von Mirbach
Director of Conservation Strategy
As Director of Conservation Strategy Martin plays a critical role in moving WCS Canada’s science to conservation action with an understanding of policy and decision making environments in Canada. Martin completes his Master's Degree in Philosophy at York University in Toronto. He has been active as a conservationist since the early 1990s, and has been Coordinator of the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Network, Sustainable Development Chair at the Centre for Forest and Environmental Studies, National Conservation Director at the Sierra Club of Canada, Vice President of Forest Stewardship Council Canada and Director of WWF-Canada's Arctic Program.
Matthew Pine
Postdocoral Fellow
Matt is a Mitacs Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Victoria, in partnership with WCS Canada and Jasco Applied Sciences. After completing his PhD in Marine Science at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, he worked in industry as an acoustician in New Zealand and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Science's Institute of Hydrobiology in China. His work focuses on the distribution of fish species in the western Canadian Arctic, with a particular focus on a keystone species, the Arctic cod using passive acoustic monitoring. Part of the aim to better predict the potential impacts of anthropogenic noise and environmental changes on fish distributions through statistical and acoustic models. This work will be the first to investigate the ecoacoustics of Canadian Arctic fish and will provide essential data relevant to indigenous food security and long-term acoustic datasets needed to inform effective management
Matthew Scrafford
Wolverine Conservation Scientist
Matthew Scrafford is the Wolverine Conservation Scientist within Ontario’s Northern Boreal Landscape program at WCS Canada. Matthew works with government, indigenous groups, and trappers to advance the understanding and conservation of wolverine in Ontario. Matthew has experience with the U.S. Forest Service as an ecological research assistant in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem on projects ranging from vegetation surveys, to beaver, grizzly bear, moose, wolverine, and snowshoe hare research. He received his MSc at Montana State University studying the ecology of reintroduced beavers north of Yellowstone National Park. After completing his MSc he worked for Environmental Defense Fund on the effects of climate change on wildlife, the restoration of meadow wetlands in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and the restoration of wetlands within the Mississippi River delta. Matthew received his PhD from the University of Alberta with a research focus on the habitat selection, movement, foraging behaviour, and density of wolverines in industrialized habitats in the northern boreal forest of Alberta. This research required worked closely with indigenous groups, trappers, and NGOs. During his PhD, Matthew received two fellowships, a W. Garfield Weston Foundation Fellowship from WCS Canada and an NSERC CREATE-EI.
Meg Southee
GIS Analyst and Spatial Data Manager
Meg Southee is the GIS Analyst and Spatial Data Manager for Ontario's Northern Boreal Landscape Program at WCS Canada. She has worked with GIS technology for over 10 years and in 2017, she earned the distinction of Esri Certified ArcGIS Desktop Professional. Prior to joining WCS in 2013, Meg worked as a GIS Data Analyst to delineate watershed boundaries along the Canada/USA border under the direction of the International Joint Commission (IJC) and in collaboration with government organizations from both countries. In 2010, Meg obtained her MSc in Geography from Queen’s University, where her research focused on ecological land classification and soil moisture modelling in the boreal forest of Ontario using digital elevation models derived from LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) remote sensing data. Meg also holds an Advanced Diploma in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in Nova Scotia and a BSc. Honours in Environmental Science from the University of Guelph.
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.
Priscila Napoli
Fundraising Associate
As Fundraising Associate, Priscila supports WCS Canada’s fundraising team to maintain and improve donor stewardship. Priscila has over 10 years of experience in fundraising, grant management and project coordination, most of them working in conservation organizations in Brazil and in Canada. She holds a bachelor's degree in Social Communication and postgraduate degrees in Business Administration and in Sustainability Management, where she dedicated her research project to the theme of payment for environmental services and biodiversity conservation. Before joining WCS Canada as Fundraising Associate, Priscila worked in a number of organizations, including the University of Calgary's Faculty of Science, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, BirdLife/SAVE Brasil and Siemens Brasil.
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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